A lot of coaches start by getting clients via word of mouth and referrals. And that’s great! In fact, it’s the best place to start.
We know that people do business with those they know, like and trust. So it makes sense to start with people who already know, like and trust you. I call this your “Inner Circle of Trust”.
But after a while, you want to grow beyond that inner circle. You want to reach more people, get more clients, and maybe even earn leveraged income (such as with a group coaching program).
Unfortunately, a lot of coaches end up really overwhelmed when they try to market themselves online. They get wrapped up in a gazillion tactics and bright shiny objects and end up spinning in circles (sometimes going broke along the way).
So what do you really need in place in order to get clients online?
It might seem super complicated given how noisy it is online. But I want you to know something.
You can stand out in this noisy online world by marketing with Heart vs. Hype. Marketing with Heart honors you and the people you’re here to help.
I also want you to know that attracting clients online doesn’t have to be complicated. Especially when you understand what marketing really is.
Marketing is just sharing your message with the right people so they’re inspired to take action.
Let’s break that down into the key components you need for your marketing to work.
1. Magnetic Message
If you’ve been struggling with your marketing, I’m willing to bet that it’s because you’re not as clear as you need to be about your message.
Having a clear message is especially important online because you have just seconds to capture people’s attention. If you don’t – click – they’re gone. Unlike the offline world, where you have more time to explain what you do, and people won’t walk away if you don’t capture their attention in 3 seconds.
Unfortunately, most coaches make some big mistakes with their message.
For many coaches, their message is too broad. In order for your message to be effective, it has to speak directly to your ideal client and clearly show them how you can help them. On that note, you also want to make sure you avoid jargon and speak the language of your ideal client.
Beyond that, one of the biggest mistakes most coaches make is that their message is too generic. They sound like everyone else who does what they do.
So how can you avoid this? How can you create a message that’s compelling and unique?
It all starts by understanding that people buy on emotion and justify with logic. So to be truly effective, your message has to connect with the hearts and minds of your ideal clients.
Now here’s the key. In order to do that, you need to put your heart and mind in your message. If you just communicate from your head, you’re going to blend into the crowd. You also need to communicate from your heart. You do this by creating what I call your Core Message.
Your Core Message is the message that lets people know what you stand for in your business. It’s the big idea you want to share with the world, and it’s the heart of your brand.
The magic happens when you take your Core Message (heart) and infuse it in your Marketing Message (head) to create a truly Magnetic Message.
2. Relationship of Trust
Once you have your message, you want to share it with the right people (your ideal clients) so they’re inspired to take action.
What action do you want them to take?
In most cases, you want people to join your email list. Why is growing your list so important? Can’t you just connect with people on social media? You can, but here’s the thing. Social media can be great but you don’t own those social media platforms, and they change all the time. You do, however, own your email list.
Once people are on your list, you have the space to build a relationship of trust with them. And as we said, people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
You also have permission to share your services and programs with people once they’re on your email list.
So how do you get people on your email list?
You inspire them to join by offering a valuable free gift or what we call a “lead magnet”.
It could be a template, checklist, video training, etc. What’s most important is the topic.
The topic of your lead magnet has to address a “top of mind” challenge for your ideal client. That means it’s something they’re aware of and seeking help with. Your lead magnet should add real value without overwhelming people, and it should also position your services.
I’ve done several surveys and found that 70% of coaches don’t have a valuable lead magnet to grow their list. If you do have one, I invite you to take a step back and make sure it’s truly compelling for your ideal clients.
Remember – you don’t just want anyone on your list. You want to build a list of your ideal clients who are interested in what you have to offer.
Which brings me to the last thing you need to successfully grow your coaching business online (or offline for that matter).
3. Compelling Offer
Coaching is really intangible. So in order to inspire people to say “yes” to working with you, they need to be confident that you can help them get results. It’s one thing to say you can help people get results, it’s another thing to prove it.
So how do you do that? How do you gain your potential clients’ confidence you can help them get results?
By packaging your expertise in what I call your Client Journey. Think of your Client Journey as the steps you take your clients through and the results you help them achieve at each step. Most coaches sell their time, whether it’s one session at a time or “bundles” of sessions (6 sessions, 3 months, 6 months, etc.). When you shift from selling your time to offering your Client Journey, you’ll find that getting coaching clients becomes so much easier.
When your clients can see the path forward, they’re going to be more confident that you can help them get results. In addition to making it easier to get clients, your Client Journey also allows you to earn more income.
Why’s that? Because when you sell your time, you typically undercharge and end up chasing after clients. Which is definitely not fun. When you sell your Client Journey, you can charge your true value and increase your rates. I’ve had clients double their prices when they start selling their Client Journey.
And here’s one of my favorite parts.
Once you have your Client Journey, you can package it in different ways, at different price points, and with different levels of access to you.
That’s how you can earn multiple streams of income (including leveraged income), without having to work so hard.
When you put these 3 pieces together – a Magnetic Message, Relationship of Trust, and a Compelling Offer – you have the key ingredients you need to get clients online.
Of course, you need to make strategic and aligned decisions about each of these pieces — so they work together and they work for you.
So take the time to get these pieces right and you can stop spinning your wheels with complicated tactics and bright shiny objects.
Your clients are waiting for you.
Meet The Author
Cindy Schulson is the Founder of Marketing from Within. She shows coaches and consultants how to stand out in this noisy online world by marketing with Heart vs. Hype.
Cindy brings a decade of marketing experience working for such companies as Coca-Cola and Visa, combined with a decade of online marketing to create a paradigm shift in how marketing can be done with integrity and heart.
Get her free Brand Message Template at MarketingfromWithin