Before we discuss marketing for coaches – you must realize the difference between sales and marketing so we are on the same page with the right expectations. Whereas sales is about nurturing the prospects – ultimately closing and converting leads into buyers. Marketing is about creating awareness and generating interest in your business but how do you do that? With content & advertising.
Now what’s more important? Both. Sales solve every business problem. Nobody ever said their problem is they’re getting too many sales. Having said that Marketing is what brings people to the shop. No marketing means no sales. But in this post, I’m going to share tips on marketing to help you build a sustainable business, make more money, and change more lives.
Table of Contents
One of the most effective tips for marketing your coaching business is to use perception.
How to use market perception in your favor
According to an ICF global research, respondents receiving coaching said that the reason they chose coaching as a way to overcome their limitations (over therapy or counseling) is that coaching sounded like it offers an action plan.
Nobody wants to sit through “childhood issues”.
What does that mean? And how can you use this perception that already exists in the market? Here are a few ways you can provide “coaching” in your business:
- Create a roadmap for your prospects to get results and unravel it in a free webinar
- Create a paid workshop experience – where you give a glimpse of what’s in store for them
The moment you offer something actionable you claw your way into their minds and become someone who can bring them success. According to research, 58% of clients engaged the first (and only) coach they contacted who meet THEIR criteria first.
Remember, your product isn’t a soft drink. Give them small wins, that’s the only thing that matters.
Avoid buzzwords like plague “Limiting beliefs”, “ambivalence”
Civilians don’t understand coded language. It makes them zone out. A confused prospect is like a soldier waiting to cross the minefield and they want to know where to put the next step to save their lives. So talk in their language. Here’s how you can translate code words:
Limiting beliefs = Mental traps
Ambivalence = Confusion. Mixed feelings. Living two separate lives
What’s better? Online or offline marketing for coaches
What’s the best form of marketing for a coaching business — offline or online? The truth is online marketing is about consistently spreading your wonderful content or running ads. It gives you freedom and scale. Offline marketing, however, is a slow but targeted medium. You don’t show up at a friend-of-a-friend’s door to talk about their limiting beliefs.
The fact is referrals are still the best form of marketing (46%) so absolutely convey your services in your network and past clients. But the next best source of leads is your branded website (20%). Get a branded website online or learn to create a nice-looking yet optimized website with a few simple clicks – join me LIVE to learn how.
By optimized website I mean a website that gets some love from Google (SEO).
So don’t waste time and resources on a logo because it’s NOT going to work. Your best bet to gain more clients is your network, your optimized website, and your social media channels.
What’s more important – Coaching certificates or rapport?
According to ICF research, 83% of coaching clients said personal rapport is “very important” to them. And no surprise, just 41% said it’s about certifications.
Of course, coaching certifications give you an edge in your services and boost your credibility. But at the same time, how do you create personal rapport?
One of the ways that work in the offline world is: Mirroring or pacing your prospects.
If they cry – you cry. If they smile, you smile. If they are cool, calm, and deliberate – you be like them. So how can you mirror or pace them online? By creating content pieces that mirror their emotions. Let me show you how to do it exactly for free.
Use ‘curiosity’ to get them interested in your content pieces
In their book, Made to Stick authors Dan Heath and Chip Heath shared this simple trick: point out a gap between what they know and what they want to know.
Legendary Copywriter Gary Halbert opened a very successful 100-million sales letter with this lead: “Do you know that your family name was….?”
If someone tells you that an ancient text mentions a great personality bearing your family name — would you like to discover more about that? Absolutely. That’s why these Geneology tools are wildly successful. It activates the same pathways in the brain which respond to sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Marketing for coaches is about creating that kind of mental itch. The simplest way is to create content where you talk about what they want to know… how to lose weight without dieting, exercises for people having knee problems, etc.
Simplicity gives you credibility
My TV remote came with over 47 buttons and yet I use 7 buttons at most. Over time my fingers know where those 7 buttons are and I don’t need the rest. We, humans, love simplicity and habits. So when you’re creating a content piece or selling something – talk about ONLY one thing at a time. Sell them only one thing. If you’re selling too many things at a time – it can confuse them.
But simple is hard to ignore.
Use metaphors in your content and marketing
Author Anne Miller in Metaphorically Selling recounts how a CEO who couldn’t secure a $1.2 billion bail-out deal from the US Congress ultimately succeeded when he stopped using the term “bailout”. And instead started using the term “safety net”. Now politicians can deny a “bailout” but they can’t deny a “safety net” for troubled families. How would those families and kids survive without security? Right?
Similarly, how can you use this critical element of marketing in your content and marketing?
Here are some of the most popular ways you can use metaphors right away:
To describe a process:
Let’s say you want to describe the coaching journey – you can say, “A seed has all the potential inside it. But only when it receives the right environment and water does it start germinating, gain roots, and become a plant. Similarly, when you receive the right condition and coaching you use your full potential.” Metaphors help concepts easier to grasp.
“The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.” – Aristotle, 4th Century B.C.
5 tips to build stronger sub-headlines for skimmers
Most people don’t read until they spot something interesting and useful in the content. It’s a good technique to browse the Internet so how can you start pulling them in with your strong content? Try these sub-headline tips:
- Create sub-headlines that converse with skimmers
- Skim your sub-heads and make them interesting using Copywriting strategies
- Add numbers or power words in your subheads
- Highlight interesting facts in your content
- If it’s video content, use headlines or captions to build upon concepts
Be a ruthless editor. Less is more
Remember the Lays potato chips ads, “No one can eat just one.” When it’s less, we ask for more.
Your clients are busy – commuting to their offices, having lunch, or watching over the kids. Appreciate their commitment. And edit your content like a pro.
What I mean to say is give them useful exciting content – but don’t overload them with rumblings, with monotonous monologues.
If you write something — make it tighter and more impactful. If you record something — cut out the flab. Edit like a pro.
Before you sell coaching – do this
Look around yourself. How many cool products surround you – iPhone, clothes, chair, table, coaching… coaching? Nooo… You can’t see coaching, you can’t see it. No matter how much you love coaching you can’t touch it. And yet you know it’s life transforming.
So how do you sell an invisible product?
Sell yourself first. People buy from people. You have a great story. You have destroyed barriers in your own life. You possess what so many people would love to have. And you are a hero or heroine in your life — share your journey. Share your emotions, share the sensational life you have had up until now and are living, and share the new identity you have created. That vibe is contagious.
How to sell coaching
Nobody buys coaching anyway.
Learn from the trillion-dollar car industry. Cars are expensive. So they invite you to come inside the car, sit and relax, feel the safety and the ambiance. Move your hand over the leatherwork, smell it, see the craft on the inside. And when you’re ready you can test drive the car and complete the formalities.
The million-dollar question is how can you give your prospects an amazing experience? Here are some tips:
Paint a future picture for them (future pacing). Compare the present and future. Talk about how they will be able to live once they complete the course. Go into as much detail as you can.
Create content pieces to help them win over a small barrier. This is something I mentioned in tip #1 — were you able to put that into action? I hope you did.
Admit a negative aspect to boost credibility
Listerine confessed, “The taste you hate twice a day.” With its honesty came the credit that Listerine should kill a lot of germs.
Marketing for coaches is NOT about easy results. It’s about showing your vulnerability. When you show them your wounds – it builds your credibility.
How to Reverse Engineer business success
A coaching business is a business. And a business solves problems. There are probably a lot of problems you can solve for the client. But certain problems are more pressing than others.
Your best bet is the one problem that is waking them up at 3 AM at night with tears rolling down their cheeks. Address that one problem because that will bring you success.
How to figure out that one problem?
See what’s already selling in your niche. What’s working? What are people already buying? It won’t take long before you figure that out.
Offer them self-reflection before things go south
Coaching isn’t like cola which can make you happy when you drink it.
Sure there are people who want that kind of happiness. But when somebody comes to a coach then somewhere deep she wants to evolve her skills and identity.
- Think about the ways you can help them self-reflect during the marketing process
- Ask open-ended questions to expand their minds and vision
- Remind them to reflect on their past wins
- Encourage them to take small steps towards living a dream life
Offer massive value for free… once they gain some level of confidence they will surely spread the word or join your community themselves.
Conclusion: Marketing for coaches needs some tweaking
Marketing, especially online marketing for coaches is too important to ignore. Here’s what to do today.
Take a look at any of your marketing assets – your website, the home page, the email funnel, the webinar, the video, or the blog post. And go through these points. Self-reflect to make progress.
Tell me how it goes. There’s no scoring, each point is critical.