Marketing For Coaches – Realities Unfold On When and How To Market
Harvard Business Review reports that coaching is a 1billion a year industry in 2009. Fast forward to 2013, Sherpa Executive Coaching reports at the 8th annual coaching summit that the perceived value and the credibility of coaching are now at an all time high.
Coaching is called upon to help executives in organizations as well as small business owners deal with the demands of a complex and fast changing world.
While sharpening coaching skills and getting equipped with coaching methodologies are important; marketing for coaches is an area that is often neglected or left up to the last minute for graduating or budding coaches.
This article is dedicated to taking a closer look at marketing for coaches (life coaches or executive coaches, certified or not). In order to help and reach more people coaches will need to start paying more attention to marketing and promotion.
There are 4 common myths about marketing that I’d like to bring your attention to.
Myth #1: You invest in marketing after you have had a few clients under your belt
Realitity: The most common reason coaches do not pay enough attention to marketing is the perception that they need to have enough businesses and clients before it becomes justifiable to invest in marketing efforts. The question to ask here would be: so how will you have more clients if you don’t promote your services?
If you are familiar with the stages of business growth, you would know that the bulk of the investment, both in time and resources, are at the startup and growth phase. It is when the business is new and relatively unknown to the market that you would need to make your services known. Businesses that want to hold off marketing effort until they have enought clients need to reframe their perspectives.
Myth #2: You can scale back from marketing efforts when your business starts to take off
Reality: The rationale here is that once you have had a few clients you’ll be able to get referrals through word of mouth. This is assuming that your clients will recommend you and that you will be content to remain where you are without wanting to acceledrate and ride on your business growth.
I believe you would want to build a healthy base of prospects because clients come and go, no matter how good your services are. Not because they do not like you or your service but because they may have new priorities, new life styles, or some may relocate, get new jobs and others may want to take a break. It is only natural and prudent that you keep marketing as an on-going part of your business to ensure that you’ll always have a healthy base of paying clients.
While it is tempting to sit back when you have established a good footing, it is unwise to think that you can scale back on marketing. People and business go through cycles and changes, clients’ needs change and businesses need to keep an attentive ear and know how to solve relevant problems for their clients. Not to invest in research and active promotion will leave you far behind your competitors who are paying close attention to their clients’ needs.
Myth #3: Marketing via Social media is free so you can spend more time posting on these platforms to market your service
Reality: This is so deceiving that many professionals are not aware of the amoint of time (and opportunities) they have spent on free media sites. While setting up an accounts and using them is free, learning how to use these takes time. And using them effectively to bring in the desired results takes knowledge, strategies and concerted efforts.
Most professionals will have some if not many social media accounts. But ask how much time is spent on these platforms and how much traffic or sales has been brouight in and you may be greeted with a blank look. Or you may hear an uncomfortable silence over the phone (if you are doing phone coaching).
Continuing to spend unplanned amount of time on acitivities that do not get you the results you want is not free by any definition.
This is eating up your most valuable and un-replenishable resource: time. If you intend to use social media for your marketing do consider having a plan. Know which platforms you want to use, what you want each paltform to achieve and how much time you want to spend on these acitivites.
Myth #4: You need to be on all major social media platforms and you need to post a few times a day
Reality: Many coaches are busy and getting busier with just trying to look for quality content to post. Keeping the different social media accounts alive is taking up a lot of their time and fatigue is setting in. Everyone seems to be saying and reposting the same thing from the same sources and people are tired of liking, sharing or commeting.
The good news is you don’t need to be posting 3 times a day and you certainly don’t need to be on all platforms in order to market your service. Why? Because your ideal clients meet on one or two major platforms. They chat and share on those platforms although they may have presence on the rest.
You do not want to pread yourself too thinly. Unless you have a team helping you with social media marketing you’ll be making better use of your time and effort if you focus on one or two platforms. What these are will depend largely on who you are serving.
If this is making sense and you’ll like to know how to market your coaching practice then feel free to get in touch and we can set up a short call to understand your unique challenge and offer you one strategy that you can use right away so you create more effective marekting for your coaching business.
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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles