For almost all coaches the following applies: They want to earn at least part of their living with their coaching services. For this they need sufficient clients or customers. So they must actively and effectively market themselves and their services. 12 tips on how to do this.
Marketing tip 1: Coaches are now a dime a dozen. The run on coaching assignments is correspondingly high, and their number is usually overestimated. That’s why every coach today needs a stringent marketing strategy in order to get enough orders.
Marketing Tip 2: No matter whether you see yourself as an executive or sales coach, career or conflict coach, you have a virtually unmanageable number of competitors. You can see for yourself if you enter the relevant words as search terms in Google & Co. Therefore, even if you specialize as a coach – for example, coaching executives or people with weight problems – you need a convincing argumentation why potential clients should hire you and not one of your competitors.
Marketing Tip 3: Check before you invest time and/or money in your self-marketing as a coach: Do I have a realistic chance of earning my living as a coach in the medium term – for example, based on my biography (or should coaching be just one of the services in my portfolio)? This is especially true for all coaches whose target group is private individuals, i.e. self-payers. This is because the number of people who are willing to pay 100 Euros or more for a coaching session from their private purse is limited.
Marketing Tip 4: Coaches, compared to executive and sales trainers as well as organizational consultants, usually only land small orders – for example, an order for 6 coaching sessions of 100 to 250 Euros each (depending on the profile and specialization of the coach). That’s why your marketing machinery has to run like clockwork if you want to keep on working at full capacity.
Marketing tip 5: Nobody (or almost nobody) flies from Munich to Hamburg for a one or two-hour coaching session or has a coach flown in from there. Therefore, coaching is primarily a regional business. Focus your marketing largely on the region where you live or have your office. This is especially true for coaches whose clients pay for themselves.
Marketing Tip 6: As a coach whose clients are private individuals, you cannot write to all the residents of a city such as Frankfurt, for example, to win them as clients. This would – even if you had saved their addresses – go beyond your financial budget. You can also not send your target clients suspicious e-mails with advertising statements such as: “Are you too fat, do you want to lose weight? Or, “Are you at a dead end professionally? Do you want to change?” Or, “Are you threatened by burnout? Do you want to avoid it?” …because that would make some recipients very angry. So you have to find other ways to make sure that your target customers come across you with problems. For example, with a meaningful website that can be easily found in Google searches.
Marketing Tip 7: As a coach, do not optimize your website with such general terms as “career coach” and “career coaching” or “executive coach and executive coaching”. Because then you have zero chance of landing on the first hit page in Google searches, at least as a lone fighter with a relatively small budget of time and money. Instead, optimize your website or its source code for such word combinations as “career coach …” or “relationship coach Hamburg”. This will increase the chance that your website will eventually appear on the first two hit pages of corresponding search queries. Besides: What use is it to you as a Hamburg resident if a person in Munich finds your website if your business is primarily regional? Nothing! The same applies to coaches who are at home in the B2B sector. You should optimize your website for such word combinations like “sales coach medium-sized businesses” or “sales coach trade”.
Marketing Tip 8: Not every prospective customer who inquires about your coaching services is already so hot that they immediately decide in favor of coaching – this is especially true if your services are “sinfully expensive” from the prospective customer’s point of view. So you as a coach need a time-saving and cost-effective system to keep in touch with these people until the problem is so hot that they decide to go for coaching. As a coach whose clients are private individuals, consider whether a blog in combination with Facebook could fulfil this function. As a coach whose clients are business clients, you should rather rely on (electronic) newsletters and telephone calls with the decision makers in the companies.
Marketing Tip 9: You also need a corresponding system to keep in touch with former clients or coachees. After all, they are important multipliers, as they already know you as well as your competence and working methods.
Marketing Tip 10: As a coach, make sure that you give a presentation about twice a year in your target region – for example in Hamburg or Munich. Where is relatively unimportant; the main thing is that you have a forum. In addition to important multipliers, invite to this presentation all persons who, for example, have expressed interest in your services in the past year by e-mail or telephone. Use the invitation sent to you as an opportunity to call important people.
Marketing tip 11: Do press work “moderately but regularly”. In other words, try to publish an article on a core topic of your work two or three times a year – it doesn’t matter in which magazine. After publication, place the article on your website as further proof of your competence and send it to all those with whom you wish to maintain or expand contact.
Marketing Tip 12: Have enough stamina and patience. Even if you invest a lot of time and/or money in your marketing, it will take at least two or three years before you are firmly established as a coach in your market. As a newcomer to the coaching market, take this into account when drawing up your business plan and financial planning. Otherwise, there is a high risk that you will have to reorient yourself professionally after one year because you are broke, even though your competence would actually give you a good chance of establishing yourself as a coach in the market in the medium term.