I’m ready to bet that when you decided to become a coach, you didn’t think about having to do marketing or worse, selling. But just like any business, you need to find clients, or help clients find you. This article goes over some of the best strategies of marketing for coaches, especially those who don’t want to adopt any of the pushy and salesy techniques they see out there. By implementing this 9-Step Strategy of marketing for coaches you will stand out with authenticity and heart in order to resonate with your ideal clients.
Marketing for Coaches: A 9-Step Strategy for Standing Out with Authenticity and Heart
Step 1: Start with yourself
The conventional marketing approach has ingrained in us the notion of identifying our client’s avatar. We were taught that the client is always right and knowing their persona is crucial for successful marketing.
However, I propose that we flip the script and prioritize our start with ourselves first. By understanding ourselves, we can better understand and connect with our clients, ultimately bringing more of us to our marketing.
In the Marketing Like We’re Human book, I call this stage ‘RUMBLE’. We’re rumbling with our story, with our values, with our worldview.
Figure out who YOU are and what YOU want so you attract ideal clients who are a good fit for YOU.
How do you figure out who you are? Here are a few ideas:
- Find out your personality type by taking the free MBTI test.
- Learn how to apply Human Design in business
- Learn more about your astrological sign.
- Find your Character Strengths with the VIA Survey.
- Discover your Sparketype.
If this seems trivial and you feel like skipping ahead to the part where you actually find out about ‘Marketing for Coaches’ let me tell you that the most successful coaches all started with this inner work. They have taken the time for this soul searching that is so important, and yet it’s often skipped in the business building process as we want to immediately go ‘and do things’.
But only if you spend time in the being, can you then market from within with ease and authenticity.
Read this post on how to find your authentic self as an entrepreneur and coach.
In Humane Marketing, we always start with ourselves. Passion and Personal Power are the first two Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala.
Step 2: Identify your people
The conventional marketing approach revolves around identifying a problem and then chasing after clients to offer them solutions. However, Humane Marketing takes a different approach, where we first create a solution that we’re passionate about and that solves a specific problem (i.e. conscious life coaching for changemakers). By doing so, we attract clients who are in harmony with our beliefs and guiding principles. This approach is all about resonating with our clients rather than chasing them.
We take the time to understand our clients on a deeper level by getting into their brains and hearts finding out what they think and feel. By doing so, we apply empathy in our communication, which helps us truly connect with them. We not only understand their problem, but we also share the same value system and worldview. Ultimately, this approach to marketing helps us attract clients who are a good fit for our business, and we don’t have to chase after them.
Here are a few questions to help you identify your people:
- Whom are you best aligned with?
- Who shares the same values as you?
- Who gets you?
- Who would love your coaching offer?
These questions are an excerpt from the 7Ps of Humane Marketing One Page Marketing Plan. You can get your copy here.
P for People is the third P of the 7Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala.
Also, read this post called ‘Find Your People in Business: A Guide for Conscious Entrepreneurs’
Step 3: Your Unique Value Proposition
Let’s say you’re looking for a graphic designer. You have three choices: a super cheap one, who’s main differentiator is that she’s cheaper than anyone else, or two similarly expensive ones. Both have great skills and experience, which you can see from their portfolio. But one of the two also align with your values. You can tell because she’s the author of the book The Human Centered Brand. Her name is Nela Dunato, and you end up hiring her for your rebrand from Gentle Marketing to Humane Marketing. 🙂
That’s the power of the Unique Value Proposition: resonating with YOUR ideal clients. So when you think about your coaching offer, go beyond the features and benefits. In terms of skills, Nela probably has the same skills, uses the same programs, and has access to the same fonts and colors as the other designer. But she didn’t just describe her offer. She brought her unique values and her perspective into the equation, which made her offer irresistible to me.
How do you solve your client’s needs, and how is your offer unique and different from all the other coaches who offer the same thing?
Here are some questions to help you come up with your Unique Value Proposition (excerpt from the Selling Like We’re Human book):
- What problem are you solving for your clients?
- How do your core values make you and your business different from your peers?
- How is your coaching offering different from all the other potential solutions?
- What unique perspective do you bring to your area of expertise? What have you done before coaching that helps you today?
P for Product is the fourth P of the 7Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala. It also stands for services, but that didn’t start with a P 😉
Step 4: Set your prices
As a coach, setting your prices can be a tricky task. It’s important to find a balance between charging what your services are worth and being accessible to your ideal clients. One approach is to start by researching the prices of other coaches in your niche and taking into consideration your level of experience and expertise. It’s also important to think about the value that you are providing to your clients and how much they are willing to pay for that value. Remember, pricing is not set in stone, so don’t be afraid to adjust your prices as your business grows and evolves. Ultimately, the goal is to create a pricing structure that feels fair to both you and your clients and allows you to sustain your business.
Transparency and clear communication are key factors in setting fair prices for your services or products. Your clients will appreciate your open and honest pricing strategy, and clear information about the value and benefits of your offerings. This helps to build trust and establish a reputation for integrity, which is essential for your long-term success. By clearly communicating your pricing strategy and being transparent about your costs and pricing decisions, you’re demonstrating your commitment to fair and ethical business practices.
Listen to this podcast episode on Pricing your Services.
Step 5: Build Your Website
One of the first marketing activities you’ll do when you start out as a new coach, is to build your website. A website allows you to showcase who you are, your Unique Value Proposition and your coaching services, making it easier for clients to find and connect with you.
Many new coaches underestimate the work behind the website. It’s not just about how it looks (logo and design). The true value of the website is that it effectively communicates who you are, whom you serve and how you serve them. It’s by spending time on what I’ve described above that you will get that clarity and understanding.
You can also use your website to offer free resources, such as blog posts or e-books, to potential clients as a way to establish your expertise and build trust. Finally, your website can also serve as a platform to connect with potential clients through a contact form or scheduling tool or stay in touch with them via a newsletter.
Steps in the website building process:
- Write down your story. Who are you? The true authentic you? What’s your worldview? How did you become who you are today and how does that relate to your ideal client? That’s the content for your About Page.
- Identify your people: Who are you trying to reach? What are their needs and what’s their current situation? Understanding your people is essential to create a website that resonates with them.
- What’s your Unique Value Proposition? How are you different from other coaches? What’s your offer. That’s the content for your ‘work with me’ page.
- Keep it simple and user-friendly: Your website should be easy to navigate and understand. Avoid clutter and unnecessary elements that can distract from your message. Use clear and concise language to communicate your offerings and value proposition.
- Showcase your expertise, your skills, experience, and credentials as a coach. Use testimonials, case studies, and success stories to demonstrate your track record of helping clients achieve their goals.
- Incorporate calls to action: Your website should include clear calls to action that encourage visitors to take action, such as signing up for a free consultation or subscribing to your email list.
- Invest in professional design and development: If you don’t have the skills or expertise to design and develop your website yourself, consider hiring a professional. A well-designed and functional website can be a great investment in your coaching business.
Listen to this episode on the Humane Marketing Podcast: Building effective websites that combine tech and humane business practices
Step 6: Content Marketing for Coaches
Maybe you have heard of ‘Content Marketing’. By creating valuable and informative content, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and build trust with your audience. Writing about your topic of expertise allows you to reach a wider audience and attract potential clients who may be searching for that kind of information either on Google or on Social Media.
There are many different types of content you can create. Blog posts are a popular choice, as they allow coaches to share their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic. Videos are also effective, as they provide a more personal and engaging way to connect with your potential clients. And finally, social media posts can be used to share short, bite-sized pieces of content, such as motivational quotes or tips, and can also be used to promote longer-form content such as blog posts or videos.
When coming up with content, divide your expertise into three to five main topics and then always write about those. You want to be known for those content pillars.
So for example if you were a nutritional coach, you could have the following four content pillars:
- Macro and Micronutrients: This pillar would focus on educating clients about the different types of nutrients that their body needs to function properly. Topics might include the importance of macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. You might provide guidance on how to balance these nutrients in meals and snacks to optimize energy, support weight loss or gain, and improve overall health.
- Meal Planning and Prep: This pillar would focus on helping clients develop healthy and sustainable habits when it comes to meal planning and preparation. Topics might include tips for meal prepping, recipe ideas for healthy meals and snacks, and strategies for staying on track while dining out or traveling.
- Mindful Eating: This pillar would focus on helping clients develop a healthier relationship with food, by emphasizing the importance of mindfulness and intuitive eating. Topics might include strategies for identifying and addressing emotional eating triggers, tips for practicing mindful eating habits, and guidance on tuning in to hunger and fullness cues.
- Lifestyle Factors: This pillar would focus on the role that lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress management, and exercise play in overall health and nutrition. You might provide tips for optimizing these factors to support healthy eating habits and improved wellness.
A content strategy is also part of the Promotion, which is the fifth P of the 7Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala.You can download your One Page Marketing Plan with all 7 Ps of Humane Marketing over here.
Step 7: Social Media Marketing for Coaches
To effectively use social media to market your coaching services, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your ideal client (I know, I repeat myself) and what platforms they use. Different social media platforms attract different demographics, so choose the platforms that align with your values and your ideal clients.
Once you’ve chosen your platforms, it’s important to create a consistent and cohesive presence.
To take back our Nutritional Coach example, here are five content ideas for the Social Media presence:
- Healthy recipe ideas: You could share healthy and nutritious recipe ideas on your social media pages. This could include anything from easy meal prep ideas to creative snack options.
- Myth-busting posts: You could post content that dispels common nutrition myths or misconceptions. This could help your followers better understand what healthy eating really entails, and could clear up any confusion they might have about nutrition.
- Q&A sessions:You could host live Q&A sessions on their social media platforms, where followers can ask questions about nutrition and receive personalized advice from you.
- Inspirational quotes: You could post motivational quotes or messages to encourage your followers to stay on track with their nutrition and wellness goals. This could help keep your followers motivated and focused on their goals.
- Client success stories: You could share success stories from your past clients on your social media pages. This could include before-and-after photos, testimonials, or personal anecdotes that showcase the progress that clients have made with your guidance.
A Social Media strategy is also part of the Promotion, which is the fifth P of the 7Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala.You can download your One Page Marketing Plan with all 7 Ps of Humane Marketing over here.
I’d also like to add that you DON’T HAVE to be on Social Media. In The Client Resonator program we also make space for discussing alternatives to Social Media as more and more participants are interested in staying away from these life-sucking platforms 😉
Step 8: Networking and Partnerships
I’m ready to bet you’ve absolved your training through one of the international coaching accreditations. I know the marketing piece in the training is not always very in-depth, but one thing ICF and the other training institutes offer are plenty of peers for networking and potential partnerships.
Don’t see your fellow coaches as competition! See them as potential partners.
Don’t isolate yourself and instead connect with other professionals in your field and people who can recommend you to others.
Here are five ideas for partnerships between coaches:
- Co-hosting webinars or workshops: you could partner with other coaches to co-host webinars or workshops on related topics. This both helps you reach a wider audience and provide more value to your clients.
- Referral partnerships: you could form referral partnerships with other coaches who offer complementary services. For example, a nutrition coach might partner with a fitness coach, so they can refer clients to each other.
- Collaborating on content creation: you could collaborate on content creation, such as co-authoring blog posts or creating joint podcast episodes. This helps both of you reach new audiences and provide more value to your followers.
- Sharing resources: you could share resources with each other, such as books, courses, or coaching tools. This helps both of you expand your knowledge base and improve the quality of your coaching.
- Mastermind groups: you could form mastermind groups with other coaches to discuss challenges, share ideas, and provide support to each other. This helps all of you grow your business and improve your coaching skills.
Listen to this episode on the Humane Marketing Podcast: 10 vital business relationships
Step 9: Join communities of like-minded people
To find your people in business, join communities where your kind of people hang out.
As a Humane Marketer, seeking out communities that align with your values and mission is essential.
Examples could be online communities, such as Mighty Network groups, LinkedIn groups or even Facebook groups, or in-person communities, such as networking events or industry conferences.
These (free or paid) communities provide a platform to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for ethical and empathetic business practices.
Joining these communities provide opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and support.
By actively participating in these communities, you can build genuine relationships and expand your network of contacts, which can ultimately lead to business growth and success.
Our shared goal in our Humane Marketing Circle community is to bring more empathy and kindness to marketing: we are creating a Humane Marketing Revolution.
Check out if the Humane Marketing Circle is a good fit for you.
Marketing for Coaches: Be authentic, visible and helpful
In conclusion, marketing for coaches is about prioritizing authenticity and heart in their marketing strategies. By focusing on your unique strengths and values, you can create a brand that resonates with your ideal clients and stands out in the industry. Rather than relying on pushy sales tactics or gimmicky marketing schemes, you build relationships with potential clients through genuine connections and a commitment to helping others.
By embracing authentic and humane marketing strategies, you will demonstrate your skills and knowledge in a way that highlights your unique strengths and ultimately resonate with and attract more ideal clients. So, don’t be afraid to let your expertise shine and share your knowledge with the world!
Other Resources You Might Enjoy
Blog post: Find Your People in Business
Blog post: Empathy in Marketing
Blog post: The Humane Marketing Glossary: Humane Marketing Words we love
Podcast episode: Pricing Services: How to Price Your Offers
- Manifesto: The Humane Business Manifesto (no opt-in)
- Creed: The Humane Marketing Creed (no opt-in)
- The One-Page Marketing Plan (email opt-in)
- Find Your People, Jennie Allen
- Lingo, Jeffrey Shaw
- Transparency, Penney Peirce
- Marketing Like We’re Human, Sarah Santacroce
- Selling Like We’re Human, Sarah Santacroce
The Humane Marketing Circle is our community of Humane Marketers.