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15 Dec, 2009

Online Marketing Tips for New Coaches

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles

Online Marketing Tips for New Coaches - Mike BlissettAs a trainer and coach, one of the areas fellow coaches and business owners want to work on most is how they can develop a simple and effective marketing strategy – because the reality is if you have one you can expect your business to grow, and if you don’t it probably won’t.

The good news is that developing a great marketing plan can be easy, fun – and when you begin to see the results you’ll just want to do even more of it.

  • Question: when should a coach think about marketing?
  • Answer: all the time!

Successful business leaders, no matter how busy or profitable their market share is now, always keep an eye on developing new and exciting opportunities for the future. For a coach, since we are also business owners, this rule applies to us, too.

Stephen Covey suggests our present knowledge has a ‘half shelf life of two years’, and by that he suggests that up to half of what we know today will become redundant within the next two years. This blows the ‘doing what you’ve always done – getting what you’ve always got’ equation out of the water.

The reality is that no matter how busy and successful you are, you should always keep an eye on developing future opportunities, because if you don’t you can be sure others’ will.

In coming toward my 7th anniversary as a full time Personal Career Coach, I can say that whilst a percentage of new clients come via referral and recommendation, some will still find me and be convinced to coach with me as a result of my marketing.

Whether you are new to coaching, or have been practicing a while, whether you are putting together your first marketing plan, or have one already, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself ‘and what am I going to do next’. Following are tips and ideas I use to help grow and keep my practice busy. Use the ideas that best resonate with you, since the best marketing should always be an extension of your personality.

Mike’s Top Tips for Marketing!

1. Have a marketing plan. It’s amazing that whilst most businesses spend time creating a business plan, they forget the importance of a marketing plan to sit alongside it. In simple terms, a marketing plan is a template of how you plan to communicate with present and future clients over a determined time frame (usually a year). If your communication is fresh, interesting and useful to those who receive it, they will buy your product. You can have your marketing plan on the wall on a white board, on your computer, or written down – the place you’re most likely to keep it up-to-date and read constantly is the place it needs to be for you.

2. The main product – YOU! From a marketing point of view ‘you the coach’ are the product. Spending time to clarify what it is you bring to the world of coaching so that a prospective client can understand why they should work with you is really valuable. Thinking about your values will help in deciding how to present yourself. Marketing is all about creating an image of who we are and what we stand for. In short, having a point of view, even being a little controversial, will help. From a client’s view point, they must know who you are before they’ll consider buying your services.

3. Be relevant. In NLP it’s suggested that ‘the person with the most flexibility will achieve the greatest success.’ What could this mean to you with regards marketing? Research suggests consumers buy a product after at least 5 contacts. What could those 5 contacts be for you? Many coaches write articles, have a website and send out newsletters. Social networking is now an established fact of life. If you’re not yet familiar with the world of eNewsletters, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc you could be missing a vast array of mostly free advertising and marketing opportunities. Spend time getting to know the various options and mediums – then rather than go with the one you feel most comfortable with, ask yourself ‘what would my future prospective client find most useful’ – and go with that instead.

4. Have something to say. What to write about? Obviously, the seasons, all the holidays and special days throughout the year, news headlines, trends, fashion – the list is endless. What’s your point of view? As mentioned above, don’t be bland, ‘all things to all people’ – people don’t trust people who don’t have a point of view. Being a leader, which as a coach you will be, is about saying what you think and having a passion during marketing – after all, I’m guessing you’re passionate about coaching: so get writing!!

5. Products. As a coach, how flexible could you be in providing your coaching services? Here are some ideas – which could apply to you?

a. Individual face-to-face, telephone, Skype, video, or email coaching
b. Group (as above) coaching
c. Online coaching programmes – including audio
d. eBooks

6. It’s never too late… Finally, one of the main benefits of having a marketing plan is that it allows you to plan ahead. New Year is the busiest time for new coaching business, since it’s the time most people set goals. From a marketing point of view, the time to submit articles to magazines is mid-summer, for national newspapers Sept/Oct, and local press mid November. A marketing plan will help you with this and can remind you in good time to start writing your articles, and also who’s who and where to send them off to.

PS: Whilst New Year is the busiest time because it’s when most people plan, from a marketing point of view you can create a buzz any other time of year, too. For the first couple of years as a coach I used to believe summer was a quiet time…until I decided to start marketing summer time coaching (which starts going to press during spring). From that point on, summer has always been equally busy.

I hope this helps you to grow your business. Marketing is fun, and is best when it’s as individual as you are.

All the best, Mike xx

You can contact Mike through The Coaching Academy at info@the-coaching-academy.com

8 Responses to "Online Marketing Tips for New Coaches"

1 | Jacqueline Pigdon

December 16th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

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I agree there are too many people out there looking for coaches, even coaches themselves not to have an online marketing system in place.

If you are a coach stuggling to attract clients I would be more than happy to share with you some of the lessons I have learnt and latest strategies on how to attract a steady flow of new clients to your coaching practice.

Simply fill out this form and I will be in touch with you!

jinalife.com/request_form.php

Jacqueline Pigdon
Existentialist Spiritual Coach

2 | Peter Michael Dedes

December 16th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

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I would be interested in hearing about your experiences and lessons as I am in the throes of creating a website to attract clients.

Thank you

Peter Michael Dedes

3 | Mike Jones

December 16th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

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Good points Mike.

Coming from a Sales and Marketing background myself I think it’s very relevant to have a Marketing Plan in place. Many businesses don’t; which leave them reacting to things at the last minute, if at all, instead of having things prepared and ready to go.

Mike

4 | Cherie Concannon

December 16th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

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I completely agree. Online marketing can quickly become an essential tool driving interest to your website and creating a buzz around your product, and you!

There is just so much potential for free marketing online – Articles, Press Releases, Directories, Blogging, Social Media – all free and all capable of building up knowledge and intrigue in your product.

Cherie

5 | We Need To Talk - Coaching Blog

January 5th, 2010 at 11:52 pm

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[...] Online Marketing Tips for New Coaches [...]

6 | January

April 17th, 2010 at 5:38 am

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Thanks tzongyih sharing this great article with me, I love it too.
BTW, thanks for this article.

7 | Oma Edoja

August 4th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

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As a client-attraction coach, I couldn’t agree more on the importance of a marketing plan, and continuous marketing. Many of the women I have worked with had no such plan, and wondered why they didn’t have enough clients. Incidentally, they were accosting people in the streets and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working!

I teach my clients how to identify their niche and get known in it as a problem solver. This attracts qualified leads which they can then convert to clients. And this is an on-going, every day process. Marketing can be fun, and I love to show how!

8 | Coaching through transition, not just through change | The Coaching Academy Blog

November 9th, 2011 at 11:04 am

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[...] change been happening so fast. You only have to look at how quickly social media has taken hold of communication in the workplace as well as in our non-work lives to get a sense of just how [...]

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