When building a successful business, there are many essential components that are indispensable, including the following:
- Marketing and sales – creating brand awareness and demands
- Product or service development and delivery – creating and sharing our values to clients
- Accounting and finance – a backbone of the business to support its stability and growth, etc.
In this article, I will focus mainly on the component of marketing and sales based on direct experiences in my coaching business.
In modern marketing, people need human connection. People love to see the authenticity of each individual who owns a brand rather than doing the same thing as everyone else. In this industry, your passion for coaching, your credibility as an ICF-credentialed coach, your experiences, and your ability to ”be yourself” can help your marketing feel authentic and help you stand out in the crowd.
Below, I explore three main areas of marketing and sales that professional coaches need to consider to build their coaching business, expand its volume and value, and lead to a sustainable business.
1. Online Marketing: Produce valuable content (such as blogs and video clips) to your target clients. This content is planned and executed through digital marketing. Social media is a must, and a website is key. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Content is an incredible tool and opportunity. That’s why you should create an online journal or blog to communicate your knowledge and values to your target clients.
- Writing is a skill that we can learn and practice. Ask for an advice from an expert. Read a lot of books. Think about the topic / storyline / objective / outcome that your readers want to gain. Start writing and sharing …. don’t be worried, if you keep practicing, it will gradually increase in both quantity and quality!
- Short video clip production is highly recommended.
- Having a website is a must to build the credibility of your business. It is similar to your physical office where people will come to find information about you, your coaching services, client references and your contact information.
- Social media is a channel to communicate your latest news including articles integrated from your website. At present, there are many social media platforms. Choose the ones you want to use wisely based on your target clients’ interests and your purpose.
2. Offline Marketing: Join communities such as thought leaders, HR professionals, business owners, education, etc., as well as your local ICF Chapter , to understand others’ perspectives and share the value of your coaching services. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The target client of a coaching is everyone, which is a huge number of people. Therefore, each individual professional coach can support and provide coaching services to the people in their circles.
- Attend activities of various communities such as thought leaders, HR professionals, business owners, education, etc. Talk with them to understand their perspectives, challenges and requirements, and then find a way to support each other.
- Participate in various activities with your local ICF Chapter to enhance coaching knowledge and to build networking with other professional coaches.
3. Packaging Your Services for Sales: Find your niche, understand your clients’ needs, offer flexible solutions for them and partner long-term with your clients by supporting their needs as they grow. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Professionalism in coaching is an important foundation of the business. We need to develop knowledge and abilities and our coaching skills regularly. This is a coaching mindset as stated in the second ICF Core Competency – Embodies a Coaching Mindset.
- Once we continue develop ourselves, we will be able to effectively deliver our coaching services to the clients, which will be turned into our experiences. Our experiences will lead to continuous and effective proposal design that match the client’s needs and the resources they have.
Once you have considered these three areas of marketing and sales, I encourage you to apply them and take action to make the most of your authenticity and uniqueness. When you do, you’ll see further success and sustainability in your coaching business.