When I first decided to become a life coach, one thing was clear: I couldn’t do it full time right off the bat. I wanted to get my certification while slowly building up my business. That included life coach marketing like choosing a name, building a site, getting a logo, and promoting myself so I could find my clients!
Like any good 21st-century entrepreneur with a minimal budget (and a cubicle-bound day job that took up 50 hours a week), I looked to the free or low-cost platforms first. I bought my domain, had my husband design and build my site (note: he is not a web designer), started blogging via WordPress, and really learned how to use Twitter.
But after a while, I knew something was missing. Something to ensure that people who really, truly wanted to hear from me wouldn’t miss a thing.
That “something” was an email list, of course! Four years later, I have five tips to make any life coach’s marketing efforts more effective.
1. Offer a sign-up goodie that shows off your skills as a life coach
Entice people with life coach marketing by offering a free goodie in your newsletter that’s (1) really on-message and (2) a helluva introduction to you and your work.
After initially offering a seven-exercise workbook (which wound up not really speaking to my target audience) and then a VIP Library (which housed every exercise, talk, and presentation I’d ever given), I realized that I was giving people so much content that they didn’t use anything. So not good.
This summer, I created a free video series called 10 Ways to Discover Work That Feels Like Play as a lead-in to an online course I was running that fall. I realized that the video series was exactly what my new sign-ups needed, so after the series was over, I set it up as an email autoresponder (aka drip campaign).
Now, when people sign up for my list, they get the first video right away and a new one every weekday. By including on-topic resources in the videos, I can introduce my other offerings—coaching, workbooks, interview series, and courses—in a natural way.
Then, when the video series is over, I send them a replay of my webinar called “Feel the Career Fear and Do It Anyway.” The next day, I send them to my About page and my New Here? page so they can learn how I, specifically, can help ’em.
After all that, my new subscribers know who I am, what I stand for, and what they can expect from me. From then on, they “just” get my weekly broadcasts (more on that later).
2. Give your readers frequent exclusives
Whether it’s a video series only they can access, a private Q&A call, or a workbook you’re not releasing anywhere else, give your VIPs gratis goodies as often as you can.
Of course, you don’t wanna give away the farm, but offering, say, a subscriber-only sale or coupon code will entice people to stay on your list instead of just following you via RSS or social media. Make them realize that there’s exclusive content in your newsletter—and that they’re special for being part of it!
3. Send email newsletters weekly (at least!), but don’t go crazy about timing
The bottom line is that people will read your email newsletter if and when the title grabs ’em. Unless you’re a mind reader, you won’t know when that is.
I’ve gotten in the habit of sending my email newsletters on Tuesday mornings, but if there’s a holiday or I get behind the 8 ball, I don’t stress. If it goes out on a Wednesday or a Monday or a (gasp!) Friday, I haven’t noticed much of a difference. My open rate hovers around 30%. You can drive yourself nuts researching the “perfect” date or time to send an email.
And yes, I do send extra emails when I open or launch something (and again when it’s about to close). In my eyes, that’s better than getting angry emails asking why I didn’t remind them about something opening, closing, starting, or ending.
4. Trust that you’re not “bothering” people with your newsletters
As life coaches, I think we’re hyper-sensitive to the needs and potential feelings of others … and that can lead us to think we’re “bothering” the people on our list. It’ll never be a bother if you’re giving them valuable information, whether it’s letting them know about a new offering or some juicy content you just created.
Remember that these are people who asked to be informed of your goings-on. If you don’t do that, you’re giving them the opposite of what they want. What if your lack of emailing causes them to miss out on an offering of yours that could change their life? Not cool of you at all.
And to those who unsubscribe? It means people who aren’t engaged won’t be taking up your space, energy, and money by staying on your list. We life coaches can see the silver lining in that, right?
5. Make a separate email list for each of your offerings & set up autoresponders
I’m still beating myself up for this one. Until about a year ago, I had just two lists: one for my VIPs and one for my “grads” (those whom I’ve coached for more than 12 sessions). That was it. My VIPs got everything when it came to my life coach marketing campaign … which was not a great filter.
Now, I’m creating interest lists for each of my offerings, as well as a list for those who’ve bought that offering. For example, people who purchase An Effective Escape: Leaving Your Day Job Without Living in Your Parents’ Basement will see a link in the book to sign up for more job-leaving resources, content, and offerings. I’ll set up an autoresponder schedule specifically for that list. Twice a week for a month, people on the list will receive prompts encouraging them to work through the book. They’ll also receive some of my most relevant blog posts. The goal? To consistently stay in touch, offer valuable information, and help readers get to know me and my work.
Those who haven’t made a purchase but have signed up to be notified when something opens up—like my Career Camp—will get my best career-change content plus exclusives when I open up registration: interviews, sales, etc. It’s great when someone signs up for a specific offering, because you know exactly why they’re there and what they’re looking for—and you can give ’em exactly what they want!
Life coach marketing to build your client list
That’s it! Make your email list(s) and autoresponders a part of every offering, don’t be shy about touching base with your subscribers (weekly, at least!), and treat your readers as the VIPs they are. These are most important life coach marketing tips I can give you to make sure you don’t let a super-valuable, super-effective, super-affordable marketing tool slip through your fingers!