Like sex, marketing for coaches has a lot of myths, misinformation, and promises around it.
It’s important to move beyond the mistaken beliefs that you need to get coaching clients fast, or the desire to scale a coaching business. If we’ve learned one thing in our years of teaching marketing a private practice in Somatica – it’s the need to have a solid understanding of the people you want to help, their needs, and how to best reach them.
How Do I Market My Coaching Business?
Early on in our work, we talked with a handful of marketing experts. We took marketing classes that claimed to have all the secrets – but were actually just full of false promises. In the end, we hired a really good, down-to-earth marketing consultant. They helped bring our reach to the next level by showing us how to do the real, day-to-day continuous work of marketing.
Just like with sex, there isn’t one secret, or a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing a business. Some trainings try to reel you in by promising to teach you how to sell wildly overpriced coaching packages – which, as it turns out, is exactly what they’re doing. Others promise you they will get you to write your book in 10 weeks. We have seen so many promises – and the truth is that some of them might work, but only for a small number of people.
If you take one of these workshops and they don’t work for you, you might start to feel that something is wrong with you. That you are lagging behind. Or that you need to plunk down that 10 grand – because what they have to offer seems to be so much better. Then you try it – and most likely it moves you one tiny step to your goal. But you remain far from the big promises that are advertised.
The secret is that there are no magical solutions. If you really want to be successful as a coach, marketing is going to take a big chunk of your weekly work hours and requires continuous work. In order to be successful, you need to be at the top of people’s consciousness, and they need to hear from you and feel helped by you regularly. Somatica co-founders Celeste Hirschman and Danielle Harel explain it like this:
Key Principles of Marketing for Coaches
There are some key principles you need to follow to successfully market your coaching services:
1. Give people a good idea of the benefits of working with you
Your potential clients want to have a clear idea of the benefits of working with you. It’s less important that they understand what you do, as it is for them to understand what they will get from working with you.
Also, it’s essential they understand that you have more than just information or advice to offer. There is so much free information out there, it can be confusing. Your clients need to understand that your work together will go far beyond offering the same old trite advice. And most of all beyond the books, blogs and endless articles. To be good at marketing yourself as a coach, you need to also be good at helping your clients see how you can help them.
If, for example, you want to market a Somatica sex and relationship coaching practice, your clients need to understand the core of your business. In short – that you are empowering them to change their lives by practicing the tools of erotic and emotional intimacy in real-time. No blog, or book, or informational talk ever gives a person the experience of success. They need a real person to help them feel confident enough to take their new tools into their day-to-day lives.
Whatever coaching service you are trying to market – you need to tell people how the service you offer is uniquely helpful to their goals. Find out what they want. Then let them know how you can help them get it.
2. People Need to Feel They Can Trust You
To gain trust from potential clients you need to be both trustworthy, and connected to a training organization with a great reputation.
Being trustworthy with clients means returning their email or phone call right away. When people reach out to get help with their sex life, they are taking a big, vulnerable risk. They could get cold feet any second. You need to reach out to them promptly after they make contact with you. When you do make the connection, it needs to be personal, supportive, and full of guidance and leadership. They need to feel like you know what you are doing and know how to help them.
One piece of feedback we consistently get about Somatica from our coaches: our training is the philosophical, theoretical, and most importantly, practical foundation of their work. Even if they have done extensive training elsewhere. If you really know what you are doing – and can communicate it – clients will sign up with you.
As a coaching organization, Somatica has a good reputation. Reviews from medical doctors and therapists talk about how our information is thorough and accurate. And Google agrees – we rank very high in search engine results for lots of sex and relationship coaching-related topics.
In our own marketing, we’ve worked tirelessly to make Somatica ever more visible in the sex and relationship coaching marketplace. Having a strong organization, with branding that people recognize and embrace, is very important for you as a trainee coach. Particularly if you want to become a certified sex coach. Somatica is also accredited by the American College of Sexologists and can pass that certification on to its coaches.
3. Be a Part of a Referral Network
Being able to get some help from the beginning with filling your practice can be extremely beneficial. A good way to get coaching clients fast is by being part of a referral network from an already established organization.
Our own referral network has helped many coaches kick start their business. Eventually, they get to a place where they no longer need referrals from Somatica anymore. In addition, our training is so well-respected, other referral organizations have put Somatica-certified coaches onto their websites.
4. Have a Supportive Network to Co-create, Cross-promote, and Cross-refer
Somatica is a large and growing community of coaches and graduates. Here, you find people who might be willing to co-create business ventures, as well as cross-promote and cross-refer clients with you.
It also offers you a place to keep growing your skills with supervision and advanced classes, so you don’t have to be alone on your journey. For coaches wanting to attain certification, Somatica offers an on-going marketing group to keep you motivated towards launching and expanding your business.
5. Beyond Marketing, You Will Also Need to Be Able to Retain Your Clients
Marketing for coaches is time-consuming. To minimize the time you spend marketing yourself, you should work on retaining your clients. This is done by giving them real results and moving them along a growth path.
Explaining what they get from working with you is powerful. But delivering is even more so. Working with real people’s real problems takes time and practice. And really understanding how they tick has endlessly interesting complexities to it. The more you learn how to really help your clients, the more they will feel the impact and will want to come back for more. Getting clients is amazing – but keeping them is so much better.
A Coaching Business Plan
Once you have a clear focus and a strong message, it is time to do the diligent work of marketing. This is when creating a coaching business plan can be helpful. If you feel overwhelmed when you hear “coaching business plan”, don’t worry – it is actually rather simple. Just answer these few essential questions:
- Your niche: What kind of work do you really want to focus on?
- Your sandbox: What kind of people do you most want to work with?
- Messaging: You need to find your unique voice, and then produce content that represents who you are and what you have to offer.
A coaching business plan helps you dive into the practical marketing work of how to get coaching clients. This work includes:
- Learning about your niche and its unique needs
- Crystallizing your message
- Creating your website: one that really reflects YOU, who you are, and what you are offering.
Messaging And Social Media
It’s essential to find outlets that you can stick with when you are looking for places to market yourself.
Figure out which channel (or a couple of channels) is the most comfortable for you. Are you better at writing blogs, or do you love Facebook? Maybe Instagram or TikTok are your avenues. No matter where you make yourself heard – don’t overwhelm yourself. You don’t need to do it all. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t stick with anything. Doing one thing consistently is much better than doing a little bit here and there. Just know that it is really hard to maintain lots of channels.
Somatica has grads that have shown great success in their messaging. Emily Morse from Sex with Emily has a massively popular podcast and YouTube channel, with thousands of subscribers. Amy Baldwin from the Shameless Sex Podcast found her calling, creating podcasts, and spreading Somatica’s principles in the world. Other people are really good at schmoozing in person, meeting people for lunch, going to yoga and talking about what they do, etc.
How Somatica Can Help You in Your Marketing for Coaches Quest
When you take the Somatica certification path, we help you answer the difficult questions. What works best for you? Where is your niche as a coach? Who do you want to be as a coach? Plus, we help you stick with it.
We will set a place and time for you to work on your marketing with other coaches. And we help you keep the most important commitment – to give your gift to the world.