The Overwhelmed Life Coach’s Guide to Marketing

Email Marketing, Networking, Instagram Reels, TikTok, Live Video, and the list goes on and on…

Needless to say, marketing as a coach can be overwhelming. And overwhelm often leads to not taking action. The end result? No marketing = No revenue.

Marketing is essential for any business…especially for a coach. In most cases, you don’t have a brick and mortar business, that potential customers walk in and out of every day. So, let’s dig into how to market your coaching business, to find your ideal clients.

Define Your Coaching Niche

First things first. Before you start or continue marketing your coaching business, it’s critical that you define your niche. Why? Narrowing down your niche will clearly define your area of expertise, which will determine who you serve. When using any type of marketing strategy, if you aren’t clear on these two pieces of the puzzle, you’ll find yourself struggling to attract your ideal clients. Here are some examples of defined niches:

  • A Relationship Coach who helps women get back into the dating scene after divorce.
  • A Doula (Birth Coach) who provides support to first time moms.
  • An ADHD Coach who helps entrepreneurs be more productive in their business.

You get the point.

When you have a clear niche, the marketing becomes LESS overwhelming.

Should You Offer Free Coaching Sessions?

If you’re just starting out you may have toyed with the idea of offering free coaching sessions.

While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, here are a couple of suggestions that will help you, no matter what you decide.

If you want to offer free coaching sessions, consider limiting this to a few clients. For example, you could offer a few one-time sessions in exchange for testimonials. If the clients are delighted at the end of this session, they may want to work with you long term. At the very least, you’ll have a few testimonials to use as social proof of your work.

If you already have testimonials, consider offering value through your free content. This content can be delivered through regular live or pre-recorded videos, podcast episodes, blog posts, or social media posts (more on this later).

Start and Grow Your Email List

Now, it’s time to start attracting your dream clients. The first step? Start and grow your email list. Why? Your email list belongs to you ~ not Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform.

Building an email list is valuable because no matter what happens on social media, you’ll still be able to connect with your audience.

Still not convinced? Here’s an interesting stat: According to one study, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is a whopping 3,800% ROI!

So, how do you start an email list? First, it’s best to decide on something free you want to offer, in exchange for your subscribers name and email address. It can be something as simple as an invitation to join your newsletter. For example, “Join my newsletter to get my best tips on launching an online course that I only send to my email list.” 

Or, if you want to kick it up a notch, offer them something of specific value, otherwise known as a lead magnet. A lead magnet can come in a variety of forms, such as a PDF, video series, challenge, quiz, or an e-book. If you’re starting out, I would suggest starting with a downloadable PDF. It’s the easiest way to create a lead magnet.

Not sure what to create? Here are a few examples to jumpstart your inspiration:

  • Facebook Ads Checklist: 7 Essential Steps to Facebook Ads That Convert
  • Five Simple Steps to Create the Ultimate Free Offer
  • From Dream to Launch: 10 Steps + Must-Have Tools to Launch Your Online Business

The bottom line is, you want to create something that will give your audience a taste of your expertise. Think of your lead magnet as the appetizer before the meal (your paid offer).

Tools You’ll Need

Next, you’ll need to set up tools to capture your subscriber’s name and email address and deliver the lead magnet. This can be done by creating a simple landing page in your email service provider or on a single web page. If you need some recommendations on these systems, download this free tech tool guide, here.

You can also use Paperbell to build your email list. Let’s say you want to build a list of potential 1:1 coaching clients. If you start with a discovery call, you’ll need to set up a free package with a landing page and your availability. Once these steps are complete, you can use Zapier to connect Paperbell with your email service provider. This setup will allow your subscribers to enter their information in Paperbell, send the data to your email service provider, and deliver the lead magnet.

After everything is set up, you’ll be provided with a link to access your offer. Now you can start sharing your lead magnet online.

Here are some examples of where you can add the link to your lead magnet:

  • Website homepage header
  • Website entry & exit pop-ups
  • Blog post sidebars
  • Email signature

Doing this will allow your target audience several opportunities to sign up for your freebie.

Marketing Ideas for Coaches 

Next, let’s talk about some specific ideas of how to market your Life Coaching business. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using organic strategies first. Starting here will help you validate if you’ve created the right offer for your audience. This is important because investing in paid ads with the wrong offer will cause you to waste a lot of time and money. Starting with organic marketing will pay off in the long run. 

Here are some great ways to organically market your Life Coaching business:

Podcast Interviews

Needless to say podcasts have exploded in popularity over the last few years. According to one stat, podcast listeners have grown 37.5% in 3 years. So, now is a great time to start pitching yourself to be a guest on podcasts. There are podcasts in every industry…seriously, you can find something for every interest: business, relationships, health, fitness, finances, marketing, yoga, mindset, and there are even podcasts for kids!

One of the biggest advantages to being a guest on a podcast, is the host will market the episode. This is the perfect opportunity to tell their listeners about your lead magnet, build your email list, and promote your coaching programs.

Virtual Summits

Got a knack for speaking on virtual stages? If so, giving a talk at a Virtual Summit is another great way to market your coaching business. Similar to podcasts, there are virtual summits in a variety of industries. There are also a number of opportunities that can come from speaking at a virtual summit.

Exposure to Other People’s Audiences

Virtual summits tend to focus on a specific industry. For example, a Marriage Summit will likely have many speakers who are experts in marriage, parenting, sex, communication, finances, and more. So if you’re a coach serving this audience, you’ll have a chance to showcase your expertise to a virtual room full of your ideal clients.

Connect with Collaboration Partners

Another benefit is, you’ll likely connect with the host and other speakers. Virtual summits usually have a central location where all the speakers can connect, as well as get support throughout the event. Leverage this opportunity, to partner with other experts who are serving your audience in a different way. For example, if you’re a Marriage Coach, you may partner with a Sex Coach for couples. This could lead to other speaker opportunities or regular referral of clients.

Establish Your Credibility

No matter what the industry, Virtual Summits normally have big names to attract a larger audience. Not a big name yet? Don’t worry. Being featured as a speaker at an event with big names in your industry will help you establish credibility. Credibility will help you to be seen as a trustworthy authority, which often leads to attracting more clients.

Guest Blog Posts

Have a knack for writing? Don’t discount your passion for putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard). Writing guest blog posts is a great way to market your coaching business. Did you know that as of 2020, 77% of internet users read blogs? And there are 600 million blogs online today.

There are countless bloggers looking for writers to contribute to their content. For instance, if you’re a fitness coach, you could write guest posts for a blog on women’s health. Or, if you’re a parenting coach, there are mom blogs looking for experts to share their knowledge on parenting tips, like how to boost your child’s self-esteem, teaching social skills, and effective discipline. Established blogs tend to have a high volume of traffic, which equals more exposure for you. Best of all? In most cases, you can link back to your website, where readers can sign up for your lead magnet or inquire about your coaching programs.

Networking as a Marketing Strategy

With social media being so popular, other marketing strategies get lost in the shuffle. Let’s discuss simple ways you can utilize networking in your marketing strategy.

Facebook Groups

Similar to Podcasts and Virtual Summits, there are a number of Facebook groups that create community for a variety of audiences. As you engage with others in the group, you’ll likely find yourself getting to know other coaches and potential clients. One of the things that can come out of this type of virtual networking, is collaborations. For example, if you’re a Business Coach and you have clients who also need help with marketing. In this situation, you may decide to partner with a Marketing Coach to create a special offer for your clients. Another alternative is to simply be a referral source for one another. And obviously, it’s a great way to connect with your potential clients. However, be sure to honor the rules of the Facebook group.

Events

Events are a great way to market your business as well. Even if you’re not a speaker, you can still network with other event attendees. During in-person events, there are times when you can connect with others who are going to the same break out sessions or networking parties. You can also do this virtually. While attending a virtual event, you may have the opportunity to break out into a “Zoom room” to take part in speed networking sessions with other attendees. One thing is for sure, whether virtual or in-person, events create a variety of possibilities to share what you do and who you serve.

Cowork Spaces

Cowork spaces have been around since 2005, yet in the last couple of years more and more people are catching on to the concept of coworking. Coworking is an arrangement where different businesses share the same office space. It’s a modern take on utilizing commercial real estate at a fraction of the cost. In recent years, more and more coaches are taking advantage of coworking. Not only do they provide you with the opportunity to meet local clients or host events, but you can also network with other business owners. Many cowork spaces host events for business owners to network and get to know each other. This creates opportunities to form collaborations or book clients.

How to Market Your Life Coaching Business on Social Media

Now on to the part you’ve probably been waiting for…how to market your business on social media. As you know, there are several platforms to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and now Clubhouse. And while it may be tempting to jump on every platform available, consider starting with one.

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

When choosing which platform to start with, ask yourself this question: Where is my audience hanging out? Say you serve stay at home moms. One platform you may want to consider is Pinterest. As of 2020, about 80% of women ages 18-64 with children are Pinners.

Another example might be if your business serves millennials. If that’s the case, you may want to start with Instagram as more than half of their user population is age 34 or younger.

Play to Your Strengths

Once you know where your audience is hanging out, think about the best way you deliver content. In other words, if you crush it on video, then choose a platform that has video features. Are you an excellent writer? If so, you may start with a platform where you can create more written posts. In this last example, Clubhouse wouldn’t be the right fit for you.

Serve Then Sell

When creating your content, add value with helpful tips, resources, and inspirational stories that speak to your audience’s pain points and goals. This will help you avoid overselling to your audience (which can be a turn off). The 80/20 rule is a good place to start: 80% of your content should be helpful and the remaining 20% will be an offer of some sort. Your offer could be a lead magnet, a free discovery call, or even a paid offer.

Be Consistent

No matter what platform you start with, this is the most important takeaway of all…be consistent. Without consistency, your audience won’t experience your brilliance or feel compelled to work with you. To increase your chances of being consistent, develop a system to create and post your content. One way to do this, is to block off a day to create next month’s content. And after posting, block off 30 minutes to an hour a day, to engage with your audience. The key is to keep showing up.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on this journey of marketing your coaching business, remember to give yourself some grace. There may be times when you feel it’s not working. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel. You may need to take a short break and then get back on track. Pushing yourself too hard often doesn’t lead to more results. And if you find yourself feeling fearful to put yourself out there, one tip that’s always helpful, is shifting your focus from those fears to the impact you’re going to have on your clients.

By Tameka Allen
February 9, 2021
Tameka Allen is the Founder of the Allen Digital Group. In 2013, she started as a Certified Coach and learned how to use digital marketing to promote her coaching practice. Soon after her coaching colleagues started asking for help, she launched a digital marketing business that helps course creators and coaches build marketing funnels and run Facebook ads. Now with more than 7 years of experience, she solely focused on helping her clients manage their online launches. When she's not helping clients, you can find Tameka watching a documentary on Netflix or hanging out with her husband and 3 kids. You can learn more online launch tips by following her on Instagram at @allendigital.

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