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Marketing for Coaches: 24 Great Strategies for 2021

By Luisa

Want to grow your coaching business? 

Marketing for coaches doesn’t require you to hustle 24/7. With the right strategies, you can get results like this:

client result testimonial

Today, you’ll get the 24 most powerful marketing strategies that work right now.

Let’s dive right in!

Want to grow your own 6-figure coaching business with the right marketing strategies? Get the FREE PDF:

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1. The best way to sell your services fast? Show your value with a free coaching call.

Back when I first started my digital advertising consulting business, I made six figures in four months. How?

Simple: I gave a ton of value.

And the way I gave value was by offering free coaching calls.

free coaching call strategy

Why did this strategy work so well?

My calls immediately showed my clients how much value they would get during our time together.

The idea is this:

You offer free 15-30-minute coaching calls.

At the end of the call, you ask:

“How was this call?” And when they say, “Great!”, you ask if they want to continue talking about working together.

How to set it up

To schedule your calls, sign up for a Calendly account.

You then send your Calendly link to people who want to book a call with you (or link to it from your emails, social media, or website).

And to hold your calls, set up a Zoom account. This tool lets you schedule your calls ahead of time and send a link to potential clients.

zoom schedule a call

Next up:

Want people to remember you the minute they hear about your business or meet you? Here’s what you need to do.

2. Create a remarkable brand that people won’t forget

Let’s say I asked you to name a brand. Which brand comes to your mind?

Maybe…

Lululemon.

Lululemon logo

Netflix.

Netflix logo

Or Nike.

Nike logo

Whichever business you’re now thinking about, that business has built a memorable brand.

And that’s what you want for your coaching business.

So when people think about your niche, they think about your brand.

How do you create a brand that stands out as a coach?

Use…

The 5-step branding strategy

five step branding strategy

Answer these questions:

1. How are YOU different?

It doesn’t have to be anything massive. For example, I love TV shows. And that’s something my clients love about me because they can relate and it makes me more human.

2. What’s that ONE thing that makes your business special?

What’s your “secret sauce”? For example, one of my clients helps people lose weight with herbs.

3. How are your values and beliefs different?

Here’s an example: One of my clients, a career coach, believes that you can have a career without working 24/7. Another client believes that a job is more than a career, it’s a calling. See how they are distinctive brands in the same niche?

4. How is your audience different?

Let’s take two health coaches as examples. One of them might serve busy professionals. Another helps baby boomers stay in shape. As you can tell, the markets are completely different and so the brands are very easy to distinguish from each other.

5. How is your product different?

This is something you need to be able to answer as a coach. How is YOUR approach different? Do you make it 10X easier to achieve results? Do you have a technique you’ve developed yourself that no one else is offering? Is your method the fastest way to get results?

Want to take a closer look at each step? I put together this short video to help you define your brand:

3. Find your ideal clients in Facebook groups

One of the fastest way to grow your coaching business?

Facebook groups.

Think about it:

By going to where your ideal coaching clients are already hanging out, you can quickly build relationships with them, your status as the go-to coach in your niche, and your business.

Find Facebook groups

Go to Facebook and search for keywords in your niche to find groups:

Facebook group search

Post the right content

Now: There’s a right and a wrong way to do Facebook marketing.

What you want to do is use Facebook as your audience is using it. People go to Facebook to be entertained, have fun, and get insights.

You can tap into this by posting a Q&A or share an insight.

Q&A facebook post

One of my favorite ways to use Facebook groups?

Livestreams.

Livestream screenshot

It’s one of the fastest ways to build a relationship with your audience and position yourself as an expert (after all, video feels much more like a face-to-face interaction than a text post).

But that’s not all… Instead of just going into other people’s Facebook groups, you can create your own.

Here’s how.

4. Create an irresistible Facebook group that people love

Here’s the thing:

To build your own audience, you need a Facebook group.

Just like I built my own audience with my group, Entrepreneurial Leaders.

Weekend empire ad

Today, the group has over 20,000 members. But that wasn’t always the case.

Growing a group takes effort. If you know what you’re doing, you instantly make the process many times easier for yourself.

My top tip for creating a Facebook group people WANT to join?

Name it something…

#1: Clear.

With a clear name, people can find it when they search for groups.

Facebook group search

And when Facebook suggests groups to your audience, they immediately know what your group is all about.

Facebook suggested groups

#2: Intriguing.

Instead of going for a creative name, choose a name people want and can identify with.

For example: My name attracts my audience, so entrepreneurs who see themselves as leaders.

How does your audience like to define themselves? What do they want?

Those are things you can use to come up with a compelling group name so your audience can’t wait to join your group.

5. A great way to market yourself? Ask your network.

Your next clients could be closer than you think… They could come from your network.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t want my friends to think I’m selling to them,” that’s not at all what this is about.

For example, my students Emily and Anna got their first career coaching clients by posting on LinkedIn and letting their network know that they were starting a business.

You can read their case studies here.  

career coaching case study

It doesn’t have to be harder than that. Simply let your family and friends know about your business.

You can use this script:

“Hey NAME,

I’m starting a new business that helps people with….

If you know someone who would be interested in this, please let me know.

I’m happy to offer them a free coaching call so that they can get to know me and start getting some great results. If they’re interested, I’ll share more about how I can help them further, but if not, they’ll still get great value out of the free session.”

6. How to create a ton of media for your business (This only takes 20 minutes a day)

You know how someone like Kylie Jenner is able to sell a ton of makeup?

Elle article

Yes, she has a massive social media following.

But the reason she has that following is because she and her family get so much media attention.

Every time the Kardashians as much as walk out the door, they get a ton of publicity.

Now, I’m not saying you should start your own reality show to make your business succeed.

But I am saying:

Media exposure is good.

For example, my own media features tend to drive a good amount of clients (not to mention brand awareness!).

Luisa Zhou Forbes article

So what’s the easiest way to get publicity for your business?

HARO.

For example, I’ve gotten some great publicity with HARO:

HARO feature example

The best part? You can use about 20 minutes/day on this.

Here’s how it works:

When you sign up for a HARO account, you get media opportunities in your email inbox multiple times a day.

HARO newsletter

5 minutes/day: Skim through these media requests.

15 minutes/day: When you see an interesting opportunity, reach out.

Want to grow your own 6-figure coaching business with the right marketing strategies? Get the FREE PDF:

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.

7. The right way to market your coaching business at events

Look:

Maybe you market your business at events.

You know, at events like Meetups or conferences in your area.

Meetup landing page

Great! Except… You want to do it the right way.

Here’s what I mean:

If you randomly attend events and mingle with anyone and everyone, you’re not marketing your business very effectively.

Instead, do this.

#1: Attend events where your clients hang out.

The #1 mistake I see people make when they market their businesses at events?

They go to events with fellow coaches. So maybe that’s an entrepreneur event (unless your clients are entrepreneurs).

Instead, choose events where your clients are. If you’re a career coach, that could be a career fair.

Or a health coach? Go to health-related events or fitness classes.

#2: Be targeted in your networking

The second mistake I see is this:

Coaches who aren’t targeted in their networking.

To talk to the right people (your clients), reach out to the event organizer.

Let them know who YOU are so that they can recommend people you should be speaking to.

And before you attend the event, take a look at the list of attendees.

Who do you want to meet? Why?

8. Position yourself as the go-to coach in your niche by speaking at events

A great way to quickly position yourself as an expert?

Speak at events.

You build trust with the people there… And by telling them about your services at the end of your talk, you can pick up a client or two.

But how can you get these speaking opportunities?

Look up events in your area.

For example, on Meetup.com.

Who’s the event organizer?

Meetup event example

This is the person you should reach out to.

Start by attending one of the events.

Then, send them a message like this:

“Hi [name of event organizer],

Thank you for last week’s event “Name of event”.

It was great to meet so many women in [your niche].

I noticed that a recurring question I got was “Insert a popular topic in your niche”.

Would you like me to give a free workshop on this topic? It seems a lot of attendants would find it valuable.

Happy to give more details.

Best,

Your name”

9. How to get big wins on Instagram

Ever wondered:

How does Instagram work?

After all, all you hear are success stories of brands that are growing quickly thanks to their Instagram audiences.

And you’re left thinking:

“How do they do it?”

Well, you certainly don’t need millions of followers to get clients from Instagram.

Instead, you need to be targeted about who you reach.

One of the best ways?

Use hashtags.

Why? Because your audience is already searching for content with those hashtags.

Thanks to them, Instagram can show YOUR content to the right people.

Now:

I don’t mean generic hashtags.

Instead, use creative, community-oriented hashtags that your audience is already using.

For example:

I don’t use generic hashtags like “#entrepreneur”.

But I do use more niche hashtags, like “#femaleentrepreneur” and “#womenwhohustle”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwInafDgrtp/

10. The most effective Twitter marketing strategy for coaches

Think Twitter is dead?

Think again.

If your clients are on Twitter, it could be a great place to market your business.

In fact, Twitter is a bit like LinkedIn, but without the restrictions of your network.

It’s easy to connect with people… Even influencers in your niche!

And the best way to market your coaching business on Twitter?

Here goes.

Go to the search bar and type in a keyword in your niche.

Twitter search for clients

And then scroll through the results to find people who’re looking for your services or have questions about your niche.

Twitter find clients

The keywords you use should be search phrases your audience uses to find you.

For example:

“Find a career coach”

“How to get promoted”

“How to lose weight”

“Best fitness coach”

11. Why webinars can transform your business (no, not because they’re a magic bullet!)

You know…

Webinars are great.

But webinars often get talked about as this ‘magic bullet’.

The “secret” of webinars is to use them in the right way.

And that means using them in an automated way.

You see, automated webinars are the reason I can make sales every day without having to be there, selling.

And that frees up time in my business.

That’s what I do with my Employee to Entrepreneur program. I have an evergreen webinar and it sells my program 24/7.

At the same time, the webinar is packed with value. I show webinar attendees my exact system for getting clients.

That’s what you want for your webinar- a value-packed, automated webinar.

Want to see what that looks like? Here’s my webinar.

Now, my top tip for how marketing for coaches can be made easy?

Facebook ads.

12. The #1 reason Facebook ads can help you grow fast

Maybe you’re thinking:

“I want a system that quickly gets me clients without me having to constantly hustle for them.”

In that case, Facebook ads could be the marketing strategy for you.

In fact:

I used Facebook ads to quickly grow my own business.

How?

For my first ever course, I needed to grow my audience fast (I wanted to go from 300 to 1000 subscribers to hit my sales goal).

And with the help of Facebook ads, I was able to do just that… And add 500 people to my audience.

Facebook ad

For my third launch, I had set a big goal:

To hit $1 million in sales.

But to do that, I couldn’t just rely on my existing audience.

So, once again, I decided to use paid advertising.

The result?

An $800K launch.

Online course first year launches

So yes, I’m a big believer in that Facebook ads can quickly grow your business.

(That said, Facebook ads are not that silver bullet you’re often led to believe. They take work, just like any marketing strategy.)

Another platform you can use?

Pinterest. And that’s what we’ll look at next.

13. Want to build an audience fast? Use Pinterest marketing.

Ever asked yourself:

“Can Pinterest really grow my business?”

The answer?

Yes! And while many think of Pinterest as a tool you use to save your favorite pins, it’s also a search engine.

So, people go to Pinterest to find information.

For example:

When someone searches for “6-figure coach”, they instantly see two of my own pins:

Pinterest search result

What does it mean? I get people to my site from those searches without having to constantly promote my content.

14. Why Reddit can help you reach thousands of ideal clients

One marketing strategy many coaches overlook?

Reddit.

Think about it:

Reddit has 330 million monthly users.

There are forums, subreddits, about almost anything- from fitness and health to entrepreneurship and career advice.

Now, you don’t just want to start adding your links to a subreddit. (You’ll likely get downvoted or even banned from that forum.)

Instead, find a subreddit in your niche.

Find subreddits

Then, start interacting. Just like you would on Facebook- by helping people, adding value, and giving away some of your best tips.

And by building those relationships, you can then tell people about your coaching services and how you can help them achieve great results.

15. One of the best ways to get more business effortlessly? Referrals.

Wait…

We’ve looked at a TON of different marketing strategies.

But one that might add clients to your coaching business without much effort on your part?

Referrals.

Think about it:

Satisfied clients are more than happy to tell their friends about your business.

Referrals

And it doesn’t have to be harder than you sending them a message and saying:

“I’m glad to hear you got [insert the result they got from working with you].

If you have anyone in your network who could benefit from similar results, would you mind passing on my name?”

16. How to land great guest post and podcast opportunities

Listen:

If you’re thinking guest posting isn’t as “fresh” or effective as other strategies on this list, think again.

Guest posting and guest podcasting are GREAT ways to reach your audience.

Granted, not every guest post or podcast episode will result in hundreds of new subscribers.

But if you keep going, you WILL get those opportunities that drive tons of subscribers and clients.

For example:

While some of my own guest posts didn’t drive many subscribers at all, the ones that did were well worth the effort.

Guest post

And the same goes for podcast episodes I’ve been featured in.

Entrepreneur on fire podcast

My tip?

Write a list of 10 sites or podcasts you’d like to be featured on.

Not all of them should be the size of The New York Times. Instead, choose a number of niche sites in your industry.

You can easily find them by googling:

“Your niche” + “contribute”

“Your niche” + “submit guest post”

“Your niche” + “submissions”

Or look at where people who’ve already made it big in your niche have published guest posts by gooling:

“Name” + “guest post”

“Name” + “guest writer”

17. Content marketing for coaches: How to bring in new leads with old blog posts

If you love reading valuable blog posts (like the one you’re reading right now!), you know that they get people to know, like, and trust you.

For example:

My client Emily was able to quickly build her reputation and expert status with her blog posts.

Emily Liu coaching client example

Not to mention that blogs can be pretty darn effective to build brands.

One example? Glossier.

Glossier example

Another? Groupon.

Groupon website

Now, maybe you’re thinking:

“Sounds good, Luisa, but how do I make time to create a bunch of new blog posts? I’m stretched as it is.”

And I hear you.

The best part is that you don’t have to create new blog posts.

If you have old blog posts, start by reworking these posts.

That’s right- if you rework your old posts (update them and include more information), you can then promote them as if they were new posts… Because you’ve just added a bunch of new information to them!

Want to grow your own 6-figure coaching business with the right marketing strategies? Get the FREE PDF:

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.

18. How to use LinkedIn to market your coaching business

Does your audience include professionals?

LinkedIn is your platform.

You can use several tools on the platform to reach your clients:

Groups, articles, posts, and direct messages.

One of my favorites?

Videos. Videos are extremely engaging and on a platform like LinkedIn, you can stand out with yours.

LinkedIn video

19. One of the most effective marketing strategies? Leverage other people’s audiences.

What does marketing for coaches mean to you? Maybe you think of social media strategies and leave it at that…

…But there’s one more marketing strategy that you might be overlooking.

Join ventures.

You see, if you and someone with complementary services and with a similar audience work together, you both benefit. Win-win!

Here are a few joint venture ideas:

  • Create a webinar together.
  • Offer your services to each other’s audiences.
  • Bundle your services and offer them for a special price.

Here’s an example of a joint venture LeadPages did with CopyHacker’s Joanna Wiebe:

Leadpages landing page

And how do you find these joint ventures?

Simple. Go to Google, Instagram, LinkedIn or another platform and search for businesses in complimentary niches.

For example:

If you’re a coach who helps people eat right, you might look for a fitness coach.

And if you’re a marketing coach, you might look for a sales coach…

Their audiences should be about the same as yours.

Once you’ve found someone who looks like a good candidate, send them a brief message:

“Hi NAME,

I happened to come across your site.

Great work! I like that… (personalize with something so they know you’re not just sending out a bunch of messages to everyone in your niche).

I also happened to see that we have similar audiences.

Would you like to partner and share our offers to each other’s audiences? I have a few ideas in mind, like… (give 1-2 ideas). Let me know if you want me to send over more ideas?

Best,

Your name”

20. Why YouTube marketing can work wonders for your coaching business

Think YouTube is for cat videos and viral sensations?

Not so much. YouTube is a great way to engage your audience.

For example, some of my own videos have some amazing engagement.

Like this one, which has 26,000 views:

And it’s ranking for my target keyword:

YouTube ranking

That’s ONE video I created and that my audience will now find over and over again on YouTube.

My top tip for your YouTube marketing?

Use keywords in your copy (title and descriptions).

Those words that your audience would use to find your video.

So for example, for my video, I used the keyword “first paying coaching client”.

21. The best way to show that you’re an expert? Write a book.

What’s a fast-track way to becoming an expert in your niche?

Publishing a book.

You know, just like people like Malcolm Gladwell have become thought-leaders and experts in their fields thanks to publishing books.

Now, you don’t have to sell millions of copies to become an expert in your niche.

And today, there are several ways to self-publish your book, so you don’t even need to go to a traditional publisher. For example, you can self-publish a Kindle book.

Of course, self-publishing does take a good amount of work.

You need to write the book AND promote it.

Another great way to position you as an expert without publishing an entire book?

Write an extensive article, so an ultimate guide on your chosen topic.

I do it regularly.

For example, some of my guides include:

“How to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business in 2021”

This guide shows my audience how to take your coaching business from 0 to fast growth.

coaching business blog post

“How to Become a Career Coach: The Definitive Guide (2021)”

In this guide, I help a segment of my audience, career coaches, leave their 9-5 and start a career coaching business.

become a career coach blog post

A guide quickly builds trust and shows your audience that you are an expert in your niche.

22. Not getting the results you want? This might be it.

You know what?

Something that I see all too often is this:

Entrepreneurs who jump from one thing to the next.

You might know this as the shiny object syndrome.

Ever been there?

So, when a marketing strategy doesn’t get you immediate results, you jump to the next strategy.

If this is you, you’re sabotaging yourself.

Without giving a marketing strategy some time and testing it properly, you won’t see ANY results.

The thing is:

When something’s not working, take a look at WHY it’s not working.

Because if that marketing strategy is working for others in your industry, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for you.

For example:

Are your Facebook posts not getting any engagement?

Look at your copy. Or the groups you’re in. How can you change the thing that’s not producing any results?

Do you never get more than a handful of webinar attendants?

Are you marketing it enough? Is your topic something your audience really cares about?

23. The most powerful way to reach your goal (no, it’s not another marketing tactic)

It’s fun to talk about marketing strategies that drive clients.

But there’s one thing I see so many entrepreneurs overlook.

It’s not another marketing strategy… But it’s incredibly important.

What is it?

Mindset.

You see, if you don’t believe, deep down, that you can succeed, do you think you will?

Chances are, you won’t.

You might need to work on reprogramming your beliefs to be able to build your dream business.

And that’s done with mindset work.

Want to know more?

Take a look at this quick video I put together for you:

24. How to get repeat leads and clients

I saved the BEST for last.

You see:

While marketing and sales will always be a top priority for you, you also want to make sure that your marketing is as automated as possible.

So that you’re not constantly chasing clients. Instead, you have predictable systems that drive repeat leads and clients to you.

Here’s how I did it when I first started out:

I focused on one platform, Facebook, where I knew my clients hung out.

But instead of randomly posting now and then, I followed a daily marketing plan.

Business calendar first year

So, I scheduled the exact times (3 times/day x 15 minutes) when I posted and engaged in Facebook groups.

I made sure to stick to this schedule- no exceptions allowed.

And with my Facebook ads system, I had a solid, predictable marketing funnel in place.

The result?

I hit six figures in my first few months and 7 figures in 11 months.

The thing is:

I couldn’t have done that without having a system in place.

Today, with a multi 7-figure business, my systems look different.

But you don’t need anything more complicated than scheduling your tasks if you’re in the beginning stages of your business.

Next: Grow your coaching business!

There you go. Marketing for coaches doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

In fact, these 24 strategies are simple AND effective.

The trick is to choose one or two strategies and make them work for you before you start working on another marketing technique.

Now, implement what you’ve learned.

How are you marketing your coaching business right now?

Share in the comments below!

Marketing for Coaches Pin
Your 9-5 Escape Velocity Plan

The proven blueprint for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-5

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

The proven blueprint

for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-to-5

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online business. Fun Fact: She's also a former International Space Station engineer.

The proven blueprint

for building a profitable online coaching business that frees you from the 9-to-5

How to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business - Luisa Zhou-2

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.

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