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Why Life Coaches Have Marketing All Wrong

target potential coaching clientsIf you’re a life coach, business coach, leadership coach, spiritual coach – heck, any sort of coach at all – you may want to pay attention to this post…

Do you know that you’re not really marketing your coaching practice to a target audience, that you’re not communicating to a niche market, and that you won’t find your next coaching clients if you ‘engage a marketplace?’

It’s so true. Yet most of the websites that promote life coaches seem to think that’s exactly what they’re doing – talking to a market or an audience.

Is your life coaching website getting you coaching clients?

If you ask a life coach whether their website is getting them coaching clients – most often the answer is no. I know this for a fact because I teach coaches how to use their websites – really their entire web presence – to build a following and get more coaching clients. And most of the life coaches I work with come to me with website copy that is trying to speak to an audience.

So if you’re not speaking to an audience, who are you speaking to?

Now let me clarify for a moment. I do use terms such as target market or target audience all the time. Sometimes I add purposefully add ‘the people in your target audience’ to a statement. And, every single time I say talk about markets or audience you can assume I’m saying ‘people.’ And to be even more specific, I actually mean talking to a single person – one-by-one – over and over so that you’re really talking to thousands of individual people.

And this, it seems, is where life coaches – and business coaches, spiritual coaches, leadership coaches and just about any other type of service provider – get their marketing all wrong. You’re not talking to a market, you’re talking to people.

Your coaching clients are not an audience, they’re people.

Of course you know this. But do you use it in marketing your coaching practice? Do you think about it when   you’re speaking with a new potential coaching client? And do you keep it in the forefront of your thoughts when you’re making decisions about your business?

If not, you need to. You need to remember, all the time, that you’re talking to people.

People aren’t interested in hearing from businesses.

Are you? Do you want to hear from a business or would you rather hear from a person?

Well, you potential coaching clients aren’t any different. They don’t want to hear from a business. They don’t want to talk to a service provider. And seldom do they seek coaching.

Now that’s not to say that don’t want coaching or that they can’t benefit from working with a life coach. That would be like saying that you shouldn’t eat vegetables because the don’t taste good. That’s not true.

But what is true is that you, as a coach promoting how your coaching service can benefit people, want to know what people want. More specifically, you want to know what the people you can best serve through   your coaching practice want, need and even expect.

Show your future coaching clients who you are

The way to do this isn’t by crafting more enticing marketing messages. It’s not by creating some fancy sales materials or producing some slick product. Rather, you meet people by first being a person yourself. Show them your human side. Let them see that you’re not just a coach who runs a business and wants to get more clients. Instead, show them that you’re a human being who cares about people and want to serve them by helping them overcome their problems and concerns.

And there we find the most important point – meet the people you want to serve – the people you can best serve – where they are. They’ve found your coaching website most likely because they’re seeking answers, wanting help, looking for direction or needing to solve a problem in their life. Meet them in it and then show them the way out. This is what makes an effective coaching website.

Just remember, people are seeking answers and direction, not marketing messages and sales pitches. Meet them where they are.

As a life coach, or any other sort of coach, how are you best meeting the people you want to serve with your coaching practice?

Let’s talk about it.

note: image from caruba on Flickr, some rights reserved)

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Comments

  1. Small Business Factoring says:

    I feel that clients should feel absolutely as comfortable as possible with a coach. this is a huge life decision.

  2. These feelings are understandable! After all, we’re probably not an IT expert and we haven’t got an endless budget but at the same time we know the importance of having our own coaching website to build our credibility, to market ourself online and to build our client base.

  3. Great post missed one Show them you have a specification because general titles will kill you. How many Business Coaches can you have vs. a IT Business Coach in Atlanta?

  4. Hire Offshore ASP Net Programmer says:

    You had provided really very good information for improving the coaching class business. This will for sure help a lot to get good business and to make the clients satisfied too. Keep it up.

  5. Well said, thank you for the article. I am not coaching people, but I own photography studio, and most Dawud ideas are applicable to my business.
    Recently started to run product photography workshops, and it is really a challenge to find my target audience. well, my target people:-)
    Social networking, blogging, etc.. all should work, wish i could spend more time in it.

    Thank you, Dawud

    Alex Koloskov
    AKELstudio, inc

  6. Great article. Too often people get caught up in marketing/advertising messages and “buy now!” mentality. You clients are buying one thing–your personality. When given the choice between 2 identical services, clients will make their choice based on the personality behind the service. i see this all the time, especially with social media. Social media is SOCIAL! It’s not a sales platform. Be a person first and then the sales will follow.

  7. Wall Fish Tanks says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I have some issues to convert the traffic I am getting into sales.

    I guess I am too much about the product and my business instead of stop trying to sell and just talk to them like normal people.

    Thanks for the article!

  8. In any business you run treating people like people instead of a number or a dollar sign will earn you respect. Nice post.

  9. Well written post. It is an obvious but often overlooked reality. Web 2.0 has shown what people online want … a personal experience that they get value from far before a sale.

  10. As a life coach you should give the people an example of a problem you had and the way you’ve overcome it. It’s a good way to get their trust.

  11. personal development coach says:

    I am a coach at BurstCreativity.com and I can say that one of the biggest obstacles I face in my work is the fact that people do not want to come out of their complacency. They are comfortable and don’t want to change – I think that comfort is one of the biggest obstacles to reaching ones true potential. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this problem?

  12. I agree very much with what Mike said – treat people like people instead of a number. Yet, it is a hard thing to do – this post is a great reminder that I need to see the individual people who make up the market.

  13. Great post – I agree I have some life coach friends that seem to have that same problem

  14. Well I am working as a web Developer and SEO specialist And now a days i am having experience working with Team lead of Online Marketing manager. So with out a Life coach I guess you are not able to do achievements.

    Regards

  15. It’s true, putting a human face to your business presence can help you a lot, it makes people feel far more comfortable.

  16. It’s funny how so many people all pick up on the same trends on internet marking, and most of them don’t even work. Your approach seems much more appropriate than what the masses are doing.

  17. Rick @ Resell Rights Ebook Store says:

    I don’t think your advice in regards to speaking to the person rather then an audience applies only to the coaching field.

    I believe this applies to all lines of business.

    Take Go Daddy for example. Mr. Parsons has included a video blog on his business site in which he is present in each and every video. I think episode 33 hits home on the exact point your are also portraying.

    Everyone’s audience is made up of individuals. It is only right to treat each of them as an individual. :)

  18. Well done. Life coaches are more popular nowadays than ever, and for some people, they can be extremely effective.

  19. “People aren’t interested in hearing from businesses”

    This is very true, especially when you’re talking about a coach or a mentor. I don’t want to hear about how your company is going to help me out and provide me with guidance, I want to know how you’re going to do it!

  20. The post is a good one. In we learn to treat clients like people instead of cashmachines the difference will be huge.

  21. People aren’t interested in hearing from businesses….true..

    Don’t let your customer feel as though you are selling a product on them, be real to your customers and first seek to UNDERSTAND before SOLVING. How would you like it if someone came to you with a solution to a problem you don’t even have.

    Same applies to your online business, your web design should reflect not your product or services, but the user themselves.

    Marketing and People skills go hand in hand, you cannot get value unless you give value yourself, what is your value to the customer?

  22. AG Property in Greece says:

    These feelings are understandable! After all, we’re probably not an IT expert and we haven’t got an endless budget but at the same time we know the importance of having our own coaching website to build our credibility, to market ourself online and to build our client base.

  23. Very good and solid points. In my opinion you could say more or less the same about every website selling consulting. If it is a coach, a SEO or a weight loss specialist: Same story.

  24. penny stocks to watch says:

    customer service on the personal level and going one more more step by establishing solid relation ships with them will surely get you more customers in the future.

  25. FirstFound Andy says:

    Excellent advice there, that’s not limited to just your niche. If you’re not talking to people, then you’re not going to sell to them.

  26. ‘ meet the people you want to serve’ – only if you get the chance to know them will you be able to guess their needs and your tricks will work for them. Even politicians do tr5avel sometimes to meet with electorate. Why life-coachers should not?

  27. Your points are really appreciable.. thank u so much… for ur advice… acty i hd some problem with speech which i made n i think ur advice ll help me out.. thankz once again..

  28. I believe that all of these is pretty much true. If you have the experience of such a business or life encounters, then you can indeed teach or pass your experience to others so that they can adopt to it.

  29. Primo Vacations Coach says:

    Aww This post hit it right on target. I to talk about your target audience. But at the same time you can never lump all of your target audience into one category.

    Every individual is different. Their needs, wants and desires change from person to person.

    Going with buy from me doesn’t work trying to understand your visitors is better than any sales pitch.

  30. Bytecoders says:

    The most important thing here is maybe as you said the human side. Sometimes when you enter a site that’s not personal, made only for business you soon aware that is missing something.
    Maybe a customer service or a online chat could be some interesting ways to achieve this.

  31. You had provided very good information for improving the ‘life coaching’ business. This will for sure help a lot to get business going and to make the clients satisfied. Keep up with your excellent articles.

  32. Business Marketing Strategies says:

    Yeah I agree totally, in order to have effective marketing you need to target the right people with the right method, if you can find your niche area then you can deliver a specialised marketing campaign.

  33. Karakocan says:

    Creating online customer base and intellectual conditions for personal development coach might be.

  34. “Your coaching clients are not an audience, they’re people.” I think that quote is spot on, treat everyone as a person, and you’ll go far.

  35. I am sure you are right, that this is the case within the coaching business. But it is not limited to that business – this goes for any business, B2C or B2B. Customers always want to be treated as persons and will always make buying decisions based on “what´s in it for me”.

  36. Coaching clients are, in my view active participants. Once we have that identified we can then begin the specific strategy.

  37. If you’re not talking to people, then you’re not going to sell to them. I love this argument! Straight out of permission marketing

  38. Thanks for this enlightening article! It will certainly help me a lot with my marketing!

  39. I am not a coach however I find your article very interesting.I learned a lot from this which I believe can be applied to my craft since I also need to market my work.

  40. My own life coach offers free life coaching tips via her website which aim at building a relationship with potential clients – they’re often very insightful tips, as well as sharing her personal journey at times. Have signed up for your free guidebook thanks!

  41. Penny Stocks to Watch says:

    This is true of more than just coaching. For affiliate marketing or product selling, people do not buy from websites or from businesses, they buy from people.

    So put up a picture and some info about yourself and you will likely get a better response by being a real human being.

  42. I also feel that clients should feel absolutely as comfortable as possible with a coach. And should be able to talk to them for at 30 to 60 mins to see if you and the coach is a match

  43. “Just remember, people are seeking answers and direction, not marketing messages and sales pitches” What great insight you have, couldn’t agree more!

  44. As a life coach you should give the people an example of a problem you had and the way you’ve overcome it. It’s a good way to get their trust.

  45. Great article. I agree with many prior commenters – this applies well beyond the coaching industry. I think it’s particularly good information to remember in new media like Twitter, where you are speaking “live” into the ether.

  46. Kandi Pinsonnault says:

    Thanks a bundle on your concern and efforts to have put these things together on your website. Debra and that i furthermore greatly appreciated your ideas by way of the articles about these crucial things. I’m acutely aware that you just have a number of demands on your time so the incontrovertible fact that an individual such as you took all the time such as you did to guide people for instance like us by way of this article is also highly valued. I wanted to subscribe to your RSS feed. However unfortunately it never appear to become working for me. Am I the only one with this trouble? Iwill visit after a day or so to check. Anyways thanks a lot once more for your good read.

  47. This is a great post! i am definitely agree also, in order to have effective marketing you need to target the right people with the right method, thanks for sharing this article keep it up!

  48. Great post. I have had the same thought on coaches and marketing too, and think there is so much they can do. This only supports my thoughts.

  49. Good post, thanks for taking that up. The way I do is to, number 1, always to meet up with a potentiel client to a pre-coaching session to determine if there is basis for starting up a coaching process, number 2, always, during the coaching sessions to check up on the relation between me and the client. I am very inspirered by Yalom who speaks about this often in his books etc. Cheers
    Bo Lauenborg

  50. You had provided very good information for improving the ‘life coaching’ business. In my opinion you could say more or less the same about every website selling consulting. If it is a coach, a SEO or a weight loss specialist: Same story. I learned a lot from this which I believe can be applied to my craft since I also need to market my work. Keep up with your excellent work.

  51. Couldn´t agree more. And it is a trend in many business areas. We want to deal with people, not companies.

    We want to know the person and we do business if we trust that person, not the company.

    All over the web personal branding is becoming ever more important, especially for people selling personal stuff :)

  52. I, as a life coach, couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. Excellent post, a heads up!!

  53. Haha, welp, I just signed a business coach as an SEO client. What did I get myself into…?

  54. Dawud ,

    This is a Great and well written post. I think this is really a attitude and mindset to keep in mind for all facets of marketing. To really cater to an audience is very important when creating marketing that will be seen and cause impression.

    Thanks for the Post!

  55. It seems that a websites home page must deal with a market or audience and then you can get more personal on sub-pages.

  56. Karakocan haber says:

    Creating online customer base and intellectual conditions for personal development coach might be.

  57. Great post! I absolutely also agree that clients should feel as comfortable as possible with a coach, therefore a (phone) conversation of at least 30 mins should be a must have, always.

  58. Thank you for your insight. It actually validated some concerns I had in regards to my own business. I’m a new life coach; however, I have been working as a therapist and empowering women through blogging for years. Each day I learn more about helping others to be their personal best.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The right coach can play a core role in our success.  Life coaches help us define our goals, career coaches can take us from just another job to a career and health coaches improve the quality of our lives.  If we’re going to work so closely with someone we want to know that they see us as human beings and not just another revenue source.  Good coaching websites will establish the humanity of the coach and create a  sense of comfort in the client.  Unfortunately, many coaching sites don’t do this.  They’re simply putting out a marketing message, not talking to people.  Dawud Miracle addresses this problem in his article, “Why Life Coaches Have Marketing All Wrong.” [...]

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