If you're a coach, consultant or health practitioner struggling to market your business online because you hate marketing online, I get you!
In this episode, I talk about the stark differences between offline and online marketing and why traditional selling doesn't work online:
- The myth of making money online on autopilot: Busted!
- How to emphasise value over sales when marketing your business online
- The crucial role of strategic planning behind every digital marketing move
- How cultivating relationships lead to online success
- Why sharing personal journeys, leveraging webinars, and hosting interactive Q&A sessions get the attention of your audience
- Tapping into the undeniable power of consistency in building and maintaining your online reputation
I get it, honestly I do... you started in business to help people and now you're expected to learn all the tech stuff around marketing your business online.
So why not just use an All-In-One software platform, set it up and have it spit out money like clockwork?
Okay, hopefully you know that's not a thing, but I'll put that sentence into context shortly.
But first a little background to give some context as to why I decided to write this article...
I was inside a Facebook Group (dedicated to a particular All-in-One platform) a couple of weeks ago. A member - who happens to be a coach - wrote a post and said she had been using this particular platform for over two years and it was now time to say goodbye because she had made zero sales.
Members of the group literally crowded to see whether they could help and as you can imagine, a lot of questions around her method of marketing was asked. Eventually she agitatedly responded with...
I don't want to market online, I'm a coach, I want to help people
Seriously, I had to hold my pen! Or should I say, stay away from the keyboard!
I didn't want to make her feel put down, but basically she told the entire community why she'd made zero sales using this particular platform over the past two years.
She wasn't doing any marketing but expected the software would somehow magically bring her clients.
Interestingly, when someone did respond with "this is the reason you've made no sales," she argued back by saying she had made over $1m in sales offline and "so I know how to market."
It's evidently clear from the thread that she might know how to market offline, but she clearly doesn't know how to market online. And it appears she doesn't want anyone to show her how to market her business online.
She may have made $1m in sales offline, but...
Marketing Offline is Different to Marketing Online
If the business in question is a private practice of some kind - which I presume it is since she's a coach - networking, Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, and local ads may have been the thing that worked for her.
However, there are no in-person networking events online. You have to learn Facebook, Google or LinkedIn if you want to run ads online and no one can just "pop in" off the high street into your practice to book a session.
It's not an easy transition and I've spoken to offline businesses who especially during the pandemic, were forced to take their business online, and realised that it required a totally different mindset.
Whether you're inviting people to check out your business via social media, you're paying Facebook or Google to send traffic to a page that sells your services, or you have a good handle on SEO and attracting traffic to your page organically, there is a process of attracting traffic online. Ignore the process and the result is always going to be little to zero sales.
"But Selling is Sleazy!"
I know that some marketing online is definitely sleazy, but let's make it unsleazy.
When most people think about marketing, they think about sales. And selling is often synonymous with the snake oil car salesman. Right?
But the truth is, people don't like to be sold to, so "come buy my stuff" type of marketing can be off-putting, not just to the people you're selling too, but it might be a stumbling block to you marketing your business.
Manipulating people to buy - as some are very good at online - is also a short-term strategy that will increase your refund rate and potentially have your payment processor ban you from using their services.
So how do you market when you don't want to market?
Think Value Rather Than Marketing
When it comes to marketing online far too many people think platforms, software and automation tools but have zero strategy for using any of them.
And often, it's not their fault. For many online marketing consultants and coaches, much of the conversation centres around software, platforms and tactics.
Tactics are great, but without a half decent strategy, most newbies copy what they're seeing a seasoned marketer doing in the hopes that they can grab some of their market share. That rarely works.
How To Think of Value
I like to think of value in terms of answering a good friend who has asked me me a question. And give them an answer that will help them with the issue they have.
So basically, apart from "just buy my stuff," what would you tell someone who asked you how your business could help them. That's a general statement I know.
But what would you tell someone who asked a very specific question about an aspect of your business? This is your opportunity to make them want your solution.
What would you tell someone who's sceptical about the solution you have or indeed sceptical that there is a solution at all?
Answer those questions!
Or Demonstrate Your Value
Some years ago, my friend Bridget and I were at a women's networking event and she was offering a free massage using pure Essential Oils. As I wasn't promoting anything that day, I'd sit and have coffee with people, talk to them and suggest they get my friend Bridget to give them a massage.
During the break I had coffee with a lady (let's call her Sandra) and suggested she get a free massage from Bridget. Sandra - who walked with a stick - told me categorically that no massage is going to help her since she had been in a serious car accident some years previously and the doctors had told her there was nothing they could do for her.
I therefore suggested that she get the massage just to relax her since she had nothing to lose.
Bridget was a praying massage therapist and the one thing you never got away with was talking negative around her! So as Sandra relayed her story to Bridget, Bridget told her, "the doctor is not your God, so you have to stop repeating what they said about you and say what God says."
It wasn't easy, but Sandra felt so good after the massage she booked a block of sessions with Bridget and before the final session, Sandra was walking pain free and without the aid of her stick. In fact, I caught up with Sandra some years later and she was still pain free and walking without a walking stick.
In this scenario, Bridget used a free session so people could sample the value she offered. And in the case of Sandra, Bridget knew that the essential oils were not miracle potions so she had to deal with Sandra's mindset if regular massages were going to work.
Demonstrating your work is another great way to give your customers value whilst increasing their confidence and trust in you at the same time.
Check out this YouTube Short. I absolutely love the way this lady demonstrates here value.
You Have To Learn To Become Human In An Ai Automated World.
So don't lose the human touch just because you're using automated tools to deliver content to your market. Add in your own human touch. Pretend you're speaking to a real person and not a bot.
Ask yourself how you want your readers to feel, think or do when they've read, watched or listened to what you have to say.
Because no matter the software or tool you're using, it's only as good as the person using it.
I think I need to say that again...
"no matter the software or tool you're using, it's only as good as the person using it."
One of my friends makes and sells natural skincare products. So naturally - no pun intended - she wants to help people maintain clear healthy skin. She also runs workshops teaching people how to make their own natural soaps.
Here are some of the ways my friend can bring value to her market without sounding salesy or sleazy:
- Educate her audience: By creating valuable, informative content that educates her audience on skincare and its importance in their daily lives. Focus on sharing tips, techniques, and relevant research that can help busy men and women take better care of their skin.
- Share personal stories and experiences: Authenticity goes a long way in building trust with your audience. Share your personal skincare journey and the challenges you've faced yourself. This will help your audience relate to you on a personal level and see the value in your coaching.
- Offer free resources: Create free resources, such as ebooks, checklists, or short videos, that provide actionable advice for your target audience. This not only showcases your expertise but also helps build trust and goodwill.
- Engage with your audience: Actively engage with your audience on Facebook and YouTube by replying to comments and answering questions. This will demonstrate your genuine interest in helping others and make you approachable as a coach.
- Collaborate with other experts: Partner with other professionals in your niche or related fields to create content together. This not only expands your reach but also helps you learn from each other and provide even more value to your audience.
- Host webinars or live Q&A sessions: Regularly host online events where you can share your knowledge, answer questions, and interact with your audience. This is an excellent way to provide value while also showcasing your coaching style and expertise.
- Consistency: Ensure you are consistent with your content creation, be it blog posts, videos, or social media posts. A consistent presence helps build credibility and keeps you "top of mind" for your audience.
Remember, the key is to focus on providing value and genuinely helping your audience rather than pushing sales.
By establishing yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert in your market, you will naturally attract clients without having to do the hard sell or coming across as salesy or sleazy.
What About The Tech?
If you're not at all techie, starting out online with ClickFunnels, Kajabi, Kartra, WordPress or whatever new shiny platform is being plugged, may not be the solution for you.
Take the path of least technical resistance... for you.
If this means putting up a landing page on Aweber and then sending traffic to that landing page from social media, this is the simplest funnel that most people can make work for them.
Yes, it's basic, but you'll be accomplishing the most basic online marketing strategies that actually move you toward successfully marketing your products or services online:
- Building your email list
- Learning how to get traffic to your landing page
- Clarifying your message
- Making the sale
If you master these four things, you'll become a better online marketer than most people in your field which, means you'll have a better opportunity to attract the best clients.
Work With Trish
If this article has been useful but you'd like more help to market your products or services online, click the button below to book a FREE MAP (Marketing Amplification Process) Accelerator call.