Marketing for Coaches: The 1 Thing No One’s Talking About (+15 Tips)

January 12, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
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More and more coaches are saturating the online sphere.

As recently as 2019 there were an estimated 71,000 coach practitioners in the market (and the number has likely only grown since then).

Whether you’re a business coach, a health coach, a life coach, a financial coach, or anything in between…

How do you stand out?

In this day and age in which anyone can claim to be a coach, it’s more important than ever to have a strong marketing strategy. You need to present yourself in such a way that draws people to you so that they can take advantage of your services.

Here are some tips on marketing for coaches to help you do just that – including one specific tip that has powerful potential… but that no one is talking about.

Tips on Marketing Copy for Coaches

1. Don’t Neglect Copy

Your marketing copy can make a major impact.

Copywriting AI can do some of the work for you, but it can’t replace a real, live human.

You may be an awesome coach - but an, um… less-than-stellar copywriter.

And that’s OK!

If that describes you, you have a few options available to you…

  • You could partner with a quality copywriter
  • You could outsource your copywriting to a third party
  • You could gain some basic copywriting skills through courses (such as Copy School by Joanna Wiebe)

Whichever option you go with, just make sure to take your marketing copy seriously.

2. Use the “You” Rule

This copywriting rule is life-changing.

The “You” rule simply says to make the focus of everything about your audience and talk about them as often as possible.

Only talk about yourself and your coaching business if absolutely necessary. And when you do talk about yourself, only do so in regards to how you can benefit your audience.

Because in reality, your audience is mostly interested in what they can get out of your services.

This can be a bit tricky when you’re running a business that’s centered all around you – your expertise, your experience, your services.

But one simple way to apply this concept if you’re struggling with it is to try to start every sentence in your email, social post, or other piece of copy with the word “you” (referring to your audience).

So instead of, “I can help get you the financial freedom you’re looking for if you get on a coaching call…”

… you can say something along the lines of, “You can get the financial freedom you’re looking for – it all starts with a coaching call.”

See the subtle difference?

Make your messaging all about your audience rather than yourself.

3. Speak Your Clients’ Language

You won’t attract clients to your coaching business if they don’t think you can solve their problem or meet whatever particular desire they have.

So you need to speak your potential clients’ language – discover how they talk, what they want, what they hope, what they fear, what they need.

You can discover all of this by just talking to your clients and prospects.

Record your calls and conduct surveys and interviews. Keep track of what your clients say… Phrases that stand out. Themes that get emphasized and repeated.

In many ways, your own clients and prospects can “write” your marketing copy for you. You can just look at the language they’re already using and incorporate it into your marketing.

Now, one caveat is that you have to look for the language that stands out – language that communicates your clients’ needs in a unique way. (Using boring and bland language won’t be as likely to connect with your audience.)

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Tips on Marketing Productivity for Coaches

1. Outsource or Delegate What You’re Not Good At

For each and every one of us, there are some things we’re just not naturally good at.

Sure, we can practice and improve, but some things we just don’t enjoy, and we will likely never excel in them.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s just a part of being human.

Gallup has found that focusing primarily on strengths rather than scrambling to master weaknesses makes people more productive.

So take a good hard look at your own weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to outsource or delegate those areas to someone else. That way, you can focus and thrive within the realm of what you’re really good at.

For example, maybe you’re just not good at creating content. Perhaps for you, trying to come up with content is like pulling teeth, and you hate doing it.

Or maybe for you it’s social ads, or SEO, or just marketing in general.

While it may be a good idea to try to improve in these areas, consider whether outsourcing or delegating to someone else might be a better use of your time and resources.

One note of caution regarding outsourcing to agencies…

Some agencies are not worth the investment. Many will make big promises but not deliver.

If hiring an agency, make your agreement contingent on some level of success, so that they have skin in the game. And don’t forget that you know your company and your audience best, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t think the agency is going in the right direction.

2. Get Organized

150 hours a year wasted.

By some reports, that’s how much time the typical executive today spends searching for lost information. Almost a whole month’s worth of workdays!

That’s just one example of how getting organized is important for productivity.

And this is true when it comes to your marketing efforts for your coaching business.

Although many of us are naturals at keeping organized, some of us are… not.

If you’re one of the many not-so-organizationally-inclined folks, consider whether there are any processes, procedures, or other elements within your coaching business’s marketing that need to be more streamlined.

Maybe you need easier scheduling software for your complimentary coaching calls? (Try Calendly.)

Maybe you need a simpler way to connect with your marketing team? (Try Slack.)

Maybe you have tools like these, but they’re running your life and you’re constantly scrambling to manage everything at once? (Try setting office hours and focusing on one primary task at a time.)

Don’t get overwhelmed trying to overhaul all of your marketing processes at once. You can slowly change one or two things here or there to make a big difference in the long run.

If there’s anything that makes you think, “There’s gotta be a better way to do this” – that means there probably is a better way to do it.

3. A/B Test to Determine What Works

You can be more productive in your marketing if you know what actually works.

But sometimes the only way to really know is to try something and see what happens.

You can A/B test to help you determine what marketing elements connect with your clients and prospects.

Does your audience respond better to video, or graphics, or to text-only content?

Does your audience respond better to more professional, matter-of-fact copy, or to conversational, friendly copy? To a lead magnet offer, or to a free consultation offer?

You can use marketing tools to submit two versions with the elements you’re trying to test, then compare the results after a period of time.

That can help you determine what connects best with your audience – so that you can have more productive and effective marketing, rather than wasting time on marketing that doesn’t work.

Woman on her phone

Tips on Practical Marketing for Coaches

1. Remember… YOU Are Your Brand

Online coaching is unlike many other business models in that you yourself are your brand.

Your personality and the way you present yourself must connect with the people you’re trying to reach.

Generally speaking, people are attracted to authenticity… to a point.

So you should be yourself, but be mindful of how you come across.

For example, while you may feel like hosting your sales webinar in your pajamas, showing up in your PJs may not be the impression you want to make.

(Or maybe it is, depending on your audience! But… probably not.)

Your personality and your brand’s tone are intermingled. So keep that in mind as you go about your marketing.

One great way to demonstrate this intermingling authentically is through the production of video testimonials. These capture real, verifiable experiences of your clients expressing their satisfaction with your coaching services. When shot and edited professionally, these testimonials can profoundly resonate with prospects. They exhibit your impact and underline the value you bring to the table. However, ensure the testimonial videos are conducted remotely, thus considering the comfort and convenience of your clients. Bear in mind that content like this potentially can make a huge difference in your marketing strategy.

2. Provide Real Value in Your Marketing Efforts

Whether you’re hosting webinars, running workshops, creating ebooks, or chatting on a coaching call…

Provide real value to the people you’re trying to reach.

In other words, don’t make it all about the sale.

Sure, you can (and should) get to the sale at some point. But make it primarily about your clients and prospects.


Because people don’t like to be sold to. But they are more open to it when they see the value that you provide, and they see how it can help them.

3. Be Available and Interactive

Coaching more than many other services relies upon building a connection with your clients and prospects.

Who wants to be coached by someone who’s unapproachable and distant?

So don’t be aloof. Engage with your prospects – respond to questions live during your webinars, respond personally to emails and text messages, follow up and ask your clients/prospects questions individually.

If people feel like you’re ready and willing to help them, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of your services… and to keep coming back.

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Tips on Marketing Channels for Coaches

1. Use Social Media

You have to be willing to take advantage of social media.

Find out which social media platforms your audience best responds to. Experiment with posting organically as well as paid ads and see if you can gain any traction.

Social media is unpredictable… but it’s also a potential goldmine. You’ll just have to discover what connects with your audience.

When it comes to coaching businesses, video content will probably perform better for you than graphics and text-only. The nature of your business means you need to get comfortable with getting behind your phone’s camera and speaking to your audience.

2. Take Full Advantage of Email

Email is inexpensive, and can be effective.

You’ve surely collected an email list. And that list is ripe for marketing.

You should take full advantage of that list and email regularly.

How regularly? That depends.

You can email your audience anywhere from once a month to once a day (though most businesses will probably find once a day much too frequent).

A/B test your subject lines, designs, copy, and anything else to see what best connects with your audience.

And as long as you have an engaged audience (and content they’re engaging with), you can keep emailing them.

3. Boost SEO

Create quality content on your website that helps you rank in Google for the terms that your audience may be searching for.

You can use a tool like Moz or Neil Patel's Ubersuggest to help you figure out what keywords to pursue. In general, it’s best to go after “low competition” keywords – particularly if you haven’t built much website authority for your site yet.

You can look at the top search engine results for the keyword you’re looking to rank for, and then try to create content that’s better… content that will satisfy people’s search intent and answer the questions they’re asking.

If you consistently release valuable content relevant to your coaching audience (we would recommend publishing at least twice per week), that can go a long way to help boost your SEO rankings.

But keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy and it may take months to see results.

Also keep in mind that the SEO sphere is constantly changing, and you may want to consult SEO experts or get an SEO tool (like the aforementioned Moz or Ubersuggest) to help you make the most of it.

The good news is that the quality content you create and publish on your site can be multi-purpose – you can use it in your email marketing, post it on social media, create an ebook to use as a lead magnet, or use it in any number of other ways.

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The 1 Marketing Channel for Coaches That No One’s Talking About

There’s one marketing channel that for some reason, no one in the online coaching industry seems to be talking about…


With read rates as high as 98%, SMS is a secret weapon many coaches use to drive prospective clients to their webinars, workshops, and coaching calls.

(In some cases, using SMS can help increase show-up rates by up to 2x, or even more.)

So here are some tips on how to use SMS for your own coaching business.

1. Schedule SMS Reminders and Follow-Ups

Reminder: '3 Steps to Getting 3x More Sales in 28 Days Using AI Marketing' starts in 5 minutes. See you there! [Link]

You can use SMS to notify your registrants and prospects before your online event (i.e. your webinar or workshop or coaching call).

Sending this notification to your registrants' phones with a link to your event can drastically increase the show-up rate.

And more people showing up means more people hiring you for your services.

You can also send a follow-up SMS after your webinar or call is over to remind people to follow through on your call-to-action (whether that’s partnering with you, purchasing a course, downloading an ebook, or whatever other action you’d like them to do).

These prompts on their phone are almost certain to actually be seen – unlike emails or social media posts.

And since more people will actually see the messages, more people will take advantage of whatever it is you’re offering.

You can schedule all of these SMS reminders and follow-ups ahead of time so that you can focus on your event while the messages go out automatically.

2. Use Integrations to Make Things as Easy as Possible

To really free up your time and automate the process as much as you can, take advantage of integrations.

For example, if you use Zoom to host a webinar, you can use a Zoom integration which will automatically schedule text reminders and follow-ups to send to your webinar registrants.

All you have to do is set up the flow of messages you’d like to send, and then all of your webinar registrants moving forward will receive the text messages at the scheduled times.

Screenshot of webinar workflow

Thus, you can vastly improve your webinar show-up rate and engagement rate without even having to do any additional work beyond the initial setup.

3. Take Advantage of SMS Platform Tools

SMS platforms offer many convenient tools to help you organize and analyze your texting efforts.

Some of these tools include:

  • Contact grouping, so that you can organize your list into targeted groups and send more relevant messages (because more relevance = more effectiveness in your messaging)
  • Automations, including automated message replies and messaging workflows, so that you don’t have to micromanage every aspect of your SMS interactions with your coaching prospects
  • A 2-way chat inbox, so that you can engage with your prospects on a personal level
  • Link tracking, so that you can be informed about who’s actually following the CTAs within your texts
  • Reporting, so that you can analyze how your texts are actually performing

Take advantage of the tools that make sense for you and your situation – that way, your SMS marketing efforts can be as organized and effective as possible.

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Get 50 free messaging credits to try it out for yourself for 14-days (no credit card required), and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it before!

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