Establishing your online presence and growing your brand as a coach is not child’s play. Online marketing can feel overwhelming because there are so many options out there to get in front of your potential clients. And each medium requires its own strategy, content, and plan. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? That the key to strategic, stress-free marketing is to understand the five core phases of online marketing for coaches.
Understanding each phase – and how it builds on the other – is important to develop and implement a successful marketing strategy. For instance, it does you no good to try and increase your reach and visibility when you don’t have clear messaging or a target market in place. And launching to your audience rarely works well when you haven’t done visibility work.
Depending on what phase a business is in, we have to focus on different things when it comes to online marketing for coaches.
Let’s dive into each of the 5 Phases Of Online Marketing For Coaches in detail.
But before that, remember…it all starts with you! Making phase 1 of online marketing for coaches getting super clear on YOU.
Phase 1: Getting Clarity About Self
As a coach or a course creator, you are the brand. People come to you because they enjoy working with you or they see something in you that they like and resonate with. Maybe they like your coaching style or your ideology. Perhaps they’re a fellow Harry Potter fan! Who knows.
The point being…
When you are clear about who you are, how you are unique, and what you want from life and business, you can work on each phase of online marketing with more clarity, intent, and purpose.
So how do you get super clear on YOU?
1. Start by identifying your secret superpowers and your style of doing business.
Understanding what makes you unique and using it to your advantage can set you apart from the competition. Knowing your strengths, business styles, and what you (and only you) can bring to the table will make it easier to market your offer online and connect with your ideal human. These four assessments will help you do just that.
- The Clifton Strengths Assessment: This assessment is your way to: 1) discover what you naturally do best 2) learn how to develop your greatest talents into strengths 3) use your personalized results and reports to maximize your potential.
- The Human Design Assessment: Learn the unique personality traits and potential you were born with and understand exactly how you are wired energetically. So you can live the highest expression of YOU while interacting with the world around you.
- The Enneagram Test: With nine distinct archetypes at its core, this powerful tool helps uncover our basic motivations, fears, strengths, and weaknesses—allowing us to develop greater awareness of ourselves and the people around us.
- The DISC Assessment: By analyzing the four core traits – dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance – this assessment provides invaluable insights into our personalities and how we can make the most of them in business and our relationships.
2. Be clear on your mission and values.
Your mission and your values are the heart and soul of your business. Being clear on them helps you in more ways than giving your business an identity. Your mission and values:
- are the basis on which you develop relationships with your team and clients.
- influence how you show up in your business and work with people.
- guide you through difficult decisions and keep you focused on your goals.
- create an environment of understanding and purpose.
Here’s what the AOBM values look like. I’ve proudly displayed them in the about section of our website because they do all this 🔼🔼 for us, and more.
I have found that when I hire team members or work with clients who don’t share the same values, there is always a problem down the line. I have let go of clients and team members over a values mismatch. But not before a ton of headaches. Now, as my business grows, I’ve become more mindful of who I work with and if their values align with mine. This has helped me save a lot of frustration, time, and money.
I highly recommend you do the same. If you haven’t identified your values yet, here’s a handy exercise that’ll help:
Now that we’re clear on YOU, let’s start building that foundation for your business.
Phase 2: The Foundation Phase
Just like a house, a business is only as strong as its foundation. Skipping over this phase could mean getting sidetracked, overwhelmed, or even stuck in a rut. Taking the extra time to lay the foundation of your business will lead to a better understanding of who you’re targeting, what resources are needed, and how to position yourself in the marketplace. It will set your coaching business up for success.
I hear you asking, “But how do I set up a strong foundation for my biz?
I got you. You need to have the following in place:
1. Your target market
Gone are the days you could call yourself a life coach and have people flocking to you for help.
My first coaching business, Momnificent! offered life coaching services to moms who wanted to live balanced and healthy lives. I failed. I didn’t pick a “viable” niche. Although moms needed and wanted my service, they couldn’t justify paying for life coaching.
While I struggled to understand then, I understand now. Your audience is looking for help with a specific area of their life. They’re looking for a specialist. Someone who understands them and their unique problems. I mean, if you were suffering from impostor syndrome, would you reach out to a life coach or a mindset coach? That’s one of the main reasons why you need to know exactly who you are serving and how.
To identify your target market, you need to determine your niche and your target audience.
- What are your skills and passions?
- Who do you enjoy working with?
- What is a problem people are willing to pay for?
- Is it easy to find these people to market to?
- Can you solve that problem? Are you skilled and passionate about it?
- Is solving that problem profitable in the long run?
Answering these questions will help you find the people you can market to online.
Your target market can look something like:
- Parents to teenagers looking for help with navigating family conflict.
- Young professionals looking to set up successful side hustles.
- A middle aged mom worried about her retirement looking for financial advice.
2. Clear messaging
Clear messaging can help you gain potential clients’ trust and help position your business, brand, and offer in the market. It helps you stand out in a sea of competitors. It helps you connect with your ideal audience and make them feel understood. It’s the essence of your brand and how you make people feel.
Your messaging should clarify:
- Who you are.
- How you can help.
- What value you (or your business/offer) create.
- Why should people choose you – what makes you different
It should resonate with your target market and be present in every piece of content you write and design.
To have a message that resonates with your target market you need to know exactly who you are serving. Go deep. Ask yourself:
- What are their problems in relation to your offer?
- What solutions did they try? What worked? What didn’t?
- What are their dreams? How can your offer help achieve them?
- What are their pain points?
- What do they enjoy, like, dislike?
Here’s a handy blog post that can help you with that.
3. A strategic website and other marketing materials
Once you’re clear on your messaging, you can use it to create a strategic website that persuades your target market to choose you. Your marketing materials will do the same. But before that, you need to know what your goals are. What do you want your website and marketing materials to do? Your answers will guide the website design and the use of your marketing materials.
So what makes a great website?
As a marketing strategist and digital marketing agency, we are often approached by potential clients who have a very firm idea of how they want their website to be. But, sometimes, what they want may not be what their business and customers need. Here’s what they actually need:
- The right branding
- Copy that convinces and converts
- A user-focused design
- Clean and easy navigation
- The right calls to action
The marketing materials you use will depend on the marketing channel your target audience prefers. Do they prefer social media? If yes, which platform? Or are they more of an email person? Do they like listening to information or reading it? Depending on the answers, your marketing materials can include:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Lead magnets
- And so much more
We often go through this phase multiple times in business. Sometimes you have to pivot, and sometimes you have to refine these offers based on what your audience needs.
Phase 3: Visibility Phase
In the visibility phase, you focus on getting your name out there, on having people know you and your coaching offers. With the right strategy in place, visibility can create an influx of leads and conversions that will help grow your business. Whatever your goal may be, visibility is key to making sure your business stands out. At Amazing OBM we have our clients focus on:
1. Email List Building
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to nurture cold prospects and convert them into paying customers. It’s also the only marketing platform that’s completely in your control. You can easily be banned or kicked out of your own Instagram or LinkedIn, but email is completely your own.
But before you start marketing via email, you need to build a list of prospects you can market to. You need their email ID (and their permission if you want to be a non–sleazy marketeer) if you want to email them regularly with updates.
And how do most successful coaches build their email list?
Through an effective lead magnet. A lead magnet allows you to build a list of potential leads by collecting emails from people interested in the information you have to offer.
Lead magnets come in so many different forms…
- Short form eBooks
- Checklists and Templates
- eCourses and Video courses
- Case studies
- Cheat Sheets
- Free Consultations
- Intros to your work (1st chapter of book, meditation, food plans, audios from a course)
- Complete guides
- On-demand webinars
- And more
However, since the online market is saturated with lead magnets, you need to be very skilled at cutting through the noise and getting your lead magnet to convert.
That’s where a good lead magnet strategy helps.
Here’s our lead magnet. Created with the same strategy described above:
2. Social Media Marketing
With promoting your coaching business on social media, I always tell my clients, simple is better. Unless you have a huge team and a lot of extra money, it is too difficult to keep up with a big and complicated social media strategy.
One of our clients (a writing coach) is on the cusp of breaking six figures in her business and is ready to increase her visibility with a solid social media strategy. She needed a simple and doable social media strategy that she and our team could successfully and consistently follow through on.
Here’s the tried and tested social media strategy we implemented:
- We started by setting her goals.
- Then we determined her content pillars.
- We chose the right social media platform.
- We determined how to include blogs and emails in her social media strategy.
- Then we decided on the frequency of her posts.
- Finally, we developed an editorial calendar.
- Post implementation, we monitor and analyze her metrics monthly.
And if you need a quick guide to rock your social media plan, you can get it here.
3. Lead Generation
There are other ways to generate leads for your business besides email marketing and social media. The key is to provide value and prove expertise, so you have people coming back for more.
Some other popular lead-generation activities for coaches:
- Networking with other industry professionals who can send leads your way
- Hosting or guesting on podcasts and sharing your expertise
- Leveraging referrals and referral marketing
- Offering free consultations and trials
- Creating influencer campaigns
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Polls, contests, and live events
- Online and offline workshops
Phase 4 in online marketing for coaches: Launch Phase
This is the phase where you FINALLY tell the world about your offer and launch it online. It’s when you sell your offer to your audience, generate income and create a transformation for your ideal clients. However, this only works if your offer is validated.
So make sure you do your market research before you launch your offer online. Test your offer.
It can be a complicated and frustrating process to uncover the correct messaging, the right audience, and the ideal offer that will resonate and convert your business. That is why we offer all our launch clients an extensive offer questionnaire that helps them dive deeply into all of these important questions.
Launches Are The Marketing Engine That Drive Sales.
And like any other engine, it’s made up of different components that work together to help it run smoothly. These components are:
1. Launch Strategy
Once you have all your research done and you are crystal clear on what you are offering, the next step is to carefully and strategically plan your launch. There are a lot of moving pieces to consider in a launch – the marketing, the sales, the technical piece, the design, and the communication, to name a few. A carefully thought out launch strategy keeps you organized, reduces stress, and creates the best chance for success.
Along with your validated offer and your target audience, an effective launch strategy considers the following elements:
- Your launch dates and goals
- Your launch deliverables
- Your nurture strategy
- Your social media strategy
- Your launch metrics
The strategy you will use, timing, and team members have to be decided so that you can lay out a complete plan with all of the elements of launching in a project management tool. This brings us to:
2. Launch Planning
A successful launch must have a detailed launch plan. At Amazing OBM we use a project management software called ClickUp. This enables us to set up each and every detailed task in a project plan. Then we assign the appropriate team members and due dates. Each task has detailed instructions for carrying out the task, and links to related tasks are created so the team can have everything they need in front of them.
If you don’t maintain and manage a project plan, you will experience a very chaotic, stressful, and potentially unsuccessful launch. #TrueStory
Pro tip: You will need more lead time than you potentially plan for.
So make sure you have enough time padding in between launch tasks to make up for any technical glitches, errors, or personal issues. If you think it’s going to take you a month to carry out a launch, you should add an additional month or two to your planning/launch time.
3. Launch Execution
You’ve strategized and planned your launch down to the last detail. Now what?
It’s time to execute it. As a boutique marketing agency for coaches, thought leaders, and course creators, we’ve strategized and executed many successful launches. And a launch is only as successful as its worst performing asset. That’s why it’s very important to use the right tools for your launch. Here’s a handy link that will tell you all about these tools. We’ve tried and tested all of them and included the best ones for you.
The other thing you have to be mindful of during your launch is communication, consistency, and mindset. There’s a whole chapter on mastering your launch mindset in our DIY heart centered launch course.
Phase 5: Growth Phase
So you’ve launched your offer in the world successfully. People already know about you. You have a decent roster of repeat customers and are at a good, steady place in your business. This is when you focus on growth. Going beyond what you already have and attracting more people to your coaching business. This looks different for different coaches. Some add another offer to their offer stack, while some add a group component to support their 1:1 work. Many go into other streams of income, like books, speaker engagements, and more.
Whatever they do, they have one thing in common.
Here’s what my six figure clients do to reach the growth phase in your coaching business successfully.
They cultivate certain habits and mindsets that allow them extraordinary growth in their business.
They develop a growth mindset and so can you! All you need to do is:
- Stop the flow of scarcity thoughts.
- Lean into belief, faith, and gratitude.
- Stop comparing yourself and your business with others. Your stories are different!
- Acknowledge all the success you’ve had. Follow that up with a list of everything you have learned and currently know.
- Absolutely refuse to believe you are anything short of unique and amazing!
- Be okay with coming up with a plan B if plan A doesn’t work.
- See challenges as opportunities in disguise.
- Remember…when one door closes, another opens up.
Developing these 3 habits also helps:
So be consistent with your marketing efforts. Create a process for getting new clients that works for you, and then work the system. Consistently. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. But don’t be afraid to pivot if you need to.
Embrace a healthy dose of learning and growing. The online world is constantly changing and evolving, and you have to change and evolve with it. Your business is your baby. And just like you keep learning the best ways to take care of your baby as they grow, do the same for your business. You’ll see the difference it makes.
Self-care could look like a daily mindset practice, regular trips to the gym, watching a TV series that makes you laugh, or creating 3-day weekends to play and socialize with friends and family.
Ask yourself if you’re stuck in any of these phases of online marketing. Let the answer guide you in developing a solid marketing strategy for your coaching business. And if you need any help with that, Lori Young and the team at Amazing OBM are standing by to support you. Schedule a free consultation today to see if we are a good fit.
Also, in case you’re interested, here are the links to each of the assessments mentioned in phase 1:
The Clifton Strengths Assessment
The 5 Phases of Online Marketing for Coaches
January 31, 2023
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