Coaches are often independent contractors (ICs) –– freelancers or multi-faceted professionals –– who run a business’s administrative aspects and client management. In other words, coaches wear many hats.
One of these hats is as marketing manager. Coaches may get referrals over time, but to keep a healthy flow of clients coming through the door, they must also advertise their services, which doesn’t have to be complex or costly. It just needs to target the right audience and stay “on-brand.”
If you’re wondering how to market your coaching business, we recommend a clear roadmap, strong action items, and the right skills and tools. Let’s explore how you can become proficient at marketing for coaches.
Create a brand
What did we mean when we said marketers need to stay “on-brand?” A consistent image for your coaching business will make it recognizable across all your marketing platforms — from social media to print ads.
So what’s in a brand? Good brands establish a balance between representing their industry and standing out. For instance, a coaching brand should have traits of a wellness company, but the details within the branding should differ from those of similar services. You can understand the industry’s aesthetic by checking out various coaching websites.
Brands must also be consistent. This means using the same logo, fonts, color scheme, and voice on every platform. It’s wise to draft a brand kit that sets the standards for your marketing campaigns and the overall company look and feel.
As you think about your brand’s voice, consider your target audience and what will resonate with this demographic. Business coaching services might take on a more formal tone than fitness coaching practices. This “tone” must also influence a brand’s appearance. Perhaps fitness coaching practices use brighter, more vibrant colors than other businesses.
Use your referrals
Before you reveal a social media, web, or print marketing plan, reel in as many referrals as possible. Launch a small-scale strategy through other channels if you get enough potential clients through word-of-mouth marketing.
Ask friends, family members, and former clients to spread the word about your business. Send an email with an informational PDF on your services that your existing clients can easily forward to their contacts. Try extending a referral perk such as a kickback for people advertising your business and discounted coaching sessions for new clients who schedule with you, thanks to this campaign.
Leverage digital marketing
Any online platform used for advertising falls under the category of digital marketing. For instance, social networking sites and search engines provide excellent marketing opportunities.
The internet and social media platforms boast global reach and algorithms that ensure your ads target specific audiences and ideal clients. Plus, these spaces offer free and low-cost marketing options.
Start advertising on social media at zero cost by using calls-to-action (CTAs) on your social media pages. Ask your followers to share information about your business, or run giveaways and contests.
Set a budget when you’re ready to invest in your virtual advertising strategy. Then, look at the marketing options on the most-used social networks, and begin with an affordable program. Many popular social media applications offer economical one-off ads or campaigns. You can also set up Google Ads so your company features in top search results.
What to post on social media
As social media marketing is one of the most economical and essential components of your business, you’ll want to go in with a solid plan for the content. Define a limited number of content pillars—categories of materials you post, such as promotions or information blurbs—and make a calendar from these different pillars. Here are some ideas for social media content for coaches:
- FAQ-style informational posts: To maintain your user engagement levels, answer common coaching questions or queries specific to your business.
- Tips and advice: Offer credible expert tips. For example, if you’re a health and wellness coach, you could share weekly suggestions on staying motivated when following meal or exercise plans. If you’re a business coach, you could offer advice on how to save more or set reasonable economic goals.
- Reposts: Post content from other creators that aligns with your brand. A life coach may want to repost content from motivational speakers or famous athletes, while a wellness coach could repost videos on yoga or breathing exercises.
- Promotions: Encourage followers to click CTAs in exchange for rewards. For instance, ask them to participate in giveaways or run promotional pricing on your services for people who sign up for coaching within a certain period.
- Testimonials: Show prospective clients how well you’ve worked with others. Instead of tooting your own horn, use testimonials from satisfied clients.
Email marketing for coaches
Complement your strong coach marketing strategy with an equally solid email plan. Getting leads from your marketing efforts is just the first step. Then, you have to turn those leads into loyal clients.
Keep your clients in the know with a communication strategy that includes follow-ups, such as session and payment reminders, marketing promotions, and business updates. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to save client data and an email marketing platform to push out automated content and marketing campaigns. Leverage Practice’s platforms to securely store clients’ personal information, take bookings, and send messages and documents to your clients.
Myths about marketing your coaching program
If you haven’t started marketing your business to the extent you’d like, perhaps you’ve been slamming the brakes because you’ve heard misconceptions about marketing. Let’s bust a few of these myths.
- Marketing makes it look like you’re trying too hard: You can only get so much work through referrals, and it’s wise to market your service to maintain a steady flow of new clients. Plus, not all marketing has to be “in your face.” You can subtly market your services by putting your information in coaching directories or using your social media platforms to offer discounts.
- Advertising coaching services is expensive: With a range of social media and web advertising plans, set your budget and see what you can reasonably afford. And, if you don’t have a marketing budget, you can still advertise by making promotional posts for your social media profiles. You could also send a PDF of your services to your former clients, friends, and families so they can refer you to other people.
- Marketing seems dishonest: If you have a negative impression of marketing because you associate it with nasty, elusive sales tactics, think again. You control the narrative, and there’s nothing deceptive about showing what you can offer to your target audience.
Stay business savvy with Practice
At Practice, we’ve built a business around helping you smoothly run your coaching business. And to make your life easier, we create content about all the aspects of running a coaching practice—from how to market your services, name your practice, and insure your small business.
We’re confident that you’ll welcome a wealth of new clients with these marketing tips. And with high numbers comes great responsibility. Remember to use a CRM tool to organize your calendar and manage client data.
Practice’s Client Management Software, designed with coaches in mind, is a great solution to all your management problems. It allows you to schedule appointments, securely store files and contracts, and organize client records –– all in one place. Try it today.