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Where Do Coaches Start With Digital Marketing?

I always get the best ideas for articles from conversations with coaches – both on and offline and August has been a month of digital marketing conversations.

I’ve spoken to a number of coaches who have been either at the end of a several month journey of (quite pricey) digital marketing work, or who are standing at the beginning of that journey, feeling dizzy and sick at the array of digital stuff that seems to exist for them to master.

Let me clarify what I mean by digital marketing and digital work.

There are so many options available to the new coach to market themselves and many of them are online (ie digital).

Definition Of Digital Marketing Techy Terms

  • Lead magnets. This could be an e-book, a free Skype ‘discovery’ session, a webinar etc. In fact it can be any digital media that you swap with a potential client for their contact details.
  • Sales funnel. This is actually a process rather than an item. A lead magnet might be the beginning of your sales funnel, for example. Then you could send the client a series of emails, perhaps. The end of the sales funnel would be a paying client. The ‘funnel’ part refers to the fact that more go into the wide part of the funnel (potential clients) than come out of the spout as paying clients.
  • Website. I know I don’t need to say much about websites, other than I don’t believe you need one to start your coaching business. Before you hop up and down and shout at me, I wrote an article about why I think that, which you can read here.
  • Online advertising. Facebook, Google ads, LinkedIn ads – all can suck up £££££ if you’re not careful. Personally, I’d say avoid like the plague, but if you’re determined, make sure that before you place one single ad you know exactly who you’re targeting.
  • Email marketing. Mailchimp, MadMimi, Ontraport…. there are loads of them. You use one to create a series of emails, that you send to your list (which you have curated by giving away your lead magnet) to encourage them to buy your coaching.

Clearly, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s enough to make your mind boggle if it’s outside of your experience.

So Where Do I Start Then?

Honestly? You don’t.

The right place to start building a coaching business isn’t by jumping straight into a digital marketing strategy.

There are three steps to creating a coaching business and they’re no different if you’re working on or offline (the best coaches do both).

  1. Work out who will benefit most from your coaching. This needs to be people who can and will pay. I feel like I’m stating the obvious when I say this, but a significant number of coaches want to work in niches where there is no money. Sadly, that’s just not going to work.
  2. Work out exactly what those people need to hear in order to understand the benefit to them of working with you. Be very specific; how will their lives change? (Top tip – don’t talk about reaching goals etc.)
  3. Once you know who they are, and what they need to hear, then you work out where they are. When you know where they are, be there yourself; both on and offline. If you can get in front of exactly the right audience, and give them exactly the right message, you will get clients.

So What About The Digital Things?

It may be that one of the places your people hang out is a social media platform (actually, they will almost always have a presence somewhere online, unless they’re very old, or Amish I suppose?).

Where ever they are, you should be there too. And when you’re there, you need to be telling them what they need to hear in order to understand the benefit of working with you.

I feel like I’m repeating myself.

What you don’t really need is whizzy technology, certainly not at first. Get some paying clients and use the income you’ve earned as a coach to pay for the whizzy tech-stuff. At least by then you’ll know how to grow your coaching business and the technology can support this growth, rather than make you broke before you get your first client.

Would You Like Some Help?

If I’ve boggled your brain, could I offer you something that might help? The Coaching Revolution has written a short course about the above, and it’s free. It’s called Finding Coaching Clients Who Can And Will Pay and you can find it here.

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