Have you started a coaching business but struggling to find the right people to listen to your messages?
Have you got a great idea? One that is so good that it will help so many people out? Yet, your diary isn’t ram packed with clients booking coaching calls with you?
Have you developed a coaching programme that lots of people have told you would be beneficial, yet no one is buying it from you?
The solution to all these issues is marketing.
The Oxford Definition of Marketing:
“the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
Why marketing is essential to coaching businesses.
Marketing isn’t just essential to coaching businesses, but to any business.
A marketing led business approach ensures that your coaching services are aimed at providing solutions to issues that people have. In other words, your business is providing real value to people’s lives from their perspective.
Providing coaching services and programmes that you think are useful may not actually be useful to other people. It’s a harsh truth.
By trying to push a coaching programme onto clients and convincing them they need it can be an expensive and time-consuming fight. Results may not be great too as the client may find the programme irrelevant in the end and disappointing.
If you take a marketing led approach, you will carry out market research first to find out what issues’ clients are having in their lives.
What is taking up their time?
What is sapping their energy?
What is stopping them moving forward?
What do they wish could be fixed or improved with a magic wand?
By asking questions like this and narrowing down what exactly clients struggle with, you will have a better idea of what solutions to provide in your programme.
When you KNOW your programme provides the right solutions for your clients needs, then it’ll be a much smoother process of getting them onboard and signing up. You’re not trying to convince them of a problem they may not actually have.
In my opinion, it’s also a more ethical way of marketing as a coach. At the end of the day, you’re their to serve your clients.
Once you have the right services in place, your messages will be much more suited to your clients.
So, that’s phase 1 – Market research ideas for your coaching business.
Getting your message across.
When you know you have a good idea for a coaching programme, it’s time to let people know about it and get your message across.
You could have the greatest coaching programme ever created but if no-one knows about it, what good is it?
Another key aspect of marketing is working out how to get your message to the right people who will read, listen, and pay attention to it. These are the people who you can help, and you want to reach as many of these people as possible.
Far too many people have a “scatter gun” approach without aiming, hoping that just one of those bullets will hit a target.
Again, this can be time consuming and expensive as well as exhausting. You need a better aim.
Part of your market research will be to get a deeper understanding of where your potential clients are so you can go to them and put your messages directly in front of them.
To meet the right clients, you need to be where they are.
And, that’s phase 2 – building awareness of your coaching business
Now you’ve got your reach, why is no one booking?
Building awareness of your coaching services and programmes doesn’t mean people will buy from you straight away.
Your messages may appeal to the potential client and their issues, but what proof do they have that you really can provide the solution they seek?
This is where the trust phase of marketing comes in.
To build up trust, you need to be able to repeatedly communicate with your potential client and demonstrate that you really can help them.
And to repeatedly communicate to them, you need a method to keep reaching them without the effort you had to go to in the awareness phase.
Once you’ve made someone aware of you, your services and programmes and they show an initial interest, you need to then entice them into a place where you have a much greater way of communicating with them more regularly.
Through regular communications, you can nurture your potential client through ongoing value giving and showing proof from previous clients of results. This builds trust and increases the chances of them hiring your services or signing up to your programmes.
This is phase 3 – building your audience
It doesn’t end here.
Whilst you’re now at a stage where you have an audience and you’re making sales; your marketing doesn’t stop here.
Feedback is important to gain for two reasons.
1, great feedback provides you with the testimonials and proof of value that you need to share with your newer audience members in phase 3.
2, feedback also highlights areas of your services or programmes that can offer improvements. Implementing improvements in your programmes will enable better results next time round for your clients.
This is the cycle that allows your coaching business to grow more and become more established.
This is phase 4 – feedback
How do I get started with marketing?
Marketing isn’t a one-for-all solution so don’t think there is a proven blueprint to effective marketing for coaches.
How you approach each phase of the marketing cycle will differ to how another coach approaches it.
It varies depending on what you offer, how you offer it, who your clients are and where they are.
Your market research can consist of internet research where you find surveys already undertaken in your area of expertise.
You may also already have some experience of the topic so may be well aware of many of the issues facing your clients.
Or you may reach out to people directly with questions and collate the data you gather to get a better understanding. You may do this online or offline, or a mixture of both. It all depends really on what your coaching business focusses on.
There’s plenty of resources available online these days to make the process much easier, especially within social media groups.
How you decide to build and nurture an audience will differ also compared to other coaches.
Your audience may be in-person meetings with regular events or it may be online social groups.
Whichever route you decide to take (and relevant to your clients needs) must enable you to communicate your messages with them regularly.
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated
Marketing may seem complicated from the outset.
And it can be.
Highly data driven marketing can reap some great rewards through better targeting, better messaging and better understanding the client.
But, to get started, you don’t need to go that in-depth.
Besides, if you’re new to marketing you won’t have the data available to do such marketing.
What you need to do is have a simple strategy and be consistent.
A great coach once gave me the formula to success:
Simplicity + Consistency = Success
I’m a great believer in simplicity
- Think about who you’d like to help
- Do some research to find out their needs
- Find out where they “hang out” (whether online or offline)
- Meet them there and spread your message
- Invite them to you with some free value
- Keep messaging them with your value and proving your worth
- Offer them your programme to help with their issue
- Get feedback and testimonials
- Share your testimonials
- Implement improvements
In a nutshell, that’s it!
By getting started with marketing, even with a very simple plan, you’ll start a process that will put you on a continuous path of progression.
Along the way, you’ll adapt and improve which is what will help your coaching business grow.