The Coach’s Marketing Journey

Many coaches feel frustrated, overwhelmed and disillusioned when they think about marketing. What they’ve tried hasn’t worked. Those they turn to for help seem to have little or no understanding of their business and the kind of clients that they work with.

Added to this, being a coach can often feel lonely. Working on your own, there isn’t anybody to turn to, share experiences or ask for help. It can often feel like you’re stood in a storm, rain pouring down, the wind blowing hard and a long path stretching out before you with no end in sight.

There is another way to approach your marketing. Although you may not realise it yet, you probably already have many or all of the skills, content and tools that you need in order to “do” marketing. It is possible to become more confident about how you talk about yourself and your coaching practice. There is a way of being in control of your time, finances and energy.

With a shift in mindset, you can go from feeling daunted by marketing to excited by it, enjoying it, and making it part of your daily practice.

The Coach’s Marketing Journey

The coach’ marketing journey will take you from feeling like you’re standing in the storm to standing on a hill looking at the rainbow bursting out of the storm clouds.

With over 40 years of marketing experience, learning and knowledge, co-founders of Better Bolder Braver Simon and Frances have created the coach’s marketing journey. This journey is unlike other marketing advice with its emphasis on tactics, and chasing vanity metrics such as likes and views. We believe there is a more ethical, fun and rewarding way to attract better clients, build a bolder offer and become braver with your pricing, planning and purpose. This is a mindset shift and a change of perspective from conversions to conversations.

The coach’s marketing journey is divided into six chapters and is a marketing process designed specifically for coaches. Working through these six chapters will enable you to change your preconceptions and expectations of marketing and find new confidence in putting yourself out there.

These are the six chapters.

Drawing of a person looking in a mirror

Mindset

This is not the place that most coaches would start. However, by doing so the rest of the journey is a lot clearer, easier and more rewarding.

You start by getting clear(er) on your values, limits, and boundaries… and your unique impact on others. In doing so, you set up personal parameters which enable you to create your product and define who you really want to work with, as opposed to the people you feel you should work with. Clarity on who you are as a coach also enables you to avoid the comparison trap and stop comparing yourself to others and their expectations. In exploring what your value is and to whom, you will become more confident in talking about it with others.

Most importantly it empowers you to define what success looks and feels like for you so you can build the coaching business you want. And that serves both you and your clients. Only then can you move forward with a better relationship with your marketing.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we have lessons that cover unfolding your value, avoiding the comparison trap, creating your limits compass and exercises that explore what value you deliver and how you want people to think of you. We also do some deeper work around planning, including what success looks and feels like for you and how you can focus the rest of the work in these chapters towards achieving that.

Drawing of a person

Client

Defining your ‘ideal’ client enables you to find your ‘niche’. Without a niche, you’re trying to educate people who might have no interest in what you do or the outcomes, insights, or feelings you can guide them to. You’re essentially just shouting at traffic.

If you can narrow down who you can serve more effectively, it means you have to do a lot less shouting and can start having some meaningful conversations. The more you can narrow down the definition of your ideal client, the fewer conversations you have with people who are the wrong fit. That’s going to save you a lot of time, energy and money.

Having an ideal client means you can articulate the who, what and why of your coaching business. Most coaches can talk at great length about what they do. I bet if you wanted to, you could write thousands of words, pages and pages about what it is you do in your coaching practice.

I also imagine that you could tell me why you do what you do, and in the next chapter (Story) we’re going to look deeper into just this. Most coaches, however, struggle with the who part – the part that, in many ways matters the most. When you have clarity, it signposts to your ideal client that they’re in the right place, and it signals early on to those who are not the right fit for your services that they’re not in the right place.

Knowing your ideal client allows people who don’t yet know you to take that first step with confidence; they want to get to know you. Without it, there is confusion and it leaves people asking…

  • Can this coach help me?
  • Do they know how to help?
  • Will they understand me or am I going to have to do a lot of explaining?
  • Will this just be generic?
  • And if so, can I just do it myself?

It also helps people refer you to others and share the what and why with people they believe are a match for your who.

The mindset we need to embrace here is: “I am not for everyone and that’s ok”.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we have lessons that show you how to understand buying behaviour, imagine and define your ideal client, and find your niche. We also do some deeper work on whether you should niche your coaching style or audience, and how your niche can preserve your energy and sustainability.

Drawing of a story book

Story

When your client is deciding whether they want to work with you, they want to know your who, what and why.

Now that we have clarity on the who, your story is where you get clear on the what and why.

When your clients are getting to know you, they’re wondering about three things:

  • Who does this coach serve most effectively? i.e. Who do they say they work with and do I fit that description?
  • What does this coach work on with their clients? ie. What can they do for me and is this what I am looking for?
  • Why should I trust them to guide me?

We need to speak to these three questions and build trust in our client’s mind. If clients are unsure about working with you it will be because they are unclear on one of these three questions.

Your story needs to combine empathy and authority to tell your client more about the who, what and why. Your story also keeps your boundaries clear whilst building trust.

A clear story allows you to be concise, engaging and signal to the right people what to do next. It empowers you to feel better about presenting yourself with more confidence; and with a sense of generosity as opposed to vulnerability.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we have lessons that guide you through acknowledging your vulnerability & boundaries. We show you how to combine empathy, authority and journey to tell a good story. We cover where to start & where to end, and we explore the positions of victim, perpetrator or rescuer and how these positions can impact your story.

Drawing of a box with light coming out of it

Product

Building a bolder product empowers you to make a bolder offer. One reason coaches can find it difficult to sell coaching sessions or fill courses is that they’re selling something they want to sell, not something clients want to buy.

What do we mean when we say ‘product’? You might not feel like you sell or deliver a product. Put simply, your product is the thing your client can actually purchase. Even if you think of it as a ‘service’, what you’re doing is packaging the service up into a product that they can buy.

Your offer isn’t a discount or a promotion. It is how you communicate your product to your ideal client. You can make different offers to different clients, the product stays the same.

By understanding who your ideal client is, including their needs and wants, you can design a product that is exactly what they’re looking for. With your understanding of your own needs and boundaries, you will also design a product that serves you too.

When you design a product that is the perfect fit for your client you can be braver with your price. You don’t have to be bigger or better than anyone else to stand out. Your story and your use of empathy and authority will build the trust your client needs to say yes with confidence.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we have lessons that will show you how to design, build, refine and package your product, and use new outcome-based pricing and marketing skills to sell it. You’ll do some deeper work on what value, outcome, feeling or insight you provide, and also your ideal client’s needs, wants and emotional requirements. You’ll overcome the ‘myth of more’ and use your method (your what) to make an offer that really stands out.

Drawing of different types of content

Content

We do not believe that you need to churn out content to attract clients.

We believe that once you find your voice, embrace your authority and get creative, overcoming any fears about putting yourself out there, you will enjoy producing and repurposing good material that invites conversation and engagement from an audience that is right for you.

When we talk about ‘content’ the question we’re often asked is: why do I need to make content?
Coaches often think if they have a website, book or video that explains their method, product, etc. then what more do they need? Some coaches say, ‘It takes too much time,’ or, ‘I don’t have anything to talk about,’ or the classic, ‘my clients aren’t on social media!’

We get it, if you’ve tried before and got nothing back it can be easy to dismiss the time and effort it takes. So why should you create content?

Firstly, let’s clarify that content doesn’t have to mean social content, it can be blogs, podcasts, or videos on YouTube. When we talk about creating content, the primary objective is to build trust. It shows your ideal client that you’re the guide they’ve been looking for, and you have a plan that they want to follow. It builds confidence in you, establishes authority and enables clients to get to know you so they can make an informed decision about working with you.

To be clear, we don’t talk about ‘tactics’, our training isn’t a load of videos telling you to make and post endless amounts of content. We’re not going to deep dive into the latest trends. You don’t need any of that to “do” marketing. Those are just excuses marketing people use to explain why a campaign hasn’t worked.

What we do is show you how to create content that educates, entertains and engages your ideal client and opens them up to having an authentic, truthful and meaningful conversation with you. We’ll show you how to take your clients on a Journey of Consciousness through five levels of awareness.

To get comfortable with making content you need to work on shifting your mindset from content being something you have to do, to something you want to do.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we will guide you through getting into the content mindset and work on who you’re talking to, how to build trust, and how to move from selling to telling. We have exercises that will empower you to find your voice, show you how to make and repurpose engaging content, and overcome the perfectionist and the comfort zone that is holding you back.

Drawing of a map and compass

Journey

In this final chapter, you bring all the previous chapters together. You build a journey for people to go on to become a client. You create a journey that guides people through the five levels of awareness and lets them build trust and educate themselves on the solution before they consider your product.

This means finding your comfort zone and then working out how to escape it and expand your reach. You could just try and do more of what you’ve done before, or you could try another path. Consider a map and a compass. You can use a map to find your way using the paths shown on the map. Or you can use a compass to explore new paths. If you rely on the map too much, you can get stuck, trapped in already-known territory, and you can miss out by not exploring new routes. If you just use the compass, you can miss out on previously taken paths that are known to work well. Either can make for harder work and take longer.

So, to make a journey that works you need to combine these two ways of thinking and use both the map and the compass in your marketing, and in the journey you create for your clients.

In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we show you how to use your skills of listening, reflecting and responding to articulate a client ‘journey’ that nurtures potential clients as individuals rather than treating your marketing as a must-do, throwing noise about your business at anyone in earshot. We have lessons and exercises that guide you through mapping your client journey and putting it into action.

Frances and Simon co-founders of Better Bolder Braver

Let’s go on this journey together

Don’t stand in the rain on your own, join us and other like-minded coaches as we journey together whilst building a better coaching business. Put yourself in control, feel more confident, and make marketing part of your daily practice.

You can get started by joining our community just for coaches. We host regular training and social events and create space for reflection on how marketing is making you feel. There are coaching-specific marketing conversations and content, as well as an archive of sessions overflowing with knowledge and ideas.

Then, when you’re ready to take the next step, you can embark on the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, the six-step course that will guide you through the six chapters of the coach’s marketing journey and empower you to build a better, happier, more sustainable and ethical coaching business. And as you do so, you’ll make friends for life in a community that will support you. You can find out more about the community and the course as well as our Braver Way Programme for those coaches who are wanting to take their coaching business to the next level.