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Build a Thriving Coaching Business With These Three Timeless Marketing Strategies

AUTHOR: Maika Endo
DATE: 30 May 2024

What does it take to build a thriving coaching business? We have packaged some of our effective marketing strategies if you are looking to consistently attract aligned clients throughout 2024 and beyond. Here are our three effective marketing strategies that can help:


1. Leveraging SEO Through Content Strategy

When I launched my brick-and-mortar business Kocoon Spa in Beijing, China in 2008, I didn't even know what the three letters SEO even meant (search engine optimization). 

However, applying SEO strategies to my website saved my business and made it the award-winning enterprise it is today.

I hired a website designer to build me an 'SEO friendly site' and thought that meant everything was all done and dusted. Technology overwhelmed me, and I was more than happy to leave that side of things with someone else, not knowing that I had just entrusted someone to handle our website without doing any research! 

A short while later, we faced bankruptcy as the rate of new visitors coming to the spa was painfully slow.

During my desperate dive into marketing research, I learned SEO was a highly effective tool to attract more traffic to a business, so I grabbed the bull by the horns and spent a month learning everything I could about SEO. 

It turned out our website was not optimized for search engines as the designer had not asked me any instrumental questions when setting it up. During my SEO research, I grasped the most important technique: keyword optimization. When you write the title of a blog post, you can insert high-value keywords that you want to rank for on Google. For example, a former blog post title for Kocoon Spa before SEO was: 'New Treatment for the Summer.' This would not have ranked in a Google search. In contrast, a blog post title for Kocoon Spa after SEO was: 'Waxing Promotion at Kocoon Spa Beijing', which got more traffic, views, and Google rankings.


You might feel like I did before I dove into SEO, as if it is a complicated technological process that only website designers can handle. But when you give it some time, I promise you'll see how simple and user-friendly adopting SEO techniques can be. 

I'm living proof you can turn your business around and boost your growth as an entrepreneur and now I'm committed to helping other business owners utilize SEO to let the internet work for them and promote their brand 24/7.

  • Start researching. Everything you need is at your fingertips on the internet. Allocate some time and learn the basics and it will pay off. 
  • Be patient. Applying SEO fundamentals takes time but will result in more freedom, time and revenue in the long run.
  • Just begin. Once you apply some simple techniques you'll see results.
  • Don't be intimidated- if I can go from zero-knowledge to SEO confident player- so can you!

2. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is a highly effective strategy that often gets overlooked. When you have paid for a service or a product and have been satisfied, you're delighted to recommend that business to a family member or friend, right? They are also more likely to invest because they trust your word. 

Referring marketing is when you ask existing, happy consumers to spread the word about your business and compensate them in some way in return.

Existing happy customers are not only more likely to buy from you again, they are also more likely to spread the word. Your revenue focus, therefore, could look like this: 

  • 20% on acquiring new customers
  • 80% on cultivating your relationship with existing customers

On their first visit to the spa we asked our customers how they found out about Kocoon. During this survey we discovered that 91,88% of our visitors came from referrals and online searches (mainly Google). 

In terms of SEO, we were already ranking at the top for our keywords, so I focused on boosting our referral strategy.

I printed out some cards for our spa customers that said: 'Refer a friend, and both enjoy 15% off'. I addressed each one personally by name so that when the discount card was redeemed, we could track it and award the discount to the person who passed on the card. 

This simple referral tactic meant we attracted a new spa user (and got their email address so they could hear from us for future offerings), and we also kept our initial loyal customer happy with a 'thank you' in the form of a discount.

It's worth asking your customers how they found out about you and then considering how you could reward loyal clients who refer you to their network.

How could you leverage referral marketing as a coach? You could give printed or digital vouchers to your clients that they could give to their friends or family with a discount or special offer. I know it can be scary to promote yourself, but don’t be shy- you got this.


3. Test the Market and Grow Your Community With an Irresistible Freebie

Also known as 'lead magnets,' how many helpful free tools, guides, templates, or eBooks have you opted into from other businesses? You may have even gone on to purchase something after receiving their email sequence that followed.

‘A lead magnet is a marketing tool that generates leads by offering a long-form resource in exchange for a prospect's contact information.’ Source: Hubspot. 

Creating your freebie can take some time. First, you need to create the content (this can also be fun as you can be creative). You then set up a pre-written email sequence with an email provider. It takes some effort in the beginning, but in the big picture, a freebie can go out to dream clients as part of an automated system, and attract the right kind of candidates for coaching.

I have developed several freebies throughout my business, and found them to be very effective. I once signed a wonderful client to my highest-level program because she downloaded my free productivity email course Focused & Flowing freebie and replied to  one of my mails. She told me that the course pushed her to think beyond her current daily plans and goals, and focus on where she wanted to be in the future and take action. She said she had been unsure if coaching was for her, but because the course got results, she wanted to work with me at a deeper level! 

I'm not implying one lead magnet will sell out your coaching services as a stand-alone strategy. But it can be a very effective part of an overall marketing ecosystem.

  • Consider what element of your program could you turn into a freebie?
  • It can be simple- it can be one simple Google Doc and one email instead of an entire funnel.
  • Research lead magnet delivery tutorials online (I usually recommend Flodesk for beginners, and Active Campaign for advanced users.)
  • Don't strive for perfection; instead, focus on taking action- you can develop and grow your strategy as you go. 

If you've enjoyed learning about these three strategies and want to better understand the big picture of the marketing ecosystem you can sign up for Maika's course here

Let’s create your own unique path to attract your soulmate clients with confidence and peace. I’d love to see you there.