In this digital age of social media and online communities, it has never been more important for coaches to engage in a digital marketing strategy to attract clients and grow their coaching business.
Without effective digital marketing, you could lose out on reaching billions of potential clients.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is basically how businesses and individuals get their messages in front of prospective clients.
You can achieve this through leveraging digital channels including social media, search engines, emails and websites to promote and sell goods and services.
Digital marketing is so important because:
- You can reach a much wider audience (globally rather than just locally)
- You can interact with clients to find out exactly what they need
- You can see your online competition and adjust your strategies to differentiate your services
We understand that implementing a digital marketing strategy can be overwhelming. Sell yourself as a coach and your brand, build relationships with a vast audience and try to convert these interactions into leads and sales.
However, as a coach, digital marketing is vital for your personal brand and business to succeed. These days consumers rely on digital marketing to find out about a service or product.
Without a digital marketing strategy, you will be without coaching clients. That's why we have put together this digital marketing guide for coaches.
In this guide you will learn:
- How to define yourself as a coach
- The importance of defining your coaching niche to kick-start your digital marketing plan
- The various digital marketing strategies you can plan and implement to succeed as a coach
Define Who You Are As a Coach
Before you can even begin marketing what you do and the services you offer to your coaching clients, you need to be very clear on who you are as a coach and what your values are.
One of the best ways of helping you define yourself is to find your "why" using The Golden Circle.
What is Your "Why"?
This idea of The Golden Circle, founded by author Simon Sinek, demonstrates the fact that you need to know why you do what you do before you talk about what you do.
It's very easy to know your "what" - in your case, that's being a coach for your particular field. But can you explain why exactly you are a coach?
If you do not know why you are a coach (that is, what your purpose, values and beliefs are for you as a coach) then clients are unlikely to see your value and be interested in your services.
How to Identify Your "Why"
To use The Golden Circle in your digital marketing strategy, first consider this: Why do you do what you do? Why should anyone care about your services? Why should clients choose you over any other coach?
To help you find your "why" as a coach, consider these questions:
- What is your favourite thing about being a coach?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your values?
Next, consider the "how". How are you going to bring your services to your clients? How are you going to help them?
If you are a wellbeing coach, you may have identified that you love helping people and are a very compassionate and patient person (this is you "why"). From here, you can then look at how you bring your wellbeing coaching services to your clients.
- Conduct one-to-one sessions in individual clients' homes, so they feel safe in their own private environments.
- You could run sessions remotely on an online service such as Zoom if your clients are shy and would rather video or voice call for sessions.
- You would make sure all sessions are calm and supportive
It might take a little time to work out your "why" and your "how", but once you do you can then focus on your "what" in the next part of your digital marketing strategy, which is your coaching business and brand.
Discover Your Coaching Niche to Specialise in
Now that you have your "why" and your ideal client in mind, you can work on the next part of your digital marketing strategy: identifying your niche.
What is a niche?
A niche is basically an area of specialisation within a particular field.
For you as a coach, this means your niche will define what specific type of coach you are and what specific services you can provide to your clients.
Why is a niche important?
Identifying your coaching niche is a powerful digital marketing strategy tool for several reasons:
- Choosing a niche will help you stand out from the crowded competitive coaching industry
- It will help you attract the right clients for your services
- As you will tailor your services, it will become much easier to market to your ideal clients
How can you identify your coaching niche?
You can help define your coaching niche by looking at your own values and strengths and compare them with the clients you have.
To identify your coaching niche, ask yourself these questions:
- What am I passionate about as a coach?
- What are my unique skills and experience?
- How do I like to work?
If you enjoy coaching individuals on their diet and you attract a lot of pregnant women or single mums, your niche could be a "Nutrition Health Coach for Pre and Post-Natal Women".
Take your time considering all avenues until you find the niche that resonates with you.
You want to be recognised as "The Coach" that clients desire the most, and by showing specialist knowledge in a particular coaching area with a niche, you will achieve this goal.
Case study: Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Coach
Gretchen Rubin is a successful writer who has defined her niche as a coach who focuses on happiness, habits and human nature with her clients.
With the New York Times crowning Rubin as "the queen of the self-help memoir", Rubin has used her niche to differentiate her coaching skills from anyone else's in the business.
By answering the questions outlined above, you will set yourself up on the right track with a specific vision and goal, and you could become as successful as a coach like Gretchen Rubin.
Outline and Develop Various Digital Marketing Strategies
With your coaching niche in place, it's time to lay out a marketing strategy.
There are many digital marketing strategies you can implement into your plan.
Types of marketing strategies you can include:
- Content Marketing: delivering outstanding content (including blogs, podcasts, and videos)
- Developing an optimised website
- Email Marketing: including emails lists and creating and distributing regular email newsletters, packed with exclusive offers and information
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and pay-per-click ads
- Social media marketing
With so many digital marketing options to choose from, it's hard to know which ones are best for you.
To help, we have picked out a few of the above strategies to go into further detail for you:
One of the most engaging digital marketing strategies as a coach which you can implement is creating brilliant content for your website and social media.
What type of content should I create?
Your digital marketing content can be in the form of the following:
- blog posts
Creating content sounds like an easy feat, however, if you only ever write about your products and services, you will immediately disengage any visitor or client who isn't anywhere close to the buying stage of their customer journey.
How do I make my content inclusive?
Instead, you ensure that your content is universally accessible by:
- Delivering content relevant to your professional knowledge
- Creating content full of useful and engaging information
- Showing your expertise as a coach
How do I get started with content creation?
To kick-start your content creation journey, you must remember to:
- Create quality content based on what your target audience is interested in
- Think back to your buyer personas and coaching niche to consider what your ideal client's hobbies or concerns are
- From this information you can create content which will inform and engage your clients
If you are a fitness coach, you want to make sure that the digital marketing content you create is related to fitness, demonstrates your expertise, and gives valuable and insightful information to your audience and client base.
Your content could include:
- Videos with workout demonstrations that can be done at home, on holiday or in the office
- Blog posts about the most effective exercises for weight loss
- Podcasts with guests discussing fitness tips and news
Case study: Christina Rice
Holistic health coach Christina Rice has seen outstanding success in the wellbeing and health industry.
Focusing on helping women to achieve their own version of wellness, Rice uses digital marketing strategies such as Instagram to publish content frequently, and delivering inspiring and informative episodes on her Wellness Realness podcast.
Rice also offers free guides on her website for anyone to download.
By providing content for free, Rice has built a hugely successful business and positioned herself as an admirable and likeable coach.
By creating engaging, valuable and free coaching content for potential and existing clients, you will create a loyal following and encourage leads from this.
Create an Optimised Website
It is imperative that you pack your website full of details about who you are, what you do as a coach (don't forget your "why"!) and call to action buttons as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Why is a website so important for your coaching business?
Creating a website works as a base for potential coaching clients. Think of it as a central hub where visitors can discover your business, find out more about you as a coach and the services you offer.
How do I create a strong website?
- Make sure you have a robust "About Me" page, detailing why you do what you do and how you offer what you do.
- Create call to action buttons on each landing page to encourage visitors and clients to sign up to your email list.
- Ensure you optimise your website for mobile use, as 95% of shoppers will conduct research on their devices before making a purchase.
By having a professional-looking website that's optimised for mobile use and full of high-quality information and images, you will increase your client base and ultimately your business revenue.
Having an optimised website with plenty of sign-up forms to increase your email list is also one of the most efficient ways to attract and retain coaching clients.
Think emails are a thing of the past? Think again! Read on to find out why email newsletters are still vital for digital marketing.
Having regular email newsletters packed with plenty of exciting offers, content and news for potential and existing clients is an important part of your digital marketing strategy.
Why is having an email newsletter service so important?
- Email marketing (including newsletters) drives more conversions than any other marketing channel
- Studies show that emails are 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than other digital marketing methods
- You can use emails to encourage traffic to your website and communicate with your clients
- Customers who receive a marketing message via email show the highest conversion rate for purchases
So how do you get started with email newsletters?
First, you need to build an email subscriber list as part of your digital marketing strategy.
You can achieve this by:
- Placing call to action buttons on the landing pages of your website to encourage email sign-ups
- Offering exclusive freebies, discounts and offers in your email newsletters
- Personalising your emails and tailoring them to the different types of clients and subscribers you receive
- Sharing customer success stories to provide inspiration and an incentive to consider your services
Once you've built a decent-sized email list, you can start thinking about the content to put into your newsletters.
Here are a few email newsletter ideas you can use as a coach:
- Create exclusive discounts and offers for festive periods
- Promote competitions and contest you are hosting on your social media
- Include a customer testimonial at the end of each newsletter as proof of your coaching success with clients
The best way to think about what content to include in an email newsletter is to consider what you can offer to readers to convert them into your coaching clients as part of your digital marketing strategy.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy as a coach.
What is SEO, and why is it important?
The idea behind SEO is to have your website and content appear at the top of the search results when potential clients search for products or services related to your coaching business.
To do this, you need to understand and use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Implementing an SEO strategy will help you achieve organic search traffic and build trust from visitors and clients for your coaching business.
How do I use SEO?
SEO is not just about search rankings, but also improving the user experience and usability of your website
- Often many searchers will only consider the first five results they see , so you need to aim for the top position for the keywords your user is searching for
- Link to external high-authority websites to boost your Google ranking.
- You can use Moz Pro or a similar tool to help you identify high-ranking sites
- Ensure that you properly optimise all keywords on your website
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and Pay-Per-Click Ads
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads are two important strategies for any digital marketing strategy.
As a coach it is worthwhile learning about SEM and PPC and implementing them into your plan.
What is SEM?
SEM is a digital marketing strategy which involves using paid ads which appear on search engine result pages (SERPs).
These ads are sometimes known as "pay-per-click" ads and are based on the keywords the user has selected, and can appear in different forms from small, text adverts to product listing ads (think of the Shopping tab when you search on Google).
SEM differs from SEO in that SEM refers to paid marketing, whereas SEO is free. However, both should be included in your digital marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of using SEM?
Using SEM as a digital marketing tool means you can present ads of your coaching services and products to clients who are ready to spend their money.
In other words, you will gain new clients ready for your services!
How do I use SEM?
There are several steps in successfully utilising SEM:
- Keyword research - you need to identify the keywords relevant to your coaching business
- Keyword structure - this is how you group your keywords together, which can achieve higher click-through rates
- You can use a tool like SEMrush to help you identify keywords and build a SEM strategy
PPC ads fall under the category of SEM.
What are pay-per-click ads?
As mentioned above, pay-per-click (or PPC) ads are links placed in search engines in which the advertiser pays for every time a user clicks on them.
PPC ads contain keywords which are "bid" on at the time you choose them. That gives you a fixed price, which you pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
Why are pay-per-click ads important?
- You can deliver quick results whilst closely controlling your budget with PPC ads
- You can gain instant traffic to your website
- The user data collected from PPC will help boost your SEO strategy
- You don't have to worry about algorithm changes
PPC won't necessarily continue to deliver the same results in the long-term, which is why it is worth combining your SEM strategy with SEO in your digital marketing plan.
Social Media Marketing
As a coach, you need to ensure that your digital marketing strategy remains up to date and relevant. This is important for your social media channels.
Why is social media important in digital marketing?
- Social Media is constantly evolving, so in order to stay relevant, you need to make sure you are keeping up to date with it.
- By engaging with your coaching clients via social media, you will see more website traffic and you will increase your online visibility.
- Focus on where your audience hangs out online and invest your time building content primarily on those platforms.
So which social media channels should you use?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Facebook has over 2.7 billion users. You can engage with these users and direct them back to your website and services to encourage client conversions by:
- Creating a business profile, with details about you as a coach and links to your website and email list
- Sharing your blog posts with eye-catching headlines such as "Can you lose weight over the Christmas holidays? Read this to find out!"
- Join Facebook Groups and look for questions you can answer related to your coaching expertise
- Create groups to build strong and engaging communities. Use it to understand your audience and their paint points, engage with them and provide them the solution they need through your coaching services.
With over 1-billion monthly users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms.
Work this to your advantage by:
- Creating a concise profile, showing who you are and linking to your website
- Use polls to ask Instagram users specific information such as what kind of content they want from you
- Use insights to reveal data on follower demographics, engagement and reach.
Quora is an information-based social media site where over 300-million users are searching for the answers to their problems.
You can use Quora effectively by:
- Find out what relevant topics users want to learn about by searching keywords related to your coaching business
- Writing and sharing content using your expertise to inform users and make them aware of your presence.
- Encourage and gain credible upvotes from readers to generate even more exposure.
Don't forget that different demographics, attitudes and trends will affect where your clients hang out, so refer to your client research you conducted when creating your buyer persona.
Digital Marketing is an Ongoing Process
Maintaining a digital marketing strategy can feel frustrating and overwhelming at times, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
Don't forget the reasons you are implementing digital marketing strategies for your coaching business:
- To reach a wide global audience to find new clients
- To gain the ability to interact with both potential and existing clients to continually improve your services
- To monitor your direct competition and adjust your strategies to stay relevant and in demand
With this guide, you should have the foundations to set up an effective digital marketing strategy and improve your coaching business prospects.
Refer back to this guide whenever you need it and don't be afraid to periodically review all aspects of your digital marketing plan to achieve the best results.
Credits - Charlotte Osborn