Coaching And Marketing Are Similar

There are so many similarities between coaching and marketing.

  • Coaching is client-centred and so is marketing.
  • Coaching is a process and so is marketing.
  • Coaching is about taking consistent action and so is marketing.
  • Coaching is misunderstood by many who are not coaches and marketing is misunderstood by many who are coaches.

If you have a little black book full of corporate contacts from your stellar career that spans decades, then this article isn’t for you. You are one of the privileged few who probably doesn’t need to do much more than to network with your contacts to find coaching work. You’re very privileged indeed.

If you don’t fall into that privileged camp, this article is for you.

Client-Centred Marketing

Marketing is all about the client, not the coach or the coaching process.

It’s about choosing a target audience for your marketing efforts. Also, identifying a problem that particular target audience has that coaching can help to resolve. The problem needs to be something big, certainly big enough that it’s affecting the life of the people who are struggling with it.

Marketing is about understanding all the ways in which that problem is affecting the people in your target audience and both empathising and sympathising with their situation.

Marketing is about becoming visible to people within that target audience. It is talking about what they’re struggling with in a way that makes them feel “they’re talking about me!”.

There’s only one star of your marketing show and it’s not you!

Marketing Is A Process

There’s a pervasive view of marketing amongst coaches that it’s an event; that a good website or one great PR piece is all you need to start the ball rolling; that once you have your first client or two, the rest will come by referral,

Nothing could be further from the truth!

The average coach website is all about the coach. It’s basically an online CV with pages about coaching philosophies and all the different people a coach could work with. The problem with this kind of website is that it doesn’t generate the enquiries that the coach hopes for. No one really cares about your CV or your coaching philosophies – they care about themselves. That doesn’t make them bad people, we all care about our own needs when we are the consumer. What it does mean is that this kind of website is a waste of time and money.

Marketing is a process of becoming visible to the kind of people you want to work with most. The hard truth is that no one is searching for a coach and so they won’t find you. The number of monthly searches for a coach is minuscule compared to, say, the number of searches for a therapist. The reason for this is that people understand what therapy is and so know if they need one. Hardly anyone understands what coaching is, do they?

Marking Is About Taking Consistent Action

In the same way that coaching is all about the action, so is marketing.

Marketing is an ongoing process for as long as you have a coaching business. If that makes your heart sink, could I reassure you that once you know what you’re doing, marketing is fun and creative in the same way that coaching is.

Marketing is rewarding too, when what you’re doing is generating enquiries from people who understand what you do and who want to work with you as a coaching client.

Marketing Is Misunderstood By Coaches

In the same way that no one really understands what coaching is (or worse, thinks they do and they’re wrong!) the same can be said of coaches’ view of what marketing is.

Marketing isn’t about bragging or boasting about how fabulous a coach you are. It’s not about humble-bragging either. Nor is it sharing meaningful quotes, or talking about confidence or resilience (etc) and how great coaching is at helping with these things.

There’s a marketing acronym, AIDA that stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action and that’s what a coach needs to create in their target audience.

As marketers, we need to create awareness that we understand what our target audience is grappling with, which in turn leads them to noticing us and becoming interested in what we have to say. This interest turns into a desire to hear more and eventually to them taking action – that action being to book into our diary to have a conversation with you.

By the time this kind of potential client is in your diary, there’s no need for you to demonstrate the value of coaching by offering a discovery session because this kind of client understands that you work with people like them to help them overcome the very thing that they’re struggling with. The reason they’re in your diary is for a true ‘chemistry’ check, for them to reassure themselves that they want to work with you.

Why Now Is The Right Time To Learn How To Market Your Coaching Business

The reason that now is the right time is because until you learn to market effectively, you’re destined for a life of coaching for mates-rates, or never really knowing where your next client is coming from. Perhaps you have associate work and without being able to market effectively, you’re destined to coach other people’s clients for less than a professional rate. Associate work has its place and that place is as one of the eggs in your coaching basket, not all of them.

Marketing effectively is comfortable. It generates a steady flow of inbound enquiries (they come to you!), which is the holy grail for coaches.

If you’d like to chat with me about your coaching business and your aspirations, this is my diary. A conversation costs nothing.

When are you waiting for?