You may be aware that I speak to lots of coaches. To put ‘lots’ into context, I speak to circa 150 coaches a week. Some of the 150 are in The Coaching Revolution community, some are participants in webinars I deliver, some I speak to in sales conversations – I speak to coaches all day every day.

These coaches are all either qualified (ICF, EMCC, AC etc) or taking a coaching qualification. The majority will tell me that they’ve been marketing on social media for ages, but it’s not working. When I go and look at their social media feeds, they’re not marketing at all, they’re simply posting.

What’s The Difference?

Let me give you a couple of examples of posting, then I’ll show you what marketing posts look like and explain the difference.

Post One

First coaching session this morning just blew me away. My client has clearly grown exponentially between our last session in December and today. My client put it down to me, but I know that with coaching its a partnership and much of the work goes on outside of the sessions. What coaching provides is challenge, clarity, awareness, and tools.

This post talks about the coaching process – and I have no doubt that the coach who wrote it is an excellent coach. This coach is both pleased and proud of what their client has achieved – and rightly so.

However, what they wrote means nothing to anyone who isn’t either her client, or another coach. It’s a ‘let me describe the coaching process’ post and the problem with this is that no one cares about the coaching process. We coaches do of course, but no one else does because:

  • no one buys processes of any kind, in any situation, people buy outcomes.
  • people have no idea about what coaching is (or worse, they think they do and they’re wrong!)

Marketing isn’t simply about what you write, it has lots of moving parts. When I looked at this coach’s LinkedIn profile, there’s no clue about who they work with. The coach has simply listed their qualifications, which I have to say are impressive to anyone who understands what they mean and utterly meaningless to anyone who doesn’t – which is pretty much everyone apart from coaches.

Post Two

What one thing can I help you with today, that would make the biggest difference to your life?

I see variations of this post all over the place. They are what I call ‘hopeful’ posting which isn’t marketing at all, because hope isn’t a marketing strategy.

I spoke to this coach and we talked about this particular post. She explained to me that the reason she posted this is that she was offering to help anyone who wanted some support that day. For her, this was a kind and generous post. She felt that she was offering to provide a snippet of coaching magic to anyone who commented. No one commented. The post that this coach felt was kind and generous didn’t do what she thought it was going to, which was move her a step towards paying clients.

The problem with this post is that it has no context and it doesn’t mean much to anyone who isn’t a coach. For example, the thing that would make the biggest difference to me right now is to have someone put up a shelf in my office, but I know that’s not what she means. If I didn’t speak coach-speak, then I might be thinking about my shelf. (Before you think I’m a bit rubbish, the walls of my home are made of concrete and you need a hammer drill to be able to put even a picture hook up!)

If I go and look at some of the other ‘moving parts’ that make up a marketing strategy for this coach, her LinkedIn profile isn’t helpful in letting me know what she does. Again, it’s a list of qualifications and her CV. It doesn’t help me to understand whether or. not I might want to contact her to speak with her about some coaching.

Marketing -v- Posting

Let me give you two examples of good marketing posts.

Marketing Post One

While you are leading and lighting the way for others (and doing ALL the thinking about ALL things for your people at home) remember to pause and straighten your own oxygen masks too

This is a really short post and it was accompanied by an image which showed a representation of a good manager – a person with a large umbrella sheltering their team from what was happening above them. You can see the original post here.

Taken in isolation like this, it’s simply a bunch of words, but if you click on that link and look at the profile of the coach who wrote it, you can see that it is part of a bigger picture. It’s part of a marketing strategy.

When you look at this coach’s profile, it’s immediately clear what she does and for whom. If you scroll through her posting activity, every post speaks to a specific group of people about challenges that they’re struggling with, that coaching could help with. This is good, solid marketing. This coach has found clients and other opportunities because of her consistent message and the fact that she’s consistently visible.

Marketing Post Two

Are you totally fed up with the bulls**t at work? You’d love to confide in your friends on nights out, but they just don’t get it Secretly, you think they’re envious of how you’ve climbed the career ladder (especially the ones who’ve taken time out to have a family) and they can’t understand why you’re so fed up. They think you have a great job, with all the perks and prestige (and you’ve not got kids so don’t even have to worry about babysitters when planning drinks out with the girls!) It’s really lonely when no-one gets how you’re feeling, isn’t it?

This is actually just a piece of this post. It’s also squished up, because the quote feature on LinkedIn doesn’t let me post it as three separate paragraphs in a way that is easy to read. You can see the original post here.

This post speaks directly to a specific group of people about something that they’re really struggling with, that coaching can help with. If you look at the coach’s profile, it’s easy to see who she works with. If you scroll through her social media activity, you can clearly see that she is consistent with this message. She is visible to the kind of people she wants to support. This post is part of a coherent marketing strategy.

How To Stop Posting And Start Marketing

  1. Choose a group of people that you want to work with. Be very specific.
  2. Identify something that is challenging in their lives that coaching can help to resolve.
  3. Create a marketing message that speaks directly to that group of people.
  4. Become visible to them. Be consistent with this visibility.

If you’d like some help with understanding this process, or with learning how to implement it correctly, DM me – we should probably talk.