Why Coaches Must Learn Marketing

I have done a bunch of Seth Godin courses through Akimbo Workshops.

In fact, I did his course The Marketing Seminar twice and then I bought the book This Is Marketing which the course was based on.

I trust and like Seth because he’s smart, observant, diplomatic, and a highly ethical and effective marketer.

It’s tough being a life coach at the moment.

The coaching industry was struggling with supply far exceeding demand in 2019.

Then along came COVID-19.

And it got even harder to start a coaching business, or at least a successful one that was going to make you fully booked.

The pandemic has provided a massive motivator for people looking to take back control of their work and their income.

As such, they start joining online groups like the Fully Booked Coach Facebook Group to put their toe in the water and network with, or just observe, other coaches.

For me, this is probably a good thing because I help new and struggling life coaches.

However, for most coaches like yourself, it just goes to make an already brutally competitive marketplace even more so.

If that sentence alone has you discouraged then coaching probably isn’t right for you.

On the other hand, if it makes you even more determined to do the work and crush it, then it most definitely is – hurrah!

You Must, Must, Must, Market Yourself

However, one way you can do that immediately is to build up trust by helping people and being seen as a resource.

Then you can market yourself.

Yet so many coaches start to build up a following and then get nervous about selling to people who like and trust them.

There seems to be a belief that if you’re an excellent coach then that should be enough to succeed.

Sadly, life doesn’t work like that.

If it did, marketers would be redundant and the best products/services would always rise to the top.

We both know that’s not the case.

For the first three or four years of being a coach, I was really hesitant about promoting my services for fear of looking salesy or needy.

Then one day it hit home.

I received an email from a person who had been on my list for over two years asking if I was available to hire.

My initial internal response was, ‘how ridiculous, of course I am’.

Yet when I revisited the emails I was sending out, nothing actually said ‘you do know you can hire me, right?’

I’d built up trust and then done nothing with it.

It was me who had been ridiculous by presuming people knew what I did just because they were reading my emails on self development.

Yesterday morning I got an email from Seth Godin.

It told me that the early bird (he called it the early decision because it’s an application process) was ending for the next altMBA.

Heaven forbid, the rascal even used a bold typeface for the word, ‘deadline’.

But Seth wasn’t lying.

Nor was he being pushy.

He was merely reminding me that it was now time to act….or not.

Ethical Marketing Is Not An Oxymoron

Yes, he was gently using FOMO (fear of missing out) and yes he was using social proof.

But that’s marketing.

And that’s fine.

Because without it, people don’t buy.

And if you don’t implement good marketing practices people won’t hire you.

Every company you dislike uses marketing and sales tactics and perhaps you associate marketing with those companies and the way they do business.

But more importantly, every company you love uses them too.

You just don’t notice the latter because you trust and like them.

You can market yourself ethically, with integrity, and without being pushy.

In fact, it’s imperative you do.

Because the alternative is to let down the people who can benefit from what you have to offer.

4 thoughts on “Why Coaches Must Learn Marketing”

  1. This is a great. I’m very new to marketing. Its interesting how much we think we hate being sold to.

    Now I think we like being sold to, as long as it’s done well!

    That’s what I’m working on, learning to sell well:)

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