Want to know how to market a coaching business? Learn why personal branding for coaches is important for marketing your online coaching business.
Have you struggled with learning how to market your life coaching business? Do you need help learning how to promote your coaching business successfully?
The first time I got interested in online coaching, I met a lot of different people. Many of these very knowledgeable individuals were well on their way to developing an online coaching business.
“So far, so good”, I thought to myself. I’ve talked to a lot of online coaching business owners. A lot of these coaches really know their stuff.
In fact, many of these individuals had developed a high level of expertise from years of passionate curiosity regarding their areas of expertise.
When it comes to having the raw knowledge, willingness, and eagerness to help people learn specialized knowledge, these the ones who were offering business coaching services, in particular, really knew their stuff and were at the top of their game.
The problem is that most of these people continue to struggle with their coaching business and they really can’t understand why this is the case.
It turned out that a lot of the people I was rubbing shoulders with digitally were basically walking the wrong path. They had all the wrong ideas on how to build and run a successful online coaching business.
In fact, for the longest time, I absorbed a lot of their ideas. If all it takes to be successful in online coaching is to know your stuff, these people should be making five to six figures every single year.
Sadly, they’re not. There’s a missing piece of the puzzle.
What The Online Coaching Business Gets Wrong
One of the most confusing theories I subscribed to was the idea that I should recruit as many clients for one-on-one coaching, where clients can engage you and ask questions that mean a lot to you.
In theory, this made a lot of sense because, let’s face it – if you want to learn from somebody, the best way to do so is to have that person right in front of you.
This allows you to ask questions in real-time, and they can engage with you in such a way that you learn what you need to take your knowledge to the next level.
However, I soon realised that I had no clue how to market my coaching business in a scalable way. The problem is that clients are not going to seek out one-to-one coaches unless that person is worth seeking out.
Think about it. If you’re just some random person who keeps saying to herself – and to anybody who bothers to listen – that you’re an expert, do you think you’ll be viewed as an expert? Chances are you won’t.
The problem is simply becoming an expert and knowing your stuff is just one piece of the puzzle. If you look at the big picture, these two things actually form a relatively small fraction of the big picture.
Your Personal Brand Is A Coach’s Most Precious Asset
The lightbulb went off when I realised that, when promoting your coaching business, most of your activities as an online coach must involve building an effective personal brand.
Knowing your stuff is important and this is definitely the first step in building any kind of credibility. But, regardless of your competence and experience, you also have to know how to market your coaching business.
Having a life coaching course or health coaching service to sell is one thing, but making sure that enough people hear about the fact that you have that amazing coaching course or service on offer is another thing altogether.
Of course, you need a personal brand website to showcase your expertise. In fact, with this free WordPress tutorial for beginners, you can set up your own WordPress website and blog.
But what should you do after that? It’s not enough to start a blog and hope that you’ll have clients flocking to you. Learning how to promote coaching businesses requires an investment of time and the willingness to learn new skills.
Too many people think the selling process is beneath them, so it’s no surprise they continue to struggle. But you have to pay your dues. You have to write and publish books. You have to get interviewed by the media.
If you’re truly passionate about your personal expertise, you shouldn’t be shy about letting the rest of the world know. You need to establish a name in your industry and learn how to become famous in your own niche.
Most of these activities take quite a bit of effort, focus and motivation. They also take a lot of time, but this is how you build a powerful personal brand.
Once you’ve reached that stage, then it makes sense to market yourself in terms of one-to-one coaching. Prior to that point, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because people couldn’t care less about your knowledge.
They’d rather read your book and give you a shot that way. Perhaps they’ll watch a video that you shot a long time ago. However, in terms of paying thousands (of rupees or dollars) for one hour of Face Time… I don’t think so.
You have to remember that there are so many other experts out there. There are so many people trying to make money as an online coach. You have to figure out a way to stand above the crowd. You have to find a way to get noticed.
Unfortunately, if you just focus on what you know and keep it to yourself, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Similarly, if you coach people and your service quality is spotty, you’re not guaranteeing that a large chunk of your clients will keep coming back.
You have to build a solid personal brand. This is what separates corner burger stands from McDonald’s. It doesn’t really matter what you think of McDonald’s food quality. You have to respect the fact that McDonald’s is a global brand.
Do yourself a favour and build an effective personal brand first. There are many ways to do this. Some ways may work better than others. Some ways can lead to stupendous success.
But you can develop a powerful personal brand without spending a lot of money. You don’t have to have connections. You just have to know how to do it the right way.
There’s a certain sequence that you have to follow and there are just so many different and wrong ways to go about doing this. So many people fail in building a personal brand because they don’t have a systematic and methodical plan.
Social Media Is Indispensable for Coaching Business Success
A lot of people who run coaching businesses are under the impression that there’s a dividing wall between offline and online businesses. They can understand the value of online promotions provided that these promotions go to an online business.
They can see the effect of promotions on businesses like Amazon. However, they’re flat-out stumped when it comes to the connection between online promotions and local brick-and-mortar businesses.
Make no mistake – regardless of whether your coaching business is completely online, offline, or somewhere in between, you need social media.
I did not say that social media is an option. I did not say that you want social media. I did not say that social media would be nice to have. I’m talking about you needing social media.
That’s right. Your business must view social media as an absolute necessity. Social media is indispensable for the success of your online coaching business.
The sooner you realize this and the sooner you can wrap your mind around this, the sooner you’ll get on the road to coaching business success.
Just how powerful can social media exposure be? What exactly does social media popularity offer your personal coaching brand? Well, it’s a good idea to review just how viral social media is.
Even if you have a fairly small following on Twitter, this might be enough for your brand to go viral. How come? For each follower you attract, they will also have followers. Those followers also have followers. So on and so forth.
If any of your content happens to catch the attention of your followers, they might share your stuff. Their followers can in turn share your materials with their circle of followers who in turn might repeat the process.
This process of sharing and re-sharing among circles of influence and familiarity can easily become exponential, and that initial sharing circle of 500 you started with might translate to a reach of millions.
Again, it all depends on just how catchy the social media content you’re sharing is and whether you have well-written, SEO blog content targeted at the interests of your audience.
On the other hand, if you continue to kick the can down the road and continue to postpone a truly responsive and strategic social media plan, then you’re positioning your business for its eventual collapse and failure.
I’m not exaggerating here. I’ve seen this happen quite a bit. A lot of businesses think that they’ve done so well and have established such a solid brand that they can basically view social media as an afterthought.
Unfortunately, the majority of coaches who think this way have come to regret their decision. It’s extremely important to use social media and this means simply being visible.
That’s right. Create a YouTube channel. Set up a Twitter feed. Put up a Facebook page with the matching Facebook group. This is not rocket science.
Successful Online Coaches Learn How To Work the Media
In the world of social media and 24-hour news cycles, you need to work the media if you want to be seen as a successful coach or consultant.
It’s just too easy to spend money coming up with one worthless piece of content after another, hoping, wishing, and praying that somehow, someday, the media will pay attention to what you’ve published.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to work the media, and this means that you have to be proactive about your media outreach.
You can use online resources like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) where you submit your area of expertise, and when media people from journalists to TV reporters and bloggers need experts in your area of expertise, they’ll get in touch with you.
Another way you can work the media is to send out press releases that are actually newsworthy. Of course, this requires a tremendous amount of imagination, resourcefulness, and creativity.
For example, you can use newsjacking to position your brand around a controversial topic that involves your industry, especially if you’re learning how to market your health coaching business.
In fact, if you go to the typical news show and you notice that there’s this random person who works for a company that doesn’t seem directly related to a certain news trend, you’re seeing this advice played out. This is how you become a media darling or PR darling.
If you plan to start a blog, you should scout for journalists who cover your area of expertise and befriend them. Invite them to subscribe to your blog and ask them whether they would be interested in receiving your articles when you write them.
All journalists and publishers want is to be the ones to cover a new story either first or with an exclusive interview or unique bit of information.
LinkedIn is a very useful social networking channel to connect with the media, as is Twitter. But no matter how you befriend them, let them know what you do and that you write a blog in their field of interest.
Then every time you write a new post, send it to them, inviting them to use it in their publication – with attribution to you, of course – and let them know that you are available for interviews and further comment when required.
For instance, if you’re a life coach, you could write about how life coaching is becoming more popular with CEOs to help them live a more fulfilling and productive life.
It’s your relationship with the media that will get you the coverage you need, so don’t neglect that crucial aspect of networking. Also update your blog regularly, with articles on topical subjects related to what is happening in your industry.
You need to brand yourself as an expert in your industry and state your willingness and availability to the media clearly if you want to get quoted and reprinted regularly.
Use your blog to create thought leadership and you’ll be well on your way to being the media’s favourite expert for quotes and information.
Make no mistake, launching and growing a successful online coaching business is no joke. You really have to work all the angles. You have to go all the way.
You have to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, until you succeed in learning how to promote your coaching business successfully.
There are many ways to learn about personal branding. For example, if you want to learn about personal branding for women, you can hire a branding coach for female entrepreneurs.
But, if you want to truly figure out how to develop premium life coach branding without breaking the bank, and learn marketing for coaching business, subscribe to my free personal branding course.
You’ll get a 21-step personal branding process that will take you from no digital footprint at all to a well-established online presence and help you go from unknown to well-known.
More personal branding tips:
- Free personal branding course to build a powerful personal brand
- Learn how to create a killer personal brand step-by-step
- Kaye Putnam on how to use the 12 Jungian brand archetypes
- How to design a personal logo that reflects your personal brand values
- Learn how to become famous and become a media darling or PR darling
- Sorav Jain offers personal branding tips for personal branding at work
- Kait LeDonne’s personal branding toolkit and LinkedIn branding tips
- Learn 7 ways to promote your brand on social media