Running a coaching business comes with its fair share of unique marketing challenges. For one, you're selling a service that's based largely on trust – people need to believe that you can help them before they invest in your services. Your marketing efforts need to reflect this and instill confidence in potential clients that you're the right coach for them.
And, on top of that, you may have a lot of tasks on your plate, from offering time-consuming one-on-one coaching sessions to onboarding new clients – all of which can make marketing feel like an afterthought.
But marketing needs to be a priority if you want to build a sustainable and successful coaching business.
Note: if you want access to tools to help you manage, organize and streamline your coaching business, try Bonsai. Bonsai is the best tool for coaches to run their businesses. We offer invoices, proposals, contract templates, and task management to time tracking. Claim your 7-day free trial here.
When writing your coaching business plan, here are some of our top tips, strategies, and tactics for marketing your services:
While one-on-one coaching will always be the bread and butter of your business, developing a signature program or course can help you attract new coaching clients and scale your business.
A signature program is a comprehensive coaching solution that you offer to clients, typically in the form of an online course or an intensive program that meets regularly over weeks or months.
Creating a signature program allows you to package your unique coaching methods and expertise into an easily digestible format that can be marketed to a wider audience. And because you can sell these programs again and again, they provide a great way to generate passive income and scale your business.
If you’re not sure where to start, think about the areas of coaching you specialize in or the problems your clients often come to you for help. These are usually the topics that you’re most passionate about and have the most expertise in, making them the perfect foundation for a signature program.
For instance, if you’re a dating coach, your signature program could be an online course on how to find love after 40. Or if you help people overcome career burnout, your program could be an intensive email course on how to find your dream job.
By developing a signature coaching package or program, you’ll be able to attract clients, provide more value to the ones you already have, and scale your business in a profitable and sustainable way.
The key to creating a successful Facebook group is to make it irresistible – somewhere people will want to hang out because they know they’ll get value from doing so. This means regular posting, engagement with members, and providing truly useful, interesting, and relevant content to your target audience.
You can also use your Facebook group to run promotional campaigns and drive traffic to your website or other online platforms.
For example, you could run a contest or giveaway, with the prize being a free coaching session or a free consultation. Or you could offer a discount on your services to members of the group.
Whatever promotional activities you choose to run, make sure they’re in line with the overall tone and purpose of the group, and that they add value for members rather than feeling like a hard sell.
Note: Try Bonsai's invoice, contract and coaching proposal templates to easily create these business documents. Our pre-made templates are easy to customize and send to potential clients. Claim a 7-day free trial here.
Social proof can be a powerful marketing tool for coaches, and one of the best ways to generate it is through referrals. It can be a major selling point when potential clients see that you have happy, satisfied clients who are willing to vouch for your services.
One way to encourage referrals is to offer existing clients a discount or other incentive for referring new clients to you. This could be a percentage off their next coaching session or a freebie like an e-book or mini-course.
You could also offer a referral program to your network of colleagues, friends, and family. For example, you could offer them a commission for every new client they refer to you. This is a great way to get the word out about your business to people who already know and trust you.
For coaches, LinkedIn is probably the most valuable social network for making powerful connections and winning new coaching clients.
This is because LinkedIn is full of potential clients who are already interested in the services you offer. And, since LinkedIn is a professional network, people are more likely to be open to being approached about coaching than they would be on other social media platforms, like Instagram or Twitter.
To make the most of LinkedIn, start by optimizing your profile so that it’s clear what you do and how you can help potential clients.
For instance, if you're a fitness coach who helps people get in shape, ensure this is reflected in your headline and summary. Ensure you include some relevant keywords so that people can find you when they’re searching for a coach.
Then, start connecting with people in your target market, and look for opportunities to engage with them – for example, by leaving thoughtful comments on their posts or sharing articles that you think they’ll find interesting.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out and invite ideal clients to have a conversation with you. You could end up with a whole new roster of clients by simply taking the initiative and making the first move.
To many coaches who are getting their businesses off the ground, paid ads can seem like a big expense. The cost of advertising can quickly add up, and it’s not always clear whether or not it’s worth the investment.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to give paid ads a try, here are a few things to keep in mind:
The key to succeeding in paid advertising is to target the right audience. This may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised by the number of coaches who shell out money for ads without taking the time to understand what makes their ideal client tick.
You can use demographic information like location, age, and job title to narrow down your target audience, and you can also use interests and behaviors to refine further who sees your ads.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, the next step is to create ad copy that resonates with them. Again, this is where having a clear understanding of your target market comes in handy, as you’ll be able to tailor your message to their specific needs and pain points.
When done well, podcasts allow you to share your knowledge and expertise in a way that’s both engaging and convenient for listeners. They can help you reach potential coaching clients who might not have the time or attention span for other types of content, like blog posts or videos.
And, since people tend to build relationships with the hosts of their favorite podcasts, a successful podcast can help you establish a strong personal connection with your target audience – something that’s essential for building trust and winning new clients.
A great idea for coaches is to interview other successful coaches and industry experts and share their insights with your listeners. This can help you achieve two things:
With email marketing, you can reach a wider audience with your message, cultivate relationships with potential and current clients, and generate leads for your online coaching business. And best of all, it’s relatively inexpensive to get started.
To get the most out of email marketing, start by building a list of potential and current clients. You can do this by offering a freebie in exchange for people’s email addresses, using pop-ups on your website, or running a contest or giveaway.
Once you have a list of people to market to, it’s time to start creating email content. Your emails should be personal, informative, and actionable for the best results.
And finally, don’t forget to measure your results so you can fine-tune your email marketing strategy over time. By tracking things like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t -- and make changes accordingly.
Working as a coach often means wearing a lot of hats, which can make it difficult to find time for things like marketing your business.
Bonsai offers you the tools to help you work smarter, not harder. With our all-in-one product suite, you can streamline your work and free up more time to focus on your marketing efforts.
Our platform allows you to close deals faster, onboard new clients more easily, and manage your projects more efficiently. And when the tax season arrives, you can save more money thanks to Bonsai Tax which allows you to track expenses, maximize tax write-offs, and estimate quarterly taxes.
If you’re ready to take your coaching business to the next level, sign up for Bonsai today. We offer a free trial so you can try our product suite and see how it can benefit your coaching business.