But there’s a problem. You’re struggling to sign clients on a consistent basis. You need to figure out how to market a coaching business. But there’s too much advice and too many things to do.
It feels like you’ll never find your next client. Or you sign three people in one month and zero in the next two months.
If this is you, then you have one of two problems. Either you don’t believe you can consistently sign clients. Or you don’t have a marketing strategy.
In other words – it’s either your mindset or your strategy. In this post, we’re going to focus on marketing strategy.
The key is to define a consistent way to market your coaching business. A system you can execute every week to find and engage new potential clients.
For a complete guide on how to start your coaching business, check out my book Make Money As A Life Coach. When you follow the steps in this book, you’ll sign your first paying client(s) in as little as 30 days.
How To Market A Coaching Business
At its simplest, your marketing strategy comprises of two things:
- Marketing channels – this is how people find you.
- Your offers – this is how and when you invite people to work with you.
In this post, I share seven proven marketing channels that work for coaches.
There are hundreds of ways you can implement each of these channels. So, it’s important to understand that there’s no one strategy that will guarantee your success.
All the following channels take time before gaining traction. And some work better for different audiences.
Most new coaches make this more complex than they need to. They end up doing all the things.
Instead, you want to focus on just one or two channels. Then keep refining your strategy until it’s generating the desired results.
Pick one marketing channel and give it your full attention for several months. If you’re not getting results, then tweak your strategy or move on to the next.
One last note. You want to find the channels that work for YOU. Your strategy will be different to mine. And to everyone else’s. The key is to form a plan that works for you and your clients.
Here are the seven marketing channels:
- Your personal network
- Social media
- Other people’s audiences
- Local marketing (networking groups, local Meetup, speaking)
- Content marketing (blog posts, podcasts, etc.)
- Paid advertising
Before we continue, if you haven’t yet started your coaching business then I recommend you read this post: Ultimate Guide: How To Start A Life Coaching Business
It will teach you the steps to start your business and sign your first paying client.
#1: Your Personal Network
Many new coaches find their first clients through their existing network. These are the people who already know and trust you.
When you have an existing connection (however tenuous) someone is more likely to read your email or answer your phone call.
Meet with people you know and give value. Let them know what you do and make offers to help them. Your network can be an excellent source of clients and referrals.
#2: Social Media
Research the different social media platforms to see where your audience is hanging out. Then pick a platform and dive in.
However, one word of caution, be careful about spending too much time on social media. When you start learning how to market a coaching business, you’ll discover many ways to build an online following.
But a large social media following doesn’t always translate into more customers and a bigger income.
Be deliberate about how you spend your time online. Here are some strategies you can use to attract clients through social media:
Direct to Email list
Share content such as blog posts and landing pages to bring people back to your site and your email opt-in. Once people subscribe to your email list, they go through your funnel (if you have one) and receive your newsletters. You build trust, and they may decide to invest in your coaching programs.
You can directly sell to your social media followers by posting offers and invitations to discovery calls. This strategy works better as your social media following grows.
Keep in mind that you should only try to sell, at most, in one out of every ten social media posts. Give value first – don’t be that person who is always selling.
What does work well is live videos through social media. Video, and especially live video, is a dominant social media trend. There is something raw and honest about going live that appeals to people. They get to see a “behind the scenes” look at how you operate.
Live video builds trust over time. You can then make offers at the end of your videos or in the comments for people who’d like to go deeper with you.
A lot of coaches and other entrepreneurs offer private Facebook groups to their followers. You can join mine here.
These groups serve as an exclusive community for your business and a place to build relationships. The more you nurture your group, the more likely they are to purchase your services.
As I said before, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start out slowly with social media and experiment to see what works for your unique business. If you try everything at once, you’ll succeed at nothing.
#3: Other People’s Audiences
When you connect with other business owners, you can share your ideas with someone else’s audience and then invite them back to your business. For example, you can do this online by guest posting or by being interviewed on other peoples’ podcasts.
Guest posting is when you write a post that someone else publishes on their blog. You often receive a bio at the end of your guest post and can include a link back to your website.
Also read this article to learn how one of my clients grew her business by appearing as a guest on relevant podcasts.
As you make connections in your niche, you’ll discover opportunities to collaborate with others. Collaboration is a wonderful way to support like-minded business owners and spread your message to each other’s audiences.
The key to a successful collaboration is to build relationships with people who have an audience like yours and who share your values. Then work together in a way that benefits everyone. For example, I’ve collaborated with other business owners by co-authoring books.
Always think about what your collaborator gains from the project. Never focus on your own needs. When you enter a relationship thinking about what you can give to someone else, you’ll build strong connections much faster. And you will gain a reputation as someone who is worth connecting with.
#5: Local Marketing (networking groups, local Meetup, speaking)
Marketing in your local community is an often-overlooked strategy. But when starting out, it can be much more powerful than trying to get noticed in the crowded online space. It’s also a great way to practice talking about what you do so that you gain confidence as a coach.
Join a networking group (e.g. BNI or Chamber of Commerce) or host a Meetup group.
If you haven’t explored local networking, then consider giving it a go. You can build genuine relationships with people faster by meeting them in person than you can online.
#6: Content Marketing (blog posts, podcasts, etc.)
Content marketing is where you create content relevant to your coaching niche. This is another way to give value and demonstrate your expertise. Make sure you weave coaching offers into your content marketing.
You could start a blog, a podcast, or a YouTube channel. Just don’t attempt to do all three of these things at once.
Also think outside the box. For example, most of my clients find me through my books on Amazon. You can do the same – publish a nonfiction book in your niche to generate new leads.
Don’t limit yourself to what other coaches do. Play to your strengths and create the kind of content you do best.
#7: Paid Advertising
Finally, paid advertising can massively grow your business. However, you only want to pay for advertising once you have a clear picture of who your audience is and know that people want to buy your offer.
If you start doing paid advertising too early, you risk spending thousands of dollars targeting the wrong people. This is a sure-fire way to lose money fast.
Many coaches favor Facebook advertising. Other options include Pinterest advertising, Google Adwords, Amazon Marketing Services (for books and other Amazon products), and YouTube advertising.
In all cases, be clear on who you are targeting, what those people want, and how you will get a return on your ad expenditure.
Give Value And Make Offers
So now you know how to market a coaching business, select one or two channels to start with. Then commit to them over the long term.
Once people discover you through your marketing channels, make sure you do these two things:
- Give value
- Make offers to coach with you
I believe in providing massive value ahead of time. At first you may be reluctant to give away too much for free. Don’t be. The more value you provide, the more it will come back to you in the form of paying clients.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and help more people find you. Then, give them as much free value as you can and start making offers to coach them. You got this.
If you’d like more support as you build your coaching business, then come check out the Life Coach Resource Library. You’ll get instant access to more resources for coaches plus an invite to join my FREE community. We’d love to meet you!