10 breathtakingly simple steps to nailing down a marketing message that will win you coaching clients
September 9, 2016 by Kevin Oubridge
The whys, wherefores, dos and don’ts of developing the fundamental tool that ALL coaches need to win corporate clients – a marketing message!
FIRST, you have to decide you need to do something.
To sell your coaching, that is.
After all, it won’t sell itself.
Doing nothing isn’t an option.
However, neither is doing something that doesn’t work.
In fact, that’s worse. For the simple reason that doing something that doesn’t work, like attending networking events and collecting a lot of business cards but not following up afterwards, wastes a lot of time you could use to do something useful, like win more clients.
So, SECOND, you have to decide the ‘something’ you will do.
Remembering, of course, it can’t be nothing, nor can it be something that doesn’t achieve anything.
Why not make it marketing your coaching services?
You could make a start by getting to grips with your key marketing message, out of which all your other marketing efforts will come.
Which brings me to THIRD, which is, you need to be clear exactly what it is you want to achieve.
Let’s say that it’s that you want to sell your services to corporate clients – employees in medium to large wealthy companies.
FOURTH, therefore, you need to get clear who you want to sell to. After all, there are quite literally millions of medium to large wealthy companies out there.
That’s a good thing!
You have a lot of opportunities to sell your coaching.
On the other hand, there are quite literally millions of medium to large wealthy companies out there.
That’s a bad thing!
There are far too many for you to successfully connect with. Not forgetting, of course, having connected, you still need to switch them on to the value of your coaching and sell them something.
Which means, FIFTH, you don’t just want to be clear on who you want to sell your coaching to, you need to be exact. You need to whittle the millions of possible client companies down to a more manageable number.
It’s simple really. If you want a marketing and sales operation that can handle millions of potential client companies buy IBM. However, if this is too much of a stretch for you financially, identify a smaller (much smaller) target market.
SIXTH, nail down the companies or sort of companies you want to work with.
You can just list the companies or you can make a start at identifying characteristics of the sort of companies you want to include – retail, technology, manufacturing, health & social care, travel … whatever.
You won’t be doing this totally blind. You’ll have a pretty good idea of the things you like and dislike about different sectors and companies, plus you may already have clients you want to continue working with, so it’s a good idea to include the companies they work for.
If you really can’t do this with any sense of purpose or understanding, just do it anyway.
SEVENTH, identify the sort of people you want to work with.
CEOs, C-suite, directors, leaders, managers, supervisors, employees, staff, women, men, women who are leaders, men who manage staff … and so on.
If you have included all of the above, go back and do it again.
I’m with you in that your coaching can benefit anybody in any position, it’s just that your marketing messages need to speak to specific people, not anybody in any position.
You therefore need to get specific.
EIGHTH, you also need to think about the problems the people you work with face.
This is part of getting specific.
So, identify these problems.
If they’re not the sort of problems you want to help people overcome, go back to seventh and possibly sixth – you have not failed, you are learning about your target market.
If they ARE the sort of problems you want to help with, write them down.
NINTH, you need to be clear on what you’re selling.
Sounds silly, but it is emphatically NOT coaching.
You are selling the solution to the problems you’ve identified.
So think about the solution (outcomes) your potential clients want.
For example, if a problem you have identified is that your potential clients work ludicrously long hours but never seem to have the time to get things done, the solution might be for them to learn to delegate operational stuff to their team, prioritse what’s left better, focus on the more strategic element of their role and go home at a reasonable time.
This is the solution you are selling.
Finally, TENTH, write down who you work with, the companies they work for, the problems they face and the solution they want.
Don’t get bogged down and don’t lose heart.
There is absolutely no chance that you will not learn from the experience.
As in, you will learn from the experience.
In addition, eventually, you will come up with something you can trot out to others.
This is a marketing message.
It will make it easier for you to engage people in discussion about your coaching, and it will make it easier for them to understand what it is you do.
If they are not your target market, you won’t waste your time or theirs hoping, praying or pretending they are.
If they are your target market, they will know because you will have told them.
You can then move on to the next step, which is to switch them on to the value you bring. You have already made a start through your marketing message, so now you should focus on asking them about their work situation, to help them understand that your solution will work for them.