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Branding for Coaches: The Ultimate Guide in 2024

Are you struggling to make your coaching business stand out?

Maybe your market is crowded, you don’t have an “in your face” personality, or maybe you’re stuck figuring out what makes your business different.

Here’s what you need to know about branding for coaches. 

Let’s get started!

Why is branding important for coaches?

Do you know what Apple, Nike, and McDonalds have in common?

They all understand the importance of GREAT branding.

People are so familiar with these brands that they buy just because of the name.

Sure, they have far more resources to build their brands. But even small businesses can learn from their strategies. 

First, why is branding important for coaches?

Because without it, you’re just another coach.

At its core, branding is about setting yourself apart in a crowded marketplace.

Your brand is much more than a logo or a catchy tagline.

It’s your unique identity as a coach and gives people a reason to choose you over others.

A report by Lucidpress shows that a consistent brand identity can increase a company’s revenue by up to 23%. Moreover, 46% of consumers are willing to pay more to buy from a brand they trust.

In fact, good branding is so lucrative that people even set up their own branding coach businesses.

Here are some other reasons why branding is so important for a successful business:

  • Differentiate yourself: Make yourself visible in a crowded market.
  • Show your unique strengths: Highlight your USPs. What makes your coaching offer different and more valuable?
  • Attract your dream clients: Reel in clients who click with your offer.
  • Build trust: Create a personal bond with your audience. If people trust you, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
  • Grow your business: Increase your client base and set yourself up for long-term success.

To reap these benefits, you need to know EXACTLY what your coaching brand is.

Let’s cover that next.

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What is your coaching brand

Not sure what your coaching brand is?

No worries.

In this section, we’ll dig into the key parts that make up your brand.

Your niche 

If you want a highly successful coaching business, you need to pick a niche.

Here’s why.

Your niche decides the direction of your brand. And when you specialize, you attract people who really need what you offer.

When I started, I helped women with office jobs who wanted to build their own fulfilling businesses. My Facebook group at the time was completely aimed at them.

Later, I started helping men too, and shifted to focus on “Entrepreneurial Leaders.”

Today, I’m like a “Business Big Sister.” I help people find freedom through running their own businesses.

At every point, I knew exactly who I was catering to and what I was offering. This clarity let me put together a message that resonated with my ideal clients, making it easy for them to find me.

P.S.: Want to learn more about what are the most profitable coaching niches? Then this video is for you: 

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Being unique is what makes your business stand out.

This often involves a different approach or offering a unique solution.

Here are some examples:

  • Career coach: Specialize in using LinkedIn to land dream jobs.
  • Financial coach: Focus on helping freelancers or artists manage unpredictable income with budgeting systems.
  • Fitness coach: Help retirees get into the best shape of their lives using a particular type of low-impact exercise.
  • Nutrition coach: Specialize in plant-based diets for athletes, offering meal plans and nutritional guidelines that maintain protein levels and muscle mass.
  • Communication coach: Cater to non-native English speakers who are in leadership positions. You could focus on cultural communication barriers and business terminology.

A unique angle grabs attention AND attracts the clients who are looking for your specific type of coaching.

For instance, I started my current business when I saw the following:

There wasn’t a good product for people who wanted to leave their corporate jobs and become small business owners.

So, I made them my target audience.

This helped me stand out in the crowded field of business coaching.

For more, watch this short YouTube video where I share the three big things that make a business stand out:

Your brand visuals

Your brand’s look plays a HUGE role in how people perceive your coaching services. This includes your website, social media posts, and overall design.

That’s why I recommend investing in quality branding and design.If you cut corners on your logo or website, your clients will notice.To be seen as a professional, you need to look the part. If you look amateur, potential clients are less likely to buy your high-priced services or coaching packages.

Your testimonials

Simply put, a testimonial is a positive review from a happy client.

They’re super important to build trust.

Stats show that 77% of people look at online reviews before they decide to buy something. And if your website has reviews, people are 63% more likely to actually buy from you. 

Coaching isn’t cheap. So, potential clients want to feel confident that they’re making a wise investment in you. Reading testimonials can offer them that peace of mind.

Imagine someone is checking out your website. They like what they see, but they’re still unsure. Then they read a glowing review from a past client who raves about how you changed their life. Boom! That’s the push they needed.

Plus, well-placed testimonials can serve as key elements of your personal brand. They not only show what you do but also how well you do it.

Your voice 

If you’re starting out in the coaching world, you might feel overwhelmed about creating content

But here’s the thing: Your voice is a crucial part of your brand, and the best way to find it is to start using it.The key is not to overthink it and to simply start writing as yourself.

Feeling stuck? Try this exercise:

Set a timer for 15 minutes and write about something you’re passionate about. Whatever comes out of it is good enough.

Do this regularly, and you’ll find that not only does writing get easier, but your own voice starts to shine through.

This will make your coaching more relatable and unique.

Next, let’s take a look at your coach branding strategy.

5 strategies to build your personal coaching brand

Want to know how you should brand yourself as a coach?

I’ve got five strategies you can use to make your coaching business stand out from day one.

Strategy #1: How are YOU different?

The first coach branding strategy is to differentiate your brand based on how YOU are different.

As a coach, you’re a huge part of your business brand, especially when starting out.

Start by asking yourself:

How are YOU different from your competitors? 

Do you have characteristics or a background that your competitors don’t have? 

How is your personality different? How is your coaching style or your voice different?

How are your stories different?

That’s not all:

How is your experience different from your competitors’? Do you have more years of experience? Do you have better qualifications? Is your experience more diverse?

Take a minute to think this through and let me know in the comments below how YOU are different. Because I promise, you are.

If you’re struggling with this let me share an example.

When I first started helping people build their own online coaching businesses, I thought, “There’s no way I can stand out!”

I don’t have an in-your-face personality, I don’t have a crazy story, and I’m pretty “normal,” for lack of a better word. (Sound familiar?)

But then, I dug deeper and I realized that I was different in a lot of ways.

My experience was different because I built my first online business WHILE working a demanding job, which most of my competitors had never done.  

Also, I have a background in engineering, which is pretty unique for this industry. (And it’s also kind of cool to be able to share that I used to be an engineer for the Space Station.)

And last but not least, I love to watch TV shows.

You might think this last trait is not a big deal, but I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they so relate to the fact that I love to watch TV because it shows that I’m human!

This should have you well on your way to standing out.

And that’s just with one strategy when it comes to branding your coaching business!

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Strategy #2: How is your “secret sauce” different?

The second strategy is to differentiate based on your “secret sauce.”

In other words, how you help your clients get results.

For example, a lot of my clients are health coaches.

And you know what?

Each one has their own “secret sauce.” For instance, one of my students helps people lose weight using herbs, another one helps them using customized workouts, and yet another one helps them through mindset work.

And that’s just a few examples!

Your “secret sauce” will help you stand out big time. And the next branding for coaches strategy is going to help you stand out even more while building a powerful relationship with your ideal clients…

Strategy #3: How are your values and beliefs different?

Strategy number three is to market your business based on your values and beliefs.

What do you strongly believe and stand behind? What could you shout from the rooftops all day long?

For example, one of my students is a career coach who strongly believes that you CAN have the career you want without working 24/7 and burning out. And her entire brand is centered around that.

And you know what I love?

Her brand is completely different while being equally powerful compared to one of my other students who is also a career coach. However, this other student’s core value is that your job is not just a job. She believes that it can and should also be something that you LOVE, your calling.

Can you see how even though these two career coaches technically do the same thing, their businesses and brands are so different that they naturally stand out in very different ways?

And the beauty of this is that these beliefs are simply the result of their own experiences.

We all have these strongly held beliefs.

Here’s one of mine: I believe that anyone can build the life and business that they want IF they truly want it and they’re willing to do the work.

Not only can you differentiate your business based on you and your values, but it’ll also help you create stronger relationships with your customers.

Speaking of customers, they’re key to succeeding with this next strategy…

Strategy #4: How is your audience different?

Strategy number 4 is to differentiate based on your audience.

Think about it like this:

Walmart and Whole Foods both sell groceries, BUT, the audiences that they’re selling to are very different.

Walmart is geared toward more price-conscious customers, so its business centers around low prices. 

As a result, the customer service might not be as great and the experience might not feel as luxurious, but that’s OK. Their audience doesn’t care about those things as much as getting lower prices for their groceries.

With Whole Foods, though, their audience cares much more about the quality of their groceries and experience. 

Accordingly, the brands that Whole Foods stocks are quite different, and their shopping experience in general is a bit more pleasant, to say the least. Because their audience cares more about that.

Once you’re clear on how your audience is different and who they care about, you’re ready to implement the final strategy…

Strategy #5: How is your product different?

The final strategy is to make your business stand out because of your product. 

No matter if you’re selling a coaching service or a course that lets people guide themselves through your coaching process, you should definitely be incorporating this strategy as your product SHOULD be different.

At least if you want to make sales.

You have to be able to answer:

Is your product more comprehensive? Do you provide better service? Is your process more cutting-edge? Are you able to help your clients get results faster? Does your product make the process easier for your clients?

Note: You don’t have to overcomplicate this!

When I was starting out, I decided I was going to differentiate my product by creating the most comprehensive course on the market, which it still is, for building your own online coaching business.

Branding your coaching business with even one of these strategies can make a massive difference for your business.

When done right, using personal branding for coaches will help you attract more customers who are also a better fit, and of course, make more sales.

Next, let’s learn how to use these strategies to create a compelling brand story.

How to create a personal coaching brand story

Personal branding for coaches means implementing the five strategies into a unique narrative.

A strong brand story is more than just listing some facts about yourself. It’s a powerful blend of your values, your special offerings, and the people you want to help.

Here’s how to put your coaching brand story together so that it speaks to people.

1. Identify your core values and beliefs 

As mentioned above, your marketing should reflect your values and beliefs.

That’s why you need to know what you really care about.

Here are some useful questions:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What can’t you live without?
  • What’s most important to you in your business?
  • What words do you want people to use when they describe your business?
  • What’s something you’ve always stood by?

When you know your values, show them in your business. This is how you build your own personal brand that genuinely reflects you.

For example, are you a…

  • Relationship coach who believes people don’t need to settle 
  • Financial coach who believes finances are really easy and can be automated with a simple system
  • Weight loss coach who believes weight loss is about a three-step system

…You get it. The point is, what’s something you strongly believe in, in your business? Those are your values and beliefs. 

2. Create your story 

Next, you want to combine all five strategies to build your own story.

Your story is your unique brand asset. It’s something no competitor can ever take from you.

And no, it does NOT have to be a “rags to riches” tale — unless that’s your truth, of course.

For instance, before I started my current business, I had a six-figure corporate job. Yet I felt unfulfilled and trapped in endless, uninspiring meetings.

Then a series of family health crises happened.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer, my dad had to have emergency heart surgery, and my sister suffered a serious accident. These events were a huge wake-up call. I realized that what I needed most was the freedom to be there for my family.

This is what drove me to start my own coaching business.

I wanted to live a life of freedom so that I could spend time with the people I love the most.

Family and freedom became my guiding values. This adds realness to my brand and shows clients why I’m the right coach for them.

My message resonates with people who want to start their own businesses and change their lives.

3. Build a community

Your values and your unique story draw people in, but it’s the sense of community that keeps them coming back.

Here are three big benefits of having a supportive community. It: 

  • Makes your brand stronger
  • Deepens the connection your clients feel toward you
  • Helps you understand what your audience needs and wants

Your audience WANTS to hear from you. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be your audience.

To keep your community thriving, you’ve got to communicate regularly.

Like, in my case — I send out emails filled with useful tips several times a week. These emails are value-packed which means that people like getting them and often share them with their friends.

Nurturing this connection is how you turn your audience into your biggest cheerleaders. They’ll then happily spread the word to others.

Here’s more on how to create a strong personal brand: 

Now, let’s move on to some strong coaching brand examples. 

Examples of successful coaching brands

Looking for inspiration in building your own coaching brand?

Your can learn A LOT from great personal brands. 

Check out these branding for coaches examples who have mastered personal branding.

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo was named by Oprah Winfrey as a thought leader for the next generation.

What sets Marie’s life coaching brand apart is her emphasis on values and purpose. As she often says in interviews, “It’s not so much about what you sell, it’s about what you stand for.”

What do you value and what inspires you?

Her beliefs come through in the genuine and upbeat way she talks online. This mix of being authentic and easy to relate to makes people love her and trust her as a coach.

Cultivitae

Emily Liou, a former student of mine, wasn’t fulfilled in her work. She was a top sales rep and later a recruiter for Fortune 500 firms but felt something was missing.

Tapping into her unique skills, she started her own coaching business, Cultivitae.

Now she helps people get better jobs and be happier at work. 

She’s a perfect example of using what you already know to build a successful coaching business.

She found her niche by thinking about her past work. And she used that knowledge to start her own business.

This is what creates her strong personal brand. 

Top Law School Consulting

After working as a high-level lawyer, my student Mara Freilich shifted her focus to helping others get into top law schools.

She now has a successful business doing just that.

Mara understands that your story and how you tell it matters the most. And she helps her clients present themselves in the best way, regardless of their grades or test scores.

Her business name, “Top Law School Consulting,” says it all. When you hear it, you know exactly what she offers. Such a descriptive name also reinforces her brand as a go-to source for expert help. 

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

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When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

The best coaching branding tools

Your coaching business should give you freedom. And having the right tools can help with that.

Let’s go over my top three online coaching tools to boost your brand.

Canva

Canva is an easy design tool for brand design for coaches.

It lets you create high-quality visuals — which are crucial for brand consistency.

They make your brand memorable and help your audience instantly recognize your coaching services.

While I have a designer nowadays, I still turn to Canva for quick posts when I need them.

It’s a great way to make your brand look professional without hiring a designer.

ActiveCampaign or MailChimp 

Emails are a direct line to your audience, making them essential for community-building.

Email is actually my favorite way to talk to my audience. It also makes me the most money, bringing in almost 95% of my revenue.

I started with MailChimp and recommend it if you’re new to email marketing. It’s effective and simpler than Infusionsoft, which I use now for my large email list. 

ActiveCampaign is another option.

ElegantThemes Divi

Your website is usually the first place people go to learn about you and your coaching.

It tells them who you are and how you can help them.

So, it should really speak to your audience’s needs and interests.

Luckily, creating a beautiful website is much simpler now than when I first started my business.

Divi is an easy tool for building your website without needing to know code or hire a designer.

I highly recommend it if you’re building your first website.

Next steps

There you have it. Branding for coaches made easy.

As a business owner, you need to have a powerful personal brand. Good branding makes you stand out and helps people remember you. 

Now, if you’re ready to leave your 9-to-5, then check out my free blueprint for building a successful online coaching business.

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

Get Instant Access To My FREE Ultimate Guide Below!

When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

Read more: 

How to Market Your Coaching Business

How to Price Your Coaching

Get Coaching Clients with These 14 Strategies

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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