How do I advertise my coaching business?

When coaches ask “How do I advertise my coaching business?” the tried, trusted (and tired) answers are:

  • SEO
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Squeeze pages
  • Set up a marketing funnel

Or my favourite, a baffling combination of all of these presented as if it’s some kind of Secret Formula™ for success!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you don’t need any of this. In fact, I’ll go further and say, I can’t tell you what you “need” or “should be doing”.

What I can and will do in this guide is show you how you can start to put your coaching business out there without the need for what you might be thinking of as “advertising”.

Let’s agree our terms: ‘advertising’ and ‘marketing’

To start with, it’s worth clarifying just what we’re talking about. Lots of people confuse advertising with marketing — not surprising as the two words are often used interchangeably. But they’re not the same…

Advertising, in the broad sense, is showing Ads (Facebook Ads, Google Ads…) to total strangers in the hope that they like what they see and take an action — buy, click, sign up. Ads on their own do not change anyone’s opinions nor give them a fresh perspective.

Marketing is the process of nurturing, educating and supporting people on a journey of consciousness, from unaware to most aware. It’s about guiding potential clients who are the right fit for your coaching to a point where they’re ready to buy and in doing so are making an informed choice about working with you.

When most coaches ask about advertising, I believe they really need to know about marketing instead.

As you can imagine from the above descriptions, unless you have a marketing strategy in place your advertising won’t work — Ads are only really effective if they’re just one part of taking people on the journey.

If you leap straight to setting up Ads, chances are they’ll be targeting the wrong people at the wrong time. Your Ads will be bringing people who aren’t ready to buy to a webpage for something they don’t want.

Focus on your marketing

So, if advertising alone won’t get you the clients you want, how do you go about cultivating them through marketing?
While it might not necessarily be easy, marketing your coaching business is reassuringly simple.

Attracting clients to your coaching work takes time but once set up, your marketing strategy will bring you ideal clients who are ready to invest in (and get the most out of) the coaching process.

The key is creating marketing content for each stage of the journey of consciousness mentioned above — content that focuses on people at each of the five levels of awareness:

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 issue they have identified.

Solution Aware: A person knows there are solutions, but hasn’t chosen one, and doesn’t know about your product.

Product Aware: A person knows about your product, but isn’t totally sure it will solve their problem or support them in the change they want to make.

Most Aware: A person knows a lot about your product. They are on the cusp of buying but need to know the specifics.

This journey of awareness is focused on raising the prospect’s consciousness of their situation. It will nurture (and attract) the clients who are the best fit for what you do.

We have a whole page on these levels, and how your content can support people to navigate this journey. We also have a whole chapter dedicated to it on our Coach’s Marketing Journey course.

Start at the end…

We recommend you work backwards. Start with the final Most Aware stage. People at this point are one step off making a purchase.

Make it easy for people to take that step. All they’re lacking is a deeper understanding of your services and how they apply to their situation, so make it easy for them to understand.

  1. First, put together a concise and clear explanation of how you can guide people with your coaching work, and invite them to take the first step (the purchase). Target level: Most Aware.
  2. Then, explain how your coaching process — your method — works, and show them how your method will get them from where they are now to where they want to be. Offer to guide them through the process. Target level: Product Aware.
  3. Then, create content that explains in more detail the problems, frustrations or opportunities for change that the potential client might be experiencing right now. Target level: Solution Aware.
  4. Then, show them how this is linked to your method and how that can help get them where they want to be. Target level: Problem Aware.
  5. Then, create content that gets people thinking and brings to their attention how some of their lived experiences could be considered from a different perspective. Get them thinking and point them to your other content for more detail. Target level: Unaware.

You’ve just created the journey of consciousness, backwards. We have a full guide on the website with a lot more detail about how this works.

But… “Wouldn’t I get the same results faster with Ads?”

Ads can help you ‘skip the queue’ and get some purchases/clients without the journey of consciousness. But will the people who make that quick purchase be ready for coaching? Not so likely.

A Facebook Ad might get someone from having no idea they even had a problem or opportunity for change to clicking BUY within 10 seconds, but will they be ready to personally invest and do the work? I think deep down you know as well as I do that they won’t be.

Better clients come with not cutting corners

Yes, this marketing process takes time, but so does coaching. If the service isn’t a quick fix, why should the marketing be?

The key is to meet the client where they are and not where you’d like them to be. Then, guide them to a place where they’re making an informed decision about working with you. They, and you, will ultimately get a lot more out of it.

We work with coaches who are creating this journey for their clients as part of our coaching-specific marketing training course. With over 70 video lessons and weekly sessions, we’re here to inspire, support and guide you in creating your own journey. You’ll also be joining a community of coaches who are doing the same thing as you. You can take a look around, attend sessions, watch the course videos and meet other coaches with our 14-day free membership.

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