If you currently have a coaching business, you might be asking yourself these questions: “How do I market my life coaching business?” “What am I doing to attract and maintain a steady stream of qualified, motivated prospects?” “How do I find and keep interesting clients who pay me what I am worth?” Like most coaches, you may not be able to answer those questions because the answer involves marketing.
Sure, referrals can be a decent source of new clients, but they’re only one of the approaches in a system of marketing strategies that captures many desirable clients for as long as you wish.
As a coach, you have lots of options at your disposal for attracting more clients to your coaching practice. And they don’t have to include the expensive things that spring to mind when you mention “marketing,” such as slick brochures, advertising, or direct mail.
However, your professional expertise alone will not differentiate you in a crowded life coaching marketplace nor will it bring clients to you. You’ve got to let them know you exist and help them understand why you’re different and uniquely qualified to address their needs. This is called market positioning. It takes some thoughtful, creative work to nail this first, most important step in attracting more clients to your business.
Once you’ve determined your positioning, you have four more major steps that will bring clients to you and your coaching practice: packaging, promotion, persuasion, and performance. Each step requires that you are able to communicate with your target market in a variety of ways that they can understand in layman’s terms, not your expert language.
So, how do you market your life coaching business? Let’s explore some of the strategies.
How Do I Market My Life Coaching Business?
In a nutshell, here are some of the strategies for each major step mentioned earlier to attract more clients:
Positioning: Determine what’s your coaching niche, specialty, reputation, unique competitive advantage, client-centered worldview, and commitment to clients.
Packaging: Explore the many ways you can package your coaching programme, for example, knowledge-sharing, articles, reports, surveys, web sites, slide decks, online videos, books, mini-books, etc.
Promotion: Ask yourself this question: “How do I market my life coaching business?” Is it through speaking, writing, networking, referrals, e-newsletters, postcards, calls, online classes, etc?
Persuasion: How do you accurately grasp the way your clients think? Is it through listening, diagnosis, openness, curiosity, visioning, education, presentations, asking, recommending, assuring, or sharing?
Performance: What are the ways you use or things you do to ensure high performance? Are they competence, solutions, results, keeping promises, managing expectations, intelligence, creativity, guarantees, thank yous, commitment, walking the talk, innovation, persistence, integrity, generosity, or staying in touch?
Chances are, you’re on a learning curve in one or more of these major steps. Even if you’ve been in business for years and have built a successful coaching business, taking your practice to the next level means setting new metrics, ensuring your niche hasn’t grown stale, and learning new ways to reach that next stage in your firm’s growth or maturity.
Or perhaps you serve clients inside a very large organization and need support or buy-in for the coaching services you offer. You can put these principles and strategies to work for your work to get noticed, get invited, attract positive attention, and get buy-in.
How Do I Attract More Clients to My Business?
Here are seven marketing nuggets to enhance your loyalty and retention as well as attract new clients:
- Raise the role of strategic marketing in your coaching practice to a conscious level. Get it on the agenda and apply your marketing strategies to it, just like you do with any other crucial aspect of your business.
- Create a niche for your coaching practice. You cannot be all things to all people. Just because you enjoy working with a particular market or prefer a special approach, it doesn’t mean your target market will. You need to understand the difference between a good niche and a bad niche and strategize your marketing plan accordingly.
- Position yourself to others through their worldview, not yours. Instead of saying, “I’m an executive coach,” start with “I help (Fortune 500) companies (increase their market share).” Tailor the statement to fit who you help and what problem you address, but you get the idea.
- Develop a system of marketing strategies that both attracts new clients and helps you retain the existing clients you have. Start with the metrics of what you want to change or improve in your practice and tie the system to achieving those metrics.
- Develop an action plan that translates your marketing system into specific tasks, with real assignments, deliverables, and deadlines.
- Commit to and put a system in place to keep you on track and motivated as you work through your marketing plan. Build non-billable time into your business model dedicated to marketing. A rule of thumb is at least 20% of your business’s time should be allocated to marketing.
- Get expert help and resources for any of these suggestions, including implementation. For some coaching practices, this may mean getting away for a day or two of focused thinking and discussion among key people. When you consider the ripple effect good marketing strategies can bring, it’s well worth the time and effort.
The Bottom Line
Intelligent, effective marketing requires a great deal of patience and the ability to see it not as a series of transactions completed in a few weeks or months, but as a relationship-building process with your current and future clients over time. Marketing really is a life-skill and something to learn as one of your core competencies as a professional coach.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community