29 Sep, 2011
The most common marketing mistakes made by coaches – Part 4 by Bev James
Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coaching Articles|Continuous Professional Development|Executive Coaching Articles|In The Spotlight|Life Coaching Articles|Personal Success|Success Stories
Hopefully you are finding this series of posts useful? Who has actually started to action any of the lessons learnt to make sure you are avoiding the most common marketing mistakes made by coaches?
Here’s marketing mistakes 6, 7 and 8 and how to avoid them:
• Marketing Mistake 6 – Not Seeking Referrals
Do you have a referral system in place for your coaching business or do you feel too embarrassed to ask somebody to refer clients on to you?
Referrals and testimonials work together. If somebody gives you great feedback about your coaching sessions you can quite often say, “would I be able to use that as a testimonial?”
Write it down there and then rather than asking the other person to email you because people forget what they have said. You can easily build on positive comments that are made about your coaching by asking: “Do you know anyone else who might like to be introduced to coaching?” Give them a couple of your business cards to pass on to potential prospects. Let them know that you work on a referral basis.
Many top coaches spend little money on marketing and this is an ideal scenario to achieve. If all your clients come through word of mouth and you have a good relationship with them then they’ll be more than happy to refer you to their network.
• Marketing Mistake 7 – Not Paying Attention to First Impressions
Mistake number 7 of the top 10 most common marketing mistakes made by coaches is taking a domestic approach to business calls. You need a process in place that allows you to deal with enquiries efficiently and professionally.
Many coaches work form home possibly juggling personal and business life. They may have children or teenagers or other people around who might answer the phone. The last thing you want is is for a potential client to get the engaged signal, or worse, to have to leave a message with a child or someone who is not the coach. If this scenario sounds familiar, it is time to invest in a second phone line now.
When you’re first starting out, a clear and professional answerphone message should be the minimum action you take. You might want to reassure clients of the confidential nature of your business and the estimated timeline for a response. If you are a professional coach with an established business, I would say, go one step further and use a PA service that can take all of your phone calls in person when you’re busy. There are many companies like this in operation. The one I used personally when I had my first coaching business was All Day PA. Business Associates often commented on my efficient secretary but it was in fact a very efficient call answering service.
• Marketing Mistake 8 – Not Having a Social Media Strategy
Ignore the power of social media at your own peril. Like many coaches, I was guilty of this. I used to assume that networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn were for people who had too much time on their hands – how wrong I was!
I am now making active use of social media within all my businesses and collectively have over 11,000 followers, likes or links – amazing!
I don’t use these channels to hard sell and it’s important to remember that that is not what social media is about but you can’t argue with the kind of brand extension this number of followers brings.
At a recent course run by the Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy, 20% of the people in the room were there because they had heard details via a social media channel and it cost us nothing to get those people in the room.