There are numerous and creative ways you, as a certified coach, can market your new life coaching business. You can start with free options such as social media postings, local area business listings, and word of mouth. Or perhaps you have a modest budget and can afford some online ads, or a spot in the local paper. But whatever your budget, you must market your business.
Deciding on the specific advertising method you use will depend a lot on your budget, but also on your target niche. There’s not much point in using Instagram if the age of your niche clients is 50+, since most Instagram users are under 30 years of age.
Similarly, posting an ad in the local community newspaper will likely not be effective if your target market is Millennials, as this age group gets their news almost exclusively from online sources and social media. It pays to do your research to determine which marketing vehicle will be most effective for your target clients.
Here are some advertising and marketing options in more detail:
Having an active certified coach social media presence is an effective and low-cost way to promote your services. You can create free accounts on Facebook, Linked-In, Instagram, Pinterest, and many other social media platforms.
There are many free resources you can find in a Google search for learning the best marketing practices for each social media platform, and you can also research the specific demographics for each, which allows you to target the ones that best match your niche.
Be aware that social media sites do require on-going maintenance in the form of regular postings and building a base of friends or connections; posting can take quite a bit of time, but the reach can be significant.
Your best approach is to choose one or two of the most fitting platforms, and then be consistent in your message and your schedule of posting. There are some great free apps available that will help you manage postings to multiple social media platforms, which should make this option more appealing and less time-consuming.
Joining professional organizations such as the local chapter of BNI (Business Network International), your local area Chamber of Commerce, or your town or city’s BIA (Business Improvement Association) can be a good choice if you would like to build a local coaching business.
These organizations often charge an upfront membership fee, and sometimes additional fees to attend meetings, but also usually offer a few discounts and perks exclusively to their members.
Attending these types of meetings provides a certified coach with a great opportunity to meet a variety of people you may not generally come in contact with, and to practice delivering your message. Additionally, working alone can get lonely, and these groups provide good socializing opportunities.
Tip: make sure to have business cards with you if you choose this option. You will need them!
Print and Online Advertising
If you don’t have the time for or inclination towards posting to social media or attending weekly events, you could choose the more expensive option of paid advertising.
For print advertising, you’ll need to consider that, just as for social media platforms, individual newspapers, journals, and magazines cater to a specific demographic. You’ll need to do your research and ask the right questions to ensure the demographic applies to your niche in order to get the best value for your advertising dollar.
You must also be consistent to get a good response, which means advertising over and over to the same group of people. Choose a package that fits your budget over the longer term.
Online advertising is another option. This is often referred to as ‘pay-per-click’ advertising. Search engines such as Google and Bing feature this option, which can be useful if your website itself is not showing up on the first three pages of an online search. However, it can get very expensive if you want to get results.
As an example, the search term ‘life coach’ can cost you as much as $4 USD per click. That means if someone enters the search term ‘life coach’, sees your ad and clicks on it, you will be charged $4. Be aware, as this method can add up quickly.
You can also advertise on social media platforms such as Facebook through something called ‘pay per impression’. This is a similar structure to print advertising in that you pay for your ad appearing on a page whether someone clicks on it or not. The fees are much lower than ‘pay-per-click’ advertising, but it can still add up.
The advantage with this type of online ad is that you can target the exact demographic you are interested in, which will make a big difference in how effective your ad campaign will be.
Free online advertising consulting is included with the iNLP Center’s Life Coach Certification Training!