Are you marketing by accident (or on purpose)?
Is your marketing an accidental success?
To put it another way… do you get results because of the marketing you do, or despite it?
A lot of marketing only ‘works’ because of the effort of the recipient. It lands in front of someone who is ready to buy and is willing to do the work to decode the marketing message. Why do we say “decode”? Because all too often, the marketing message isn’t focused on them, it’s all about the coach and what they do. The potential customer has to do some translation work — The coach does X… therefore I will potentially get Y.
The marketing is only working by accident.
Consider someone who is thinking about coaching as an option or — not having reached that stage yet — is researching their frustrations, feelings or experiences. How likely is it that they are motivated enough to do the decoding work involved in translating such inward-focused marketing messages and think, That’s for me!?
Even if they do the work and your offer seems a good option for them, if they find another coach who is clearer in their messaging and it’s a choice between the two of you, well…
So how can you flip the focus to be on what the client experiences? How can you start marketing successfully ‘on purpose’?
It’s really not all about you!
Most advertising by coaches is inwardly focused. Instead of speaking to the needs and the problems of the potential client, their marketing focuses on what the coach does; sometimes to the extent of self-aggrandizement: Look how great I am at doing this!
Ads that use discounts or inflated promises, include a laundry list of services, or claim to be the leading provider of that particular coaching service are simply shouting, Look at me!
From the potential client’s perspective, this isn’t helping. They need to put in a lot of hard work and energy to work out what real benefits they are likely to get.
Change the perspective
To achieve marketing success ‘on purpose’ means talking about the experience that the client will have. Use their language and their perspective. Don’t tell them what you’ll do. Tell them what they’ll experience, the benefits they’ll get and the goals they can achieve.
When researching and considering coaching (the ‘pre-client’ phase) a person is on a five-stage journey of consciousness, becoming more and more aware of where they are and what you can do for them.
- Unaware: A person doesn’t know they have a problem, or can’t yet see the opportunity for change, and it can take a lot of time, energy and effort to move them to the next level.
- Problem Aware: A person knows they have a problem, or can see an opportunity for change but doesn’t know there are solutions to the outcome they have identified.
- Solution Aware: A person discovers that there are solutions, but hasn’t chosen one, and is still deciding if they’re ready to do the work.
- Product Aware: A person is ready to do the work and is looking for a product that matches their perceived solution. They’re trying to work out if your product can help them solve their problem or support them in the change they want to make.
- Most Aware: A person has decided they’re ready to work with you, they are on the cusp of buying but need to feel supported in taking the first step.
From accidental to purposeful
Switching your focus means developing content aimed at people on each stage of this journey. Show that you understand their position and perspective. Don’t just lay out your coaching method or model, help them to really understand what working with you would look and feel like.
We have comprehensive written and video guides on how to set up this journey for them using content that guides potential clients through each stage of this journey — check it out.
As a simple beginning, switching from “I…” to “You…” in your website copy is an effective change that requires minimal effort.
e.g. I coach people with stress issues. — flips to — You will feel less stressed with coaching.
Marketing ‘by accident’ comes from telling people all about you and hoping it resonates. It’s a gamble.
Marketing ‘on purpose’ requires a focus on the person you’re pitching to, their issues, their experience.
But … “I need to tell people what I do or they won’t understand how it works.”
Yes, it’s important people understand what you do and how BUT from a perspective of how it will feel for them, and what they will get from the process.
What feelings, insights or outcomes will they arrive at by working with you?
Few potential clients want to understand all the details of the process before they start. What they’re interested in is finding someone they can trust to get them where they want and need to go. They are looking for a guide.
Random accidents or purposeful success
In a sense, this comes back to the well-established truth: you need to show people what’s in it for them.
Otherwise you’re just flinging seeds out in random directions, hoping that they’ll land on fertile ground (sure, fling enough seeds and something will grow — but will it be what and where you wanted?)
The key is to resist the urge to jump straight in with a solution or amazing offer. Instead, split your marketing messaging up so that you are creating content, webpages, videos, etc. that resonate with people at each stage of awareness on their journey to working with you.
Choosing a coach takes time. Those that have spent that time getting to know and trust you will be fantastic clients.
You can learn more about the journey of consciousness with our downloadable guide. If you want more detailed guidance in getting everything set up then consider our Coach’s Marketing Journey course, a step-by-step guide to the process of creating your client’s journey.