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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Probably the most basic item in your marketing toolbox is a business card. Take a peek at these creative business card ideas so you can be sure that your card will "work" for you and make you memorable to the people you meet at networking functions, a party, or even on the train or plane.
And if you are on a budget designing your own cards on Vistaprint is really easy and I have found their delivery service excellent.
Making new and re-establishing connections by face to face networking is one of the easiest and most effective marketing strategies you can adopt, so resolve to get out there physically among potential clients.
My How to Network page has lots of tips and tricks to help you get the best from social and face to face networking, even if it scares you. You'll also learn how to master the "Elevator Speech", that 30 to 60 second description of what you do and who you help. You can read more about crafting an elevator speech here.
Networking also gives you great opportunities for forming alliances with other coaches or complimentary professions. You can read more about The Benefits of Strategic Alliances for life coaches and how to set them up so they best work for you.
This is one of the most powerful and no cost marketing ideas you can adopt. Getting testimonials on your brochure or website are free and really endorse how good a coach you are.
However, asking client for them can sometimes present challenges for both the coaches and the client's.
You'll discover all you need to know and some simple strategies for easily getting those endorsements in my page; how to get life coaching client testimonials that rock!
What do you really understand, are already qualified in or have in your background that could become your coaching specialty or niche?
Being known as an expert in a specific niche is an invaluable point of difference. If you have some work skills, personal life experience or special interest that positions you as an expert -promote it.
An identifiable expertise will make your target marketing much simpler. This can also tie in with the process of choosing your own niche - a subject many new coaches get confused about. My page about choosing and marketing your niche will support you in the process. Learn how to choose and market your niche.
You also need to be able to create a message that is authentic, congruent and inspirational. A message that will have your target market wanting to know more and feel confident that you are the coach for them. For many of us easier said than done but free help is at hand.........
Writing a book centred around life coaching is a fantastic way of raising your profile, establishing yourself as an authority and attracting clients.
And yes, you’ll hear people say that a book is just an expensive calling card but it needn't be, if you go about it the right way. Becoming an author is one of THE top proven marketing for a coach strategies I know.
Also, if you list and promote your book up on Amazon and other online book sites it can be a useful extra income stream!
Your book will give you status and credibility. It's also something to promote when networking and sell at the speaking engagements I talk about in the next tip!
I attracted many quality clients through my first book Ready Set Goal, (now superseded by Be Your Own Goals Coach) and this page will support you to get started on Writing And Publishing Your Own Book.
I've also included suggestions on making an easy start with a simple booklet of tips (which is what I did). You'll find it really useful, especially if you feel writing a full book is too big a challenge to start with.
If you can overcome any fear you have of public speaking and get up at conferences and events to talk about some aspect of your coaching and the issues it can solve, your credibility as a coach will grow and the rewards will be huge.
On my page about Becoming a Motivational Speaker I discuss how to put a presentation together that will really engage your audience and have them wanting more. Also, it covers how to avoid the logistical stuff ups that can spoil your talk and some easy ways to learn the craft of public speaking.
Many coaches offer a free 'try before you buy' session as one of their marketing strategies. They call it a 'discovery session' or 'free consultation'.
The rational behind the concept is that people don’t always understand what life coaching is
and so need to experience it and the coach, before they make a decision.
On the surface it's a good plan and it worked well for me. However, there are two schools of thought about this and this page covers the pros and cons of the introductory free life coaching session.
Having a website that looks pretty and gives lots of information about what you do and how you coach is one thing. Having a website that is easily found by the search engines and is written in such a way that it attracts life coaching clients and sales can be quite another.
You'll find lots of helpful information for your coaching website and tips on making sure your website engages your visitors in Life Coaching Websites.
And do have a look at Website Mistakes, for 14 things NOT to do when creating your website.
Being a guest blogger or commenting on someone else's blog can be a creative way of getting known and recognised as a life coach who has something worthwhile to say.
Your post will invariably include a link to your website which can earn your extra visitors and even clients.
However, there are (of course) tips and traps you need to be aware of if your words of wisdom are to enhance rather than inhibit your reputation - not to mention your standing with Google and the other Search Engines (yes there is more than one!).
Read my guest blogging and commenting tips to get ahead with this marketing idea.
Webinars weren't even around when I started coaching but giving a visual, interactive online workshop that gives value and promotes your message as a coach, is one of the favourite ways of getting your face out there attracting clients.
I've seen some great webinars and some that have me turning off within a minute or two because they are so badly presented, so there is quite a skill in making it work for you. The bottom line is that it needs to offer value more than self-promotion if it is to be authentic.
I can't do much better than refer you The Ultimate Guide To Webinars which gives the full picture of what a webinar is and 37 great tips to help you get it right.
Sometimes it really does pay to advertise! Basically, how Adwords works is that each time someone clicks on your AD it goes to a website page designated by you to promote your coaching and hopefully engage with you for more information or to take the action you want such as signing up for an introductory session.
You pay for each click and how much you pay is your choice depending on your budget. The key to a successful Adwords campaign is to get the keywords right so that Google places it to attract the site visitors and prospective clients you are after. Google has lots of information and help to get it right here.
There are lots of forums for life coaches on Facebook and LinkedIn where you can start a discussion or comment on someone else's post.
Beware! Not all forums will be useful to you.
Some will have been started by other coaches or marketing consultants with the sole purpose of promoting themselves and their offerings. Others will be poorly moderated and so overloaded with promotions that you will find it hard to get a sensible discussion or comment.
I know I've joined and quickly left several of these. The key to an effective and valuable forum is how well it is moderated so it encourages conversations yet controls excessive promotions.
There are two I can recommend:
Coaches Helping Coaches which is strictly moderated and keeps the main wall free of promotions. This means there is space for questions and answers although there are plenty of opportunities for promotions on specific days.
ICF (International Coach Federation) forum which is not currently well moderated although I understand they are addressing this. However, it does keep you in touch with what's happening in the life coaching world. The ICF is the leading independent life coaching organisation that credentials coaches and accredits coach trainings.
So there you have it. I hope you find some of these coach marketing ideas appeal to you and help you get results.
You'll find there are loads of self-appointed coach marketing gurus promising to teach you this or that failsafe strategy to get your lots of clients (often at great expense).
If you are thinking of engaging a coach marketing consultant do check that their marketing method is something you enjoy or at least find a pleasurable challenge rather than one that may cause you stress.
You can read more about the research I recommend you do before engaging a marketing consultant here.