marketing v branding

For coaches, healers, and wellness entrepreneurs, the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘branding’ are often used interchangeably. (So are marketing and sales!)

While marketing, branding, and sales are all important aspects of your business, it’s important to understand the terms and their distinct roles so that you know the nuances between them and how to use each effectively in your business.

What is Marketing?

Marketing includes the activities you use to share, promote, and sell your services. It’s the tools and tactics you use to reach out and connect with potential clients. 

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

That’s a pretty broad definition, so here’s another way to look at it:

Marketing is a verb, it includes the things you do.

Branding is a noun, it’s the WHO you are in your business.

Marketing includes the activities you take to promote your products and services. It involves understanding your target audience, knowing their pain points, and presenting your offerings as the solution.

Marketing is tactical and includes:

  • Marketing channels: The ways and platforms you’ll use to get the word out about your business, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, blogging, etc.
  • Marketing strategies and campaigns: Marketing strategies, plans, and campaigns are plans to promote a specific product (new course, healing session, or webinar, for example.)
  • Market research is also a part of marketing, and entails doing research to understand your ideal client. It also includes engaging with your audience, collecting feedback and adjusting your strategies. 
  • Messaging is also an important part of marketing, as it is the words you use to market your offers and your business as a whole. Any good marketing has solid messaging.

What is Branding?

Branding, on the other hand, is the identity of your business. It includes the feelings, associations, and experiences that come to mind when someone hears your business name.

Branding is how you express yourself as a business and includes both your brand personality and voice, as well as the visuals like your logo, colors, and fonts.

Branding includes:

  • Brand Identity: This includes your business name, logo, color scheme, and design aesthetics.
  • Brand Values and Mission: This includes identifying your brand values, knowing your why, and clarifying your mission and vision statements.
  • Brand Voice and Personality: Are you professional and serious or funny and casual? Your brand voice and personality will be expressed through your content, emails, and interactions.
  • Brand Promise and Story: Your brand promise is what clients can expect from working with you. Your brand story is the story of you through the lens of your business.

Marketing vs. Branding: The Key Differences

The easiest way to remember this is that your brand is who you ARE in your business, from your personality to your tone of voice to your identity. Marketing includes the ways you express yourself and share your work and your offerings.

Here are some other core differences:

  • Duration: Marketing campaigns are temporary and can change seasonally, monthly, or even weekly. Branding is long-term. Your healing or coaching brand should remain consistent, forming the backbone of your business persona.
  • Purpose: The goal of marketing activities is to generate leads and paying clients. Branding seeks to build recognition, trust, and loyalty.
  • Measurement: Marketing success is often measured in ROI, conversion rates, and other quantitative metrics. Brand success is more qualitative, gauged by customer loyalty, brand recognition, and the quality of customer relationships.

What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Advertising is simply PAID marketing.

  • Organic marketing activities are marketing activities that are free (such as blogging, podcast guesting, posting on social media without ads, etc).
  • Paid advertising includes things like Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, taking out an ad in a local publication or newsletter.

Advertising can have a time and place for a business, yet no matter what, I encourage clients to get very good at organic marketing before putting money behind their marketing efforts. 

What is the difference between marketing and sales?

Sales and marketing are often used interchangeably. In fact, I often hear from business owners that they don’t want to “market” because they don’t want to appear “salesy.” 

Marketing and sales work hand-in-hand. Often, the better you are at marketing, the easier sales become (because you become good at attracting your clients, then converting them becomes much easier!)

Here are the primary differences between marketing and sales: 

Marketing is about attraction; sales is about conversion.

Marketing is the broader process of communicating your value, creating content, and attracting your prospective clients. Good marketing generates demand and prepares the right fit clients for the sales process.

Sales are those activities that are concentrated on converting potential clients into actual paying clients. (For coaches and healers, the sales process often includes discovery calls, consultations, and follow up emails.)

The focus of sales is about qualifying the leads, identifying the individual client’s needs, addressing their concerns, and booking clients.

Marketing is long-term, sales is short-term.

Marketing is generally a long-term, on-going effort, involving activities like market research, content creation, and campaigns. The goal is to build a brand image and nurture potential leads through the client journey.

Sales processes are shorter-term and more immediate. They involve direct interactions with potential customers, either face-to-face, over the phone or Zoom, to assess fit and sign up for packages or programs.

Marketing and sales metrics are measured differently

Marketing objectives include measuring things like the amount of followers, email subscribers, engagement, and client retention. Common metrics might be website traffic, lead conversion rates, and social media follower count and engagement.

Sales goals include achieving a certain revenue target or number of clients. Common metrics include the number of consultations booked, number of spots sold in a program, number of online courses purchased, etc.

marketing is sharing about your businses

Why Marketing and Branding are Both Essential for Coaches and Healers

As a coach, healer, or wellness entrepreneur, your services are personalized to your clients’ needs. Clients are entrusting you with their well-being, seeking transformation and growth.

That’s why it’s so important that your authenticity shines through your branding, marketing and your sales processes.

You want your brand to be the fullest expression of the powerful coach or healer you are. Yet, even the most powerful brand cannot thrive without visibility. Marketing makes your brand visible, and gets you in front of the right people, so they can take the next steps to working with you.  

Blending a powerful brand and authentic marketing strategy ensures that you can continue to attract and serve your dream clients while building your business. As you continue on your journey, let your brand be the heart of your mission and your marketing the voice that shares it with the world.

Not sure where to start with marketing and branding?

Want to get started with defining your brand and marketing your coaching or healing business?