The marketing systems I currently recommend for coaching businesses.
If you’re looking at building your online marketing system as a life coach, enneagram coach, executive coach or business coach – here are the systems my team and I currently enjoy. I do not doubt that other systems may be equally good or better; I can only speak from my experience with these systems. And no systems are perfect for sure.
What marketing systems do I use and recommend for coaches?
I’m not saying that this is the way to go, but I know it’s helpful to have a lot of information when you’re making these kinds of marketing choices.
Let me show you what I’ve settled on and enjoy to help you build your online marketing systems.
What Content Management Systems and Website Creation Platforms work for coaches?
I’ve worked with many (seriously many) different content management systems over two decades. Although I’ve enjoyed some of the aspects of user-friendly platforms like Wix and Weebly and other ‘click and drag’ systems, I eventually returned to WordPress (despite its buggy nature).
Why did I leave Weebly and Wix?
The downside I experienced with Wix and Weebly was a massive drop in site speed and in search engine optimization for Google to find and rank my websites. I lost nearly 70% of my traffic and, after two years, couldn’t rebuild it.
When I changed back to WordPress, my sites immediately recovered (not all but a good recovery). Because my coaching training business relies heavily on SEO, I can’t afford a massive loss in traffic, ever.
- If you are 100%, you will never rely on Google SEO for people to find you online via keywords and key phrases, then happily opt for the more user-friendly Wix or Weebly type content management website builder.
- If you are hoping for some luck and SEO magic to work in your favour, then it might be worth the WordPress headaches to go with the free good ol’ faithful, less user-friendly buggy WP builder.
That’s just my opinion.
I have also used WordPress extensively.
I made mistakes with my early WordPress web websites decades ago, and I since have found how to rectify those mistakes.
WordPress Mistakes included:
- Thinking WP was vulnerable to hacks (my sites were endlessly hacked, which is why I moved to Weebly, then Wix over five years). But it turned out my choice of HOST was the issue, weak passwords and lack of WP backend expertise.
- Not hiring good tech freelancers to help fortify and speed optimize my WP site – which I now do. I have loved working with Max Jacobs as my “please help Max…” an email away angel – he has been invaluable for a few years.
- Not using an easy WordPress THEME. There are click and drag themes that make WP so much easier. I love Divi; all my current sites use this visual builder.
I’m very happy with the combination of WordPress and Divi theme builder.
Over a decade ago I had nearly 30 coaching websites (in the days when Google SEO favored multiple small sites linking to each other, each focused on an optimized a key-phrase), 80% of them ranked the first page for their respective keywords. Back then, it was easy to rank in non-competitive spaces.
Life Coaching was new, there was a growing demand (monthly search) and very little competition. A site could rank in mere weeks.
But those days are gone. The Google SEO landscape has radically changed. Now Google prefers bigger, older websites with internal and external links, logical keyword use and human-friendly engaging content. My coaching business now has four websites.
Coaching keywords like “Life Coach” are more in demand (with nearly 50,000 searches per month in the USA alone), but the competition is now high instead of low.
Post pandemic, and its online explosion, means life coaches who want to create a digital marketing presence need to work smarter. Read more about offering life coaching after lockdown.
Here is a screengrab from my Ubersuggest account (affordable SEO research and website traffic monitoring app from Neil Patel that I enjoy), showing the KEY PHRASE “Life Coach” which currently (2022) gets just short of 50k searches per month.
For life coaches, this means lots of potential clients are actively searching for a life coach, however, the competition “SEO Difficulty” on the term shot up from moderate to high in the last two years. This makes it really difficult to try rank for the term.
Website Hosting for Coaches
The host I’m enjoying right now is SiteGround – (I have no affiliation to any of the marketing systems mentioned.)
This is just what I’ve settled on. One of the major advantages the SG gave me was choosing a HOSTING SERVER in the USA, where I wanted to expand my market actively. Google can see where your site is hosted; this affects geo-SEO. I improved my US traffic by 600% by hosting in the USA.
What kind of content management system is best for you as a coach?
Knowing that every system has its pros and cons, there’s no such thing as a perfect system.
Decide on your long-term objectives, then weigh up the pros and cons.
- The advantage of having a content management system is a website that’s easy to edit and is user-friendly.
- The downside with many content management systems is that because there’s a lot of code and infrastructure behind the system, it can weigh down the site.
- Another disadvantage I discovered the hard way is that once you buy into one of these easy click and drag website builders, you are stuck there. You can’t easily migrate the site or make big changes.
Another downside to content management systems is often they host your site for you, and you have very little control over how your site is hosted. You can’t send an expert freelancer into the back-end of your site to fix issues, to make sure that your site is compatible with the latest app updates.
WordPress has its downsides, its buggy plugins cause issues. Plugins and theme changes can slow a site, even crash a site.
WordPress has a steeper technological learning curve than an easy click and drag content management system.
I know that digital marketing systems are a massive technological learning curve for most coaches! A giant wall of learning, time and money spend, which is why so many life coaches, enneagram coaches, business and executive coaches have weak or no marketing systems in place.
If building a content marketing SEO website and social media feeds too overwhelming, consider what we teach our master coaches… simplify everything.
- Hire freelancers to assist where you can (and use the info on this page to make sure you hire well).
- Build enough online presence to establish credibility only and grow your online presence from that foundation.
A FEW CRITICAL WARNINGS:
Forgive me for sounding dramatic. My heart breaks when I see coaches make these mistakes or get taken advantage of because of their technological ignorance.
- Make sure you always OWN your domain name as the REGISTRANT – no website company or freelancer should own this.
- Ensure you have 100% access to your site and its content – no barriers put in place by the website designer to block your taking it back and keep you paying them. If you want to make changes you should be able to.
- When hiring a website company or freelancers, ask upfront how to get out of the working relationships if it doesn’t work out. Make sure you aren’t endlessly locked in.
- Make sure your IP (intellectual property) logo, designs, words are all YOURS, and no one else has claim. Some people will charge you for design/copywriting and own what you think is yours – ask for “copyright ownership transfer” to you in writing. Seek an IP attorney’s help if needed.
- Make sure your site has an SSL certificate and is secure with good firewalls, passwords and host security; sites are very hackable without this.
- Learn enough to hire well and fire if needed.
Make sure you are ready to build an online marketing system for your coaching
Lastly, I don’t recommend building any substantial digital marketing presence UNTIL YOU have a PROVEN Coaching product and market.
Once you have a steady clientele for your easy-to-sell high service level coaching service, it’s time to grow and build an online marketing system using everything you know works!
If you don’t have a proven coaching offer yet, then build enough to establish credibility, perhaps with a good LinkedIn profile or IG feed. Many of our master coaches have done extremely well without websites or any online marketing systems. Some only have a small social feed to prove they are real.
Start with a Landing Page
Instead of trying to build a big website – I recommend you start with a landing page – simple and small:
- to test your offer first
- to refine and make easy changes
- to build slowly as you learn
Create a one-page website with a clear offer and a call to action.
Not a sales page that asks for transactions, not an e-commerce click n buy page.
Just a simple landing page with these elements in a CLEAR easy to understand way:
- your main offer as a Dream Destination – where your coaching takes clients, the transformation, the before and after,
- the problems you solve for your client
- what you solve and what makes your solutions different to other approaches
- some social proof, real testimonials if you have,
- and a clear single call to action (to a very simple email + name form) or if you have a proven offer and what to prequalify clients, add qualifying questions like “Why are you interested in coaching?”
Then you could drive a small amount of traffic to this landing page (from your contact list, or via paid ads on Social Media) and if the offer works, you start getting some meaningful client conversations then conversions – congrats you’ve already started your online marketing in a much simpler, easier way.
Later build on this foundation, expanding your landing page OR leaving it be if it’s working and creating a new bigger content website or social media feed, driving traffic to your existing proven landing page.
Tips for Website Content
A lot of coaches make the mistake of starting with building the home page.
It’s an upside-down way of doing things.
Once you have tested and proven your offer, and it’s time for a bigger website it can really help to first build three or four anchor articles. Before the HOME PAGE.
- An anchor article is a comprehensive 2000 plus word keyword search engine optimized article for very specific significant client solutions.
- Spend time writing them well, editing and adding a few relevant images (with keyword alt tags).
- Place a text internal link naturally in the body text or headings between the anchor articles.
- These become the categories for your blog. And they anchor content into your website.
Then you build your about page, your services, page, your contact page.
And finally, you build a homepage that links to these various content pages. The home page has a little taste of each with links.
Where I host and build my free opt-in lead magnets
I use Teachable for my free opt-in mini-courses, as well as to host all of the content for my paid-for courses.
I also sell products on Teachable with buttons to ThriveCart click-n-buy carts that integrate with Teachable and PayPal and ConvertKit (my email database system).
Teachable gives me the full e-commerce solution.
Some people say, “But you can build the same on WordPress using Woocommerce etc.”
I made the choice to go with Teachable because I enjoy the click and drag ease for course content build and hosting (I have massive courses that coaching students around the world access daily). Our free opt-in lead magnets and mini-courses have thousands of students.
Teachable lets you:
- build a landing page – sales pages.
- drop and drag course content.
- It integrates with PayPal so that I can sell products.
- It has its own mini-email system inside of it. So I can email students.
I love the combination of my WordPress website and my Teachable course sites.
Finally, I’ve really enjoyed and settled on ConverKit as my email database system. I am an affiliate with Convertkit.
ConverKit integrates perfectly well with WordPress and Teachable.
And that’s what I’m using to serve thousands of coaches globally.
If you want some templates for your landing page; I have built a video self-study course to help my coaches to help my trainers.
It’s called the AppleTree online client-attracting system.
So go check it out.
May your marketing help your coaching business to grow, to serve many clients.