Regardless of the industry that you are in, every business needs a solid marketing strategy and clever tactics to succeed. The coaching business is no different, and in this article, I will be focusing on coaches who are in the business of professional and entrepreneurship coaching.
Start with a marketing strategy and differentiate
In today’s digital age where your customers spend a lot of time online, having an online presence is a no brainer. You can have all the credentials to boast, but if you do not have a marketing strategy and leverage marketing channels to raise your brand, chances are you will not be able to reel your ‘protégés’ in.
In the last few years, the coaching business is getting more attention and demand. The recent pandemic has also led more people engaging personal business coaches to help them find their compass. Search the internet and you can see a long list of executive and entrepreneurship coaching available for professionals to choose from. Scroll the social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and you will see different coaches with their unique specialist areas promoting their trade. However, in a sea of competition, how does a business coach market and differentiate themselves?
Here are five marketing strategies that are easy for any coach to adopt.
Create a branding. In every profession, developing a trusted brand or authentic personal branding is the way to your client’s trust. Especially in the personal development business, people scout for trustworthy and reliable coaches with proven records who can propel them further in their goals. As coaches, the first strategy is to develop a personality or persona of your branding.
Consider this five-step branding exercise that will create your unique selling proposition.
- How are you different?
- What problems are you trying to help solve for your clients?
- Why are your beliefs and style different from the rest?
- How are your coachees different?
- How different is your product?
Imagine that you have 30 seconds to make an elevator pitch to a potential protégé, what would you say? Think through the five questions above and impress them.
Most people become fanatic fans of brands or follow an idol because they associate their logos with their vision. Similarly, people choose to follow an influencer or idol for the personality and persona they exude, which the individual can resonate with. Have a consistent brand identification in your logo, tagline, professional image, and look and tone of voice – and reflect them consistently in your marketing and publicity materials.
Identify your target audience and hook them. Every coach has their expertise or specialist area. Whether it is a life coach, body transformation coach, entrepreneurship coach, or personal and empowerment coach, you have your unique selling propositions. Do you consider yourself a generalist or a specialist in one particular area? You need to squeeze out that one differentiating factor to hook your clients. Whether it is your price, the specific area of specialisation or your style of coaching – find a unique reason why these protégés should part with their money, and make you their Master Yoda or Sinseh.
Share free insights on social media platforms. We all love the word FREE. Even if we don’t intend to buy a service, the word just jumps out of the screen to you. So utilise it! With millions of eyeballs scrolling for valuable content on social media, sharing insightful information of your expertise area is one of the best strategies. Whether it is short quotes, infographics, fun quizzes, polls, live streams, webinars, podcasts, success stories or blog journals, they are good magnets to attract your clients. One of the best platforms to find your clients is on Facebook. You can search for keywords or find Groups where potential clients hang out. However, if you want to reach a larger audience and targeted group, consider investing in Facebook ads to reach your target better. It is said that humans tend to make a decision after seeing the same person share info or the same ad displayed after seven or eight times. So keep pushing quality content and build your social media presence to entice them to come to you.
Give an incentive to entice them. With a consistent social media strategy, you will soon see a steady flow of potential clients who would be keen to find out about your programme. Do not startle them with a four figure package instantly. Instead, offer either a free one-hour consultation to give them a teaser of about your coaching programme and how you can help them meet their needs through a simple needs analysis. Impress them with solid, clear, and concise ideas or solutions. Excite them with a special package deal if they sign up within a certain period. As mentioned earlier, the only way to get your protégés to part with their money is to really wow them with your brilliance and expertise.
Ask for referrals and offer affiliate fees. We all know ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing is the best marketing engine, especially in the service business. With a record of successful protégés, their testimonials and reviews are your best form of marketing to encourage more people to sign up. Work with your successful protégés and offer them an incentive for referrals. It is a great way to collaborate and best part, it’s a win-win deal.Alternatively, work with relevant bodies to raise your programmes’ visibility and accessibility. For example, in the case of S.T.A.R. Asia Alliance, they are an Approved Training Provider accredited by Skillsfuture Singapore, hence allowing participants to utilise their $500 Skillsfuture credits when signing up for the Art of Training programme. Such partnerships are a draw, especially for those learners who are yet to utilise their training credits for skills upgrading.
So, there you go. Developing a marketing strategy and executing several tactics does not have to be overwhelming. If you prefer, focus on one or two that brings in your protégés, work on those, and expand to other tactics when you have more bandwidth.
For those who need some help to kick start your marketing plan or identify several marketing tactics, work with a digital marketing agency or public relations agency for solutions.