21 ways to market a coaching business

There are many ways to market a coaching business

Many new coaches think of marketing only as social media — or even worse, only as Instagram! When in fact, there are TONS of ways to market your coaching services.

The problem is that many new coaches don’t have experience in marketing. (And why should they? They’re coaches!)

But as a coach who does have a background in marketing, I ccan tell you that if you are only thinking of marketing your business on social media, you’re missing a whole lot of other, more effective ways to market.

Marketing your services is part of running your business

As a holistic business coach for coaches and holistic entrepreneurs, marketing is one of the most challenging aspects for many of my clients. 

And it’s no surprise! As a coach or healer, you’re good at what you do; you’re not a marketing expert. (And I’m guessing you don’t want to be one, either!) 

But as soon as you get into business, you realize that to get clients, you need to be marketing said business. There’s really no way around it! That’s why I encourage coaches to embrace marketing and learn marketing strategies for coaches that are efficient and effective.

Common myths about marketing your coaching business

Often, I find new healers and coaches tend to fall into one of the following categories: 

  • They assume marketing has to be “sleazy” or “salesy”.
  • They assume their only way to market is to use social media (and they don’t want to!)
  • They think they have to invest in paid advertising just to get their first clients.

The good news is that none of these is true! 

You can absolutely find marketing activities that work for you, that aren’t social media, and do so without resorting to paid advertising.

Marketing a coaching business is different. Here’s why.

The truth is, marketing a coaching business is different than marketing other types of businesses, for several reasons:

1. When you’re marketing yourself as a coach, you are marketing and selling YOURSELF. This can bring up a lot of self-doubt and imposter syndrome.

2. When you’re marketing coaching, the need to establish the know-like-trust factor is even MORE important, simply because coaching (like therapy or healing) is such a personalized service and requires a level of vulnerability from your client.

3. When you’re marketing a coaching business, your prospective client may take more time on the journey from knowing you to buying from you, especially if you are selling high ticket coaching packages.

Because of this, the ways you go about marketing your coaching business may look different than the ways other business owners use to find clients.

The steps to take *before* you start marketing your business

So by now you’re thinking, Great! How exactly do I get started marketing my coaching services?

Before you even get into the marketing activities, you want to make sure your marketing foundations are set. Marketing foundations include identifying:

If you don’t know those key pieces yet, start there. Once those are complete, grab the guide below and start exploring all the ways you can market your coaching business.

21 ways to market a coaching business 

The good news is, there are sooo many ways to do marketing and outreach for your coaching business! (Remember, marketing is so much more than social media.)

Today, I’m sharing with you 21 ways to market your coaching or holistic business.

The idea is not to use all of them (that would be exhausting!), but hone in on the activities that work best for you. 

Ways to market your coaching business online

1. Social media. Love it or hate it, social media gives you the ability to get access to a much wider audience. But, as we all know, the algorithm (and the agony) is real and you want to use more than just social media for your coaching business.

2. Virtual coffee chats. If you’re more of an introvert entrepreneur, you might not love big networking events. Instead, you might prefer to have 1:1 coffee chats to connect with potential collaborators and clients.

3. Networking events. Online (and offline) networking events can help you get known for what you do and get exposure to a larger audience. Make sure you have a solid elevator pitch in place before you go!

4. Freebies! Create a freebie or lead magnet (template, checklist, guide, etc.) that fulfills a desire or solves a problem for your ideal client. Make sure it’s hooked up to your email list to establish on-going relationships with your potential clients.

5. Facebook groups or Reddit communities. Use Facebook groups or Reddit communities engage with and learn about your ideal clients. The way to make this most effective is to find the right groups and engage by providing value, not spamming people with your services.

6. Guest posting. When you’re just staring, your own blog readership may be low, but this is a good time to pitch more established blogs as a guest writer. The bonus is that you usually get a byline, introduction, and a link back to your website!

7. Blogging. Blogging on your own website, especially when you use effective SEO, can help you get found by your ideal clients. The key is choosing topics (and keywords) that your ideal clients use when searching for services related to yours.

8. A solid website. While a website alone is not enough, having a solid, well-structured website with messaging that attracts your ideal clients is a must-have for converting visitors to email subscribers and to paying cclients.

9. Affiliate marketing. Being an affiliate for a larger program that you can vouch for and that does not conflict with your business can help you bring in income and clients. Just make sure the program you support is aligned with your brand values.

10. Online summits. Participating as a speaker in an online summit can help you increase your impact and brand. The key is to choose a summit that aligns with your brand and that attracts your audience.

11. Paid ads. I generally don’t recommend ads to those who are just starting out until you have validated your offers and niche, but eventually ads can be a valuable way to attract people to your business once those aspects are solid and you have some money to spend.

12. Pinterest. Pinterest is more of a search engine than a traditional social media platform that requires constant, new content. Posting your key content and optimizing for search terms can help clients find you if they’re looking on Pinterest.

Bonus tip: Youtube also functions more like a search engine than just a social media platform. So if you’re diving into SEO, be sure to consider adding Pinterest and/or YouTube!

Ways to market your coaching business offline

13. Podcasts. Being a podcast guest can get you in front of a larger audience where you can speak about key topics that relate to your business. Make sure to target those who serve your ideal community!

14. Referrals. If you have a lot of business besties and love networking, create relationships with other business owners who serve an audience like yours and agree to refer clients to one another.

15. Partnerships/collaborations. Partnering or collaborating with a business or organization with a larger audience can help you get out in front of more people, grow your following, and attract new clients.

16. Speaking gigs. If you love speaking, don’t be afraid to share your gifts! Reach out to companies, organizations, and even larger Facebook groups with a pitch to share about your chosen topic.

17. Past clients. Don’t forget about past clients! Acquiring a new customer can be five times more costly than retaining an existing customer. If you’ve helped someone in the past, you may be able to help them again or they may be able to refer people to you.

18. Free mini sessions. If you’re relatively new to the coaching world and you have the time, you might consider offering free mini sessions so people can get a taste of what it’s like to work with you.

19. Partner with industry organizations, like ICF or with your coaching certification company. If there’s an organization that you want to work with, consider reaching out and exploring partnership opportunities.

20. Your existing network. So many people skip this step! Be sure to tell your existing network about your business and that you’re taking on clients. Often, your first coaching clients will come from those who already know and like you.

21. Local organizations like your chamber, BNI or other networking groups. (Remember, any group can be a networking group!) As online business owners, we often forget about our local groups, but people love to support a local business.

How to find your best ways to market your coaching business

Should you try to do all of these activities to market your coaching business? No, and certainly, not all at once. 

You want to choose the activities that align with your brand values and your business goals, that play to your strengths, and that allow you to reach your target market.

If you want to get ALL of the 21 ways to market a coaching business in a downloadable guide with tips on how to get started, you can get that here.