Whether you’ve been an established business coach for a long time or you’re just starting out, you can never have enough leads. Here are 41 marketing tips for coaches, to inspire you with more ways to grow your business.
Your Unique Marketing Message is a short, 30-second sound bite that tells people what you do and what makes you unique. Your Unique Marketing Message should always offer benefits.
This is a high-quality folder you can give or mail to prospects and the media that contains all or some of the following: your photo, articles you’ve written, articles written about you, a list of questions you are frequently asked and the answers to those questions, your vision, your mission, your audio tape, and anything else that lets people know who you are and how you can help them.
People remember faces, not always names. If you use your photo on your business cards, your letterhead and your advertising, you will have a better chance of being remembered and people also feel as if they know you better. As you may have heard, successful people’s names and faces often appear in public places!
Business networking groups (also called leads groups) are regular meetings where people exchange contacts and referrals. Ask local business people for suggestions on networking groups in your area.
A great way to gain credibility and visibility. Speak on a message you are passionate about and that directly relates to your business. Don’t forget to offer handouts with your phone number, email address and website so your audience can contact you later. Remember, first impressions are very important, so hone your speaking skills.
Begin to notice the people who rave about you. These are your advocates! They may be friends, clients, or associates. These people are your best referral resources. Your advocates will send you business simply because they believe in you. Make sure you recognize them as such. Never let more than 30 days go by without staying in touch with each of your advocates. Stay in touch with a phone call, a meeting, by mailing them a personal note, and of course…by sending them business, too.
When your work is published in a magazine, newsletter, or newspaper you gain credibility and visibility. Always try to have your contact information included in your article. You can later mail copies of your article to your mailing list and include it in your promo kit.
Give away free specialty gifts with your business name, logo, phone number and website imprinted on them.
Serving on a committee or the board of an association related to your career can help you meet key people in your industry, improve your professional recognition, teach you new leadership skills, and position you in front of possible prospects. It’s also a great way to give back to your profession. Most associations are looking for volunteers. Just contact the director or a board member of the association to find out how you might serve.
By offering workshops on coaching related topics, such as time management, building a business, living a more balanced life, or goal setting, you can develop your message, meet new prospects, position yourself as an expert and attract new clients. Have an evaluation form for participants to fill out after the workshop with a place for them to fill out their name, address, phone number, email address, etc. You may also want to have a check box that says, “Contact me about coaching.”
This is an event for your clients, prospective clients and their friends. You offer a meal or snacks and an interactive talk on a coaching related topic (see #10). Your guests get to meet new people, learn valuable information and see live coaching by a wonderful coach… You!
Have a friend (with a good voice) interview you about your business. Create a list of questions already printed up for your interviewer. Then edit the tape, add some music, make duplications and ta-da… you have an informative audio tape that you can give or mail to prospects!
These are business card sized “mini posters” with your favorite quotes on them. People love them and will hold on to them for a long time. On the back of the quote card add your name, your company name, your website address and your contact information. Again, this is just another way to improve your visibility, credibility, and contribution with others.
Have someone write a story about you and your business (or do it yourself). Find a newspaper or magazine that is willing to publish your story.
Make a list of the top 7-10 qualities you look for in a great client. Place this list somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Only accept clients who fit this profile! If someone does not fit, refer them to another coach. This takes courage and faith, but you will discover that you will attract the clients you truly love to work with. Your phone will begin to ring and those great prospects will become great clients.
Send a letter out to your mailing list, friends, and business contacts that explains what you do and how you do it. You may also want to include a gift certificate for a free sample session that they can use or give to their friends.
Ask businesses in your area if you can display your business cards and/or brochures. Many businesses will let you do this and it is a very low cost and effective way to get your name out there.
You’ve heard this before but are you doing it? Asking, “Who do you know that might benefit from my services?” is a simple, yet powerful way to meet new prospects. Let your clients know that you are expanding your practice and ask them if they know of anyone to whom you could offer a sample session.
Offer valuable information to your readers and your newsletter will be appreciated, read and passed along. A newsletter establishes you as an expert, allows you to keep connected with many people and it gives you a place to share the benefits of working with you.
This is often overlooked. Charity fundraisers that have raffles and auctions are a great place for you to give back and receive recognition at the same time. Most fundraising groups will include your company name, address, phone number and website in the materials in exchange for you donation.
Give even more to your community and meet some wonderful people at the same time. You could organise a race, a workshop, a raffle…Just about anything you can think of to raise money for a good cause. You not only give back, but you also create more awareness about your company. Win-win!
Use a press release to get an interview with the print, radio and TV media. Make sure your press release follows the proper format (there are books at the library on how to make a press release). Follow up with phone calls and ask if your press release was received and if you can answer any questions. Stay in touch with editors or reporters and let them know that you are a resource if they ever need information related to your expertise.
A newsletter via email is a wonderful way to give value to people, share your knowledge, spotlight your expertise and promote your business. Don’t expect immediate return on your investment. What you can expect is that people will get to know who you are and may eventually use your services. Be sure to ask first if they want to subscribe.
A book is one of the best ways to increase your visibility and credibility. You don’t have to write a 500 page text to be an author. You can start by writing about your experience or expertise, or something you are passionate about. Self publishing a small, informative booklet is a simple way to get started. Make sure that you include your contact information in the book so readers easily know how to reach you.
Conferences allow you to share your experience and knowledge with others in related fields. Some conferences pay for speakers while some conferences ask you to volunteer your time. Either way, conferences help you meet prospects and make contacts that can lead to more business for you in the future. Remember to have a short, quality handout for the participants at your programme and include your contact information. Conferences are not a place to self-promote, they are a place to share your knowledge. Do this and you will attract business with ease.
Offer to assist at workshops that you have attended and enjoyed. You not only deepen your learning by hearing the information again, but you also may meet some prospects who want to implement the information they are learning. Make sure your focus is on giving value and the business will attract to you with ease. Bring plenty of business cards!
Find out who may be able to refer their clients, friends or contacts to you. Look for people you believe in, so that you can do the same for them. For example, an accountant may refer a new business owner to you to help her stay focused and on track as she grows her business. You may refer one of your clients to the accountant so they can more wisely manage their money. This is a win-win for everyone!
Simply attending workshops that enhance your personal and professional development is a way to market your business. At these workshops you will find yourself surrounded by people who are interested in learning and growing — the perfect candidates for coaching.
Postcards are a cost-effective way to stay in touch with prospects, clients and referral sources. Develop a theme or character that people will recognise over time. Send out postcards with article quotes, testimonials, opinion surveys, correspondence, reminders, thank you’s, announcements, newsletters, or just to say “hello.” If you’ve published a book, duplicate the cover of the book onto a postcard and it becomes an advertising piece. Create a postcard that is a one-sheet flyer to hand out when people ask for information. Remember… Marketing is telling people what you do over and over again!
Meet with 3-5 friends or coworkers on a regular basis to discuss each of your goals, plans and dreams. When a group of people come together, new ideas are created that might not have been discovered alone. Together you will brainstorm new ways to market yourselves and also hold each other accountable. Everyone wins in a mastermind group!
Serving on a panel at a conference or meeting can give you credibility and visibility. Associations in your area may be looking for an expert to speak about the benefits of coaching. Contact them, ask them if they have a need for panelists for future programmes, tell them what you offer, and let them know you are a willing resource.
Have a variety of exercises and handouts that describe your practice, solve problems, and provide value for your clients. Make sure to give all of your clients useful tools, information and ideas to share with their friends.
Many coaches forget that former clients may be interested in coaching again or that they can be great sources of information and referrals. Often they are at a new place in their lives and they are ready for change and new growth. I challenge you to contact three of your former clients this week! Show interest, find out how they are doing. Let them know they are the most important part of your research and development programme. Listen to their suggestions. Make it a normal part of your service to follow-up with your former clients every two to three months.
A website alone is just a tool, not a complete strategy. You must let people know your site is there for it to have impact. Also, give your visitors valuable information on your site and think of ways to have them come back for more. To get the most visibility for your site you can list it at the end of your email messages, give the site’s address on your outgoing voicemail message, put it on your business card, letterhead, postcards, etc. A website is also very helpful when someone calls you for information. Instead of having to mail out flyers and brochures, you can give your website address. Your prospects will have your information in front of them almost instantly!
Include a description of your specific client populations and your plans for reaching them. Include budgets for your time, energy and the money to implement your plan. If potential clients don’t know about you, or can’t find you, they won’t hire you. Choose a few of the items on this list and build them into your plan. Set goals and then track your results. Look at other coaches who are successful. What have they done to achieve that success? Focus on what works for you as an individual and then commit to your plan with action and passion!
A healthy, balanced, successful life is extremely attractive! Be an example of someone who is living a great life. Surround yourself with delightful, challenging and exciting people. Notice where you can improve areas of your life, such as relationships, fitness, playtime, finances, and your personal integrity. Then hire your own coach to support you in taking action! If you “walk your talk,” people will notice and you will begin to attract new clients with ease.
Form an alliance with your suppliers, colleagues or even your competitors to offer a “combo” package that neither of you could offer alone. This way you will share the marketing expenses. Attorneys and accountants can offer compelling packages. For example: A life coach might form an alliance with a gym, weight-loss or stop-smoking programme.
Don’t overlook this simple, yet effective way to promote your services. Let your callers know what you do and the benefits you offer. Remember to give them a way (right up front) to bypass your message if they don’t want to listen to the whole thing. If you are using a digital voicemail service, you may want to have different voicemail boxes and outgoing messages for each service you offer.
Claiming is a very special way to have someone become your client. You can “claim” them, just as you would stake a claim on something you really want. Let them know that they are the type of client you love to work with, that you believe in their goals, and that you want to work with them as their coach. Tell them that you won’t take no for an answer, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes. Don’t use this as a sales technique because people have built in lie detectors. They will know if you are being insincere. “Claiming” must be authentic and come straight from the heart.
If you write an article, have a website, or get interviewed on television or radio, it’s a good idea to offer a free giveaway to your audience. This way you not only strengthen your relationship with them but you can also add them to your mailing list for future contact. This giveaway might be a free report like the one you are reading right now. Giver’s gain!
This is the most important step of all. None of the prior steps will work without this one. As you may have heard, people don’t care what you know until they know you care. With any marketing strategy, offer your benefits and services first.