Some people find talking about themselves distasteful. Others are made uncomfortable when forced to discuss their best attributes. Whether from real or false modesty, a simple lack of confidence, a philosophical predilection, or an intellectual decision based on previous experience, the fact is: many folks simply don’t enjoy self-promotion.
But here's the problem: that’s exactly what marketing is, and it’s one of the cornerstones of any business endeavor. It is especially important for life coaches, though. Isolating a target market and effectively promoting yourself in the hope of convincing people to pay for your time is probably the most important factor in whether or not your life coaching business will succeed.
Unfortunately, alongside this trepidation about self-promotion goes a certain a tendency in new life coaches to put off, disregard, or underserve their new endeavor’s marketing interests. These people think, or more accurately hope, that the right crowd will find them eventually, and when it does the business will get going in a self-sustaining way. They figure the marketing isn’t as importan--can't be as important--as a vibrant website, an active social media account, and a thorough understanding of SEO to go with all the conferences, meet-and-greets, and wherever else they plan on attending.
While all of that other stuff is important, without a solid life coach marketing strategy your new life coaching business has virtually no shot whatsoever of turning into a viable, money-making operation. That’s the simple truth of the matter, and any reasons you can come up with for why marketing isn’t as important to your particular situation are excuses at best, and denials at worst.
Marketing is crucial to your life coaching business. Without it, you don’t have much of a business at all.
There are three main reasons people give as an excuse to duck their marketing responsibilities, but each one comes with its own built-in rebuttal:
1. “Life Coach Marketing Makes Me Seem Inauthentic.”
With this first complaint, the story goes that by marketing yourself to potential clients, you’re focusing less on the help you can provide them and more on convincing them to buy your services, i.e. talking them into something, which makes you seem less “real.”
Rebuttal: Professionals practice their craft for money. It is not “inauthentic” to need people to pay for your services; it is being a professional. The more people you can appeal to through your life coach marketing efforts, the more clients you will ultimately gain. The more clients you have, the more professional you seem, and the more authentic your efforts will appear.
2. “Life Coach Marketing Gives Potential Clients Pause.”
Consider this the “I smell a rat” complaint. In addition to being turned off by your supposed inauthenticity, potential clients will see your marketing strategy as little more than a way to get them to spend money they wouldn’t otherwise spend.
Rebuttal: Without proper life coach marketing, you will not have very many (if any) potential clients to talk to in the first place. While some of the people you do find might not appreciate your marketing efforts, reach enough people and there are bound to be some far more interested in the help you can provide, now that they know who you are. Marketing puts you on their radar.
3. “Life Coach Marketing Makes Me Too Commercial. I’m More Into Helping People.”
Instead of being a healer, this complaint states, you’ll be a shill. Instead of focusing on helping others, you’ll be forced to focus on making money, and the marketing instinct will overpower the healing one. You won’t be able to give enough attention to helping others if you’ve got to also make money on the practice.
Rebuttal: If you can’t sell your life coaching services to clients who want your help, you can't be a professional life coach. Period.
Ultimately, proper life coach marketing will be what separates hobbyists from professionals. You’ve got to get your message out there, and it has to find people who not only want to hear it, but will follow it into a sales funnel that generates income enough to allow you to keep on doing what you're doing. Dreaming and hoping will make you feel good, but life coach marketing is the only way to turn those hopes and dreams into an actual business.