“Marketing is hard… and boring… and complicated… and it takes foreeeeeever to work.
All I really want to do is coach. Why do I have to market?”
Admit it. You’ve had those thoughts.
We’ve all had those thoughts. Because they’re true.
Nevertheless, if you want clients, you have to market.
Let’s call it Microwave Marketing.
Let’s get started.
12 fairly quick & easy things you can do TODAY to jumpstart your marketing
(In the interests of full disclosure, although you can do these tasks today some of them will take regular attention to maximize your results.)
1. Start an Email List (20-30 minutes)
I know you don’t want to hear this but statistics show that most people will visit your website only one time and then never return.
But we also know that they will need to hear your marketing message (who you are and what you do) 7-12 times before they become a client.
If they only come to your website once, how will they hear your message 7-12 times?
Good question. The only way to stay in touch with prospects after they leave your website is if they have added their name to your mailing list.
When you begin gathering names for an email list, you are in the powerful position of being able to stay in contact with your potential clients instead of always hoping they will remember to come back to you.
Like Pizza Hut, you now have permission to deliver the goods right to their house instead of hoping they will get in their car and drive to see you.
Thankfully, starting a newsletter list is incredibly cheap and easy to do.
- Get an email account with ConstantContact, iContact or MailChimp.
- Create a sign-up form to place on your website.
- Add the sign-up form to every page of your website.
The sooner you begin your list, the more time you will have to devote to building key relationships. Go ahead, deliver the pizza while they’re still hungry J.
2. Join a Facebook or LinkedIn Group (15 minutes)
If given a choice of fishing in a lake with only one fish, or casting your line in a lake full of fish, the right choice is obvious. Marketing to people where they gather in groups makes more sense then trying to get to people one by one.
Internet groups are an easy and efficient way to get your message out to a lot of people at the same time.
Go to the search bar at the top of your Facebook or LinkedIn page. Type in the keywords associated with your niche. A list will pop up, and you can choose to narrow down the list so that it shows only the groups.
Browse through the top groups until you find one that is active (people posting regularly). If it is an open group you can join immediately. If it is a closed group, click the join button and the group administrator will add your name within the next few days.
Once you are accepted into the group, write a short post introducing yourself, but always remember why you are there.
It’s counterproductive to jump in trying to ‘sell’ yourself or to direct people to your website. You are there to build relationships.
Don’t worry. Interact regularly; add value continually – and eventually, some of those relationships will result in eager clients.
3. Create or Update Your Email Signature (10 minutes)
Think about how many emails you send out everyday. If you are like the average person, it’s a lot. Why not make each of those emails a silent but steady reminder of who you are and the valuable work you do?
Under your name, include your contact information, website address and your tagline or a link to your free offer.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
4. Add Testimonials (or if you have some already, update them and add more) (30 minutes)
Your mother taught you not to brag about yourself, and she was right. It’s not only annoying; it’s not very credible.
People today are a little skeptical. They want social proof. That’s why the second or third most visited page on most websites is the testimonial page. Potential clients want proof that you are who you say you are and that you really are good at what you do.
Who has said something nice about your coaching lately? Start with them.
Ask them if they are willing to put their kind thoughts in writing or write down what they’ve said previously and ask them if you can post it.
Another way to solicit testimonials is through LinkedIn. If you are already connected to someone, LinkedIn has a simple (one button) process you can follow to ask for a testimonial. Just look for the “Ask for Recommendations” button in the top right hand column of your profile page.
Keep in mind that the more information you can include about the person giving the testimonial the more believable it will be. Ask permission to include any or all of the following things: full name, picture and/or a link back to their website.
Take it a step further. Consider adding some of those testimonials to other relevant places on your website as well as to the testimonials page.
5. Make a List of Five Prominent Coaches and/or Bloggers in Your Niche (60 minutes)
Almost everything good that has ever happened to my business has come directly or indirectly from a relationship I’d developed with someone else.
Thus, contrary to common thought, coaches and other bloggers in your niche are not your competition but your tribe.
Those who succeed in marketing their businesses online are those who have learned to collaborate with others. Getting to know the influential people in your niche is one of the fastest ways to increase the market’s awareness of who you are and what you do.
Go to Google Blog Search (http://www.google.com/blogsearch) and type in the keywords for your niche. Browse through the top blogs and note those you resonate with the most.
Subscribe to their blogs.
Add the blogs to a separate folder in your browser’s bookmark system. This will allow you to quickly and easily click on them whenever you have a few spare minutes.
Continue to faithfully read their blogs over the next few weeks and then follow the directions in Step 6.
6. Comment on 5 blogs in Your Industry (30 minutes)
For this tip, go to blogs that you already follow or those you identified in the step above.
Comments are the fuel that website owners and bloggers run on. Encourage your fellow coaches by taking a minute to tell them how much you appreciate what they do. Be specific. This is a good way to build relationships, plus leaving comments is just the right thing to do.
But as icing on the cake, leaving comments can also send a link back to your website which may raise your Google ranking.
The more links you have to your website from related websites, the more impressed Google is and the higher they rank you.
Make a practice of leaving comments weekly.
7. Send out a Short Survey to Your Current Clients and to Everyone on Your Mailing List (60 minutes)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve guessed what my potential clients will want and been totally wrong. I’ve learned the hard way that the only way to truly know what someone wants is to ask.
Where are you stuck in your coaching business? Write a short survey (3 questions or less so that people will fill it out) to find out what people really want. And don’t forget to send them a thank you email for investing their time in your business.
Act on their suggestions.
8. Review Your Homepage Web Copy (30-60minutes)
Count how many sentences you have describing you, your qualifications or the process of coaching on the homepage of your website.
Now count how many sentences describe the benefits your clients will receive from coaching.
Hopefully, the second list is MUCH longer than the first.
As much as we love the process of coaching and have worked hard for our qualifications, potential clients aren’t as interested in the “who” and “how” of what we do until they see “what” it is that we can do for them.
Rewrite your homepage copy so that the benefits are the most prominent thing. They should be clear, visible and succinct. Using bullets points always works well.
If you are not sure how to do this, check out the web copy of other successful service professionals.
9. Add a Facebook “Like” button to Every Page of Your Website (20 minutes)
Facebook is the largest social network on the planet. With over 500 million users, chances are that your target market is using it, too.
A Facebook “like” button gives people an easy way to share your content. With just one click, your page, article or post could go out to hundreds of other people that you wouldn’t have been able to reach in any other way.
To do this, go to Facebook’s Like Button Configuration Page: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/.
First, choose how you want to configure the button. Then, copy the code that Facebook provides and paste it onto your web pages or in your blog posts wherever you want the ‘like’ button to appear.
If you don’t know how to do this, a tech savvy friend or your web developer will be able to help you.
10. Develop a Facebook Business Page (60 minutes)
A Facebook Business Page provides an easy way to stay in touch with people and to build a sense of community. All you need to set one up is a personal Facebook account. (If you don’t have one of those, it’s time to get one.)
Facebook provides easy step-by-step instructions for setting up your business page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
You don’t need to learn all the ‘bells and whistles’ to get started. Simply type in your business name and ask your friends to come by and ‘like’ it. Each time that they do, a status notice stating that they liked your business will go out to all their friends, who may just click over to come check it out.
Once your Facebook Business Page is set up, post a short inspirational quote, business tip, link to a helpful article, etc. once a day. Your helpful content will draw more and more people in and the word about your coaching will start to get out.
11. Develop a Marketing Schedule (30-60 minutes)
Often marketing is first thing pushed to the bottom of an entrepreneur’s list of things to do. There are so many marketing tasks that need to get done it can be overwhelming and almost paralyzing.
A daily, weekly and/or monthly marketing schedule will keep you moving forward.
Block out 2-5 hours for marketing each week. I know; you don’t have the time. You don’t have time to eat either, but you do it. Why? Because you know it’s the fuel that keeps your body going.
Review your top active marketing strategies. Choose a mixture of online and offline activities that you want to engage in daily or weekly.
As much as possible, do those tasks first thing every morning. That way, they will never fall to the bottom of the list again.
12. Get Accountability (60 minutes)
Building a coaching business takes time and effort. It can be hard to stay motivated long enough to see success.
Thankfully there are many options for this:
Formal Mastermind Group– Find 2-3 other like-minded coaches and start your own mastermind group. If you don’t know anyone locally, put the word out online and start a group over the telephone.
Buddy Coach – Find one other coach who has similar goals and take turns coaching one another and keeping each other on track.
Mentor Coach – Hire an experienced and successful coach who has walked this road before you. The money you spend on a mentor coach more than pays for itself with the mistakes it saves you and the clients it brings.
While accountability can involve many things, at a minimum determine your measurable goals, set a deadline, and then check in regularly.
Now it’s your turn.
Pick two to four of the activities and do them today. Who knows what results God might bring?
And take a minute to share some of the most leveraged marketing activities that you have done in the comment section below. We would love to learn from you.