When you’re a coach, consultant or trainer, the simplest way to find enough of the right sort of clients for your business is by planning how you’re going to promote it, creating a schedule for that promotion and then sticking to your schedule. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?!
Here are the nine simple steps that you can follow, to help you create a marketing schedule that is easy to stick to. Work through them in turn, spending some time on each one, before you move onto the next.
- Situation – where are you now? You need to know your starting point, in terms of your services, your resources and your competitors, before you can move on. What do you actually sell – what services or packages can people buy from you? What makes your business different to your competitors? What is your key message? If someone asks you what you do, can you tell them in just a couple of sentences? Make sure that you have an answer for each of these questions before you try to promote your business.
- Objectives – where do you want to be? Set some short, medium and long term goals for your business, because the size and scope of your goals will determine how much marketing you need to do and how quickly.
- Strategy – how will you reach your goals? Will you sell more
of your existing services to existing clients or new services to existing clients? Will you promote your existing services to new clients or develop new services for new clients? Each strategy needs different types of marketing, so you need to decide which ones to try first.
- Targets – who are your ideal clients? They are not everyone with a pulse and a credit card! You need to be specific. What makes them tick? What gets them out of bed in the morning? What makes them nice people to work with? After all, you don’t want to end up chasing after prospects who turn out to be the sort of people who don’t pay you on time, or who complain about everything you do, do you?!
- Tactics – what is the best marketing to do? Once you know who your ideal clients are and what strategies you’re going to try first, it is easier to decide what marketing activities will help you to attract them. Don’t try to do everything and don’t do something that won’t get your message to your ideal clients. Write lists of all the online and offline tactics that you could use.
- Money – how much does it cost? Work out how much you can afford to spend on promoting your business. Then go through the lists you wrote for step five and cross off any that don’t fit your budget. Use your budget to decline all those ‘special offers’ that advertising salesmen try to sell you!
- Resources – who will do it? Do you know what you’re doing, or do you need help? Do you have staff who are better at networking than you? Do you hate cold calling? Go through your list of marketing activities from steps five and six and be realistic about how many of them you can do. Look for people who can help with the tactics that you’re not comfortable doing.
- Minutes – how long will it take? Marketing is not an overnight, quick fix; you need to allow time for it to work. And as you’ve probably heard me say hundreds of times before, ad hoc marketing does not work. So you need to create a schedule for your marketing, which shows what you can realistically do on a weekly and monthly basis. Put the schedule on your office wall so that you can follow it and keep your marketing going – even when you get busy.
- Measurements – why should you measure? Because you need to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. The only way you’ll know what’s working is by measuring your marketing. Ask every new enquiry how they heard about you. Review the data on a monthly basis, so that you can stop going to that networking meeting that doesn’t bring you any of the right sort of clients (even if they do serve a great breakfast) and find one that does work.
I meet too many coaches, consultants and trainers who rush into doing some marketing, usually because they’ve heard that you have to try all sorts of different tactics, until you find the ones that work. This is not true! Don’t spend any more money on your marketing until you have at least thought about the first four steps of this plan. Take the time to get clear on the answers to all these questions and you’ll find that your marketing is much more efficient and cost effective.
These steps are covered in far more detail, with tips on how to answer the questions, in my first book, Magnetic Marketing. You can order your very own signed copy for just £9.99 right here.