How to create a marketing plan and learn to market properly…

Good Marketing Isn’t Intuitive

It’s also not about you.

‘Humble bragging’ about your latest award, or how beautifully your team coaching sessions went, or what amazing results you’ve got with X, Y or Z isn’t good marketing. It’s not actually marketing at all. It’s blowing your own trumpet – and that makes uncomfortable reading for other coaches and sadly it’s irrelevant to those who you might want to work with. These kind of posts are what make coaches hate marketing, because even though they’re not marketing, they are what coaches believe is marketing. And we all know what beliefs do, right?

Good Marketing Isn’t Common Sense

In the last nearly 10 years, every single person I’ve spoken to, who was about to embark on an accredited coaching qualification from a position of ‘I’ve been coaching for years so I may as well get qualified’ were stunned to learn that what they’d been doing wasn’t coaching. In exactly the same way, marketing isn’t about what the untrained marketer thinks it is.

Common sense and intuition are not marketing strategies. They are also no help in creating a marketing plan.

Common sense tells us to cast our net wide and to talk to everyone about our coaching business. Intuition tells us that we need to explain how goals and milestones help us to achieve success, about how limiting beliefs and mental barriers stand in our way. Both are wrong from a marketing perspective.

Good marketing is both effective and comfortable. It’s also very focused.

Good Marketing Isn’t An Event

Marketing isn’t a one-off thing. Effective marketing isn’t about creating a website and then ticking the box labelled marketing.

There are no end of websites created by, or for, coaches that take the following format:

  • Home page – this is me and all the different kinds of people I can work with
  • About me – this is my personal coaching philosophy
  • Work with me page – these are my packages and prices
  • Testimonials – this is other people telling you I’m wonderful
  • Contact me – here are several ways you can get in touch with me

Invariably these websites are corporate looking, they have gorgeous headshots and lovely branding, they are expensive and time-consuming to create. But they don’t generate the inbound enquiries the coach was expecting.

The problem with this content is that nobody cares about any of those things. People care about one thing and one thing only – what’s in it for me? Specifically, ‘what outcome will I get if I work with you?’. The issue with the type of website that I’ve described, is that it doesn’t address this problem at all.

Good Marketing Is A Process

Marketing, like coaching, is a process that you can trust. In the same way that coaching always works (providing that you do it properly), marketing is the same, it always works.

‘Doing it properly’ involves consciously creating a marketing plan that works for you. One that is designed to attract the kind of client that you understand completely. A kind of client for whom you can demonstrate that understanding of, and empathy for, the problem that they’re grappling with. A problem that your coaching can help resolve.

What this doesn’t mean is that you’ll only ever coach one kind of person around a single issue. As coaches, we all know that what the client is talking about in session one is never what they’re talking about by session three. Just because individuals come to you because they recognise that your marketing is speaking to them personally, doesn’t mean that every single coaching conversation will be identical – of course it doesn’t.

Education Is Involved

You had to learn how to coach. You had to learn what is and isn’t ethical practice in a coaching conversation and you had to learn how to structure that conversation so that your client gets maximum benefit from it.

  • Learning how to coach was a personal development journey.
  • Learning how to coach took away many of your preconceived ideas of what coaching is and replaced them with concrete knowledge of what coaching really is.
  • Learning how to coach meant that you learned to trust the process.

It’s the same with marketing.

  • Learning how to market is also a personal development journey.
  • Learning how to market will challenge your preconceived ideas of what marketing is and will replace them with concrete knowledge of what marketing really is.
  • Learning how to market will teach you to trust the process.

Consciously Creating A Marketing Plan

Rather than leaving your client acquisition to hope/fate/intuition/the universe, all coaches need to consciously create a marketing plan. To do that, you need to learn how to market properly.

Don’t be taken in by those who promise 6-figures in a matter of months, that’s not how marketing works. It’s too easy to be sucked into the hype – after all, the idea of a silver bullet is enticing – but it’s never worth it. Many of our clients have come to us financially bruised from their experience of such hype.

If you’d like to consciously create your own marketing plan, perhaps we should talk. This is my diary, I’m ready when you are.