How to Effectively Market Yourself as an Online Coach
If there’s one query that’s persistently posed at us here at eCoaches, it’s, “How can I effectually market myself and my program to prospective online students out there?” Although this mostly affects beginners it spreads across the board, including some of our veteran mentors.
For an expansive global eLearning industry market that’s currently valued at more than $107 billion, marketing, on paper, definitely seems like a relatively easy undertaking. After all, what’s so hard in reaching out to a market that’s currently experiencing phenomenal, exponential growth? It’s as easy as simply signing up with an industry leader like eCoaches and the rest will simply fall into place, right?
Well…sadly, as much as I find it heartbreaking to burst your bubble, you’re wrong. Sure, eCoaches will diligently play its part by exposing you to a wide range of eLearners out there. But that’s only just the beginning- you’ll have the groundwork laid out for you, but subsequent marketing and lead generation is dependent on you. You have to put your best foot forward, jump into the jungle of internet users and strategically identify the prospects you could convert into actual subscribers.
And that brings us to the big question- how can you effectively market yourself as an online coach?
Define Your Audience
First things first- you cannot walk into a grocery store without first making up your mind on what products you really need. Well, unless you’d want to spend hours walking in circles, and ultimately make impulse buys. Marketing is pretty much the same as shopping in a grocery store, with prospects being the main items that you’re targeting. The earlier you know what you need, the better for you and your mentorship program.
We get it- you probably have an idea of who you’d like to market yourself to. But how deep have you gone to define your target market? All prospective eLearners, of course, cannot be your target market- unless you’re doing a cocktail of courses ideal for everyone, which for your information, would be logistically and practically impossible.
The global eLearning industry can be further broken down into individual markets, depending on the structuring of your course. As far as countries are concerned, India and China, unsurprisingly, are currently experiencing the largest growth rates with 55% and 52% respectively. The United States may not feature among the top ten countries experiencing phenomenal growth rate, but it’s indeed a major player in the online corporate training, with 77% of companies leveraging it as part of employee professional development.
Evidently, nearly all segments of audiences are promising. So start by adequately defining yours. Evaluate the target audience according to your courses. Which groups of people would you want to reach out to? What are their specific needs? Which market segment do they fall in? How much are they willing to pay for your courses? Are they even online in the first place? Which marketing methods would resonate best with them?
Employ a Systematic Marketing Cycle
We assume by now you know the all-too-common drill of marketing. The type of marketing where you hit your audience with a jargon of tweets, Facebook posts and emails as soon as you publish your courses, and hope that they’ll subsequently respond in numbers.
Although it will generate a couple of leads, this is actually a not-so-thoughtful idea. To fully realize your potential, you have to stop focusing only on the idea of hitting the rod when it’s hot, and start at the base- lighting up the fire to heat the rod in the first place. Begin your marketing cycle by warming up your audience before you publish your online courses. That way, you’ll build an audience and enforce your position as a reputable online coach before they catch up with the actual material.
With content marketing costing 62% less and generating 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, your blogging, vlogging and email should be the top priorities in your overall marketing strategy. Create and publish regular content that’s valuable to your audience, and then watch the magic unfold. Great content will spark conversations, trigger early subscriptions and before you know it, you have a large following and steady traffic ahead of publishing your online course.
Can you recall past classes and people you previously taught? Anyone who’s successfully applied your lessons? It doesn’t matter how deep you dig for your long-lost students- you just have to find at least two who can actually testify about your skills and courses. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, at least 88% of consumers have trust testimonials as much as recommendations. That one guy who’s turned out successful thanks to your course could potentially be your golden egg hen.
If you’re yet to establish a network of past learners, you could alternatively run a beta-test at a reduced rate and use it to generate testimonials from the first group of learners. Since you’ll need real learners reviewing your classes, consider offering attractive incentives to your reviewers. That way, you’ll churn out as many reviews as possible and consequently leverage them to attract more subscriptions.
Although your testimonials will build your rapport among prospective eLearners, there are still a couple that will remain pessimistic about your program. This is the group that needs more convincing, and nothing comes in as handy as guarantees in that. Because of their sheer ability to warm even the coldest of leads, guarantees are undoubtedly the real deal-sealers.
But, remember not to get way ahead of yourself. Offer a solid guarantee only when you’re completely confident about your program. A 30 day money back guarantee, for instance, would only be ideal for a unique, comprehensive course, prepared by a real expert.
This, of course, isn’t a comprehensive guide to success. Online coaching is progressively dynamic, with various factors dictating the successes of the respective mentors. You’ll still have to consider things like pricing, timing, branding, and number of courses as you build yourself as a reputable online coach. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get started.