Regardless of what kind of business you are, no business can survive, or succeed without a robust digital marketing strategy to effectively attract customers and increase sales/conversions. You need to define your identity to the public and show that you can provide the answer to their issue with the simplest of ease. As the world of commerce and business shift more and more into the online space, the need for a pronounced presence on the internet is paramount and you need the correct methodologies if you want to grow that presence.
If you want to use your certifications and skillset to educate others and improve well-being, you need to be able to reach them with the correct strategy.
Measure your current successes
Firstly, you need to figure out where you and your business are with your customers and your following.
What do you do? What do you provide?
A life coach can mean a variety of things from Yoga/fitness instructors to business leaders. With this position being such a wide and varied sector you need to clearly identify to your customers what you teach/provide. Depending on what it is you coach, it affects what kind of platform you need to focus and measure.
If you’re a fitness focused life coach, then platforms such as Instagram and Youtube may be where you can find your audience. Although saturated with hundreds of thousands of content creators in a similar field, you are more likely to find your audience and find momentum for your brand on these platforms.
You can use tools such as Instagram Insights and Youtube Analytics to note the engagement of your audience and your demographic.
If you’re more business focused platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter may be more suited. Business leaders are more likely to Retweet, or share articles they find on these platforms allowing you to reach a wider audience.
Both Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to observe the analytics for your business and posts.
These aren’t the only forms of social media that you can use to promote your business, they are just the most common with the widest range of audience. However, you can also utilise lesser known platforms such as Medium to post articles you write and Tumblr if you wish to keep in better contact with your audience.
Identify your goals
The next step to take is to actualise what it is you want out of your digital marketing strategy and how you wish to proceed with your business. Your goals need to be realistic and achievable within a year or so. Aiming too high and inevitably failing is a waste of time and resources.
To better illustrate how goals are defined, you should divide them into ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’.
- Short-term goals normally reach anywhere from three to six months and focus on increased sales/conversions or an increased following online to promote the business.
- An increase from 150 to 250 followers on social media.
- An increase of 5 to 25 clients per month.
- Long-term goals stretch from six months to the end of the year, and focus more on where you want your business to go, or where you see it in a year’s time.
- An increase from 250 to 1000 followers on social media
- An increase of 25 to 40 consistent, returning clients.
- Brand deals and recognition from Influencers.
You must always remember that goals must be SMART;
Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Timely
Create a digital fingerprint
Without a proper and reliable digital platform, your business will not survive. Webpages, social media accounts and blogs are all necessary in order to establish your presence on the internet.
What kind of coach are you?
Where is your business based online?
What do you provide?
Questions such as these need to be answered with your webpage. You need to be able to state who you are, what you do and why you do it. Statements such as these will allow potential customers to learn what your service is about.
Create a webpage
Thankfully you don’t need a degree in programming to establish a website these days. You can sign up to a variety of services such as Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, Blackknight, and WordPress to build your website. Many platforms grant you easy and intuitive tools to build the website that’s best for you and will host it for a yearly fee.
Colour, font style, logo. These are all important aspects of your brand. But, you need to show customers why your specific brand is different from all the others in the field. Sometimes a story behind the brand can allow customers to learn who you are and develop a relationship from the get-go and later establish trust with your customers. Do you donate some of your proceeds to charity, are your product ethically sourced, do you bring attention to impoverished communities? Each of these are important elements of your branding that can help distinguish you from the competition.
Start a blog
As a life coach, you are your own brand in a sense. Therefore, you need to get yourself out there just as much as your service. A good way to get your ideas and methodologies out there to your potential audience is writing articles, or creating video content. Articles and video content allow you to put your name into the public sphere.
With this you can also do what is called Guest Blogging. You can get in contact with other personalities in your field through collaborative projects that then present you to their audience.
Improve content on social media
Your social media accounts are key to speaking your voice online. If you use multiple accounts, then you need to constantly update each one. Use the accounts to advertise yourself, your services and always have them link back to your webpage to a relevant page that gives your audience the information they require.
Research your competition
It’s important to research your competitors, especially if you’re just starting out. Remember that they also went through their own digital marketing strategies as well, created web pages, optimized SEO, and ran ad campaigns. Look back on these decisions to learn what works and what doesn’t and see how you can apply this to your business.
Say you’re a business coach stationed in New York City. Google the local competition to see how they’ve set themselves up online, how they present their business and how they conduct themselves online. Read customers reviews, or any articles that discuss them to see what people like and dislike about their business. See what you can adapt and fix for your own ventures.
Can you navigate their website quickly? Can you schedule appointments, or purchase spaces in the classes you want easily?
How active is their social media network? Are the posts there relevant to what is presented on the website? Mark down their schedule for posting on social media, if there’s a pattern it’s intentional. Do they post their own material, or is it sponsored?
A brief example that we will use for competition is Wild We Wander, a digital nomad lifestyle website. A website/lifestyle project by Justin and Ariele Champion that not only details what it is they do, but how they did it, and you yourself can follow their example.
Their website contains an ‘Our Mission’ page that is easily accessible from the home page that details what it is they do, and why they do it. Customers can easily learn about their ideology and business quickly.
On their resources page, they show a map of everywhere they’ve travelled as digital nomads on a consistently updated list that not only shows the effectiveness of their lifestyle, but creates a connection with viewers to follow their journey and continue that following on to their social media which also tracks their journey.
They also provide a list of videos that show how to be a digital nomad and even short vlogs from their time on the road. Allowing viewers to consume their content quickly and visually if they are not interested in reading blog posts and articles.
The last portion they provide on their resources page is their offers. This is where users can get their written work. Initially the Champion duo released all their content as articles either on their own website, or as guest bloggers. However, as the Wild We Wander brand became more popular, they adapted each article into a variety of e-books available to download.
Just on their website alone, there are a variety of ways to interact with viewers and provide content whilst promoting their brand. This is an excellent example of how to utilize your webpage as more than just an informational dump for your services.
Content is king, invest in it
Your business has to stand out on the online stage. Therefore you need to develop useful and reliable content that users will come back for. Good content is the only way to drive people to your platform and have them continue to come back. You cannot simply create a twitter account and think it will be fine on its own.
Be consistent with your postings. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Keep updating your social pages with the most relevant and newest information so your audience can always find your new course/class.
Create content that people in your field will actually want to see. You need to understand your target audience and create the content that connects with them.
Join trending hashtags to attract new customers and make your place on the main stage of social media. Follow trends and stay relevant.
Be human and connect with your audience. Your content needs to feel like a person is behind it. People will develop trust and loyalty to your brand if they feel a human element in it.
This is probably the most important aspect of business promotion from an analytical standpoint. Aside from hashtags, content and article posting, you need to make sure that your content actually appears when people search. This is where we use Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Whilst Google will display every business when a term is searched, only the first page is what matters. The first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks. This means that you need to improve your ranking to appear on the first page of results.
Firstly you need to establish keywords that direct people toward your business when they are searched. For Yoga classes you may use keywords such as ‘fitness’, ‘yoga’, or ‘health’. Whilst as a business coach you may use ‘seminar’, or ‘business’. Tools such as Google Analytics (Which we will discuss later in this piece) allow you to select keywords for your business online, and filter out other keywords to assemble the selection of keywords that is right for you.
Google My Business
Google My Business allows customers to see a concise profile of your business online and give your business credibility. Customers can see where your business is located, the contact information, when you are open and closed and even leave reviews. It is important that you respond to as many reviews as possible to show that you listen to your customers.
Tools such as Google Analytics allow you to track how your business is performing and how people are finding you. You can see your profits and losses, what devices people use and what countries they’re using them from. You can also track the success of your ad campaigns by seeing how people are reaching your website through direct Google searches of your business’ name, an ad you posted, or through your social media posts and so much more.
Tools such as these are essential to your business’ survival in the digital age and we cannot recommend them enough.
Following these steps will put you on the path toward creating a pronounced digital marketing strategy for your brand. Understanding the basics of digital marketing will help you get your foot in the door of the online world, and following these steps and further improving on them will lead to the success of your brand.
– Written By Conor Gunn