By September 17, 2016 0 Comments

How to Grow a Coaching Practice Through Social Media

tree-1148032_960_720Any kind of coaching practice, whether it’s life coaching, business coaching or running a coaching group has the same challenge. How can you grow? What can you do to make your business thrive? In this article I’m going to give you some practical, hands-on strategies that will drive the growth of your business, whatever your particular coaching flavor may be.

Here’s how we’re going to get there.

  • Firstly, we’ll look at the 3-Axis Business Model to get a sense of the strengths and weakness of your current practice
  • Next, we’ll focus on four different sources of new business
  • We’ll look into the distinction between passive and active tactics
  • Then, we’ll dial into social media in particular and share some low cost methods that can get real results in a matter of days

One quick note before we begin. Let’s just ask what does it mean to thrive? Surely there are different interpretations of that word. Maybe it’s financial thriving, maybe it’s having plenty of clients, maybe it’s emotional thriving or social success or something else entirely. In this articles, we’re going to focus on thriving in the business growth sense.

Or as they said famously in the movie Jerry Macguire, “Show me the money!”

The 3-Axis Model

I’ve been dealing with business growth strategies for CEOs of substantial companies for quite a few decades now, and over that time a pattern emerged that we now call the 3-Axis Model.

What it boils down to is that every single business needs three things to really thrive.

  1. The first axis is traffic.  Traffic is new people encountering your business. Whether that’s people looking at your website or knocking on your office door physically, raw traffic is essential. But raw traffic alone is not enough.
  2. The second axis is conversion.  Conversion is moving someone from being interested in you and your practice, to “I’m in!”. And there are different levels to consider. Conversion can be something as simple as liking a Facebook post or subscribing to your YouTube channel. Better yet, conversion can be someone hiring you to do some actual coaching! Without conversion, your traffic is useless.  But having traffic and conversion alone is not enough.
  3. To really thrive, you need the third axis as well and that is slate.  A slate is a list of products and services that vary in price and vary in time.  It’s not enough to have a one shot practice with only one offer.  You have to have a variety of offers. It’s good to have something that is inexpensive, something that’s moderately expensive and something that is more expensive for the people who are super engaged with you and your practice. You’ve got to have one time offers alongside services that are renewed every month.

When you have all three of those axes in hand, you have a thriving practice.  It’s as simple of that. So you must ask yourself, how would you rate your practice along each of these axes?

Most people, when I ask, generally rate themselves as low on traffic, moderate on conversion and high on slate. That’s the profile I run into all the time.  So let’s delve into the first axis see what we can do to build some traffic, with a special focus on social media.

If we can build traffic, in most cases we can build a thriving practice.

 

 

Four Traffic Ecosystems

When considering business growth strategies, there are four separate ecosystems of traffic to include. These four ecosystems live in the offline world also; think of these as online and offline areas of possibility.

Search Traffic

The first area of possibility is search traffic.  This is the kind of traffic you get when people type a question into Google and you and your web site come up as the answer. The problem is that search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is a tricky, thorny issue and there are no guarantees. There’s a helpful book here called the Google Gamble, which lays this out in detail. It’s a good read, written by someone we both know! My suggestion is that for now, you just spend less 15% of your time in this space because it’s so tricky to actually get right.

Social Media Traffic

The second option, which is a terrific option for most people, is social media.  There are so many great social media sites out there! There’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and so on and so forth. In the case of a thriving coaching practice, I’m going to suggest that Facebook and LinkedIn are good first answers.

Video Traffic

The third space, when it comes to traffic, is video. And if we’re talking about video, then we’re talking about YouTube.  YouTube is the area of most extraordinary possibility at the moment. It’s possible to build a channel from nothing to 10,000 views per month in just a few months. We’re not going to go into that this article.  If you are interested, let the editor know and we can write a follow up article!

Purchasing Traffic

The last area of traffic is what we call purchasing traffic. This traffic is made up of people who are about to buy something.  And where do these people go? Of course, they go to Amazon, because that’s where most people go to buy things on the internet.  Some estimates have it as high as two thirds of all transactions on the web happen through that one website. So how could you take advantage of it as a coaching practice?  The obvious answer is to write a book. Having a book not only adds traffic for your business but also helps you with conversion as it raises your status in the eyes of the market place.  When you have written and published a book you are perceived as an expert. When you’re perceived as an expert you are more likely to convert your clients.

Those are the four spaces where we can most readily go to find traffic. A good traffic strategy should incorporate them all. But in this article, lets focus on just one. Let’s focus on social media.

Passive vs. Active

It’s important to make one distinction before we get into social media. There is a difference between passive and active traffic. A good strategy should incorporate both.

Passive Traffic

Passive traffic is when you create content designed to attract people into your practice. You post it everywhere you can and hope that these theoretical new clients will find you. In other words, getting found is a fundamentally passive exercise.

SEO traffic is passive traffic for example, because you’re hoping to be found on Google. Even social media, done badly, can fall into this group. Posting randomly to Facebook, for example, in the hopes of being found by potential clients is also a passive strategy.

What I’ve found, as I’ve explored this with many different companies, is that passive traffic alone is typically not enough.  It typically generates lack luster, disappointing results.

Active Traffic

Active traffic is when you’re actually saying “I will actively drive people towards my site, towards my content, towards my practice”. This is a no risk, 100% guaranteed tactic.  So what is the key difference between passive and active traffic? Money! You know – the green, folding stuff that gets you endless cups of coffee? Cash money!

When you put money behind your traffic then it is guaranteed to actually happen. And that’s what we mean by active. You buy this kind of traffic and it’s not done until it’s delivered right to your physical or virtual door.

Happily, every major social media engine is built around this premise. They’re standing by to take your money with the promise of actively driving traffic to your practice.

Social Media Traffic Tactics

Let’s do this. Firstly, log into Facebook. You’ll need to create a business page if you don’t have one already because these features aren’t available on personal pages. Just Google ‘how to create a Facebook Business page’ and a few clicks later, you’re there.

  • Now, you’ll notice that every time you post on your business or fan page, you’ll see a little button at the bottom of your post that says ‘Boost Post’.  What could that possibly mean?
  • Also, when you look at this new page on the top left underneath the statistics, you’ll see a blue button that says ‘Promote’. What is happening here? New options are emerging.

The easiest way to find out is to go over to the very top right hand side of your menu bar where there is a little black downward facing arrow. Click on that for a dropdown menu. Now, select the option ‘Create Adverts’. This is where the magic really begins to happen.

Once you click on that button, you’ll see something like a dozen separate advertising engines showing the true underbelly of Facebook.  You have lots of options but I suggest that you begin, with the simplest, Boost Your Posts.

When you click on Boost Post, Facebook allows you to put some money, which is to say some energy, behind an individual post.  You can pick your own budget and $5 – $10 is fine.  You can also make your boost specific in terms of location, keywords and demographics. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to connect with real potential clients.

And of course, there are other kinds of traffic beyond boosting individual posts. One of my favorites is ‘Send People to your Web site’. We recently ran a campaign over two weeks that got in front of almost 43,000 like-minded, location matched individuals. Of those, just over 600 actually visited our site. Of those, a significant number went to purchase one of our books or training programs. And the cost of this campaign? It came to $71.30.

You heard me – just over $70 to drive 600 clicks to my site and into our practice. That’s something like 12 cents per potential new client. It’s amazing!

What might happen if you drove that kind of active traffic every week? What might happen if you went beyond Facebook into the social media and drove active traffic from there, too?

It seems like the answer to the kind of active traffic you need is closer and cheaper than most people imagine.

Wrapping It All Up

So, in summary, in order to create a thriving practice from the financial perspective, you’re going to need three things: great traffic, great conversion and a great slate of products and services. When you have all of those things going well, you have a thriving practice.

A great traffic strategy encompasses search, through websites like Google. It encompasses social media, through websites like Facebook. It encompasses video, through websites like YouTube and it encompasses purchasing traffic, through websites such as Amazon.

How can you begin this amazing experiment? Why not try a simple, small and inexpensive steps like boosting posts on Facebook? And let me give you some extra support; try typing ‘Facebook Boost Post by Tim Levy’ into YouTube and a free tutorial will pop up.

Please use it with all of my blessings. And by all means, let me know how it goes.

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as hearing how, with these simple tactics, you’ve been able to grow your business into a thriving coaching practice.

Tim LevyAbout: Tim Levy (3 Posts)

Tim Levy is an Australian author, speaker, consultant and coach. He runs a strategic marketing and production agency based out of Austin, Texas. His company works with purposeful CEOs and entrepreneurs on clarity, strategy and digital content production for business growth. He routinely speaks for leading organizations like Vistage International, Conscious Capitalism and Secret Knock. He has a particular focus on web technology and digital content including books, CDs, online training and broadcast television. He has written and published ten books including The Fast Book Handbook which shows how to write and publish a book in a matter of 20 hours or less (available on Amazon). His nationally broadcast television show The Life Unlimited ran for three seasons. He is focused beyond the dollar on things that are meaningful, intentional and bring a little something extra to the world.


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