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Marketing for Coaches: Strategies for Success in 2023

August 23, 202315 min read

Marketing for Coaches: Strategies for Success in 2023

Welcome to the era of boundless opportunities for online coaches! In 2023, the world is more connected than ever, with new social apps popping up every week (hello Threads), and coaches now have a plethora of free and inexpensive marketing tools and AI platforms at their fingertips.

But with great power comes great responsibility–it’s crucial to choose the right marketing strategy to attract your ideal clients and grow your coaching business. Shiny object syndrome is real, and with so much opportunity, it's essential that coaches prioritize and focus their efforts.

No need to panic! We’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the most effective marketing strategies for coaches', from establishing your online presence to leveraging paid advertising and partnerships. Let's GO!

Establishing Your Online Coaching Business

Typing on a keyboard

A strong online presence is the backbone of any successful coaching business. Your online presence serves as the first touchpoint for potential clients, so it’s essential to make a lasting impression.

To lay the foundation for success, we’ll explore three crucial steps:

  1. Choosing the right platform for your coaching business

  2. Designing an attractive website that speaks to your target audience

  3. Creating compelling content to showcase your expertise and engage your potential clients.

Going Online: Choosing the Right Platform

Finding the perfect platform for your coaching business can be overwhelming and hold back many from moving their coaching business online. Let's simplify things for you. Start by considering your target audience, niche, and marketing goals. Understanding your audience’s needs and preferences will help you make an informed decision when selecting a platform–remember, it's not just about the bells and whistles for you and your team.

Popular choices for online coaching platforms include:

  • Mighty Networks

  • Kajabi

  • Noomi

  • Satori

  • Thinkific

  • Fingerprint for Success

  • Nudge Coach

  • Coaching Loft

  • Coach Catalyst

  • Paperbell

The best platform for you will depend on the type of coaching you offer and your target audience’s preferences. Do your research and evaluate each platform’s features to find the perfect fit for your coaching business.

Don't forget to consider the cost of scaling–are there additional costs of adding clients or products? What about adding internal team members or additional coaches? Reflect on your business goals and review which platforms can stick with you over the long run. The cost and pain of switching platforms is significant.

Your Digital Real Estate: Designing Your Website

Your website is more than just your digital storefront; it's a powerful real estate asset that can significantly impact the value of your coaching business. It should leave a lasting impression on your potential clients. I like to think of a website like a house–you need curb appeal (design) to attract the right people, and you need great furniture and conversation pieces inside (content) to keep those people inside and happy.

To create a user-friendly and visually appealing website, follow these best design practices:

  1. Keep the design simple

  2. Place essential information above the fold

  3. Create visual impact

  4. Make calls-to-action prominent

  5. Build credibility through testimonials and client reviews

I almost always recommend investing in a professional for your website because, unlike social media, you own it. It's the core of your brand's digital presence and deserves the utmost care and attention.

Remember, the ultimate goal of a coaching website is to drive visitors towards booking a discovery call, signing up for your email list, or converting in some way. Incorporate features like a clear and aspirational message about the results you create for clients, a blog for sharing free knowledge, and a call scheduling page with tools like Calendly and Zoom.

Conversation Pieces: Creating Compelling Content

Imagine showing up to a business storefront where the outside is beautiful, but as you walk in, you notice the building is empty. Void of any furniture, design, or pictures. You'd probably leave pretty quickly. Creating engaging and valuable content is crucial for showcasing your expertise and addressing the needs of your target audience.

Reflect on what areas of coaching you’re an expert in and the pain points your clients often seek your guidance for. This can help you determine how best to market yourself and your services. These topics are the perfect foundation for crafting content that resonates with your audience.

Organic marketing efforts like blogging, guest blogging, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and engaging with your target audience on social media platforms like Facebook groups help build trust and create permanent pathways to your coaching business. By providing value and staying consistent with your content, you’ll attract new clients and grow your online coaching business.

Building Your Coaching Brand

Coaching Brand

A strong coaching brand sets you apart from the competition and connects you with your ideal clients. It's the physical representation of everything your coaching business stands for–your brand design and voice are an essential part of how potential clients interact with your brand. Your brand is your identity, communicating who you are, why you’re better than your competitors, and what makes you unique.

To build a successful coaching brand, focus on the following essential steps:

  1. Define your niche

  2. Craft a unique selling proposition (USP)

  3. Ensure that your brand message is communicated consistently across all of your marketing efforts

Let’s dive deeper into these steps.

Who You Serve: Defining Your Niche

Identifying your niche is a critical aspect of building a strong coaching brand–with a niche, you maximize your influence and authority and connect deeper with ideal clients. Your niche is a specific segment of a larger market, defined by its unique needs, preferences, or identity. It can be based on things like industry, problem, demographics, or a combination of identifiable traits. By targeting a niche, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and carve a space in the market just for you.

To identify your niche, follow these steps:

  1. Research your target market

  2. Understand their needs and preferences

  3. Analyze your competitors

  4. Use surveys and focus groups to gain insights into your target market

Once you’ve identified your niche, you’ll be better equipped to create effective marketing strategies tailored to your audience. Your message will resonate deeper; you'll attract the right people and repel the wrong people.

How You Serve: Crafting Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that differentiates your coaching services from your competitors by highlighting the unique benefits you offer to clients. Your USP should be concise, memorable, and clearly communicate the value of your services. It can involve your unique coaching framework, how you deliver coaching services, and the results you deliver.

To create a powerful USP, follow these steps:

  1. Understand your target audience.

  2. Research your competitors.

  3. Identify the unique benefits that your coaching services provide.

  4. Be authentic and stay true to yourself, as authenticity is key to building a strong personal brand.

You should be able to communicate your USP in just a few words. It should be clear, and avoid using jargon or acronyms. It's the answer to the question, "why should I choose you over so-and-so?" You should memorize it.

Implementing Effective Marketing Strategies

Writing a marketing plan on a whiteboard

You’ve laid the foundation for your coaching business; now it’s time to implement marketing strategies that attract and retain ideal coaching clients. A diverse mix of marketing channels is essential for continued success and growth in your coaching business.

In this section, we’ll explore three of the most effective marketing channels in order of importance: website content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. By incorporating these channels into your marketing plan, you’ll be well on your way to attracting your ideal clients and growing your coaching business.

1. Website Content Marketing

Website content marketing is a powerful tool for coaches to attract new clients, showcase their expertise, and provide value to their audience that builds trust and leads to conversions. By creating engaging and informative content on your website, you’ll improve your online visibility and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

Guest posting and guest podcasting are great strategies to reach customers and provide you with backlinks and content to post on your website, improving your search engine optimization (SEO). Through these mediums, you can share your unique insights with the world, reach larger audiences and create valuable content on your website.

When creating website content, consider the needs and preferences of your target audience, and aim to provide valuable resources that address their concerns and aspirations. Be consistent in your content creation to build trust and maintain a strong connection with your audience.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with potential clients and nurture leads. Much like your website, you own your email list. By building an email list and sending regular, value-packed emails, you’ll establish a strong relationship with your subscribers and increase the likelihood of converting them into clients.

To rapidly build your email list, offer a freebie in exchange for people’s email addresses, use pop-ups on your website, or run contests and giveaways. Personalize your email content, provide valuable information, and include clear calls to action to maximize engagement and conversions.

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are invaluable for coaches looking to engage with their target audience, share valuable content, and grow their coaching business. By strategically posting and engaging in relevant Facebook groups, including your own Facebook group, and on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, you’ll connect with potential clients and showcase your expertise.

When using social media for marketing, follow these tips:

  1. Choose the platforms that best align with your audience demographics and preferences.

  2. Tailor your message to each platform and use targeted hashtags to reach your ideal clients.

  3. Be consistent in your posting schedule.

  4. Actively engage with your audience to build trust and establish a loyal following.

Supercharge Your Marketing: Leveraging Paid Advertising

Paid advertising can be a powerful tool to boost your coaching business’s visibility, reach a larger audience, and generate more leads. However, jumping into paid ads without proper knowledge can lead to a loss of resources.

To effectively leverage paid advertising, it’s essential to combine it with your organic marketing efforts. In this section, we’ll discuss selecting the right advertising platform and creating targeted ad campaigns to maximize your return on investment.

Selecting the Right Advertising Platform

Choosing the most suitable advertising platform for your coaching business depends on your target audience, budget, and marketing objectives. Popular advertising platforms include:

  • Facebook

  • Google

  • Instagram

  • YouTube

  • Amazon

Each platform offers unique advantages and targeting capabilities. I usually recommend starting your paid ad journey with remarketing, aka retargeting ads. Remarketing ads target users who have already visited your website; think lowest hanging fruit first.

Research each platform thoroughly and evaluate the features that align with your marketing goals. Consider the size of your target audience and your budget when selecting a platform. I recommend no less than $500 per month in ad-spend budget–this usually helps identify if you're ready for paid ads or not.

Creating Targeted Ad Campaigns

Targeted ad campaigns are a powerful way to reach your ideal clients and effectively communicate the benefits of your coaching services. It's a less shotgun, more sniper riffle approach to advertising. By creating ads tailored to your target audience’s interests and preferences, you’ll increase the likelihood of converting them into clients.

To create targeted ad campaigns, follow these steps:

  1. Define your target audience.

  2. Craft compelling content.

  3. Utilize the targeting capabilities of your chosen advertising platform.

  4. Monitor the performance of your campaigns using analytics.

  5. Adjust your strategies accordingly to ensure continued success.

Networking and Partnerships

Networking and forming partnerships with industry professionals and complementary businesses can be an effective way to expand your reach and grow your coaching business. It's one of the core tactics we leverage when building campaigns for coaching clients because it allows you to leverage the authority and audience of other industry experts to amplify your message.

By collaborating with others in your industry, you’ll tap into new audiences, share resources, and create mutually beneficial relationships–but not all partnerships are created equal. In this section, we’ll explore attending industry events to connect with potential clients and industry experts, as well as collaborating with complementary businesses to leverage their audiences and resources.

Attending Industry Events

Industry events provide a valuable opportunity to connect with potential clients, learn from industry experts, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche. Just because you run an online coaching business doesn't mean you shouldn't travel and physically participate in industry events! By attending events relevant to your coaching business, you’ll broaden your professional network and uncover new opportunities for growth.

Prepare for industry events by researching the event and attendees, creating a plan for how you’ll engage with potential clients, and producing promotional materials like business cards and brochures. Following the event, be sure to follow up with any potential clients you meet, express your gratitude to the organizers, and reflect on your learnings to apply them effectively to your business.

Collaborating with Complementary Businesses

Complementary businesses offer products or services related to or compatible with your coaching services. By collaborating with these businesses, you can leverage their audiences, share resources, and create mutually beneficial partnerships.

Our campaigns usually include a collaborative workshop, live interview or content collaboration that is mutually beneficial for both parties. We love using these events or content releases to kick off the promotional phase of a campaign.

To tap into complementary businesses’ audiences, consider collaborating on marketing campaigns, cross-promoting services, and offering joint packages. Exchange content, offer discounts to each other’s clients, and provide referrals to maximize the benefits of your collaboration.

Measuring and Optimizing Your Marketing Efforts

Woman on a phone with 5 stars in the background

Continuous growth and success in your coaching business require regular measurement and optimization of your marketing efforts. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and analyzing your strategies, you’ll identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to maximize results. This is a non-negotiable for our clients–they MUST complete their weekly growth scorecard in order to work with us. Period.

In this final section, we’ll discuss how to identify KPIs and analyze your marketing efforts to make strategic adjustments that contribute to the continued growth of your coaching business.

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measures of performance over time for specific objectives–in simple terms, they are how you track what's working and what's not working. They provide targets for your marketing efforts and help track progress toward meeting your business goals.

To identify KPIs for your coaching business, consider your marketing objectives and define measurable goals. Avoid falling victim to vanity metrics that make you feel good but don't actually do anything for your business objectives. Examples of KPIs include:

  • The number of new clients per month

  • Conversion rate

  • Average order value

  • Customer lifetime value

Track your KPIs using analytics tools like Google Analytics or manually in a spreadsheet. We create a custom spreadsheet for all of our clients that they fill out each week throughout our campaigns.

Analyzing and Adjusting Strategies

To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, it’s essential to analyze your efforts and identify areas for improvement. Use the KPIs you’ve identified to measure your progress and make data-driven decisions to adjust your strategies accordingly.

One thing we've noticed through the hundreds of campaigns we've created and managed is that it's much harder to analyze and adjust if you are too busy creating. If you're constantly slammed with work, it's really hard to step back from the to-do list and make critical decisions. We recommend getting as much work done in advance as possible so that throughout your marketing campaigns, you can step back and see things clearly.

Best practices for analyzing and adjusting strategies include:

  • Setting clear objectives and KPIs

  • Gaining market understanding

  • Conducting market analysis

  • Using marketing control techniques

By continually optimizing your marketing efforts, you’ll ensure the continued growth and success of your coaching business. Learn how to effectively market your coaching business to reach a wider audience and expand your client base.

Recap: Marketing for Coaches

Marketing for coaches in 2023 requires a diverse mix of tactics and a unifying strategy–it's easy to get caught up in the overwhelming amount of opportunities. From establishing a strong online presence to leveraging paid advertising and networking, with simple steps, you can elevate your marketing efforts and grow your coaching business.

Remember, the key to success lies in continuously measuring and optimizing your marketing efforts! Say it with me, "I will track KPIs!" Stay adaptive, learn from your experiences, and never stop striving for growth. Here’s to your coaching business’s success in 2023 and beyond!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I market myself as a coach or consultant?

You'll need a comprehensive marketing strategy for your coaching or consulting business, including building an email list, targeting social networking, perfecting conversion, and introducing multiple streams.

Guest blogging, social media, podcasting, online communities, and email marketing are all organic ways to expand your reach and build your reputation as an expert in the field.

How do I get coaching clients today?

Show up at networking events, give talks or run workshops, organize meetups, advertise, guest blog, and use social media and email marketing to get your message out to a new audience – take proactive steps today to attract life coaching clients.

Be consistent, clear, and confident when engaging with them.

What does a book marketer do?

A book marketer helps authors get their books to readers by providing guidance on the publishing market and creating a marketing plan, ad campaigns, and one-off consultations. They ensure books are available and promoted, giving authors the best chance of connecting with readers.

Book marketers can help authors understand the publishing market, create a marketing plan, and develop ad campaigns. They can also provide one-off consultations to help authors reach their target audience. By making sure books are available and promoted, book marketers give authors the opportunity to promote their books.

What is the importance of creating compelling content?

Creating compelling content is essential to demonstrate expertise and engage with target audiences, inspiring trust and loyalty in the process. Content creation is no longer an option for coaches–the competition is too fierce, and consumers are too educated.

How can coaches identify their niche?

Coaches can successfully identify their niche by researching their target market, understanding their needs and preferences, and analyzing their competition.

Make sure to leverage this data to create a unique proposition that will set you apart in the market. 

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