Counselors who are NBB certifed now must have a Board Certified Coaching credential from the Center for Credentialing and Education if they are offering coaching services. So far, there are 29 founding member coach programs for you to choose from. How a counselor decides which one is best depends on many things. One of the things that sets the Academy of Choice apart from other coaching programs is its focus on helping you build your coaching practice. You will complete a module on building your practice that will help you get started. What follows is an outline of what you will learn in their program.
1. Narrow your Target Market
One of the biggest mistakes coaches make is thinking they can provide services to everyone. When you become a coach and market yourself online, what’s most important is to become a specialist. You want all your marketing to speak to your narrow target market. You could be a parenting coach, but that is far too broad. You could become a parenting coach, specializing in helping single mothers raise teenage sons. That’s a little more specific. You will be most successful when you have personal experience in overcoming the problems of the target market you serve. It will increase your credibility.
2. Create a Website
If you are going to reach a global audience, you must have a website. Some people create “websites” at MySpace or Facebook. This can work for some markets but it is still necessary for successful coaches to have a legitimate website. Our business coach can show you how to set up your own Wordpress website that will act as your main marketing tool and showcase your services.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Building a website is only part of the equation. Websites are not like Kevin Kostner’s Field of Dreams. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean clients will come. They have to be able to find you. The way they find you is by beefing up your search engine optimization. There are techniques you can use to make your website search engine friendly. Our business coach will teach you about keywords and how to use them strategically to cause your website to come up high in the rankings for your particular niche.
4. Building Your Email List
Any online business person will tell you their most prized asset is their list. When you build your website, you will want to begin collecting names of visitors to your site. These are your potential customers. You will need a way to collect their email addresses and create an offer that the casual browser will not be able to resist so they will want to give you their name and email address. You will be creating a free product to give away that doesn’t cost you anything to give, but that will be of high perceived value by your perspective clients.
5. Publishing a Newsletter
Most people with an online business publish some type of newsletter they send out to people on their email list. This is an informational newsletter you offer for free to your clients. The ratio of free information to marketing your products should be about three to one. Give them three free things before asking them to buy. The newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your clients and keep you top of their minds. In this way, when they decide they may want coaching services, you will the person they think to contact.
Creating and maintaining a blog is another way to increase search engine optimization and to provide readers with more free contact, while showcasing your area(s) of expertise. You can set up your blog as its own website but it is best to integrate it into your own website because search engines love fresh content. If you update your blog at least three times a week, then your website will always have current content. You can even multipurpose your content by blogging what you put in your newsletter. You will typically have different customer on your email list as you do following your blog.
7. Social Media
Another way to generate business is through social marketing. There are many sites on the Internet designed for social networking. The top sites currently are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Where ever your clients gather, you want to have a marketing presence. There are ways to market yourself on each of these sites but you must be up-to-date on each site’s rules so you don’t get banned from their sites. You will learn how to use each of these sites to tastefully promote your business.
8. Article Writing
Writing articles and submitting them to article banks is another way to increase your traffic, build your list and increase your site’s search engine ranking. You write articles in your areas of expertise, and post them on article banks. When you do, you include a bio box about you and a link back to your website or sales page. People who are looking for content for their websites, blogs or newsletters go to article banks to choose articles. They get to use your articles for free, while agreeing to include your bio box and link. This can greatly increase your traffic and as long as you have something useful that you are linking to, people will take you up on your offer of something free, thus adding to your email list and increasing the people you can market to later.
9. Creating a Product Funnel
A product funnel refers to creating products with various price points. You want to get your customers to enter your product funnel by buying a low priced item, such as a book. Then you create additional products that cost more. The idea is to continue to offer your customers more and more expensive products as they purchase. So, your book may be the first item, then an eBook, teleconference, webinar, CD, e-course, then a DVD. Next might be a one-day workshop, then a weekend retreat, group coaching, and finally individual coaching programs. You can upsell or downsell at any point in the funnel but the more price points you have, the greater flexibility in your marketing.
10. Referral Program
One of the best forms of advertising is word of mouth. Your current customers are your best referral sources, as long as you are providing excellent products and quality customer service. When you have a coaching business, creating a referral program where you reward current customers for referring new customer leads to you is a great investment. You will also want to find a way to reward new customers too so everyone is a winner. You win new customers, your current customers get something, such as a coupon, and your new customers get something free above and beyond what regular customers get.
Whether you do these things yourself or you hire someone to do them for you, you will want to understand what you need and why. Sign up for the Academy of Choice’s free informative teleseminar today to learn about coaching and whether or not it is for you.
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