Welcome to the Age of Relationship Marketing

by Janet Slack

Perhaps you’ve discovered that as you market your coaching business,
you’re building small relationships with many potential clients. As your
marketing starts to generate success, you are developing deeper relationships
with a smaller number of very targeted potential clients.

Let’s look at this type of relationship building in detail, which occurs
in five phases. As you create or update the marketing plans for your business,
you will want to have something in place for each phase of the marketing process.

  1. Define – This is the foundation work that happens before you even
    meet a potential client and gets you ready to market what you do. Make sure
    you have thorough written answers to questions like these:

    • What are you passionate about as a coach?
    • What are you incredibly good at?
    • What exactly do you provide in your business?
    • Specifically, who are your products and services best suited for?
    • How are you and your business different from other businesses?
    • What kind of results does each of your services or products provide?

    The answers to foundational questions such as these are a resource to use
    for developing all of your marketing materials.

  2. Attract – This is the beginning of the relationship with your potential
    clients. It’s about getting noticed and starts with getting yourself
    in front of your target market. Did you know it still takes seven exposures
    for a person to notice/remember you or your company?

    To do well at attracting potential clients, you must know their problems,
    struggles and issues well and be able to show that you have the answers
    to these needs. Useful attraction tools include social media, live networking,
    websites/blogs that are optimized for search engines, public speaking and
    article marketing.

  3. Connect – Once someone is interested in you or your business, you
    need a way to stay in touch with them over time. Traditionally, this is through
    a mailing list or an email list. Coaching is a high-priced item and people
    often need to feel a connection over a period of time before they will hire
    you. Tools that will help you build your list and maintain your relationships
    include newsletters, blogs, teleseminars, videos and social media.
  4. Convert – Over time you need to convert some of your relationships.
    You need to be able to move people from merely being interested connections
    into being paying customers. Those conversions generally occur using sales
    conversations or marketing materials such as email or web pages. Most often
    you will need to convert a potential client by encouraging them to purchase
    a lower-priced item before they will consider hiring you as a coach (think
    of this as the person testing you out). Many coaches struggle with the conversion
    phase of the marketing process, however you must develop your skills in this
    area to succeed in business.
  5. Retain – The key to a sustainable business is satisfied customers
    who continue to spend money within your business. You can best do this by
    focusing on quality, providing continuing value and developing new products
    or services as new customer needs emerge. Make sure to have regular conversations
    with your clients to ensure that they continue to be pleased with your business
    and to stay current with their changing needs.

It’s vital for the growth of your coaching business that you have elements
in place in each of these five phases of marketing. Try outlining the tools
and processes that you are currently using in each area. Then look through your
notes to find the phase that most needs improvement. List three key steps you
can take to become more effective in that phase of marketing and create a timeline
for their completion. Finally, make sure to revisit this exercise every three
to six months to keep your business on the expansion track.

Janet Slack 
Janet Slack writes, speaks,
blogs and coaches on topics related to running a thriving small business. She
is a social media expert who coaches her clients to profit from social media
and effective business decisions. Janet’s ezine Biz
Tips for Coaches
is widely acclaimed for its readable business information.

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