We’ve all heard of blogging before — you know, those super fun people who create Pinterest-perfect arts and crafts and drool-worthy recipes. But did you know that blogging is also a really powerful marketing and lead generation tool that can work for pretty much any niche and for any business…including life coaching?
Generating quality leads is something every business needs. But the days of pricey billboards and uncomfortable cold calls are long behind us. Today, the digital space allows us to create automated lead generation systems that work for us around the clock. And you can do this for yourself in no time, by setting up a simple blog funnel.
Now, I’ve heard all the objections in the world about why blogging doesn’t work anymore.
But I can promise you that blogging isn’t dead. It may look a little different today, but it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, more people are online today than ever before…and they’re searching for the answers that you have.
And as a life coach, you have a lot of solutions to share. It’s just a matter of getting those solutions in front of the people who need them.
And today I’m going to show you exactly how to do that.
By the end of this article, you’ll not only know how to build a blog funnel that works for you around the clock, but also how to target the right clients exactly when they need you the most, using your content.
Sound good? Then let’s take a look at how you can implement an automated lead generation blog funnel in your life coaching business today.
What is Lead Generation?
In marketing, lead generation is how you find people who are interested in the products and services that you sell.
In digital marketing, lead generation is typically done by getting people to your website and having them sign up for your email list.
The Simple Blog Funnel
And the simple blog funnel that I’m going to break down for you does exactly this.
It attracts people to your website using SEO optimized blog content. Once there, you wow them with your knowledge of the topic and then invite them to sign up for your email list, so they can learn more from you.
Then, once they’re on your list, you nurture the relationship a bit, share some more of your killer pro-tips, and then offer them the opportunity to dive even deeper by purchasing your coaching packages.
And this model really works for anything that you’re selling online. So, if you ever decide to create your own digital products or courses, or need to hop on an affiliate promotion for some quick cash, you have an engaged email list waiting to hear all about it.
And I know I used some technical words just now, but I promise that it’s actually pretty easy to set up. So let’s unpack everything a little bit.
So first of all, blogging is simply content marketing.
And yeah, blogging is a lot different today than it was 10 years ago…but that’s a good thing!
Back in the day, you could write about pretty much anything and you’d get some traffic. Today, the digital space is really crowded, so you have to do certain things to make sure your content is not only showing up, but that it’s showing up in front of the right people.
And when you do this right, you’re able to attract your dream customers, while filtering out all of the people who would never be interested in any of your products and services.
Because we only want to be talking to the people who are actually interested in what we have to say, right?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Well, search engine optimization, or SEO, is how you do this.
And people use search engines every single day. The three main search engines are Google, YouTube, and Pinterest, so those are the only ones I focus on.
People go to Google (or Pinterest), type in a word, phrase, or question, and then they get a list of results. These results are typically different blog posts or videos on that topic. And the goal here is to get your blog post at the top of those search results.
The more optimized your article is, the higher it will rank on the search engine results page (or SERP). The higher it ranks, the more click-throughs and traffic you’ll get.
There is, or course, a little more that goes into nailing SEO, but the first step is optimizing your content, so we’re just focusing on that for the sake of this article. If you want a more comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to do to optimize your website for SEO, you can click here to grab my free SEO Checklist.
What Are SEO Keywords?
You optimize your article by adding various SEO keywords to your blog posts.
Keywords are those words and phrases that people type into the search bars. I know a lot of people get caught up here, but that’s all they are.
So, to optimize a blog post for a search engine, you need to figure out what those words and phrases are and then sprinkle them throughout your article in your headers, the body of your article, any alt text of any images, the meta tag, and so on.
And the better you know your ideal customer, the easier it is to figure out what they’re searching for.
How to Find Keywords
So think about all the different problems that your ideal customers have.
For example, I run a pretty popular parenting blog that focuses on home organization, time management, and rocking the #momlife juggle.
So I focus on keywords that relate to these topics. Things like “family command center” or “shoe organization.” Or, more specifically, “how to create a family command center” or “how to organize my shoes.”
The more popular the keywords, the more traffic you can potentially get to your site. So when you’re mapping out your content marketing strategy, you want to focus on the most popular topics first.
Finding Keywords on Google
If you aren’t sure what your people are searching for, you need to do some keyword research. And I always start by doing a Google search on something I think my people are searching for or by searching a broader topic or just my niche.
So, for example, I’ll search for “home organization.”
Now, first of all, this is a tough keyword to rank for because, as you can see, ads dominate the top of the search results page:
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try for it. But there are some clues on this page for other things you could try to rank for, too.
Now, Google is always testing out new layouts for their results page because they want to provide the best user experience. But there are always a ton of different keywords on this page, regardless of the layout.
For example, these are the first organic results on the page (the first results after all of the ads):
If you look at the headlines and the words below, you can see all the different keywords that these articles also use:
- Organizing tips
- Declutter your garage, bedroom, kitchen
- Home organization ideas
- Home organization projects
- Cleaning tips
- Kitchen organization
- Bathroom organization
- Home storage solutions
- Organization products
And so on.
These are all long-tail keywords that you’ll want to research to see how popular they are.
If you like to create video content, here are the YouTube videos that rank for “home organization.” You can click through and read their video titles and descriptions to see what keywords they use, too:
That first result alone hits home organization, DIY project ideas, and small spaces — all of which are super popular topics in the home organization niche.
If you keep scrolling down, Google will give you even more keyword ideas. On this particular page, they give us a “People also search for” section and the “Searches related to home organization” that is typically at the bottom of every search results page:
All of these are different keywords that you’ll want to research and, provided they’re popular enough, create blog content on.
On some Google search results pages, they’ll also list questions that people typically ask. I always try to include some of these in my content, as well.
For example, when I was doing keyword research for this article, “What is lead generation” and “What are SEO keywords” were two suggested questions that I chose to include in this article.
So, once you have your list of potential keywords, it’s time to do some research to see how popular they are and how much traffic you could potentially get from an article on that topic.
And I use Ubersuggest for this. You simply type in the keyword, and they give you the average monthly traffic, the top results for that search term, related searches, questions, and more.
Here’s what a search on “home organization” looks like:
As you can see, it breaks down all the information on that particular search term, so you can decide whether it will bring you enough traffic or not.
You’ll want to research all of the different keywords you found, to get an idea of what keywords are the most popular, and which aren’t.
Using Multiple Keywords
But, just because a particular keyword doesn’t have a ton of search volume doesn’t mean that it’s no good. Because there are still some people who are searching for it.
But, because it has less volume, you may not want to create a standalone article on it.
What you can do instead is include it in another article. Because you don’t want to write your article around just one keyword. I like to group similar popular keywords together and optimize my post for all of them.
This way I’m not relying on just the potential traffic from that one keyword, but from all of the keywords that I include.
And doing this can make an article go from getting 200-300 pageviews a day to upwards of 1000 pageviews a day or more.
And that’s just for one article. If you create a library of SEO optimized content, your traffic will only increase.
I’m sure you can see how easy it is to grow your business, when you get that kind of traffic to your website every single day.
Using Keywords in Your Content
In order for this to work, though, you still have to write solid content.
You don’t want to just stuff all of those keywords into your articles. The article still needs to be easy to consume, informational, and worth your reader’s time.
So yes, get all those keywords that you can in there…but still create a quality article.
Targeting People Who Need Your Help
On top of that, you want to make sure that they keywords that you’re using and also attracting people who not only need your help, but who are most likely to want to work with you further.
And this comes back to some marketing 101 and a little buyer psychology.
Because not everyone is at the same place when they’re searching for solutions.
Some people are just starting to realize they have a problem, but aren’t necessarily aware that there are solutions available.
Some people are exploring the various solutions.
And some people are ready to buy a solution that will solve their problem right away.
And this is called the Customer Buying Cycle.
Using the Buying Cycle in Your Blog Funnel
When it comes to your content marketing, you can attract these different groups of people in different ways.
People who are just figuring out they have a problem typically use the word “why” in their searches.
Why am I so unhappy
Why can’t I keep my house clean
They also use the word “what” in their searches (although these are usually a little less relevant because they find a quick answer and then they don’t think about it again).
What is that spot on my arm
What does a life coach do
What is time management
People asking “why” or “what” questions are at the beginning of the buying cycle and nowhere near ready to make a purchase. They aren’t even aware that there are solutions they can buy. So you don’t necessarily want to create content optimized for these types of questions unless you want to spend a lot of time nurturing your lead and helping them move through the other stages of the buying cycle.
Next up, is people who have started to search for solutions to their problem. People at this stage usually use “how” questions or phrases to find their answers.
How to be happier
How can I get more done every day
How make money from home
People at this stage are not only aware of what their problem is, but they’re also aware that different solutions exist. So they’re checking people out with those different solutions, getting to know them, and are starting to decide who can help them and who can’t.
This is the type of content you want to primarily focus on, because it targets people at the right stage and gives them plenty of time to get to know, like, and trust you before they get to the next stage.
The last stage, then, is when people are ready to buy.
They’re aware of their problem. They know that there are a ton of different solutions available. They’ve done their research and have a good idea on who they want to buy from but they may still be considering their options.
So people in this stage are generally searching for the “best” solution.
Best career happiness coach
Best time management program
But when they look at those results, they really only pay attention to the coaches, programs, and businesses that they found during the consideration stage.
Because of this, people at this stage also search for comparisons.
Convertkit vs Active Campaign
iPhone or Galaxy
iPEC or ILCT
So you don’t necessarily want to target people at this stage with your content for a coaching business. Like I said, they’ve already explored their options and if they didn’t find you before this stage, then there really isn’t enough time for them to get to know, like, and trust you before they buy.
(On the other hand, this is a great time to retarget people with Facebook ads who have already gotten to know you but haven’t bought yet.)
Publishing Your Optimized Content on Pinterest
Once you have your blog topic chosen, have it positioned correctly, and it’s optimized with the keywords you want, it’s time to upload it to Pinterest.
Here, you want to have multiple personal boards that also contain those keywords in the board title, description, and the other pins saved to the board.
Then, use a Pinterest approved scheduler like MeetEdgar to pin your article over a period of time to boards with those same keywords so Pinterest can learn what your article is about.
Once Pinterest has associated that article with those keywords, it will start showing that article in the search results there, as well.
Now you have a continuous stream of traffic coming in from two different search engines.
Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy
Okay, we’ve covered a lot already, so let’s take a second to break down the exact steps you need to take, to organize your content marketing strategy with all of this in mind:
- First you need to do keyword research to figure out what search terms your ideal customers are typing into search engines like Google, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to see how much potential traffic each of those terms will get.
- Group like keywords together, creating a rough outline for a blog post.
- Write the blog post.
- Wait for Google to index your article (or go into Google Search Console and manually index it).
- Publish the content on Pinterest.
- Continue doing this so you always have optimized articles circulating on both Google and Pinterest.
And that’s the top half of our simple blog funnel. So let’s move onto the next part.
Filling Your List With Your Dream Clients
Once you have a bunch of people visiting your website, you want to get them to opt in to your email list.
Now, on average, only about 1.95% of those people will opt in to your list. And I know that sounds super low, but that’s just the industry average. I have some that convert a lot higher than that.
But, for the purpose of this blog funnel, the more traffic you have moving through it, the more people will end up on your list.
Creating an Opt-In
So the next step, then, is to create an opt-in that makes sense in that blog post.
Think about everything the article covers. Then, figure out what the next logical step would be.
Could you expand on the topic a little more? Give your readers a cheat sheet or printable to help them organize what you need them to do? To organize their thoughts?
Journal prompts are a great opt-in. As are free trainings. I personally love to create free email challenges or mini courses that get my readers a tangible win.
This way, when I eventually pitch them my digital products, they’ve already had a taste of what it’s like to work with me. They’ve already seen the type of results that I can get them.
And this allows you to sell in a completely genuine way, focusing on those results.
I also recommend creating opt-ins that you can use in multiple blog posts. This will save you a ton of time (yay!). I only have a couple opt-ins for each category in my blog post that I repurpose throughout my articles. You just have to make sure that whatever opt-in you’re including makes sense with the content of the blog post.
Nurturing Your Leads
And finally, once people opt in to your list, you need to nurture the relationship.
And, this can be completely automated through your email marketing provider.
But this doesn’t mean that you lose the personal touch or that you don’t connect with your leads in the same way.
To start, I always recommend a solid welcome email (or series of emails).
Talk about why you do what you do. Why you want to help the person reading that email. How you’ll help them.
Link to any of your more popular articles or to any free trainings you have.
Ask them questions, and have them hit reply and answer. Respond to every single one.
This allows you to automate the important stuff, freeing up some time to have meaningful conversations with the people who do respond.
Because the more you connect with your readers, the more they’ll come to know, like, and trust you.
And once they do, they’ll be excited to start working with you.
Want some help getting your email marketing automations set up right? Then click here to check out this free 5-day email training to get started.