Hey Coach Ponylings!
Marketing has been on my mind recently.
People always ask me how much time I spend marketing versus coaching, and the hard truth is that I spend 75% of my time marketing or creating content, and only about 20-25% coaching in my programs.
Part of that is by design in how I built my business, i.e. to be a scaleable business that allows me to really leverage my time and have a lot of flexibility.
But you know what? When I only had private clients I still spent the majority of my time on marketing exercises.
Because if no one knows about you – you don’t have a business.
We’ve been talking a lot about marketing over in my Build a REAL Business program (see more details here!), and I wanted to bring some of that goodness straight to you :).
So let’s talk about how to market YOUR new business!
First: Friends and family
Sending out that very first email where you tell people you are hanging your shingle as a coach can be both exciting and terrifying.
So it’s nice to start with a warm audience. 🙂
(Note: Before you send that email make sure you know WHO you are coaching! For help with that, grab this free guide).
One of the first, and easiest, ways to market your business is to let those who love you know what you are up to, and send an email where you say something like this:
“Hey Friends and Family –
I’m so excited to announce that the doors are officially open in my new coaching business!
I specialize in helping divorced women parent their kids and rebuild their families.
To kick it off, for the next two weeks I’m offering a few free coaching sessions to anyone who fits the bill, so if you know of anyone who has gone through a divorce and needs this kind of help, could you kindly forward them this email and invite them to reach out to me?
Thank you SO MUCH in advance. This is such a hard transition for so many, and I want to do my best to make sure that no one has to weather it alone.”
Once you get people in your free coaching session, you can offer them a chance to work with you more closely in your coaching package!
(Don’t have a coaching package yet? Then for the love of chocolate read this free guide and get yourself one! :)).
Step 2 to marketing your business: Know yourself!
Think about how you most feel comfortable communicating and marketing.
Do you enjoy close one-on-one conversations?
Are you comfortable speaking in front of a room?
Do you like talking to a lot of people, but not necessarily from the stage?
Think closely how you like to communicate because if you hate doing something, then you won’t do it and your business will suffer.
Okay- figured it out yet?
Here’s what I want you to do next:
If you like speaking…
Then I want you to get on twitter, eventbrite, meetup, google, and your local paper and find events happening in your area or nearby.
Notice which ones seem to be recurring, and seem to have speakers.
Sign yourself up to go to a few!
Go, attend, and while there cozy up to two people:
2) The organizers
Ask the speakers how they got this gig, and ask the organizers if they need any more speakers.
(Obviously have an idea or two on what you could speak on in your pocket!).
Offer to speak for free on a relevant topic, but ask if you can say a few words about your business or invite people to work with you at the end of your speech.
Then, when they say yes (more will say yes than no – people always need speakers!), then deliver a delightful and relevant talk – and set yourself up to talk about your coaching. In other words, make sure that your topic leads into some of your coaching packages :).
Once you get to the end, invite people to work with you, talk about how coaching can help them, and give them an incentive to sign up for a free session with you right then in that moment.
People need a push (and that’s okay) :).
If you like chatting with lots of people…
Then use the same system above to find events that are relevant to your market.
Make a list, and start attending at least two a week.
At each event, focus on connecting with people, and if you find someone who *might* fit the bill to be a client, ask if they know about coaching or want to learn more.
If they say yes, educate them on coaching and invite them to a free session with you.
If they say yes to that, whip out your calendar and schedule it right then!
If you like building deeper one-on-one relationships…
Then make a list of fellow coaches. First off, concentrate on coaches in your niche who maybe have a slightly different flavor or client list.
Then make a list of coaches who have the same type of market (professional women, for example), and reach out to them. If you are a career coach who works with women, you might find health coaches who also work with the same demographic of women that you do.
Okay, now it’s time to reach out to them.
Introduce yourself, and ask them if they want to be a referral partner with you. Offer to hop on the phone and chat to see if you are a match.
Get on the phone with them and learn more about what they do and who their clients are. If they seem like a good fit, you can make a more formal partnership arrangement where you agree to a 25% referral bonus. If you find someone who is a match for them, you send that potential client their way.
And they agree to do the same!
It’s important to find coaches in your niche as partners – it may seem counter-intuitive, but you will find that sometimes you’ll talk to a client and you know you aren’t the right coach for them. This way you can still refer them to someone who can help (yay for the potential client!) and also make a little money for your work (yay for you!). Everyone wins!
Warning: Don’t market till you know exactly who your clients are!
Don’t be a generic life coach, that’s a recipe for failure. Make sure that you are clear on who you are serving and why, so your marketing is efficient!