Why you want fast results from marketing, but won’t get them
Coaches often want fast results and turn to marketing to get them. However, for fast results, marketing isn’t the right tool for the job.
There are a lot of people who will argue that it is. And the same people are often happy to take your money to help you get these fast results. The results they’re offering are traffic, clicks or ‘engagement’. But does this really translate to new clients? And if the ‘result’ (fast or otherwise) or your marketing isn’t a new client, is it really a result?
Marketing and Advertising are not the same
Most people think of marketing as advertising – they are, however, different.
Marketing is the process of nurturing, educating and supporting clients on a journey of consciousness, from unaware to most aware. It’s about guiding potential clients who are the right fit for your coaching to a point where they’re ready to buy, and are making an informed choice about working with you.
Advertising, in the broad sense, is showing Ads (Facebook Ads, Google Ads…) to total strangers in the hope that they like what they see and take an action – buy, click, sign up. Ads on their own do not take anyone on a journey.
If we want to get really picky about it then advertising is part of a marketing strategy. From our conversations with coaches, a lot of them think, and are regularly told, that advertising is the strategy.
How do Ads work?
Advertising can bring you fast results, using Ads you can get a lot of clicks, engagements or views. If you have a low-consideration product that is selling well, you can supercharge those sales with Ads.
If, however, you have something that isn’t selling, then just bringing it to more people’s attention isn’t going to help much. People who click on Ads almost certainly have little or no awareness of what you do and are not ready to buy. With an Ad, they need to decide there and then to take the opportunity that the Ad is offering them. You can’t sell a £5000 coaching programme to someone who has no idea who you are using a 1-click Ad (though it might work for a £50 short course).
There is a lot of money to be made selling Ads, it’s how Facebook, Google and LinkedIn make a lot of money. For big brands, Ads are part of their wider strategy and represent an ‘acceptable cost’ for brand awareness and customer acquisition. For smaller businesses, these ‘costs’ often don’t add up. If you don’t have an impulse purchase then using Ads on their own to bring strangers to your business isn’t going to work very well. Bombarding them with offers, countdowns and endless details as soon as they get to your website is going to make it even worse.
If you’re offering a consideration purchase then you need to give the customer consideration time. A marketing strategy that takes time does not lend itself to quick sales, but it will allow the clients who are the right fit to see the value in what you do.
Put the time in
You need to give your ideal customer a number of ways to learn about you, your story, what you offer and how you can guide them to the feeling, insight or outcome they want to get to. This is their journey of consciousness and you can’t do it all in one Facebook Ad. You need a combination of web pages, videos, blogs and social posts that people can digest before they decide to start the process of becoming a client.
It takes time for you to make this content and time for them to absorb it. But this investment from you, and them, means that when they do want to become a client they already know that you are best-placed to guide them and the only remaining question is, when can you start?
How to get results
If you’re struggling to sell your coaching products or services, it’s likely that people either don’t understand them or don’t see the value in them. The answer to confusion is always no.
To turn this around you need to create content at each stage of the journey of consciousness, for people at each of the five levels of awareness:
Unaware: A person doesn’t know they have a problem, or can’t yet see the opportunity for change, and it can take a lot of time, energy and effort to move them to the next level.
Problem Aware: A person knows they have a problem, or can see an opportunity for change but doesn’t know there are solutions to the outcome they have identified.
Solution Aware: A person knows there are solutions, but hasn’t chosen one, and doesn’t know about your product.
Product Aware: A person knows about your product, but isn’t totally sure it will solve their problem or support them in the change they want to make.
Most Aware: A person knows a lot about your product. They are on the cusp of buying, but need to know the specifics.
This journey of awareness, of raising the prospect’s consciousness of their situation, will nurture (and attract) the clients who are the best fit for you.
We have a whole page on these levels and how people navigate this journey, and we also have a whole chapter dedicated to it on our Coach’s Marketing Journey course.
But… “I need results now!”
We understand the pressure of needing to make a sale. That pressure doesn’t feel great and we appreciate that what we’re talking about here won’t fill your programme by next week.
What we are inviting you to do here is take a step back and reflect on what you really expect to get from using Ads. Ask yourself if it’s the best use of your time and money. When Ads won’t give you what you’re aiming for, you need more of a marketing approach.
Think of the process like planting a tree. Once you plant the seed, you need to let it grow. You don’t dig it up and check on it every day because it’s not a tree yet. If you want a tree then growing takes time.
If you’ve tried Ads before and were disappointed, you need to invest in making the content now and then give it some time to work. Create a variety of content and match it to people at the five different levels of awareness – keep creating and it will work.
Getting it working
To get started you need to shift your mindset from focusing on conversions to focusing on conversations.
Take a look at your offer and content from your clients’ perspective and ask yourself what you see, what does it make you think and feel, and what does it prompt you to do?. How does this compare to what you would like the client to do?
Use the journey of consciousness page to map out your content for people to navigate through the different levels of awareness.
If you’re looking for some guidance, support and a structured way to get this working then our Coach’s Marketing Journey course can guide you through the essential steps.