Today I want to give you some ideas for how you can attract clients and fill your coaching practice using blogging and content marketing. If you would like some background on why I believe coaching is a fantastic service to offer in your business, check out the previous article.
First Big Mistake
Before we get into the approach I suggest you try, I want to share the first big mistake I see my own coaching clients and some friends make.
If you want to learn how to sell any product or service, don’t just look at the sales letters of your competitors.
The fact is, while there are some things you can learn by looking at sales copy, you need to look elsewhere to learn the strategy.
Looking at offers to learn how to sell your service is like looking at empty plates in a restaurant to learn how to be a chef.
Your competitors are NOT getting sales just because they have a better sales page than you do! The offer is the END POINT, not the whole cause of the sales they make. In fact, in my case, many of my clients don’t even read the sales letter, they just hunt out the price and the order button.
So if it is not all about the copywriting, how DO you get more customers to buy?
Be Known for Something
Coaching tends to be a bigger ticket item than many people are used to selling. It could be that you have, up to now, only sold $20, $50 ebooks. A lot of what goes into getting that ebook sale will be the same as your coaching, but the problem is while people will be more likely to make an impulse purchase on small ticket items, a coaching package is going to be a bigger commitment.
Attracting clients to you, getting them to know, like and trust you, is vital when the price is high and the personal interaction is such a deep part of what you offer. I call this approach “Authority Blogging”, you build a blog that grows your authority. It attracts your prospects, and establishes a relationship. The Copyblogger folks use a similar approach they call “Content Marketing” – you attract and maintain attention via compelling information.
You don’t have to use my approach, just make sure you build your profile and reputation as the person who provides a solution.
- Determine your ideal prospect and client.
- Be highly visible where those people hang out and look for solutions.
- Provide content that speaks to their wants, problems, challenges.
- Invite them to stick around to get more great stuff from you. People usually need to see a solution multiple times before they buy in. (Build your list sooner rather than later).
- Make timely, compelling offers that speak to the results they want.
Launches and Pre-Sell
In most cases people go from trying to craft the perfect sales page to thinking a “launch” is the silver bullet.
You might want to occasionally launch, in fact I just did a low-key launch of my group coaching and sold out in around 9 minutes, it is very satisfying! Coaching has some elements that make for powerful launches, most notably
- Scarcity – You must limit how many coaching clients you take on at once, therefore there is built in scarcity
- Urgency – If you are doing group coaching then you need to start on a certain date and time.
That said, while launches are a powerful tool, but it would be crazy if you were launching your coaching all the time. You would soon burn out your audience with coaching launch fatigue.
Instead you can pre-sell by creating content around the problem, by building your social proof, discussing case studies, and by constantly reminding your audience of your coaching service as a solution.
Want an example? You are reading one.
Trust and Proof
The more proof you can provide, the greater the trust will be.
Your best proof will be getting results. That is even more true when your prospect has already gotten results from you.
If you can create results from your free content then they will trust that your paid content is going to deliver fantastic results.
Maybe get your prospect to consume and take action on free content, then take a low ticket offer and get results from that, before taking the full coaching?
In my case people start with my blog and free ebooks, they might buy the Problogger book or one of my lower priced courses such as Make More Progress, and they progress from there. Some hear me speak at events and approach me afterwards. Others are looking for a coach and discover me via many different channels. In all cases they get to experience some of what I offer that reassures my client they are making the right choice.
If you don’t currently have any easy to take up lower ticket offers, consider creating something carved out of your current solutions. Carve-outs or the MVP approach are terrific ways to create focused offers that build customer trust and loyalty, plus they give you another profitable income stream.
Drive Towards a Result
This brings us to the next point, another place people go horribly wrong.
People care less about what you do than what you do for them. Don’t sell what you do, sell the outcome or result!
Build up the value that you offer, make it very real in your prospects imagination, that way they will focus on what they get rather than what you charge.
Yes, things like your process, the certifications and who you trained with can lend credibility, but they are not the only reason people will want to buy from you. We want to invest in getting a certain reward, achieving a goal, or fixing a problem. The person who understands our challenge and proves they can get us where we want to be will get our money.
Get Testimonials and Case Studies
The more you can show rather than tell, the more convincing you will be. We are not going to trust you right away, but we will be more persuaded when we see people just like us got results with you.
Even more compelling is when a friend of ours tells us that you helped them. Encourage referrals as much as you can. Testimonials and case studies are fantastic, but they are even more convincing when delivered in person as a response to your enquiry. Word of mouth is the most effective advertising there is.
- Give the best customer experience you can.
- When someone praises your service, ask for the testimonial.
- Keep notes on the results your clients achieve. Ask for permission to share.
- Praise your client’s progress, don’t take all the credit!
- Reward referrals, with thanks or even gifts.
- Create an affiliate program.
Coaching is not a commodity that you can sell just by putting up an offer with a great price. You need to establish yourself as the credible solution to a particular need, you need to build trust and a relationship. Work on attracting your prospects via content that speaks to their needs and also positions yourself as the person to contact, then build on that relationship before making an offer.