How to Market Your Coaching Business

A Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing for Coaches

How to Market Your Coaching Business

Becoming a certified coach is only half the journey. The other half is establishing yourself in the industry and proving your abilities to potential clients. 

As a coach, you are passionate about helping people achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. However, building a successful coaching business requires more than just passion and a coaching certification. It also requires a solid understanding of marketing, brand and sales.

And that may feel overwhelming. But it’s ok because you’re not alone.

At Better Story Marketing, we want to help you tell your story well so you can impact as many people as possible. With the right marketing strategies, you can attract clients and build your coaching business in no time. 

In this guide, we’ll explore proven marketing strategies to help you attract clients and grow your coaching business. The process isn’t complicated, and when you put in the work, I believe you’ll be delighted with the results.

Let’s take a look at the process:

  1. Define your niche
  2. Build your online presence
  3. Utilize content marketing
  4. Offer free and paid consultations
  5. Network, collaborate and refer
  6. Make the happy path easy

Book a Focus Session to take the next step toward clarifying your marketing strategy and message.
Book a Focus Session to take the next step toward clarifying your marketing strategy and message.

Define your niche

One of the first steps in marketing for life coaches is to identify your target audience. You cannot be everything to everyone, so focusing on a particular niche can help you speak more directly to your ideal client. 

Consider the specific area of coaching you want to focus on and what kind of clients you want to work with. For example, you might specialize in executive coaching for professionals looking to advance their careers or relationship coaching for individuals seeking to improve their romantic relationships.

It is essential to have a clear understanding of the kind of people who will likely benefit from your coaching expertise. Obtaining this clarity means defining your niche and the specific problems you can solve for potential clients. 

As you clarify your niche, you’ll want to create personas of your ideal clients. Next is developing your message and marketing efforts by writing your brand story.

Build your online presence

In today’s digital age, establishing a solid online presence is crucial for any business. As a life coach, you can leverage various online platforms to promote your services and attract new clients. 

A  beautiful and clear website showcasing your coaching services, experience, and success stories is a must. And while first impressions are important, what your website says is more critical than how it looks. You have to focus on clarity around what problem you solve for your potential clients, how their life will be better and how they can get started or try it out.

Consider where your ideal client spends time online, especially when they’re thinking about the problem you solve. Choosing which social media platforms you engage on isn’t about your preferences but your ideal client’s.

Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok? You can also leverage these platforms by creating a business page.

If you’re just getting started, don’t feel pressure to do all of them simultaneously. That will burn out most people. Instead, focus your efforts on one or two platforms and regularly deliver quality content, like articles, insights, and tips for your target audience.

As you do this consistently, you’ll see what resonates with your ideal audience and begin to position yourself as an authority in your niche.

If this seems overwhelming, consider hiring a professional web designer who can customize your website, brand it effectively and teach you the proper SEO techniques to help your target clients find you. 

At Better Story Marketing, we love helping coaches launch and grow their businesses. That’s why we created both the Marketing OS for Coaching and the Coaching Brand Intensive.

Utilize content marketing

Another effective marketing strategy for coaches is content marketing. 

Creating content for crucial moments in your client’s journey from prospect to lead to buyer allows you, as the coach, to guide them along the way. But most businesses, coaches and entrepreneurs make the same mistake when it comes to creating content.

They write the content about themselves.

In the story of your business, your client is the main character, not you. This can be a challenging paradigm shift to make. But when you do, it unlocks so much potential to both help your clients and grow your business.

Content can take many forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • E-books
  • Courses
  • Webinars
  • Email campaigns
  • Infographics
  • Tips and tricks
  • Case studies
  • Success stories
  • How to guides
  • Personal experiences

This type of marketing can help build your credibility and drive traffic to your website. 

Personalizing your marketing efforts is vital because as you guide the client in the journey, you’re also building a digital relationship with them. You’re not helping the masses; you’re helping an individual grow.

An easy starting point is personalizing automated emails to include the client’s name. But to really bring personalized value, you’ll need to segment your audience and deliver personalized content. 

Here’s an example. If you’re a leadership coach, you could set up a quiz for people to identify their strengths and weaknesses or current challenges and opportunities. This quiz itself delivers valuable insights to the client, but it also helps you know what they need. If a challenge they face is leading a newly formed team, then you would want to deliver an email campaign around that topic and invite them to a product you offer that helps them lead this new team.

When the automation in your Marketing OS is set up correctly, this works like a charm. Potential clients are receiving personalized value and moving toward becoming actual paying clients without you actively doing anything.

Marketing can often feel like navigating a maze for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

A Focus Session helps you take the next step toward a clear and actionable marketing strategy that can help you drive impact

Offer free and paid consultations

Think back to your last significant purchase. Was there a moment when you were on the fence about whether or not you should move forward and buy?

This feeling is a typical moment in any buyer’s journey. And it’s especially common for potential coaching clients to want to move forward but feel unsure if it’s the right choice.

It’s really all about risk. Your potential clients are afraid they’ll make the wrong decision. They’re worried it won’t meet their expectations, and they’ll regret it.

This phenomenon is why most software companies offer some kind of free trial. It lets the customer try it out, allowing them to feel more confident about moving forward. 

As a coach, you can take a similar approach by offering a combination of free and paid consultations. In our Marketing OS for Coaches framework, the out-of-the-box automation pipeline includes two sessions.

  • Explore Session
  • Breakthrough Session

Let’s look at each and see how they will help you grow your coaching business.

The explore session

This is a short, 20-minute session that you can offer free to anyone interested in your coaching service. They choose from time slots you pre-decided could be available. The session flow includes getting to know each other by understanding the challenge they’re facing, the change they want to see and the timeline they’re hoping for. 

The goal of the explore session is twofold.

  1. You know if they’re someone you want to work with and can help. 
  2. They feel more confident in what they will get from you as a coach.

At the end of the explore session, some clients will be confident in what they want and ready to sign up, which is a fantastic return on the investment of a 20-minute session.

But others will still be on the fence. Because they signed up for the explore session, they should, by default, already be added to a nurture campaign to continue helping them identify if your coaching is a good fit for them and inviting them to sign up. But the game-changer at this moment is the breakthrough session.

The breakthrough session

The breakthrough session is a little different. It’s longer, 60-90 minutes, and not free.

During the session, you will collaboratively map out a plan for them. It will take them from the old story of where they’ve been to the new story of where they want to go. 

The breakthrough session accomplishes three things.

  1. They get to see you in action as a coach.
  2. They experience receiving significant value from a short session.
  3. They practice paying you for coaching.

At the end of the breakthrough session, they have an actionable plan. They can decide to take it and try to execute it on their own, or they can accept your invitation to coach them through that journey. 

After working with you for these two sessions, most will want to continue. 

Neither session needs to have a strong sales vibe. They are each touchpoints for both parties to decide if they want to continue. In the end, you’ll have more clients overall and more who you really like working with. 

Providing potential clients with a mini-coaching session can help them get to know your coaching style, build trust, and lead your clients to hire your services. It creates a low-risk opportunity for them to try out your services and see the benefits for themselves. 

If you want a really deep dive into these two sessions, check out this guide.

Network, Collaborate and Refer

Approach coaching with an abundance mentality rather than a scarcity mindset.

More than enough people need a coach to help them grow and make an impact. In fact, most people probably need a collection of coaches.

Once a client experiences the compounding impact of a coach in one area of their life, they will be open to it in other areas as well. 

Consider a small business owner who hires a Business Made Simple coach who helps them grow their business and, at the same time, experience less stress. Now that they’re experiencing growth and peace in their business, they realize how much they’ve been neglecting their health through minimal sleep, no exercise and stress eating. 

The business coach who has already helped them with their business is not the right person to help them with their health. But wouldn’t it be great if they knew someone they could recommend? 

Building a network of coaches who can refer people to one another expands your reach and revenue potential. The impact of this network multiplies when those coaches are all practicing explore sessions. 

During an explore session, it's common to discover that potential clients need a different type of coaching service than you offer. When you have a network, you can pivot the call by affirming the area they want to grow in and telling them you know someone who does precisely that. 

So, how do you build this network?

You can begin by attending coaching industry events, joining networking groups and organizations, and connecting with other coaches inside and outside your niche. Collaboration opportunities could include creating joint content, sharing leads, and even creating shared coaching programs.

Referral programs can help you gain new coaching clients in two ways. 

  1. Encouraging your existing clients to refer new clients to you. Offering a referral bonus or discount can incentivize your clients to spread the word for you. 
  2. Partnering with other coaches or complementary businesses that serve your target audience can expand your network and attract new clients.

Ultimately, you want to make it easy for the right clients to find the right coaches so they can grow and make an impact. And that brings us to our last section in this guide.

Make the happy path easy

We’ve covered a lot in this guide, and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering where to begin. Don’t worry, that’s normal. 

Whether you’re just getting started marketing your coaching business or your remodeling and already existing strategy, the best place to start is with the happy path.

The happy path is a user experience term meaning “the most direct path a user can take within a product to achieve their desired result.” 

When you create a customer journey map, there are numerous paths a customer can take. But this one is more direct and often more frequent. As you develop the marketing OS for your coaching business, begin by building out the happy path. 

Building the happy path first will allow you to test and learn what resonates with your ideal clients. Optimizing the happy path will ensure those ideal clients can sign up with the least amount of friction possible.

As a coach, you have unique skills and talents to help people improve their lives. Let’s multiply that impact.

Marketing your coaching business can initially feel intimidating, but with a solid plan and the right tools, you’ll be landing more clients in no time.

To build a successful coaching business, you must focus on marketing strategies that will help you reach your target audience effectively. One key to success lies in persistence and consistency. And at the same time, don't be afraid to experiment with different marketing strategies to find what works best for your coaching practice.

Action Plan

We covered a lot of actions throughout this guide. But here’s a quick summary of the path you can take to create an effective strategy for marketing your coaching business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marketing for Coaches

What is marketing for a coaching business?

Marketing for a coaching business involves promoting your services to potential clients via various strategies such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and more.

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What is marketing for a coaching business?

What marketing strategies should I use for my coaching business?

The most effective marketing strategy will depend on your specific coaching niche, target audience, and personal strengths

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What marketing strategies should I use for my coaching business?

Why is marketing important for my coaching business?

Without marketing, potential clients may not be aware of your coaching services. Marketing helps you reach your target audience, build your brand, and attract more clients.

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Why is marketing important for my coaching business?

How can I build an email list for my coaching business?

Offer something of value for free, like a download, video series, short course or micro session in exchange for a website visitor's email address.

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How can I build an email list for my coaching business?

Should I have a website for my coaching business?

Having a website gives your business credibility and allows potential clients can learn more about your services. It's also crucial for online marketing strategies like content marketing and SEO.

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Should I have a website for my coaching business?

Customer Journey Maps

What is a customer journey?

A customer journey is the process that a customer goes through when interacting with your company, from the initial discovery phase to the final purchase or interaction.

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What is a customer journey?

What are the stages in the customer journey?

Awareness - Consideration - Decision - Delivery + Use - Loyalty + Referral

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What are the stages in the customer journey?

Why is mapping the customer journey important?

When you understand the journey, your can meet the customers where they are.

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Why is mapping the customer journey important?

How do I start creating a customer journey map?

Start by defining your ideal customer personas, then map the current process by identify the different touchpoints where your customers interact with your business at the phases of the customer journ

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How do I start creating a customer journey map?

How often should I update my customer journey map?

Certainly whenever your products or services change and at least annually.

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How often should I update my customer journey map?

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