Kim Avery Coaching

Six Reasons Why You Need a Strategic Marketing Plan

by | 33 comments

I went to the grocery store last night after work. I didn’t have a list. In fact, all I really knew was that I needed something to cook for dinner.

I meandered the aisles aimlessly, backtracked several times, spent over $100.00 and still didn’t have anything to cook for dinner (not counting the yogurt-covered pretzels, which were delicious but not nutritious).

Worst of all, I have to do it all over again tonight, because I’ve still been too busy to write a meal plan.

When will I ever learn that any amount of time spent in planning is more than made up for in execution?

Unfortunately, many coaches approach marketing much like I tackled the grocery store: spending too much money, having too many things, but still lacking the basic essentials.

You don’t want that to happen to you.

Planning is powerful. It…

1. Creates synergy. Like following a great recipe, a marketing plan ensures that you are not just doing things right you are working on the right things. It pulls the various tasks you are working on into a cohesive whole.

2. Exposes blind spots. The reason you write a grocery list is to make sure you don’t forget an essential ingredient, and a strategic plan helps you see what marketing pieces may be missing.

3. Is motivating. Knowing exactly how your Grandmother’s Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Cake will taste motivates you to tackle that complicated recipe. So, having a marketing plan coupled with a goal brings a whole new level of energy to your coaching practice.

4. Uncovers new ideas for growth and improvement. We browse recipe websites because we get bored eating the same old things. Likewise, a marketing plan helps us envision new strategies and ideas that will move us from where we are to where we want to be.

5. Determines specific objectives and action items. While planning begins with possibilities it ends by charting a specific path that will bring about results. Just like it is easier to go to the grocery store with a detailed list, it’s much easier to find time for marketing when you wake up in the morning and know exactly what you need to do.

6. Establishes accountability. Knowing when the company will arrive motivates us to get the cooking done in time, and specific goals and deadlines keep your business alive and on track. A plan allows you to test results, adjust what isn’t working and then celebrate when your hard work is done.

Before I go to the grocery store tonight, I’m going to sit down to plan this week’s meals and make a grocery list.

While I do that, why don’t you set aside some time to write a strategic marketing plan for your coaching business.

We’ll both be glad we did.


  1. Kim Avery

    Happy Friday, coaches. It’s been a joy hearing all your marketing successes and celebrations this week. I’m so glad you are both participating in the challenge and sharing with our community.

    Thank you.

    I pray that you will take some much deserved rest this week. Enjoy this world our God has created.

    I hope to see you back ready and eager to move forward Monday morning.

    May Christ Be All,


  2. Mary Lou Caskey

    Excited about spending am in person marketing day with Kim Avery and two other special ladies!

  3. Frank Mason

    Excellent advice, once again!

    Today’s business building activity is to schedule time for a planning session with my wife, who is studying marketing for an MBA, to begin drawing up a srategic marketing plan.

    Thanks, and God bless.

  4. Kinsey

    Kim, I can’t get past that Ooey gooey chocolate cake! Just kidding. Great reminder of the value of planning ahead thank you very much.

  5. Cristina

    Boy Kim, if there is one thing that I am getting from this is NOT to wander around in the world of marketing; continue to shoot darts in hopes of it hitting something.

    And yes, going to Target without a plan has left me wondering where all my money went 🙂 Again thank you!

  6. Tammy Resler

    Yep, yep, yep! Love this oh so practical insight and advice! Thanks Kim!

  7. MaryAnn

    Day 10: Although I’ve known the “Why’s” for a plan, it continues to be my nemesis! In thinking about it just now, something that I heard on last week’s PCCI call in which you coached Susan sunk in another layer. The marketing plan has felt like such a jumbled “pile of spaghetti” – to use her word picture. I have known that I was missing examples of plans within my niche, but never came across any. Now that I have so much of the theory, the different moving pieces and parts, the personalized “why, what, & how” behind the things that I want to do, it has felt like a pile of spaghetti! It’s no wonder that I move so slowly, get continually discouraged, and am so easily distracted to follow another ‘rabbit trail!’

    So, I think my first step is to go and take a bird’s eye view of several experts whom I follow, and see what I can extract from their on-line info what their calendars might look like. I imagine I will see some different “containers” for how they chunk their processes and programs, and I’m guessing some may not actually be as organized as I think.

  8. Tracy Flori

    Had a meeting with my graphic designer this morning. Also spending the day tweaking my Home, About and Endorsement pages for the new website. Enjoy the weekend!

  9. Oge

    Kim one thing I do love is planning because over the years I have come to realise how useful this is so thank you for reminding us about its importance. My activity today will be to go over my marketing plan and allow myself to think outside the box. Some of the marketing strategies I have used in the past have not yielded appropriate results so now is the time to ditch them and try new strategies. Have a great weekend everyone.
    In His wonderful service!

  10. Kathy Cordell

    I admit that marketing is not my strong point and I have much to learn. Like Kim said, we all have so much to give a world in need if they only knew what we have to offer! Yesterday I took a step forward and inquired about hiring a mentor coach to help me through my gaps so I can help others through theirs.

  11. Mark Myers

    Day 10: Ping – Spam – Pong: Today is a day of ‘pinging’ my connections based on the content of the workshop I attended yesterday. The ‘strategy’ I developed as a result of that workshop is labeled: “Ping – Spam – Pong”.
    • Ping – Develop a tactic that represents a disciplined approach to staying connected to my network.
    • Spam – Always consider ways to provide value to my connections within my network – the key to avoid being considered as ‘spam’.
    • Pong – Create the relationship with individuals in my network such that the ‘pings’ are reciprocated, sort of like the game of ‘Ping Pong’ (pun intended).

  12. Sheila Kale

    Again, great common sense, well thought out and motivating.

  13. Kerry Iannone

    How true Kim! Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. I continue to research my “new” niche and am finding even more places this target market is hanging out. After reading many of their blog posts and comments, I realize also that I have much to offer this group, including a godly perspective, which seems to be lacking in much of what I read. Just think: To bring hope to people in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms is just incredible and such an honor.

    I have another huge women’s luncheon tomorrow. As soon as that it over, I will be diving right in to reach out to this group. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Renee

    Good timing, Kim! I had decided that today (and this weekend) was the time to step back and look at a bigger picture and marketing plan.

  15. Holly Brand

    You nailed it, Kim. Fail to plan and plan to fail. I, too, went to the grocery store today realizing that if I didn’t my crew would revolt tomorrow morning at breakfast with nothing to eat. Like you, I went without a list and picked up “just enough to get by,” knowing that I’ll be right back at the market two short days from now. Fortunately I was able to get in and out for just $36.00. 🙂
    After reading your encouragement today I put pen to paper and listed six steps in my marketing plan. I know this will help provide some focus to my activities. Also, this morning my web designer sent to me six possible new logo designs for my “website overhaul.” I’m having fun defining myself!

  16. Anita Schamber

    I confess that I am not strategic about my business although I can help others work strategically with theirs. I do plan, but often the serendipity, takes me to another place. THIS is great advice, however, for obvious reasons.
    Today I am finishing a blog for, in which we use visual maps to help women uncover their stories as part of God’s story.

  17. Anita Schamber

    God is changing audiences for me at times. . . yet convincing me that who HE brings to me is by “divine appointment” not necessarily “my ideal client.”

  18. Pam Taylor

    More ACTIVE marketing as I posted about the new Spring/Summer offer on FB (personal & Biz FB pages), LI groups, and on the my private FB groups. The notice went out via newsletter list and also via blog post. YAY! Active Marketing is exciting! 🙂 // Great advice about not shopping w/o a list. If I could only get as predictable about my marketing as I am at always keeping a running list of what I need on the refrigerator, so I just have to grab it when I’m going shopping. So, if I did that with marketing, I’d always have a running list of what I can do when I have a minute here and there or when I have a big chunk of time. (Hmmmm….CONVICTION!!! 🙂

  19. Shelli

    Day 10: I was a mess at planning out my biz and marketing steps at the beginning of my coaching career. And while it’s still a work in progress, I find that having written out plans and posting them within eye shot helps me to stay focused. Kim, I still use your “Get Clients Now” spreadsheet for tracking my monthly goals and daily activities after all these years! 🙂 If it ain’t broke…

  20. Mark Thomas

    Wandering around bumping into things or planning a route, hmmm. I made a phone call and set a time to plan. Thank you for the continued encouragement.

  21. Kristin Franks

    Thanks for these ever so helpful tips about marketing-planning! It’s always good to be re-told of the importance of this! Reminds me of my “Get Clients Now” book, think I will pull that back of the shelf this weekend…

  22. Pamela Schoettler

    OH YES, Plans, lists, details, goals and making adjustments do stir my juices. Getting my vision written down with actions and ideas are all around my office area. People I work with say I’m organized when they see my lists. My challenge is implementing especially new things that bog me down. Thanks for reminding me how important the plan is to making things happen.

  23. Glenna Hiett

    Wow! I spent the day riding the ‘learning curve’. In preparation of my speaking engagement, I tackled the how to’s of getting a power point presentation from Keynote to my ipad. At midnight I was still reading in the manual… 🙂

    I was delighted to hear from you yesterday. Thanks….

  24. Michael Pfau

    Made several calls on Friday to a specific 50+ communities about presenting on the Inspired Retirement Plan. It actually was helpful to talk with the activity director and is making me rethink this angle in marketing. As another person posted, this marketing hasn’t yielded results and a new strategy is needed.

  25. Cate

    Great reminders Kim… I have booked a speaking engagement for Wednesday in my Niche. Will make sure next week I highlight the important aspects needed.

  26. Leigh Ann Hudson, Shine Forth Life Coaching

    This is a wonderful analogy!! Yesterday, I read your post and contacted the first person on my Direct Contact list. Upon her request, I sent her my Life Coaching FAQ and we are setting up a face to face meeting for end of May. Yeah!! Thank you Kim!!

  27. Karen Pyne

    Day 10: I was away from my computer so this is a catch up post. All the things to consider for a marketing plan do seem like a bowl of spaghetti and I realized I needed to sit down for a focused session of untangling and organizing. That will be on Monday’s schedule. Today I spent time with 4 other women and explained how coaching would be a powerful course of action for an issue they were concerned about. The more comfortable I get with words and phrases, the more easily my Coaching self shows up in a conversation.

  28. Barbara Solsaa

    Met with some pastors and handed out some more of my Getting Started packets…momentum continues.

  29. Laurie, LegWork Résumés and Career Services

    I created a weekly meal plan for years and have come to the point now where I don’t need one. I generally know meals and their ingredients and can get by from the knowledge I learned when I was starting out and had to plan. Does this happen with marketing?! Will creating marketing plans for awhile eventually educate me enough about it so that it will become relatively natural and somewhat second hand?! 🙂

    Today I asked friends to join my facebook page.

  30. Charles Hooper, Jr.

    I invested two hours on Saturday to update my coaching business plan which included marketing. It has been fun dreaming about ways to market because I am not yet under pressure to have to have more clients right now. Laying the foundation for more clients soon.

  31. Glenna Hiett

    I did the marketing plan previously but I got sidetracked along the way! I need to revisit and update my plan and get some fresh ideas going. Thank you for the creative methods you use to present. I am glad that I took the Challenge!

  32. Denise Baumann

    Coaching tip – If you want to build a new habit attach it to an old habit says Kim Avery. I tried it and it works. This is the tip I posted on Facebook and Twitter this morning! Thanks Kim!

    • Kim Avery

      Congratulations on your success, Denise. Woohoo!


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