The web today gives us coaches an un-rivalled way to connect with our target audiences. Reading some of the material out there you get the impression that Internet marketing for coaches is a no-brainer. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are, though, clear methods to ensure your message gets in front of the people you want to read it.
It is good that acquiring an internet presence takes work and effort. Most coaches will not put in the time building the skills needed. This means you have a clear opportunity to fill your practice by using the Internet. This is because the competition from coaches is low.
There are two broad strategies for using the Internet to get clients. Now I don’t mean paying for it and getting it for free. What technology you use, websites and so on, depends on which of the following two marketing strategies you will be using.
The first strategy: is your message aimed at who people are, or at what the problems are you are solving?
If you’re focusing your message at an identifiable group, in other words who people are, social media is likely to be your main tool.
If you are targeting the problems you help people solve, this is the ‘what’ aspect. Getting ranked high in the search engines would be an ideal strategy.
Social media and who you can help
Which social media you use will depend on where your potential clients hang out. For example, if they are business people, LinkedIn is a good place. If they like cute furry animals, Youtube could be a good place.
Remember, irrespective of the group you’re calling, others are clamouring for their attention. For you to stand out it is going to take time and effort. You need to build relationships with your potential audience. This develops gradually, one person at a time.
What issues you help people with and using the search engines
People use the search engines to find solutions to problems. They rarely include in the search who they are. For example, if I were looking for organic paint, organic paint is the phrase I would use. I wouldn’t type into Google ‘organic paint for business coaches’. It doesn’t make sense.
Again you’ll find yourself up against many competitors. Getting yourself into the top few positions in Google is a skill. You’re competing with Internet marketers who are trying to get the attention of people with the same problems. You have no choice but to compete with them.
People talk about free traffic from search engines, there is no such thing. I don’t mean the paid adverts; I mean the time effort and money you will need to spend to ensure you are at the top of the results page.
Use a combination of social media and search engines
Even if your primary approach to connecting with potential clients is social media, it’s still a good idea to have some search engine presence. People will search on your name and your business name. Make sure they can easily find it at the top of Google.
What you don’t want to happen is when somebody puts your name in Google, you find the top result is some porn star or a politician involved in a scandal. Neither helps your cause.
If you are mostly bringing people to your website from search engines, social media can be a tool to help you engage with these people and keep them coming back.
Can Internet marketing work for your practice?
Let me ask a question, how did you find this web page? Clearly it is possible to get potential clients to visit your website, the real question is what do you have to do to achieve this?
In my experience, there are three actions you’re going to need to take. You need to gain the relevant knowledge. You need to develop the skills and finally you need to build into your life the work habits that eventually will bring your success.
Are you willing to invest the time and effort necessary to get clients from the Internet?
Internet marketing for coaches is far more involved than putting up a simple website and starting a Twitter page. You need to get clear on the message you’re putting out.
Get clear on what skills and habits you’ll need to succeed and then develop them.
Take the time to design your Internet presence. Make sure it all joins up. So if somebody finds you on Facebook, when they visit your website they’ll see the same message. A joined up and consistent message by you on the Internet will increase the number of people who say yes to what you’re offering.
Finally, get some help. Make sure you get guidance, advice and training from those that can help you, this will save time, effort and money.