Welcome! In this post I’m going to be sharing what is working when it comes to growing a coaching business in 2022. We know that there’s lots of things that you can do to grow an online business these days, but we also know that platforms change and new things come online.
In this post I want to share my thoughts on what is actually working based on my experience, my client’s experience and other things that I’ve read and listened to recently that have affirmed the things that I had been thinking too.
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Getting clients via high touch strategies
First things first, if you’re a coach it’s most likely that the core of your business is your 1:1 coaching work so focusing on this obviously makes sense.
When you start out, before we get into the rest of the tips, what’s probably going to work best is high touch strategies with people who are already known to you. For example, friends and family emails, Priceless Power Hours etc
So before we get into content and email lists and Instagram and all of that different stuff, especially if you’re starting a coaching business, start with the people who are already connected with you somehow, and work outwards from there. If you want to get clients right away and that’s your main priority, that’s where I would start.
However, what we want to be doing for a sustainable business that continues to grow year after year and where getting clients becomes easier are some of the things listed below. Let’s dive in!
Creating Content with Longevity
Creating content that has some longevity is a great way to market your business and get in front of new people, which is ultimately how we start to build up a customer base of potential clients.
In the past, based on what all the ‘business gurus’ were saying I was very much of the opinion you should focus on one platform, on one thing, do that well, and put 90% of your effort into that thing so you can grow it. Which sounds like it makes sense right?
But I think what we’ve started to see over the last couple of years is the unreliability of various platforms and the vulnerabilities of what is essentially ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’.
So my opinion has changed around this a little bit and the way that I approach marketing for my business is to create content that has longevity and focus on doing that well, which for me is the Wholehearted Business Show format which means I produce a blog post, podcast and YouTube video without spending loads of extra time over if I was just creating a YouTube video alone.
This works because I’m hitting SEO on Google through the blog post. I’m also hitting Pinterest and I’m then hitting podcasting apps and I’m hitting YouTube. Finally I then repurpose elements of the show into Instagram content.
The thing with platforms like Instagram is that they’re not really designed for giving our content a lot of longevity. So for example, some of my most popular blog posts right now that are getting the most traffic were written in 2018, that’s not going to happen on Instagram!
So I want to be spending most of my time creating content that is going to serve my business for years and then making that work on a few different platforms.
If you’ve got limited time, which I think we all do to some degree, I’d be focusing on creating at least one good piece of content a month (like a blog post or podcast) with the research and strategy on SEO or Pinterest to support it and the repurpose that for a platform like Instagram or sharing on Linkedin.
This approach makes a lot more sense to me going forward bearing in mind how platforms might change and evolve over time. I feel like this is a good solid method for creating a sustainable marketing strategy.
However it’s important to remember that this is a slow form of marketing. You’re not necessarily going to get new clients or have your email list skyrocket overnight so I think it’s important to combine this with something which will get results faster if you want clients more quickly as I mentioned above.
Reminder that I cover the whole process and strategy of creating blog based content in my course Blog School.
Building and maintaining an email based community
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere, it’s still one of the most effective ways to sell your stuff. For many of my clients when they get people signed up for their stuff, it’s usually from an email they’ve sent. Occasionally they might get some interest via Instagram but when it comes to this more direct way of selling I tend to see Instagram as more of an amplifier than the main way I sell my offers.
What works well is that growing an email based community goes hand in hand with creating that content with longevity as blog posts / video / podcasts can really help you grow your list!
There are some challenges with email based marketing such as avoiding spam filters and promotions tabs so your email actually gets read, but it’s still been shown to be so much more effective than social media for sales.
So growing your email list is something I don’t think is ever going to go out of fashion, it just works if you put a little bit of time and energy into it.
Short form video
So just to flip things over from the longer term stuff let’s talk short term video! It’s been an undeniable trend over the last couple of years and almost every platform has embraced it from Instagram Reels to Idea Pins on Pinterest as well as YouTube shorts.
I’ll be honest, short form video was something I resisted for a long time. I love video in general but something about the style of Reels just felt unaligned (this is basically me saying pointing and dancing would make me feel like an idiot!)
But short form video seems to be a very solid thing that isn’t necessarily going anywhere at the moment and I think if we want to see some traction, especially on platforms like Instagram and now Pinterest, we need to be considering how we can make short form video work for us.
In real life connection
As the COVID situation hopefully improves I do think there’s going to be a trend around connecting with people in real life again. That might look like retreats, in person live events or meet ups etc.
Another thing that I think is a good way to grow a coaching business in 2022 is collaborations. Again, it’s never really gone out of fashion, but I think if you can work with other people who feel aligned, who have an audience that would benefit from being your audience too, there’s so much potential in that.
Sometimes it can be easy to feel a bit protective and to not want to share your audience with another coach who is similar to you but I don’t necessarily think it works in the way that we worry that it’s going to work, that people are going to jump ship from you and go and work with this other person especially if you choose who to collaborate with wisely.
I used to collaborate with my good friend Kezia, she was a registered nutritionist and myself a self care based health coach. And we worked together really well, running retreats, day events and a joint podcast because what we did was slightly different but we had people in our audiences who could benefit from both of us.
However just be aware of comparison sneaking in, you don’t want to be going down that route if it’s going to send you into a comparison spiral.Just remember that finding the right people to collaborate with can be magical!
Having three key offers in your coaching business
Something that has started to solidify as a strategy in my mind over the last few months is having three key offers in your coaching business and using them in different ways to help you get more clients into your main coaching package.
Your main offer is of course your coaching package which should have a significant price tag because it’s your key offer and the most intensive way people can work with you. Then you have a Priceless Power Hour style offer (find out more about those here). These power hour calls have a specific strategy around them which we can use to bring more people into the main offer.
Finally you have a small digital product (which I teach in Super Simple Passive Income). This works because it moves people from just being part of your community to becoming a customer and that can build trust and bring them further into your world. It also means you have something you can submit to be included in a bundle which can be excellent for email list growth.
I feel those 3 offers can work really well together for building your coaching business.
Knowing what works for different kinds of coaches on Pinterest
Finally a quick note on what’s working for different kinds of coaches. I’m a business to business coach as I work with other business owners (in my case coaches). If you’re a health or life coach it’s likely that you’re a business to consumer coach who works with people who aren’t necessarily business owners.
This is an important difference because a lot of what business coaches and mentors say is much more relevant for the business to business people rather than the business to consumer people. I used to be a successful health coach so I’m very aware of the difference!
For example, I’ve heard a few people saying that Pinterest isn’t working, but Pinterest has changed just like all the other platforms.
It is probably not working so well for business type people like me who are business to business although I still get a lot of clicks from Pinterest and a lot of traffic back to my website and people joining my list, it’s just not the same level it used to be.
But I still think that Pinterest is a really good place to be because if you’re doing anything around health, life, spirituality, minimalism etc Pinterest is a wonderful place to market your business.
You can check out the Pinterest 2022 Trends report here and if you’re a health or a life coach it’s worth a look to see if it gives you any ideas around what content you could create – and bear in mind a trend on Pinterest will likely filter through to other platforms too.
And just like platforms such as Instagram, short form video on Pinterest in the form of idea pins is being heavily promoted but simple pins which link back to your website are still the core of the platform (just like Instagram has been saying images on the grid are still they’re core content)
So yeah, Pinterest still rocks in my opinion just know how it affects different niches!
I’m going to sneak in one last tip / prediction of what’s working to grow a coaching business and that’s audio! In October I went to a PR day and one of the speakers was a podcasting expert who made an excellent point around podcasts not being saturated at all when compared to other platforms and forms of content. If you have the time and can be consistent I think the best time to start a podcast is probably now! They can also work really well with collaborations and networking with other coaches too.
It’s not just podcasts that are worth looking at, private podcast style feeds are becoming more popular as are audio rooms (Twitter) and of course Clubhouse which didn’t quite take off but definitely showed the potential audio content has for marketing your business.
So there are my top tips for what’s working in 2022 to grow a coaching business and as always I’d love to know your thoughts! Please leave me a comment below telling me what tip you’re going to take away from this post, I’d love to know!
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