This year is going to be different. We all think it, and some of us even say it! But as a coach, I don’t have to convince you that it’s not going to be true unless we take different actions to make it different, right? It’s the same message you share with your clients. If we want different results, we need to do different things. And the same is true when it comes to marketing your coaching practice.
It’s easy when the calendar flips to think of it as a reset. This is going to be the year I post on social media daily, write a weekly blog post, grow my email list, and on and on and on it goes.
But we’re now ten days into the new year, and I’m guessing some of you have already missed some of those lofty goals you set for your marketing this year. And some of you are thinking about pivoting because you know you won’t be able to keep up.
No shame or guilt here. Instead, I want to share a few marketing tips for coaches, including:
- Add value, not noise
- Get personal
- Track your marketing analytics
- Repurpose the content you have
- Focus on helping your target market
- Choose a niche
- don’t be afraid to get marketing help
Let’s dive into the details.
1. Add value, not noise
As I sat through my church service on Sunday, the message got me thinking about the amount of noise and content in the world. We’re inundated with a ridiculous amount of information.
That might sound odd to hear from someone who helps create some of that content, but it’s true.
The business world is full of people publishing blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, and YouTube videos to gain more followers and grow their businesses. They are focused on following what the algorithms demand.
More content. Longer posts. Shorter videos.
The list goes on and on, and quite frankly, it constantly changes. It’s exhausting to try to keep up with it.
And I don’t believe focusing on this is fruitful.
So, instead of creating content at an alarming pace in 2023, I encourage you to think about creating purposeful, intentional content this year. Think about what information would best serve your clients. What can you share with the world—or at least your target market—that truly matters and makes a difference?
Don’t post without a plan. Don’t write blog posts without a plan. And don’t stretch a blog post to 2,000 words when you could really say what you need to say in 700 words.
Even if you have to slow the content creation train, choose purpose over production. Choose quality over quantity.
Not only will you end up with content you’re more proud of, but I also believe you will find more peace and rest in the process.
2. Get personal
I’ve worked with helping professionals from business coaches to therapists and everything in between, and I’ve noticed one thing across the spectrum. People struggle to share on a personal level. People struggle to record themselves and share it with the world. And people struggle with sharing parts of their own stories and how they led them to the business they are running.
But here’s the thing—that’s what your target market is going to connect with.
As a coach, it’s important that potential clients feel comfortable with you. It’s helpful for them to see and hear you before committing to work with you.
That means you can hire someone to help you create content, but you can’t wipe your hands clean from it. You still need to be in pictures. It’s still helpful for you to create videos.
And your story matters. People want to know how and why you started coaching. And from my experience, there is ALWAYS a personal story behind why coaches became a coach. It’s never that it just “sounded fun.” There is a personal connection that led the way.
Share that connection with others. Doing so builds trust with your audience.
I’ve spoken with many coaches who are afraid to share their previous struggles for fear that people won’t want to work with them. But I find it to be the exact opposite.
When people know you have struggled through something similar to them, they know that you “get it.” You have an understanding that only someone who has walked the path can have them. And because you are steps ahead of where they want to be, you can show them the way and help them get there.
It’s okay if you haven’t achieved every goal you set out for yourself. And it’s okay if you still struggle today. That just makes you human, and people want to work with human coaches. 😄
3. Track your marketing analytics
Coaches are all about tracking for success, right? But many don’t know where to begin when it comes to tracking their marketing analytics. But just like you want your clients to track their results so they can see success and make adjustments when needed, you need to do the same with your marketing.
The good, the bad, and the ugly of Pageviews
Website pageviews are one of the first analytics solopreneurs start to pay attention to, but it’s often referred to as a “vanity metric” because it doesn’t necessarily tell you what you want to know.
For example, a few years ago, a therapy clinic contacted me that thought they were doing well with their marketing. They were ready to hire marketing help because they wanted to take it off their plate, but they felt it was going pretty well.
However, when we dug into the analytics, we could see that while their pageviews were increasing, they weren’t getting the right traffic. They weren’t showing up in the search results for the right keywords, and they weren’t seeing an increase in clients from their marketing efforts.
Pageviews don’t tell the complete story.
Of course, we want more pageviews, but they really only matter if it’s the right people taking the right action on your website.
What marketing analytics should you track?
Don’t overwhelm yourself if you’re just starting with tracking analytics. Choose a few things to focus on and grow from there. Here are some ideas:
- Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Look at how people are getting to your website
- Look at what searches people use to find you
- Find out where you fall for the keywords you want to rank for
- If you’re on social media, start paying attention to what posts people engage with
- Look at your open and click rates on your newsletter
- Look at your bounce rate (how many people leave your website after looking at only one page)
Overall, you want to start paying attention to what marketing works for you and what doesn’t. Then, when you find something that isn’t bringing any results, you can reflect on if there is something you need to update or if it’s time to call it quits.
For example, if you’re posting on a social media platform and getting no engagement, you can examine if you need to post a different kind of content or if your target market isn’t on that platform. It may be best to alter your plan and focus on a different platform.
If you ignore the results you’re getting, you can’t possibly know what adjustments to make in your marketing.
If you feel lost on the entire thing and aren’t sure where to start, consider signing up to receive a monthly analytic report. It allows you to look at all your analytics in one place with notes to help you understand what you’re looking at and how it can direct your future efforts.
4. Repurpose the content you already have
Not every piece of marketing content needs to be created from scratch. Instead, make 2023 the year you learn to repurpose what you already have.
There are so many ways this can be done.
- Turn a YouTube video into a blog post or vice versa
- Pull parts of a blog to turn into a social media post
- Add a little bit to a popular social media post to turn it into a blog
- Pull part of your blog to use in your newsletter
- Use parts of your newsletter on social media
- Repost old social media posts with a new caption
- Share old Instagram posts and blogs to your stories
- Share clips of longer videos on social media
- Turn your podcast into a blog post (but don’t just use the transcript)
One of my favorite influencers I follow on Instagram does this ALL THE TIME! Her blog is about saving money, and her IG account shares deals and parts of her personal life. Because I follow her on social media, look at her blog posts, and receive her newsletter, I see she is sharing the same information everywhere. I usually only skim her newsletter because I already read the same thing on IG. Still, I like the information and don’t want to miss anything, so I don’t unsubscribe even though, most of the time, I’ve already read what she’s sharing.
Not all of your followers will follow you in all the places, so don’t be afraid to use the same or very similar content in multiple ways. It will make your life easier and help you get helpful information in front of people who need it
5. Focus on helping your target market
I touched on this in points #1 and #2, but I want to address it one last time. Marketing and sales are a struggle when you think of them as “marketing” and “sales.” But something interesting happens when you think of it as helping people.
I don’t think it’s too much for me to assume that, as a coach, you are passionate about helping others. It’s why you do what you do. So, make that your focus as you create content for your coaching practice.
Yes, some techniques and strategies can help your marketing be more successful. But the most important thing is simply focusing on helping your audience. If you focus on this, you will draw in the people who want the help and information you’re sharing.
Focusing on them also helps you share the right information.
Marketing isn’t about sharing what you want people to know. It’s about sharing the information they are looking for. So as you focus on helping your audience, you get to know them more and what they want help with, which brings me to tip #6.
6. Choose a niche
In the early days of working as a freelance writer, I wrote about ALL the things. I worked with real estate agents, business coaches, RV dealerships, vacation blogs, moving companies, financial planners, and many others. Part of it was fun because I learned lots of new things. And I wanted to help EVERYONE.
But I kept hearing about the importance of choosing a niche and eventually found that my desire to help people led me to work with helping professionals. I enjoy connecting with other entrepreneurs focused on helping their clients improve their lives.
So, I spent nearly five years working with therapy clinics, mental health professionals, and coaches. And as soon as I focused on this area instead of every industry, marketing my own business became much simpler.
The more therapy clinics I worked with, the easier it was to speak with potential clients because I knew their struggles. I had heard it before. And they trusted me to help because I was familiar with the intricacies of their industry. Marketing and sales became second nature. I was focused on helping and sharing my knowledge and experience with a specific group instead of trying to speak to everyone simultaneously.
Last year, for several reasons, I decided to pull back from the mental health industry and lean further into working with coaches. Some of my first clients, whom I continue to work with, are coaches, and I love the passion in the industry.
But I notice a common struggle within the industry. You wonderful, caring coaches want to help ALL THE PEOPLE. It’s super hard to decide to focus on one specific niche because you feel you’re leaving others out, and you want everyone to get the help they need.
I totally get it, but I also know that each of you has a special place in your heart for a different set of people. You may resist it a little because you want to help everyone. But that niche is inside you, just waiting for you to dive in 100%.
Don’t be afraid to go all-in with a niche. You can always pivot in the future if needed. But I think you’ll find that sales and marketing for your coaching practice will become much simpler and more enjoyable.
7. Don’t be afraid to get help
Here’s another common struggle I’ve noticed in the coaching world: a fear of letting people help with your marketing. Your coaching business is personal. People choose to work with you specifically over all the other coaches available. So, letting someone else help craft your content marketing feels scary.
This is why it matters who you choose to work with. You can’t choose the first freelance writer, ghostwriter, or marketing agency for coaches that pops up in Google. You need to dig in and do a little research.
Find someone who understands your mission and purpose. Look for someone who can write in your tone and voice. And know that it may not be the first person you choose to work with. But also know that getting it “just right” can take a little time, so find someone willing to work with you and make adjustments along the way.
The world of coaching as a solopreneur can feel lonely. However, adding someone to your “marketing team” can help bring new ideas into your life and refresh your efforts. And when you can free up some of your time from tasks like marketing, it allows you to focus more on the parts of your business you love.
If you’re ready to take that step in 2023, schedule a call to explore your options.