We all make them. But, unfortunately, there are some mistakes that are way too commonly made by coaches and trainers in all sports.
And in my career of coaching and running CoachNow, I’ve noticed 5 very common mistakes coaches make when it comes to acquiring new customers. I.e. mistakes trying to bring in new leads, pitch them effectively, and ultimately convert them into happy paying customers.
For today’s post, I want to distill these learnings into a very simple checklist that you can compare your business against. Think of these as quick questions you should ask yourself when it comes to how you’re positioning your business.
I’ve presented this checklist to hundreds of coaches in the past, both in online courses as well as live speaking gigs at industry events. It’s always met with a lot of enthusiasm. I hope diving into it here will bring tons of value to you and your business.
Let’s get to it. Here’s my 5 step checklist to get more clients 👊
1. Who is Your Ideal Customer?
Look, if you’ve been following us for a while, this first step shouldn’t come as a surprise.
But this bears repeating..
Because while it may seem incredibly simple,it's vitally important that you keep your ideal customer top of mind.
So many trainers and coaches get this wrong by trying to serve everybody. As a result, they end up underpaid, burning out, and never really carving out their niche.
If your marketing revolves on the idea that you just “coach” your sport, you aren’t doing anything to stand out from the crowd.
Specificity. Is. Key. You need to actively repel people who you DON’T want, while simultaneously attracting people you DO want. Let them self select, and only take on clients that match your ideal persona.
For more on this topic (including some exercises to help you identify your ideal customer), check out these previous posts: Coaches! Here are Our Top 3 Ways to Identify Your Ideal Customer, Know Who You Serve (And Who You Don’t).
2. Are You Selling Time, or Results?
I say it all the time: move away from selling units of time. You don’t sell “1 hour sessions”. You sell the RESULTS that come from those sessions.
If you haven’t already, please tweak your marketing to focus on OUTCOME, not PROCESS.
Sometimes those outcomes are gonna be super clear and objective e.g. how far they’re hitting a golf ball, how much weight they’ve lost, how many wins they’ve enjoyed, etc.
Other times they’re gonna be a bit fuzzy and subjective e.g. upgrades in mindset, how they feel after a workout, how they look in the mirror, etc.
Whatever you do, it’s important that you speak to the emotional wants of the athlete, by focusing your language on attaining their dreams while avoiding their fears and pain points..
Then build your coaching offer to not rely on your physical presence for them to excel.
You aren’t always going to be with them when they need to perform well in their sport – you owe it to them to make them autonomous. If they need you by their side to do well, you are doing them a great disservice.
For more on this, check out some recent posts: Don’t Worry! Athlete’s Won’t Fire You if They Get Too Good Too Fast, 3 Reasons Why You’ll Quit Your Coaching Job, How to Save Time and Improve Your Offer with Asynchronous Communication.
3. Is Your Brand Consistent?
This one absolutely kills me.
We’ve had hundreds of coaches go through the Level 1 ConnectedCoach Blueprint (keep an eye out for Level 2 coming soon!), and in past live iterations of that course I’ve audited each coach’s social media, websites, emails, etc.
Time and time again I find inconsistency with their brand across these various channels. Outdated designs on the website, inconsistent logos or colors, broken links, different copy between payment sites vs. marketing sites, etc.
The most successful companies are the ones that maintain consistency across all these channels.
At CoachNow, we pay a LOT of attention to the colors, imagery, fonts, etc. to create brand uniformity.
Furthermore, make sure that everything has a consistent “Call to Action”, or in marketing lingo, CTA. That is, you want to make sure you are directing all potential clients down the same funnel, no matter where they’re coming from.
It may seem like a small thing, but brand consistency is very important. It creates a strong impression, lends credibility to your business, and subconsciously builds trust with everyone who lands on your website, social media, emails etc.
4. Does Your Website Sell or Tell?
This one piggybacks off branding, but it’s important to be specific about HOW you position your offer on your website.
Remember: your number one metric for success should be the CONVERSIONS you’re getting from customers who wind up in your orbit. Everything else in your marketing needs to loop back to that singular goal.
So the RESULTS you help your customer achieve should be hyper clear as soon as they interact with your brand. Do you have any fluff about who you are, what you do, what your certifications are, etc? Remove anything and everything that muddies your message.
Because as I’ve said before: people don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them.
Sure you can have an “About You” page on your qualifications, back story and what your coaching company is all about. But that should be a supplementary piece of content they can find IF they want that information - it is not the WHY of your business and you certainly shouldn’t LEAD with it anywhere..
For help fine-tuning your CTA check out these recent posts: Focus On What Athletes WANT, Not WHAT YOU THINK THEY NEED, Top 3 Tips for Mastering the Art of Selling Your Coaching, Offer Hacking: How to Create Your Million Dollar Coaching Message.
5. How Does Your Website Look on Mobile?
If you have a website, does it display clearly and professionally on devices of all shapes and sizes?
Mobile optimization can be super tricky for non-designers. And time and time again I’ve seen coaches, trainers, and even academies that clearly focused their website designs on their desktop and when you open it on a phone it’s flat out broken.
But as the world becomes increasingly centered around smartphones, the majority of potential clients will only see your site on their mobile device.
So, when you’re building new web pages, marketing funnels etc, be sure you’re testing how it looks and performs on mobile throughout.
Additionally, do not hide the good stuff behind too many menus or buttons when designing for mobile. Sure it looks cleaner, but it can make it hard to find the good stuff. Do not hide your hook, story, offer, and especially your CTA.
Of course, you also need to be mobile optimized when it comes to delivering your coaching to your athletes. If you use CoachNow, you’re already in your athletes pocket and accessible at their fingertips, even when you’re apart.
As a coach, you need to have an app on your athlete’s phone that represents your coaching relationship to them. If you don’t, you’re at risk of losing that athlete to someone who does.
Let’s put this checklist into action and help you grow your business. Remember, the businesses that take strategic action will always come out on top.
- This week I want you to choose just one of these 5 steps and analyze your business with it in mind. Pick the one that is the most obvious place for you to start.
For example, maybe you want to give your branding a quick audit.
Today, try taking a quick look at your different social channels, making sure that the bios are consistent with your emails, website, etc. And perhaps most importantly, this could be a good opportunity to ensure a consistent CTA across all your marketing.
Just a suggestion! But at the very least, take these questions into consideration and ask yourself what’s working and what’s not.
What’s the clearest and most simple way you can make a change to convert more customers?
It doesn’t have to be huge, but getting moving on simple improvements will pay dividends down the line.
Let me know how it goes for you!