Marketing strategies for coaches generally depend on the type of coaching you do and the kind of clients you serve. But there are some best practices that will yield results if you do them consistently.
Marketing in many respects is about a) building confidence and trust even as you b) increase awareness of your services. Each strategy below address both these aspects.
In this article, we will list 5 such marketing strategies for coaches to follow. We assume you already have a website. If you don’t then get started with that at the earliest!
It’s natural to resist narrowing your focus because you feel that you have so much to offer. It seems counter-intuitive but narrowing your offer actually makes it very powerful.
But how do you narrow your offer? Start by thinking of who you would like your ideal client to be. Next map your experience, strengths and weaknesses to determine if you have a strong chance of serving them well. Finally, doublecheck if there is a decent sized market you can address. Once you have these items checked, then go for it. This laser sharp focus will elevate everything about your marketing and positioning strategy. It’ll make your messaging crisper and your conversations more productive.
Once common worry you may have is of going too narrow and alienating important and adjacent customer segments. That’s easily addressed by thinking of the core pain you want to solve, and then slowly adding additional personas and dimensions as you pick up traction. For example, at Evalinator, we solve the pain of client engagement – right from quality of lead generation, to prospect engagement, to growing of client relationships. While we could serve the whole world with this message, we decided to first focus on coaches and experts because our core features meet their needs very well.
So, develop a clear and focused offer that prospective clients can identify with. It doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to existing clients or avoid those who don’t fall into that narrow persona. You should continue to serve them because you will ultimately expand your market. However, in the short term you’ll be actively soliciting those who meet the criteria of your focused offer.
You’ll see this strategy pay dividends right away.
There are several coaching directories such as Noomii, which allow you to list your services. These services generally have their own marketing engine running to get prospective clients to visit their site and search for coaches. So they becomes a great channel for you to increase your visibility and reach. Be sure to include a link to your digital assessment on your directory profiles.
Most directories will offer a free plan so if available it’s better to start with that first to get a feel for the experience before signing up for a paid package at the one you like best. Paid packages may include direct links to your website, videos, and dedicated pages on the directory.
A lead magnet is typically something that you offer on your website or via other channels (e.g. in networking forum) in return for getting someone’s email address and their approval that you can stay in touch with them about your services.
A lead magnet can be as simple as a 1 page PDF or as complex as an entire book! We recommend starting with a simple lead magnet such as an interactive digital assessment includes 8-10 key questions that prospective clients can ask themselves to do a self-check.
The big advantage of a digital self assessment, or quiz, is that you can provide value immediately. It also helps you classify your prospects into segments so that you can initiate personalized follow-ups with them.
A lead magnet builds trust because you share your knowledge. For example, most coaches would know that a Wheel of Life is a very useful coaching tool. Most likely you will end up using it with your clients. What better way than to create an interactive Wheel of Life and make it available on your website! Visitors will be intrigued to see how they score, and will gladly provide their email address in return. Then you can follow up with them and invite them to your discovery session. The advantage of an assessment on Evalinator rather than a quiz is that an assessment is not just a lead generation tool. It is used to take the clients on a journey, and helps you create a dialog based on your client’s goals.
You can get started with a free 21 day trial to create a digital assessment and see how it feels to you. Of course to be successful with it you will have to drive traffic to your website too – the other marketing strategies on this page should help with that.
Chances are that you have a bunch of email addresses gathering dust in your inbox and on the business cards in your drawer. You may have gotten them from events that you attended, networking sessions, or from friends and family.
Create a list of these email addresses, along with at least the first name. Then begin to send periodic emails to this list (put everyone in bcc to maintain privacy). You can start with once a month and then work up to once per week. The topics will range from general advice to stories (anonymized) from your coaching experience. Everyone loves to hear stories of how other people overcame their struggle. Be sure to sprinkle in some of your coaching best practices as well to make them unique to you.
If you create a Digital Assessment such as a Wheel of Life, this becomes even easier for you. Every topic in the wheel is an email topic. For example, a typical wheel has 10 topics – family, career, hobbies, giving, friends etc – that must be in balance for someone to lead a fulfilled life. Each of these topics is an email to your list, and then you add in the interactions between them! Your digital wheel of life also comes integrated with several email providers. It’s a good idea to use one of those for email as you get started.
In your emails, don’t forget to add links to your lead magnet, and a request that your recipients share your emails with others, and on social media. It’s always a good idea to have the email content on your website as well so it can be shared easily.
Finally, do create a page on Facebook or LinkedIn (yes they are still good channels to advertise and raise awareness) and begin to share these links and advice there too. Let all your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections know and request them to like your posts / page, or at a minimum to re-share your posts when they see them. Every month or so you can also spend $5-10 to “boost your post” on Facebook which is a way to pay Facebook to have your post seen by more people.
Using this simple strategy and reminding people to help you spread the word in specific ways, you can increase your reach significantly.
With a little bit of work, you can really amplify your marketing impact. There are many self-help publications out there. Find one in your niche and create a guest post for them. If you’ve done 1, 3 & 4 above, you’ve already done the hard work. The content of your guest post for the external magazine can be simply created by combining the content of your emails and lead magnet in a nice way. You can perhaps create 5-8 external articles from the material you have – include best practices and stories. Don’t forget to link to your lead magnet and to the digital Wheel of Life.
Writing for external publications helps you in 2 ways: It helps you be more visible to people looking for advice (your prospective clients), and it increases the number of backlinks to your own website thus increasing it Google search presence. The latter will probably not be big game changer unless you have a large operation but every little bit will help – especially when people search for something that is unique to you.
There are probably a 100 more ways you can market your business. But we felt that these 5 marketing strategies for coaches will deliver the most benefit in the short term with a reasonable amount of effort. After all, you want to sell and market as a credible expert. So, as we mentioned before, marketing in many respects is about
a) building confidence and trust even as you
b) increase awareness of your services.
Each strategy in this article addresses both these aspects.
We wish you the best, and if you create a digital assessment, we’ll be here to help you every step of the way. A digital assessment is the scalable way to start because it acts as a quiz for lead generation and also continue towards deeper prospect and client relationship management. There’s a free trial for 21 days so go for it!