Rich Fettke

50 Great Marketing Ideas for Coaches

You are on the way to climbing the magnificent mountain named… Your Career! To get to the top depends largely on how well you market yourself. Below are 50 ways to help you reach higher levels of success. Remember, you can do any of these, but please don’t try to do all of them. This large list of ideas is not intended to have you get overwhelmed. Choose a few strategies and focus on doing them well. See how they work and then keep what works best for you…then try a few more.

Make sure you have a great coach to work with on your path. A coach is like a professional climbing partner, who will help guide, support and encourage you. The journey will be more enjoyable, and you will be far more apt to succeed. No climber would attempt to conquer a mountain alone. Why try to attain mountain-size goals alone?

If you have ideas that have worked for you on your path to success, please share them with me and I will share them with others. That’s a win-win for everyone. Here are 50 marketing ideas for your success. I wish you the best as you climb to the top with clarity and focus. Enjoy the journey and reach high!

1. Create a Unique Marketing Message – Your Unique Marketing Message is a short, 30-second sound bite that tells people what you do and what makes you unique. Your Unique Marketing Message should always offer benefits.

2. Create a Promo Kit – This is a high-quality folder you can give or mail to prospects and the media that contains all or some of the following: your photo, articles you’ve written, articles written about you, your brochure, your resume, a list of questions you are frequently asked and the answers to those questions, your vision, your mission, your audio tape, and anything else that lets people know who you are and how you can help them.

3. Use Your Photo…Everywhere – People remember faces, not always names. If you use your photo on your business cards, your letterhead and your advertising, you will have a better chance of being remembered and people also feel as if they know you better. As you may have heard, successful people’s names and faces often appear in public places!

4. Join a Networking Group – Business networking groups (also called leads groups) are regular meetings where people exchange contacts and referrals. Ask local business people for suggestions on networking groups in your area.

5. Speak at Local Service Clubs – A great way to gain credibility and visibility. Rotary clubs, Kiwanis clubs, Lions clubs and Chamber of Commerce meetings are always looking for speakers. Speak on a message you are passionate about and that directly relates to your business. Don’t forget to offer handouts with your phone number, email address and web site so your audience can contact you later. Remember, first impressions are very important, so I recommend joining Toastmasters to hone your speaking skills. See #16.

6. Create an Advocate List – Begin to notice the people who rave about you. These are your advocates! They may be friends, clients, or associates. These people are your best referral resources. Your advocates will send you business simply because they believe in you. Make sure you recognize them as such. Never let more than 30 days go by without staying in touch with each of your advocates. You can stay in touch with a phone call, a meeting, mailing them a personal note, and of course…by sending them business, too.

7. Write Articles – When your work is published in a magazine, newsletter, or newspaper you gain credibility and visibility. Always try to have your contact information included in your article. You can later mail copies of your article to your mailing list and include it in your promo kit.

8. Give Away Free Specialty Gifts – Give away free specialty gifts with your business name, logo, phone number and web site imprinted on them.

9. Serve on an Association Committee or Board – Serving on a committee or the board of an association related to your career can help you meet key people in your industry, improve your professional recognition, teach you new leadership skills, and position you in front of possible prospects. It’s also a great way to give back to your profession. Most associations are looking for volunteers. Just contact the director or a board member of the association to find out how you might serve.

10. Give Free or Low Cost Workshops – By offering workshops on coaching related topics, such as time management, building a business, living a more balanced life, or goal setting, you can develop your message, meet new prospects, position yourself as an expert and attract new clients. Have an evaluation form for participants to fill out after the workshop with a place for them to fill out their name, address, phone number, email address, etc. You may also want to have a check box that says, "Contact me about coaching."

11. Hold a Coaching Evening – This is an event for your clients, prospective clients and their friends. You offer a meal or snacks and an interactive talk on a coaching related topic (see #10). Your guests get to meet new people, learn valuable information and see live coaching by a wonderful coach… you!

12. Make an Audio Interview – Rent time at a recording studio and have a friend (with a good voice) interview you about your business. Have a list of questions already printed up for your interviewer. Then edit the tape, add some music, make duplications and ta-da… you have an informative audio tape that you can give or mail to prospects!

13. Make Quote Cards – These are business card size "mini posters" with your favorite quotes on them. People love them and will hold on to them for a long time. On the back of the quote card add your name, your company name, your web site address and your contact information. Again, this is just another way to improve your visibility, credibility, and contribution with others.

14. Have Stories Published About You – Have someone write a story about you and your business (or do it yourself). Find a newspaper or magazine that is willing to publish your story. Having a press kit helps!

15. Host Your Own Radio Show – Many radio stations will allow you to have your own radio show if you pay for the time. You can pay for the time by getting businesses to sponsor your program by buying advertising time during your show. You can interview these business owners, expert guests, and have people call in. Remember to ask for your program to be tape recorded so you can mail tapes to future prospects.

16. Join Toastmasters – This is a world wide organization that has speaking clubs in most cities. Most clubs meet on a weekly basis and the members practice their public speaking skills in front of their club. You can meet new people, find clients, and get referrals from your fellow members. You also get to practice the speeches that you later give to other groups (see #5).

17. Be Quoted in the Media – Contact the media and tell them your expertise. Tell them that you are willing to be a resource if they are ever writing a story on your special area. Stay in touch with your contacts at the media offices and in time you may get a call for a quote or interview. These quotes give you credibility and visibility. Make copies of these articles for your promo kit (see #2).

18. Create Your Ultimate Client Profile – Make a list of the top 7-10 qualities you look for in a great client. Place this list somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Only accept clients who fit this profile! If someone does not fit, refer them to another coach. This takes courage and faith, but you will discover that you will attract the clients you truly love to work with. Your phone will begin to ring and those great prospects will become great clients.

19. Mail an Introduction Letter – Send a letter out to your mailing list, friends, and business contacts that explains what you do and how you do it. You may also want to include a gift certificate for a free sample session that they can use or give to their friends.

20. Display Your Business Cards – Ask businesses in your area if you can display your business cards and/or brochures. Many businesses will let you do this and it is a very low cost and effective way to get your name out there.

21. Use the Classified Ads – This is a low-cost way to advertise on a regular basis. You may want to offer a free session, article or product to people who contact you. Classifieds are also an easy way to promote your web site.

22. Host Your Own Cable TV Show – Most local cable television stations offer free studio time to residents. In most cases, you simply need to submit a proposal. If you create an entertaining and informative show, they may air it all over your area. Also find out if you can be a guest on someone else’s cable show.

23. Ask Your Clients for Referrals – You’ve heard this before but are you doing it? Asking, "Who do you know that might benefit from my services?" is a simple, yet powerful way to meet new prospects. Let your clients know that you are expanding your practice and ask them if they know of anyone to whom you could offer a sample session.

24. Publish a Newsletter – Offer valuable information to your readers and your newsletter will be appreciated, read and passed along. A newsletter establishes you as an expert, allows you to keep connected with many people and it gives you a place to share the benefits of working with you.

25. Donate Your Services to Charity Fund-raisers – This is often overlooked. Charity fund-raisers that have raffles and auctions are a great place for you to give back and receive recognition at the same time. Most fundraising groups will include your company name, address, phone number and web site in the materials in exchange for you donation. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce about fund-raisers in your area that are looking for support through donations.

26. Host a Fundraising Event – This is a way to give back even more to your community and meet some wonderful people at the same time. You could organize a race, a workshop, a raffle…just about anything you can think of to raise money for a good cause. You not only give back, but you also create more awareness about your company. Givers gain!

27. Send Press Releases to the Media – A press release is a great way to get an interview with the print, radio and TV media Make sure your press release follows the proper format (there are books at the library on how to make a press release). Follow up with phone calls and ask if your press release was received and if you can answer any questions. Stay in touch with editors or reporters and let them know that you are a resource if they ever need information related to your expertise.

28. Offer an On-line Newsletter – An on-line newsletter via email is a wonderful way to give value to people, share your knowledge, spotlight your expertise and promote your business. Don’t expect immediate return on your investment. What you can expect is that people will get to know who you are and may eventually use your services. Be sure to ask first if they want to subscribe.

29. Write a Book – A book is one of the best ways to increase your visibility and credibility. You don’t have to write a 500 page text to be an author. You can start by writing about your experience or expertise, or something you are passionate about. Self publishing a small, informative booklet is a simple way to get started. Make sure that you include your contact information in the book so readers easily know how to reach you.

30. Speak at Conferences – Conferences allow you to share your experience and knowledge with others in related fields. Some conferences pay for speakers while some conferences ask you to volunteer your time. Either way, conferences help you meet prospects and make contacts that can lead to more business for you in the future. Remember to have a short, quality handout for the participants at your program and include your contact information. Conferences are not a place to self-promote, they are a place to share your knowledge. Do this and you will attract business with ease.

31. Assist at Other’s Workshops – Offer to assist at workshops that you have attended and enjoyed. You not only deepen your learning by hearing the information again, but you also may meet some prospects who want to implement the information they are learning. Make sure your focus is on giving value and the business will attract to you with ease. Bring plenty of business cards!

32. Create Referral Partnerships – Find out who may be able to refer their clients, friends or contacts to you. Look for people you believe in, so that you can do the same for them For example, an accountant may refer a new business owner to you to help her stay focused and on track as she grows her business. You may refer one of your clients to the accountant so they can more wisely manage their money. This is a win-win for everyone!

33. Speak at Book Stores – Ask a local book store owner if you can speak on your area of expertise. Tell him or her that you will be suggesting several books that he sells during your presentation. When you give your program, inform the audience of how working with you will help them put the ideas from the book into action.

34. Join your Chamber of Commerce – Your local Chamber of Commerce can be an invaluable source of leads and referral partners. You may also be able to write articles for their newsletters and give workshops to fellow members on your area of expertise.

35. Attend Workshops – Simply attending workshops that enhance your personal and professional development is a way to market your business. At these workshops you will find yourself surrounded by people who are interested in learning and growing — perfect candidates for coaching!

36. Use Postcards – Postcards are a cost effective way to stay in touch with prospects, clients and referral sources. Develop a theme or character that people will recognize over time. Send out postcards with article quotes, testimonials, opinion surveys, correspondence, reminders, thank you’s, announcements, newsletters, or just to say "hello." If you’ve published a book, duplicate the cover of the book onto a postcard and it becomes an advertising piece. Create a postcard that is a one-sheet flyer to hand out when people ask for information. Remember…marketing is telling people what you do over and over again!

37. Create a Mastermind Group – Meet with 3-5 friends or colleagues on a regular basis to discuss each of your goals, plans and dreams. When a group of people come together, new ideas are created that might not have been discovered alone. (We know this to be true as coaches!) Together you will brainstorm new ways to market yourselves and also hold each other accountable. Everyone wins in a mastermind group!.

38. Serve on a Panel – Serving on a panel at a conference or meeting can give you credibility and visibility. Associations in your area may be looking for an expert to speak about the benefits of coaching. Contact them, ask them if they have a need for panelists for future programs, tell them what you offer, and let them know you are a willing resource.

39. Have a Comprehensive Set of Client Handouts – Have a variety of exercises, handouts and give-always that describe your practice, solve problems, and provide value for your clients. Make sure to give all of your clients useful tools, information and ideas to share with their friends.

40. Contact Former Clients – Many coaches forget that former clients may be interested in coaching again or that they can be great sources of information and referrals. Often they are at a new place in their lives and they are ready for change and new growth. I challenge you to contact three of your former clients this week! Show interest, find out how they are doing. Let them know they are the most important part of your research and development program. Listen to their suggestions. Make it a normal part of your service to follow-up with your former clients every two to three months.

41. Join the International Coach Federation (ICF) – The ICF is the primary worldwide resource for business and personal coaches and is a great resource for those who are seeking a coach. The ICF is an individual membership organization formed by professionals worldwide who practice and/or teach business and personal coaching. The ICF provides many resources, and can help you meet other coaches, prospects and leaders. The ICF also holds an annual conference where you can learn new marketing skills and tools. Call the ICF at 888-423-3131 or visit their web site at

42. List Yourself on the ICF’s Coach Referral Service – The ICF maintains a high visibility for the profession through public relations, publicity campaigns, marketing strategies and the Coach Referral Service (CRS). The CRS is the only recognized, independent system that matches coaches with clients seeking their services. This system is accessible both on the internet and by phone. Hundreds of coaches worldwide list their practice and even link their home-page. The CRS receives broad media coverage and is generating an ever- increasing amount of visibility for members.

43. Have a Web Site – A web site alone is just a tool, not a complete strategy. You must let people know your site is there for it to have impact. Also, give your visitors valuable information on your site and think of ways to have them come back for more. To get the most visibility for your site you can list it at the end of your email messages, give the site’s address on your outgoing voice mail message, put it on your business card, letterhead, postcards, etc. A web site is also very helpful when someone calls you for information. Instead of having to mail out flyers and brochures, you can give your web site address. Your prospects will have your information in front of them almost instantly!

44. Create a Marketing Plan – Include a description of your specific client populations and your plans for reaching them. Include budgets for your time, energy and the money to implement your plan. If potential clients don’t know about you, or can’t find you, they won’t hire you. Choose a few of the items on this list and build them into your plan. Set goals and then track your results. Look at other coaches who are successful. What have they done to achieve that success? Focus on what works for you as an individual and then commit to your plan with action and passion!

45. Model a Great Life – A healthy, balanced, successful life is extremely attractive! Be an example of someone who is living a great life. Surround yourself with delightful, challenging and exciting people. Notice where you can improve areas of your life, such as relationships, fitness, playtime, finances, and your personal integrity. Then hire your own coach to support you in taking action! If you "walk your talk," people will notice and you will begin to attract new clients with ease.

46. Form "Combo" Alliances – Form an alliance with your suppliers, colleagues or even your competitors to offer a "combo" package that neither of you could offer alone. This way you will share the marketing expenses. Attorneys and accountants can offer compelling packages. For example: A life coach might form an alliance with a gym, weight-loss or stop-smoking program.

47. Use Your Outgoing Voice-Mail Message – Don’t overlook this simple, yet effective way to promote your services. Let your callers know what you do and the benefits you offer. Remember to give them a way (right up front) to by- pass your message if they don’t want to listen to the whole thing. If you are using a digital voice mail service, you may want to have different voice mail boxes and outgoing messages for each service you offer.

48. "Claim" a Client – Claiming is a very special way to have someone become your client. You can "claim" them, just as you would stake a claim on something you really want. Let them know that they are the type of client you love to work with, that you believe in their goals, and that you want to work with them as their coach. Tell them that you won’t take no for an answer, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes. Don’t use this as a sales technique because people have built in lie detectors. They will know if you are being insincere. "Claiming" must be authentic and come straight from the heart.

49. Offer Free Things to People – If you write an article, have a web site, or get interviewed on television or radio, it’s a good idea to offer a free giveaway to your audience. This way you not only strengthen your relationship with them but you can also add them to your mailing list for future contact. This giveaway might be a free report like the one you are reading right now. Giver’s gain!

50. Care About People! – This is the most important step of all. None of the prior steps will work without this one. As you may have heard, people don’t care what you know until they know you care. With any marketing strategy, offer your benefits and services first.