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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
These 12 marketing ideas for life coaches, in person and online, will raise your profile to attract quality clients. Most of them can be done on a small marketing budget
2. Testimonials - ways to get them
3. Learn to be seen as an expert
5. Write a book about your niche
FYI: I may receive commissions at no cost to you. Please see my affiliate disclosure for more.
The difference between a skilled coach and a financially successful coach is the latter is able to make a living from their coaching.
This is why learning how to market yourself as a life coach by finding ways to raise your profile and promote your coaching business is so vitally important if you want to make life coaching your career. And a marketing plan doesn't have to involve an expensive business coach or consultant.
Read on as I outline some of the creative and affordable life coach marketing ideas you can consider to get known and attract clients whatever your niche or speciality.
Not all of them will be for you but I hope at least one or two will inspire and resonate with you to research and try.
New coaches, even experienced ones, often don't have a big marketing budget. You'll find the following ways to make yourself more visible to potential clients can do the job for very little outlay.
I'll now give you a brief outline of 12 marketing ideas to consider some of which really worked for me. You'll find more detail on how to go about each one by following the links.
Making new and reinforcing existing connections by networking, whether face to face or on social media, is one of the easiest and most effective marketing strategies you can adopt.
My How to Network page has lots of tips and tricks to help you get the best from both social media connections and face to face networking.
You'll can also learn how to master creating your "Elevator Speech". That is the 30 to 60 second description that captures who you are, who you help and how you help. It's an invaluable asset to use in conversations when asked "what do you do?" and even in any promotional material you create such as business cards and brochures.
Networking also gives you great opportunities for forming useful alliances with other coaches or with complimentary professionals who can refer clients to you. You can read more about The Benefits of Strategic Alliances for life coaches and how to set them up so they really work for you.
Whatever you choose to say about yourself, it's what your past clients say that really mattters. This why testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to market yourself by showing how others have benefited from your coaching.
Having testimonials on your brochure, website or FaceBook page are free and really endorse how good a coach you are.
However, asking client for them can sometimes present challenges for both the coach and the client.
You'll discover some simple strategies for easily getting those great endorsements from delighted clients when you read: how to get life coaching client testimonials that rock!
Being known as an expert in a specific niche is an invaluable point of difference from other coaches and great for attracting those clients in your target market. If you have some work skills, personal life experience or special interest that can positions you as an expert - use it to promote yourself.
To get your expertise across will involve creating a branding message that is authentic, congruent and inspirational. Words that will have your prospective ideal clients 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 from my long time colleague Cindy Schulson of Marketing From Within.
Her free brand message template to get you on the right track, also includes a bonus video training that shows you how to use your Brand Message to attract your ideal clients. Do take advantage of Cindy's generosity and wisdom.
Many coaches I know have benefited from her help and her mentor program is worth checking out.
Even in these days of online connection with potential clients, there can still be value in investing a physical business card to hand out as part of your marketing strategy.
But how can you make sure that your business card really gets your message across and is kept for future reference rather than ending up in the bin, or worst still, leave the recipient wondering "who was that?".
Check out these creative business card idea and tips 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 anywhere there is an opportunity for a get to know you chat.
Your website can also be your online business card, so be sure to read how to make that website "work" for you from the link in marketing idea No. 8.
Writing a book centred around your life coaching niche and expertise is a fantastic way of raising your profile and establishing yourself as an authority to attract clients.
Becoming an author is one of THE top proven marketing ideas for a coach I know and have experienced.
Your book, if it gives true value, will give you status and credibility, not to mention extra income.
I attracted many quality clients through my first book Ready Set Goal and have recently rewritten it specifically as a guide for coaches as Mastering the Art of goals Coaching.
This link Writing And Publishing A Book About Your Life Coaching will show you what it takes to easily get started as an author as well as the advice on different way to get published. It is also available, to keep and refer to, as an eBook you can preview here.
In person presentations
If you get up at conferences and networking events in person to talk about some aspect of your coaching and demonstrate the issues it can solve, your credibility as a coach will grow and the rewards will be huge.
In Becoming a Speaker, in the context of your coaching, I discuss ways to overcome speaking nerves and some easy ways to get support as you begin.
From my own experience, I share hints on creating a presentation that will really engage your audience and have them wanting more. I also show you how to make the logistics of your in person presentation run smoothly and avoid the stuff-ups that can ruin even the best prepared talk.
Webinars or online presentations weren't even around when I started coaching. These days, giving a visual, interactive presentation or workshop that promotes your message as a coach, has become 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 prepared and presented. Few people will walk out of a poor live presentation, but will easily click away online.
There is quite a skill in making webinars work for you. The bottom line is that it needs to offer value more than just self-promotion if it is to be authentic, and put together in a way that engages your audience to want to stay to the end.
All this information, and more, is now also available for you to keep and easily refer to as an eBook.
Many coaches offer a free 'try before you buy' session as one of their marketing strategies. They sometimes call it a 'discovery session' or 'free assessment'.
The rational behind the free session 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 until it didn't! However, there are two schools of thought about this and here I cover the pros and cons of the introductory free life coaching session. You can also preview my guide on Mastering The Coaching Discovery Session, which I'm happy to say has had some great reviews.
Having a website that looks pretty and gives lots of information about what you do and how you coach is just the beginning. Having a website that is easily found by the search engines when people are looking for a coach, and is written in such a way that it attracts and engages prospective life coaching clients can be something else.
You'll find lots of helpful information for your coaching website and tips on making sure it will do it's job 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, writing articles for 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) 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 Guidelines for both posting comments and accepting contributions to make this marketing idea work for you and you get the results from your time and efforts.
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 or landing page designated by you to promote your coaching. This is intended to encourage people to contact you for more information or to take the action you want, such as signing up for an introductory or discovery session.
You pay for the times someone clicks on your AD. How much you pay is your choice depending on your budget.
I found Google Adwords the best life coaching advertising idea once I got the keywords right. The key to a successful Adwords campaign is to choose wording that will ensure that Google places your Ad on the best pages to attract the visitors and prospective clients you are after. I found it took a bit of experimenting to get it right but then it really did work for me. Google has lots of information to help to you with this.
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 and promote yourself as a coach.
Beware! Not all forums will be useful to you as a marketing idea.
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 uncensored promotions that you will find it hard to find an opportunity for a sensible discussion or comment. I know I've joined and quickly left several of these.
The key to an effective and valuable coaching forum is how well it is moderated so it encourages useful conversations yet controls excessive promotions.
I can recommend the FaceBook Coaches Helping Coaches forum which is strictly moderated and keeps the main wall free of promotions (I own up to being a volunteer moderator for this forum). This means there is enough space on the wall for genuine questions and answers about coaching. However, there are plenty of opportunities for promoting your coaching services on specific days.
The sponsor of this forum, The Coaching Tools Company, also has a newsletter which is really worthwhile subscribing too for loads of great articles, free coaching tools and special offers.
They also offer packs of processes that would be useful whatever your coaching focus from a time saving Welcome Pack to helpful coaching aids including Personal Growth Coaching, Work Life Balance, Business, Career and Productivity and Time Management packs to name a few.
Have a look at the The Maga Pack which includes 16 packs and products is the best value as it covers just about everything you are likely to need in a coaching situation.
If you don't want the full kits, many of the templates in them can be purchased separately or are free.
You only have to murmur that you need help with your marketing and you'll attract a bunch of self-appointed life coach marketing gurus promising to teach you this or that fail-safe magic bullet to get your lots of clients (sometimes at great expense). Unfortunately many of these marketing people have no understand or idea of how to market life coaching.
If you are thinking of engaging a marketing consultant, do check that they have successfully worked with coaches and that the marketing method they teach is something you enjoy, or at least find a pleasurable challenge, rather than one that may cause you stress and may not get the results you need. One size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to a life coach marketing plan.
Read about the research I suggest you do before engaging a marketing consultant to help with your life coach marketing plan. It could save you stress and $$.
So there you have it. I hope you find some of these coach marketing ideas appeal to you and help you get results. Of course, as I said at the beginning, not all marketing ideas for a life coach on this page will appeal to you.You will have to discover what is your best fit to get results. I'd also suggest that you only focus on one or two at a time otherwise you may become overwhelmed and scattered.