3 Proven Marketing Techniques for Coaches (Part 1)

Have you ever wished you could sit down with an experienced successful coach and ask her to share the benefit of her experience and her most effective business-building techniques? Well now you can with this 3-part series.

Here are my 3 favorite hard-learned most effective marketing methods. These techniques result in new clients, speaking and training opportunities for me. The first is covered in today’s article with Part 2 in June and Part 3 to follow the last week of July.

  1. Define and Refine Your WHO and WHAT
  2. Public Speaking
  3. Conduct Complimentary Consultations

How did I come to learn these methods? As a personal and business coach, speaker, and trainer, I have studied and learned from some of the best business coaches, marketers, lecturers, webinars, and teleseminars. This is the end product of what I have distilled from the experts in simple actionable steps. Guess what? They work!

As a new, highly motivated, passionate coach, it took me awhile to really comprehend that “doing” my business was quite different than marketing it. It took getting into the minds of my target market, my future clients, to know how they think and what helps them buy from me.

TECHNIQUE #1. Define and refine your WHO and WHAT.

That is WHO you serve and WHAT you do for them. Who is your ideal client? What sub-population do they belong to? Are your ideal clients in specific industries, companies of a certain size, individuals in a certain age range, gender, life stage? Consider what problem your audience shares in common. What keeps them up at night?

For example, as a coach you might describe your target audience as business executives. That’s fairly broad. Compare that to saying you specialize in helping mid-life executives who secretly want to escape the corporate world and start their own business. Feel the difference? Now you can learn where this population hangs out, what they read, what groups they belong to and who might know them. This helps you ask for referrals and decide where to network, speak, or write to them.

Notice if you feel resistance, as many coaches do, to narrowing your audience. We like to feel inclusive, right? And many of us feel we can coach anyone! I am asking you to consider, for the sake of marketing, getting very specific because that’s how your buyers think! They see themselves as unique and want a customized approach, working with someone who “gets them” and has some expertise.

Choosing a specific marketing audience will do this. You’ll also learn what your audience’s complaints are and what they think they need. You increase your credibility and create a perceived expertise. This one action has led to my getting invited to speak to rooms filled with my target audience and has increased my referrals.

Start with one specific sub-population and develop a marketing approach that works. Later you can add another audience and repeat the process.

After you define your WHO, you are now well on your way to identifying your WHAT. What do you do for your clients? What might former clients say about how their business or personal life is different after spending 3-6 months working with you? Besides clients being happier, what measurable, observable, tangible results and outcomes do you deliver?

Using our earlier target audience example, perhaps you help mid-life executives plan their corporate escape by determining what business they want to start, the steps needed to prepare, and help them get started. Be sure to use the language of your specific target audience and keep it conversational.

TAKE ACTION! Fill in the blanks on this 1-line elevator speech using your WHO and WHAT. “My name is __________ and I help ____________ (your specific ideal target market) so they can _________________ (your specific outcomes delivered).” Start testing this statement as an email tagline and in networking or casual conversations and see what happens.

See how people respond and start focusing your marketing on this audience. Network, speak, write, and ask for referrals to meet and speak with your ideal target market. You will notice a greater ease, less stress and more success.

Gail Sussman Miller, of Inspired Choice, teaches women solopreneurs how to love marketing obstacles and overcome them with ease. Gail teaches a teleclass, “Find Your Speaking Audience by Knowing Your WHO and WHAT.” Hear a no-cost recording at www.howtolovespeaking.com to learn more about this powerful marketing tool. It’s so helpful it’s almost like cheating!

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