A lot of new life coaches are unsure of whether they need to blog and/or have a newsletter.
Let’s cut straight to the chase and remove any doubt.
If you want to attract online clients, then you not only should do both (unless you have a best selling book or a heap of cash to spend on marketing) because not doing so will result in almost certain failure.
Now bear in mind I am talking about online marketing here, because that is all I do.
I’m sure there are lots of Life Coaches who do all their marketing offline and are very successful.
Personally, I did enough business meetings and attended enough Chamber of Commerce events and trade shows to last me a lifetime when I was in sales and no way was I going back to that.
I can interact with a lot more people a lot more effectively and a lot quicker in one hour online than I could in a month offline.
Don’t Restrict Yourself To Begin With
However, I still think it’s wise for new coaches to do some offline marketing such as public speaking, meet up groups etc, because the online space is crowded and it takes time to build up a presence.
So why is writing so important?
Why not just use Social Media or a static website?
It is possible to run a business from a Facebook account, but equally, I guess it’s possible for me to jump into a tank full of very hungry sharks with 3 very unhappy baby seals strapped to my body and still get out alive, but I won’t be trying it.
Unless you were an early adopter, it’s very difficult to establish yourself on any Social Media platform to the point where you have enough followers on there alone to keep you busy with clients.
You can forget Facebook unless you have a 6 figure following and then some, and you probably need closer to a million on Twitter.
Also, even when people do become interested in what you have to say they will still probably want to visit your website and they will almost certainly expect to see a blog.
Is there anything more 1990s and more boring than a static website that never has new content?
People’s expectations are so much greater now than they were even 5 years ago.
If you don’t deliver they will be gone, and gone for good, because some other coach will be waiting to blow them away.
If you have a website you presumably want people to find it and then hopefully hire you, right?
The way people find websites excluding being given the URL is through Social Media, other sites linking to you and search engines such as Google and Bing.
Google is constantly updating their algorithm to stop people from gaming the system and dominating the SERP’s (search engine ranking pages) with spammy, thin or irrelevant content.
They are going to great ends to do this so that the customer experience is as good as possible.
They want to supply relevant up to date information that will answer people’s questions and have them continue to rely on Google with confidence.
Well, guess what Google just effectively came out and said?
Welcome To The Age Of Content Marketing
And I paraphrase. ‘Not only will we not help you appear high in the SERP’s if you aren’t regularly adding new content, but we will actually punish you’
Static sites, for the most part, will start to slide and slide and slide.
And in many cases, rightfully so because they are out of date and as such Google presumes the information may be too, and that risks a bad user experience.
If you don’t blog and blog fairly regularly, forget about people finding you through Google – it ain’t going to happen.
You can do all the SEO in the world, but it won’t save you.
(Note: I’m not saying don’t do SEO anymore, just do it in combination with what we are talking about)
Not only that, but one of the other 3 (free) ways of gaining traffic I mentioned is through people linking to you, and they have to have a damn good reason to do that.
Such as a killer blog post that will help their readers maybe?
Nobody worthwhile is going to link to your ‘About’ page even if it does have a cute kitten on it who is listed as head of marketing.
But A Newsletter Too?
Ok, so we have established a blog with useful content is a good and highly necessary thing, but do you really need a newsletter too?
Blog readers and newsletter readers are often different types of people with the former group being by and large, way more fickle.
Directly, I get at least 10x as many clients from my newsletter as I do from my blog.
My blog (and Social Media) are vehicles to drive traffic to my site.
But traffic is useless in and of itself.
You have to have a call to action, something you want those people to do when they land there, and then make it easy for them to do it.
And no, it’s not hiring you.
Give visitors the opportunity to hire you with your phone number and contact information easy to find, should they so wish.
However, if you try and design your site with the express purpose of people landing there and immediately hiring you or grabbing a free introduction or ‘discovery’ session (which I hate by the way), you’re going to be disappointed.
How would you react to a first date saying, ‘Can we skip drinks and dinner and just go straight to bed, I’m a bit short of cash this month and feeling horny?”
Some guys would probably be delighted if it came from a woman (until they got mugged or a nasty little rash), but most women would probably either walk out, or apply a knee sharply in an upwards motion towards the anatomical area that had obviously been doing the talking.
You have to build a relationship with your potential clients before they are likely to hire you.
Get to know them, buy them a metaphorical drink by giving them a free ebook or e-course.
Send them a stream of useful and relevant information, be authentic and most of all, be patient and don’t hassle them.
Few people impulse hire a life coach.
They want to like you, respect you, believe in you and resonate with you before they hand over their cash.
A newsletter (and a blog) allows you to do that. It allows them to get to know you over time.
I have taken on clients who have been on my newsletter list for 5 years! That’s extreme, but 6 to 12 months is fairly common.
And that’s because either they needed that time to form an opinion of me through my writing. Or the timing wasn’t right prior to then, which is why I say patience is crucial.
One of the other advantages newsletters have over blogs is they get opened over a longer period of time.
If you’re blog post hasn’t taken off in the first 48 hours, you can pretty much forget about it.
Yet I can see my newsletters being opened weeks, even months after they went out.
What About Killing Some Birds?
Some people send out their blog posts as newsletters to kill two birds with one stone and save time.
There’s nothing at all wrong with doing that (it’s certainly better than not having a newsletter) and it can be even automated with some solution providers, but I’m not a big fan.
99% of my articles for the A Daring Adventure list are original.
My best offers for coaching only ever go to my newsletter subscribers. If I get free ebooks to give away, guess where they go too?
I don’t spam them, I rarely do joint ventures and on the few occasions I do because I believe in a product or service, I NEVER take the formatted newsletter the partner nearly always sends out and I am never pushy.
I usually say something like this,
“I think this product or service is cool so I thought I’d share it with you. However, do your due diligence and decide if it’s right for you. I do earn commission if you do decide to buy. However, I will gladly refund that if you’d prefer I didn’t make any money. I’m doing this as a service, not to get rich”
In other words, I treat my list like royalty and with respect.
I even reply to every e-mail response (or at least the sensible ones). In all honesty that can be a pain in the ass sometimes if I send out an article that really resonates with people.
I’d rather have the pain in the ass of writing 20 or so e-mails than being sat there listening to crickets chirp.
With the newsletter for Coach the Life Coach I send out semi-regular, ‘An Insiders Guide To….’ and then some coaching related topics.
Here I share the information I share nowhere else, except maybe with people doing the course.
I’ve talked about my income, shared some super cool tips and tricks, explained why I’ve done certain things that may have seemed counter-intuitive and I plan on sharing all the information I acquired on my recent quest to grow my list quickly.
In other words, I want to make the Coach the Life Coach newsletter indispensable information to inexperienced coaches so they can avoid the pitfalls I fell into and still do on occasion.
And by the way, I made one schoolboy error that has really cost me with my recent campaign. I’ll share that too if you’re subscribed.
And one more thing.
I’m not a Saint and I’m not a Charity.
I LOVE what I do and I genuinely LOVE helping others. It’s why I’m a marketing coach and why I was a life coach.
However, I do still need to get clients and people onto my training courses to pay my bills, but I do that by trying to add as much value upfront as possible so people see working with me as a no-brainer when the time is right.
In other words, I’m always looking to create a win/win, and so should you be.
Any comments, questions or disagreements, please leave me a comment below I’d love to hear from you.
Image Courtesy of Jonathan Kim