This is Part 2 of my series on do-it-yourself promotion for your coaching blog. Part 1 talks about a classic blogger’s technique – getting your writing onto other sites where your market gathers, and pointing them back to your blog from there.
This post is about leveraging your social networking presence. If you are already using online social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter) in your coaching business, you have a blog promotion platform with powerful potential.
If you’re not using social networking in your business yet, don’t worry. Part 3 of this series will talk about some simple moves you can make to leverage your presence on the Web outside of the social networking sites.
Use Your Networks
Social networking and blogging are perfect complements. Both are interactive and frequently updated, creating a virtual conversation that can draw your audience in and engage their attention. Because their user communities are enormous and enthusiastic, the major social networks offer unmatched opportunities to expand your blog’s reach.
If you are actively using social networking in your coaching business, promoting your blog through your favorite social networks will come naturally. Be sure to touch these bases:
If you’re honest with yourself, you know this. . . When most people prioritize where to put their hard-earned money, coaching is not high on the list. So why are you trying to convince people to buy it?
There’s a better way to get clients. I’ll lay out the four steps below, but it all starts with finding out what people will put their money into. And in order to find out what people will pay a coach for, you have to know which people you are talking about.
Trust me, there are plenty of people out there who are eager to invest in professional services for a specific purpose. Finding them, and finding out what they are after, is the art of target marketing.
I’ve seen over and over how the clients start flowing in when coaches target a viable coaching market. And the kicker is, targeting a viable market significantly reduces the amount of marketing your business needs. Why?
Coaches are getting smarter. I’m meeting more coaches who know that the typical approach to marketing a coaching business doesn’t work well. They truly want great results, so they are using better strategies much earlier than I did in my coaching career. And it’s working for them.
That indicates the field of coaching is attracting more business oriented folks. And that means that more coaches will succeed, which makes me happy.
Success in coaching comes from a combination of persistence, belief in self, genuine interest in people, and serving a market that will go the distance — a market full of people who are motivated to buy services for their personal and professional growth. I call them Seekers.
Are You Connecting with Seekers?
Recently a coach told me about her deep passion for coaching a certain group — moms. But, despite consistent hard work trying to attract enough of them, it’s not working. Prospects smile and show enthusiasm, a few enroll, but they only stay for a few months. So now this coach is ready to choose a more viable market. After all, why stay attached to a market that’s not abundantly fruitful, both in income and coaching experiences?
Here’s the thing. No matter how much you love the idea of coaching a certain group, if they aren’t seekers — not willing to invest — not much income will flow into your coaching business. It’s a hard fact to swallow. That old saying about leading a horse to water… Well, you can lead someone to coaching, but no matter how much you think they need it, if they won’t invest in the solutions you are offering, you won’t have enough clients.
Have you ever had a revelation about your coaching business and then realized how much time and heartache it would have saved if you’d only known that earlier? Let’s share those flashes of wisdom so everyone benefits. Here are three of my favorites.
#1 You are Primed to Thrive on This Journey
Are you beating yourself up for not being who or where you wanted to be by now? Do you wonder if you have what it takes?
Everyone does at some time. The trick is… don’t wait for the proof of your bright future to believe that you can have it …or you’ll never get there.
If you’re following my advice, you may have decided that the online home for your coaching business will be a blog. Perhaps you’ve already launched your new blog, or you’re getting ready to. Now the question is how to build your audience.
There are dozens of ways to drive traffic to your blog, including search engine optimization (SEO), affiliates and joint ventures, advertising, press releases and more. SEO is a must, but that’s for another post.
But to produce results, many traffic building techniques require long lead times and significant investments of time and money. Here I’m going to focus on the first of three ways to publicize your blog that you can easily do yourself and that may get you some quick traction. Two more ways coming.
First, a word about the essential preliminary step.
Many coaches are launching a blog rather than a static website, to boost list building and attract more pre-qualified clients. A blog site is not limited to the blog content alone; it can include whatever static pages you want, to introduce your offerings to your market. (Just look at mine!) If you’re ready to build your own dynamic blog site, follow these five steps to prepare for launch.
Dr. Reba J. Hoffman, a former member of Prosperous Coach, has had a lot of wins in her coaching business. Recently she shared a client enrollment story that tickled me so much I had to pass it on.
Everyone who goes through the process of building a coaching business will encounter skeptics who just don’t “get” how valuable coaching can be. If any part of you feels inadequate or unsure of your value, it’s easy for prospects to find that button and push it.
But if you believe solidly enough in yourself and in the power of coaching, you won’t be put off by off-putting opinions about coaching.
When Reba ran into someone with a negative attitude toward coaching, she met it head on, with a very edgy, coach-like response that shifted the experience for both of them. Here is Reba’s story:
For any coach at any time, but particularly when you’re just starting your business, you might be tempted to get a client by offering free or barter coaching. Should you? There are more reasons not to than you might think.
No fee coaching does have its place (see the last paragraph). But if your goal is to earn a successful living by offering soul-satisfying coaching, it’s usually counter-productive to give it away, except in a sample session. Here is why:
#1 Damaging the co-creative relationship
Coaches often have the heart of altruistic caregivers. If you love to help others and are generous to a fault, being a coach will give you many opportunities to learn balance around giving. This strength, when overused, comes with a high price to your integrity and to your clients.
I’ve been there. I understand that heart-tugging reaction to come to their rescue, when a prospect says they can’t afford your services but they so clearly need help. It’s a RED FLAG.