Building your own coaching business? If you’re a coach who tries to find a way to get more clients, you’ve probably asked yourself many times, ‘What is the best way to market my coaching services?’ There is an ocean of methods you could promote your services, but what will actually work out? And how to get results quickly and on a lean budget without using paid advertising?
In the competitive market, we live in, prospective clients are getting lost in various offers. Let’s think about what is the main stopper for people who are looking for a coach? And what should you say to be chosen among your competitors?
Nowadays, it’s not enough to just provide a great service. Instead, you should deal with the major obstacle – prospects’ fear to make a wrong choice. For your business to succeed you have to dispel their doubts and prove that you’re able to add value.
And nothing speaks to your potential clients like bottom-line results. Yes, results talk! Describe what your coaching business has done for other clients with the same issues or objectives. It’s called social proof.
Why social proof?
Coaches who run their businesses online usually don’t have the opportunity to give a pitch to their potential clients in person. Landing on your website, prospects usually think, ‘Hmm, I don’t know them. Why should I trust that they are brilliant?’ Considering that, your supreme goal is to gain the trust of website visitors, no matter how great you are.
Social proof shows your potential clients that others have already found your services to be of high value. Social proof actually proves that your services are valuable demonstrating existing satisfied clients, their positive experience, and impressive results.
You can feel the power of social proof when you’re surfing the internet trying to find something important and expensive. So what do you look at first? The answer is obvious. Yes, it’s social proof. Reviews, star ratings, social media mentions, and everything in between. And although these testimonials are left by people you’ve never met, they do influence you. Clients bring new clients. It’s amazing.
In this article, we’ll look at different powerful social proof strategies that fit even quite limited budgets for marketing. Ready to attract paying clients for your coaching program and kick it up a notch? Let’s dive right in!
Have a professional-looking website
First things first. If you don’t have a website yet, you’re losing many opportunities. On the other hand, an old-fashioned website from the 2000s looks suspicious and unprofessional (sorry for being obvious). If prospects don’t trust you at first glance, all social proof strategies will be useless.
Yes, a website is a very important place where potential clients find out more about your skills, business, and approach. But creating a website seems overwhelming – especially if you’re not very tech-savvy. Luckily, you can create a basic website quickly using software that guides you through the process.
But if your website isn’t visible in the Google search, the social proof placed there will be useless. So your next goal is to acquire new website visitors. The best way to achieve this is search engine optimization (SEO).
When your website is live, it’s time to turn it into a marketing machine to promote your coaching services.
Get text and video testimonials from delighted clients
When buying a coaching service (an online course, webinar, consultation, etc.), your prospective clients will search for testimonials left from people who have tried your services. By seeing how delighted existing clients are, prospects can’t resist the urge to buy too. This is one of the most powerful and no-cost marketing ideas you can adopt. There are a few tips for better testimonials:
- Use testimonials from people who are closest to your ideal client.
- Ask your respondents to describe their challenges before working with you and their achievements after using your services. You need a small, yet completed story.
- Always include a photo and full name to make testimonials more trustworthy.
- Place testimonials where they will impact your conversion rate: next to a contact form or call-to-action button, on an ordering page, on your ‘About us’ page.
- Build an authentic online presence by using services from companies such as Arielle Executive.
Although text testimonials are awesome social proof, a solid video testimonial is even more powerful. 64 percent more likely to book a call after watching a video. Why? Video content is more easy-to-consume, eye-catching, dynamic, and enjoyable. Videos foster customer loyalty and sell, not being salesy.
However, sometimes asking clients for testimonials can be challenging for both the coaches and the clients. Luckily, there is a testimonial & rating platform Trust, the most convenient way to collect testimonials. Forget about waiting and begging your clients to leave feedback. Trust does it for you.
Just ask a client to leave feedback and send a personal survey to leave a text testimonial via email. To record a video testimonial, a client gets a link to make a new video or upload their own one from Facebook, YouTube, etc. Then, Trust works on the data and features text or video testimonials on the website as a clickable notification widget, static, or carousel elements after your approval. What’s more, Trust offers the ability to e-sign a contract between you and your testimonial sender.
Upgrade your website with star ratings
In addition to testimonials, social proof includes many other specific website elements. In this section, we’ll walk through the most powerful one: star rating.
Star rating is a popular form of social proof, you may see it thousands of times near different products and services. It’s the most easily recognizable and the simplest expression of customer satisfaction and service quality. For instance, you can apply it to the list of your online courses, e-books, or white-papers. The only thing to remember is that the ideal star rating is between 4.2 and 4.5 because it is more realistic than a perfect 5.0 rating.
The best part is that gathering star ratings can be a no-brainer. With Trust, you can automatically gather and display this kind of social proof on your website.
How it works: when a client buy the online course on your website, you send them (either manually or automatically) a link to the rating survey. All they have to do is to click on it, write their comments, and approve their email address. If the result is good you can immediatly ask them to leave this rating as a testimonial on your website, too. Then, Trust will process reviews and show your star rating on the website (as an onpage or popup widget) or in Google search results (as rich snippets) after your approval.
Be social, helpful, and approachable
Besides boosting your website conversions, there are many other ways social proof can help you market yourself as a coach. For instance, with the help of social networks and various Q&A resources, you can demonstrate your skills and experience by helping others to solve their challenges. Let’s zoom in on that.
There are many different ways you can talk to people and help them. You can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other platforms. The ultimate goal here is to let people know about what you and your coaching business do. It’s an excellent opportunity to find new clients organically. The single post on Quora will cost you five minutes and end up with a new dozen contracts.
So, go to online platforms where your ideal coaching clients are already hanging out and build relationships with them. It’s one of the fastest ways to position yourself as an expert and create the image of the go-to coach in your niche. The only thing to remember is that people don’t like to be sold to. So don’t promote yourself directly. Instead, try to help others. They’ll come back for more.
Online communities on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. is an ideal opportunity to engage with your audience in real-time. First, go to LinkedIn or Facebook and search for keywords in your niche to find specific groups. Next, post the right content there: useful tips, Q&A, or share an insight. Don’t advertise yourself! People go to social networks to be entertained, have fun, and get insights.
Also, you can create your own group on LinkedIn or Facebook instead of just going into other people’s communities. But growing a group takes effort. There are some tips for creating a community people want to join:
- First, create a clear name to help people find the group. And when a social network suggests the group to your audience, they immediately know what your community is all about. Second, choose a name that people want to be identified with.
- Share valuable information to make people stick around. Make your content entertaining and educational. Be consistent: posting only once a week is not enough.
- Mention about your coaching business. For instance, include a strong call to action pointing to what you sell into a top pinned post or main group banner.
- Engage with your audience. Answer questions, tag people, be active, and have fun!
Hit Quora and other Q&A resources. There are three principal things that make Quora an amazing way to market your coaching services. First, here you will find clients who come directly from your published in-depth answers. Second, if you have an own blog post that answers a specific question, you can drop it into Quora. And last but not least, Google pulls Quora answers into the search. So, answering Quora questions is a brilliant opportunity to grab a top position on Google.
Guest blogging. By sharing valuable content on other websites, you’ll get your message out to your target audience and build up your profile as an experienced coach. Yes, it is a longer-term strategy. However, if done well, your blog can bring you great leads.
Being helpful, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals
Having offered value to everyone you meet, ask for referrals when you’re talking with grateful people. In other words, allow others to be your sales team. It’s a win-win: people get free value from your social posts or articles, and you acquire free clients. But this doesn’t happen unless you ask.
What’s more, chances are you’ll talk to someone who’s not a good match for your services but might know someone else who is. So, get into the habit of asking for referrals after you’ve talked to someone in your Facebook community or Quora. This way of promoting your coaching business is super-powerful because people trust the recommendation of friends, relatives, or colleagues.
Be quoted in the media
When your prospective clients will come across the article featuring you, they think, ‘This guy really knows what he’s doing’. Considering this, don’t miss the opportunity to be featured in different business-related magazines and online resources to share your expertise. And furthermore, you can place these press mentions (which work as perfect social proof) on your website or include them to your promo kit. These quotes will give you credibility and visibility.
How to do that? Just contact the media, offer your expertise, and tell them you are willing to be a resource of a professional view for their future articles. Then, stay in touch with your contacts at the media to get a call for a quote or interview.
One more option here is to use HARO (Help A Reporter Out). It’s a place where journalists post requests for people to interview. HARO will send you media opportunities via email every day. It takes up to five minutes to scroll these media requests. When you see an interesting opportunity, send in a pitch explaining why you are the person the journalist needs to speak with.
What are the benefits? First, you can be featured in magazines and gain credibility and social proof. Second, the backlink can also bring your coaching website massive SEO value. Luckily, HARO is free to sign up. However, there are paid options starting at $19 per month. In our opinion, it’s better to start with the free version and if you like it, upgrade.
Start marketing yourself as a coach with social proof today
The above-mentioned six social proof strategies will help you acquire new paying clients for your coaching services. In a nutshell, this will give your prospective clients the feeling that you can solve their challenges and accomplish their business goals. There are a few actionable steps to start doing that today:
- Have a professional-looking website.
- Gather clients’ testimonials with Trust in the blink of an eye.
- Upgrade your website with various social proof elements (social count, star rating, real-time user activity).
- Be social and helpful, sharing your expertise in online communities and Q&A resources.
- Being helpful, ask for referrals.
- Do your best to be quoted in the media.
While you can do any of these tips, don’t do all of them at the same time. Instead, choose a few strategies and focus on them. Then, see how they work, tweak them if needed, and try a few more.