We Love Coaching. In fact, it’s rare to ever hear a coach say that they don’t love coaching. Whether you are a business coach, a sales coach, a life coach, a love coach, or the coach of a sports team, coaches do what they do to help others, to share their wisdom, and to fulfill a passion they carry with them everywhere they go.
To make a full time income from coaching you have to build and run a business. The biggest concern voiced to me over the last 30 years from coaches is the sales and marketing side of the business. That evil necessity for those of us that are in love with coaching, but not necessarily in love with the side of the business that requires us to attract prospects and close clients.
If you want to maximize your marketing efforts, become a coach with celebrity status, at least within your niche. Whether we like it or not, celebrity sells. You don’t have to become nationally recognized endorsement celebrity like Michael Jordan promoting Nike or Beyoncé for Pepsi. You just have to be positioned as an authority or an expert in your field of coaching. Once you’ve achieved a certain level of celebrity, your marketing gains energy and can be leveraged to increase the effectiveness of your efforts, both online and offline.
Many advertising companies are focused on the same nauseating chant the “Mad Men” industry has pushed for decades; “The more marketing dollars you spend and the more consistently you spend that money, the more your business will grow because people will get to know your name”.
That isn’t a bad thing really, nauseating sure, expensive and often extremely inefficient, absolutely, but not bad. The truth behind that strategy is that your name does become branded into the minds of the audience when done consistently. In my current hometown of Las Vegas, attorneys and car dealers fill the airwaves (TV and radio) and become local celebrities. Those same Vegas business celebs also do a great deal of online marketing. As a coach to some of the service companies that provide these local celebrities Internet marketing, I know that their celebrity building strategies are costing them between $50,000-$120,000/month.
The other, much less expensive, side of that coin is the more time intensive side of Internet marketing. If and when you’ve learned from marketing webinars, tele-seminars, and eBooks you most likely have heard them clearly state that you have to build a following, just like a celebrity. The appealing part for many of us coaching entrepreneurs is we’re also told; “You never have to spend a dime, you just need to commit the time”.
Content creation for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and free reports and courses to sell are all incredibly beneficial, yet can be intensely time consuming. That isn’t a negative, it’s just a realistic look at what it takes to gain recognition in the minds of your prospects even before you sell them on coaching.
Honestly, you should do a combination of the 2 plans listed above, paid and free. However, you should approach them with the mindset that you’re going to build your celebrity positioning. Attack your marketing without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars getting ‘branded” or hundreds of hours creating content. You’re looking to stand out from the crowded marketplace. So doing things even a little different will help you be set apart from your competition. A 1 degree difference turns water stuck in a pot into a rising steam (Even a small celebrity boost can turn you into a rising star.)
First let’s clearly define celebrity based on the business of coaching for this article:
ce·leb·ri·ty (sə-lĕb′rĭ-tē) noun
- One who is widely known and of great popular interest.
- Fame or popular renown.
For the coaching industry, being “widely known and or having popular recognition” with your prospects gives you tremendous influence when marketing. Imagine for a minute that 2 coaches are marketing to the same group of people. Everything about their marketing campaign is the same. Their marketing appears on the same website, newsletter, or is promoted as a webinar via an email. The title is the same, the offer text, the images, everything.
The single major difference is that only one coach has a name that is familiar by the group. Even if the group isn’t exactly sure how or why they know the coach’s name, but it’s at least familiar somehow. That is often enough to motivate the already busy and distracted prospect to at least consider paying attention to your offer. Often that is all a good coach needs, is for a prospect to read the offer and be inspired enough to take an action, like attend the webinar, read the sales page, or listen to the presentation.
Now, if that coach has a name that has been showing up everywhere that the prospect seems to be, then a much higher level of celebrity has been obtained and with that even a higher level of action taking and enthusiasm to pay attention occurs within the prospect’s mind.
Here are some of my more unique but powerful methods I’ve used to build celebrity. Very few coaches take these steps, even the steps they’ve heard of before. Regarding efficiency and results these can be done in weeks not years, and the results have allowed me to appear on national television, be invited as a regular guest on radio shows, be interviewed by journalists for newspapers, and be asked to speak at events. (Cool side note, I was even paid just to show up at a $10,000/person event.)
- Stand Up and Say Something: Become the advocate of the group, industry, or niche that you serve. Speaking up for them regarding political issues they may be facing or industry changes that may be impacting them. Write a letter to a Congressman/Politically influential person regarding a bill being pushed through the legislative process that may negatively impact the industry. Then make sure the leaders of that industry get a copy too. After you’ve done that, it can be pretty easy to get a speaking gig at their conventions…which leads me to…
- Do Something off Stage, Don’t Just Be a Speaker: Speaking at conventions is the obvious answer, but you can also be interviewed by industry magazines, and provide them with education beyond your expertise. For example, if you’re a Life Coach for the real estate market, find other speakers for their conventions. You could help them find a tax attorney that teaches agents how to write off more of their income each year. Now you’ve been an advocate in step #1 and a valuable resource for step #2. Think the bigwigs in the industry aren’t going to know who you are after these 2 steps?
- Write The Book: You now you have one in you. In future articles I’ll give you celebrity building strategies on how writing a book can skyrocket your coaching income. For example, one rough draft of a very small book in a not so tight niche helped me close a $50,000 contract plus get a Hummer to drive for 2 years for free.
- Become a Best Seller: This level of celebrity opens the doors to media interviews much easier, both in the industry and through major news outlets. Go in with the idea that you can be a media source, not that you’re a coach selling services. (Note; my team has helped over 175 authors go from idea to best seller and the author only needed to spend 1-2 hours working on this goal, that’s efficient)
- Build and Occasionally Update Your Social Media and Blog. Read this carefully, I’m not a fan of social media and blogging. My opinion only, I like but don’t love the time traps that social media and blogging has caused many of us coaches to fall into. I used to spend full weeks creating SEO savvy, educationally rich, informative multimedia content. Today I keep a strong presence online if someone searches for my name, but I’ve learned to be better focused. Occasionally updating can mean different time frames for different people. You decide for yourself…but ultimately it leads to the fact that people search for info about you online, and social media and blog sites gives you a name that shows up in a variety of places.
- Take Action to Build Your Celebrity. Really, this is the secret. Becoming a bestselling author, a speaker, a media source, an education/speaker resource, and having multiple sites attached to your name online takes a little effort.
Building celebrity is really about being consistent with your actions. Find that comfortable balance between spending endless amounts of money and spending endless hours creating wonderful coaching content.
We’ve all heard about “The Know, Like, and Trust Factor” and taking steps to build your celebrity, authority, and expert status accelerates the process.