You already market your coaching business (even if you don’t realize that you are). Fumbling as you provide an explanation about what you do, and how you specialize, right up to creating un-strategic Facebook ads—you are marketing yourself as a coach (your business). It’s not good marketing, but nonetheless, it’s marketing.
Perhaps you’ve done no marketing at all… that’s still a decision you’ve made about marketing and it’s surely giving you results, too. Are you happy with the results?
As you attempt to step out as an online coach you may feel that imposter syndrome creep in a wee bit, right? You tell yourself to push past the fear, claim your expertise, and carve out space in the online world for your coaching business.
None of that sounds inspirational to you, does it?
So here’s the thing, the online coaching world is booming (earning coaches worldwide $2 billion in revenue). What we're seeing as we’re connecting across the globe in new and different ways (and it’s becoming increasingly clear) is that selling people dreams of possibilities only to have them experience pitfalls is creating a different DEMAND online.
People don’t want to deal with authority figures who claim superiority…nor do they want to deal with those who use traditional and often cold online marketing models.
The online world is literally creating a surge of people wanting to connect in new ways. You see, the digital age isn’t cold or slick. The digital age is an age of information and resources and it’s actually enlightening people to new ways of thinking and connecting.
Online coaches using cold and slick marketing models is outdated AND it’s a massive DISSERVICE to the people who are actually looking for guidance from you. You feel the disconnect yourself by using these models, don’t you?
For you to align your coaching business with outdated marketing models is so contrary to what you’re here to do.
You can find ways to market yourself that feel comfortable and keep you enthusiastic and aligned with the work you’re here to do. In fact, the online world aligns perfectly with the coaching world when you get it…
You Can Market Your Coaching Business With Deeper Purpose
If you are looking to grow an online coaching business, there is no way around this one. Blogging is one of the best ways and reasons to drive traffic back to your site. Before you talk yourself into bypassing blogging by focusing on ads to drive traffic to your site, please consider this, first: People will NOT invest in you with just one visit to your blog or one landing page.
It’s after multiple visits to your site (approximately 6 to 7 visits according to some experts), of getting to know you, learn about your work and your specialty before an investment in a coaching package with you will happen. Blogging (hands down) is one of the best ways to connect with future clients and keep them coming back to visit.
Blogging is what supports driving the most traffic to your site AND builds your KLT (know, like, and trust) factor. I cover this in depth in the Your Digital Formula program, and I’m not alone. Leading coaches in the industry really comprehend the value of building the know, like, trust factor simply because it parlays perfectly into what is a necessary building block to building a relationship between coach and coachee.
Getting The Blogging Right
What to Write: Blogging is more than just writing and sharing some pointers. Blogging is where prospective clients get to know what you’re about through what you share and how you share it. Remember, blogging is also, in part, sharing yourself. While I don’t recommend every blog be a personal reveal about every intimate part of your life, I do believe it’s absolutely ok to let people see the vulnerable side of you.
People want to connect with you through commonalities like what experiences you had that shaped your life and your coaching. What struggles have your prospective clients dealt with that you struggled with, too? What did you learn, how did you overcome it? Your clients want to trust that you really understand them and that you will walk through the journey TOGETHER with them.
Commitment and Consistency: As with anything in life, the more committed and consistent you show up the more likely you’ll have success. Without consistency, you’ll never be able to tally your results. For example, what do your readers respond to, or where are your readers coming from? Commit to a regular writing schedule (once a week if you can) and start looking at the analytics. What themes are getting click throughs. How are they arriving to your site? Is it from Facebook? From Google+? From LinkedIn? From your email list? When you know simple things like this, you’ll know how to make the most of your blogs, where to share them, and where to follow up with the readers and learn more about what they're looking for, too.
2. Social Media
After you've written your blog how will you deliver it to prospective clients? So far (and unless you have a massively engaged and growing mailing list) social media is the ONLY away to attract your readers and prospects. Simply put, growing a Facebook page and managing your own Facebook group holds massive value for you.
It's unfortunate that in my experience, this is where I see so many great coaches fall below the radar…so below the radar that NOBODY is finding them.
Please remember, the time to find your clients is not when you need a client to make ends meet, or the moment you have a funnel or product in place. The moment you have a business is the moment you start marketing your business. PLEASE… read this paragraph again and commit it to memory.
Marketing is the oxygen of your business that will keep it alive and using Facebook (where most of the target market for coaches reside) gives you the best chance at growing your audience, your email list, and building that KLT factor BEFORE you start selling anything to anyone.
"You can't sell anything if you can't tell anything."
~Beth Comstock, CMO General Electric
How right Beth Comstock is with this quote. Telling stories and sharing experiences along with your wisdom using a social media platform like Facebook gives you the opportunity to connect in modern ways.
Beth Comstock also shares this, "Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We are all emotional beings looking for relevance, context, and connection."
Passionate and caring coaches looking to serve others can utilize social media unlike any other industry on Facebook. THIS IS A GOOD THING!
With less than 8 seconds to capture the attention of a prospective client, an image quote can resonate with a reader, and even move them to act (by way of a LIKE to your business page giving them more opportunities to learn about you, or by sharing you which gives others the opportunity to learn more about you).
Social media creates communities of people who voluntarily support your work, add to your voice, and share your work simply because of the value and passion and care you bring forth, first.
"Successful social media marketing is not built on impressions.
It is built on relationships." ~Kim Garst
What is your mission? What is your purpose? How can you make a difference? Beyond the clicks, the LIKEs, the followers, and the comments…social media lets others experience your passion, your style, and it'll help build your coaching business simply by sharing with people around the world.
Social media is here to stay, there's no way around that. And if you think social media is a pointless waste of time, then consider jumping into a time machine to circa 1950—you may have better luck there. 🙂
"We don't have a choice on whether we do social media,
the question is how well we do it." ~Erik Qualman, Author Socialnomics
3. Facebook LIVE Show
I know, this is still technically social media, but when you look at the statistics, we can see that Facebook LIVE really deserves a category all its own. As social media has evolved, so have we. It's influenced how we prefer to view and use it and LIVE video is changing the social media landscape.
According to Livestream and New York Magazine Survey, LIVE video is more appealing to brand audiences:
- 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts
- 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook LIVE
- 90% think video quality is the most important aspect of Facebook LIVE videos.
Invodo, another source, is reporting that:
- 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others
- LIVE video is outpacing the growth of other types of online video
- 100M internet users watch online video every day
- 4X as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that he believes video, specifically LIVE video will be the future of Facebook. Facebook is one of the biggest drivers of traffic (above most social media platforms for coaches). This is certainly true for Your Digital Formula, and why we showcase it as the main platform for coaches to use to attract and grow their audience and reach.
Producing a Facebook LIVE show isn't for everyone else…it's for YOU to seriously consider as you market your coaching business. In fact, above all, the coaches using the LIVE platform is proving to be among the best ways to connect with your audience and prospective clients.
Remember those approximate 6 to 7 visits prospective clients make before they invest in your service? What better way to connect with them than with a regularly scheduled Facebook LIVE show! It utilizes the Facebook algorithms (that already weigh in your favor by putting you higher in the newsfeed).
Think WIN-WIN here, because a Facebook LIVE show providing valuable insight to your prospective clients, followed by caring exchange with them by way of comments (engagement) and replies to your (now busy) inbox will assuredly assist you in growing your audience and you'll earn the right to promote your product and service.
To sum it up, you must seriously consider how you're showing up on social media (Facebook specifically). Are you meeting your prospective clients where they are?
4. Email List
To complete the circle of communication, email is a brilliant way to land in front of your audience and it gives you control more than any LIKE on Facebook. Facebook helps you drive the traffic to your special offers and this is where you grow your email list, and it's where so many wanting to grow an online coaching business get it wrong. Consider reading, 5 Common List Building Mistakes To Avoid, to get you going on the right track.
The main point I want to bring to your attention is this…
While you see me all over Facebook, what happens behind the scenes is equally as important. I've grown an engaging online audience, but without good and quality content to follow, then it's all for nothing.
Building an email list must ALWAYS be in progress, otherwise, you place your business and its growth in the control of the platforms you have no control over.
Your website crashes and you must rely on the host (and their timetable) to get it running again. Facebook can block you (it's happened to the best of us), or it can fold altogether (doubtful…but it can happen).
NEVER leave the control of your business to anyone or anything else. ALWAYS be actively growing your email list and remember this, when you aren't growing your email list, you're potentially hurting the future of your business.
Once a person has agreed to sign up and let you in (by way of the inbox), follow up with continued thoughtful and quality content.
Email is how you communicate your customer service and follow up with clients (providing them solutions and guidance with any issues that may arise).
Email can book and confirm coaching sessions.
Email gives guidance and instructions to programs.
Email continues to provide quality content specific to the interest of your clients.
Email puts you in front of your clients and prospective clients (and it complements your social media presence).
Email is still one of the very best ways to deliver content, stay in touch with your customers, and even connect with new prospects. People will unsubscribe (that's normal) and it's why continuously growing your email list is a must. While social media is growing your audience and your reach, email supports your revenue.
When you focus on service and dialogue through blogging, social media, Facebook LIVE and email, you'll naturally stay authentic and true to you. One thing is for sure, if you don't start marketing this way NOW, in a years time, you'll wish you had.