“Ignoring marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.”
— KB Marketing Agency
Welcome back to our blog series on marketing your career coaching practice. As we have been talking about throughout this blog series, coaches have to do more than rely on “word of mouth” to advertise their business. Without doing consistent, ongoing marketing, you won’t be able to grow your business. In our last blog we talked about marketing methods and the strategies to employ them. In this blog, we are going to focus on how to leverage your website content, create effective Search Engine Optimization and use blogs and newsletters to raise awareness and attract potential clients.
Give your clients a destination worth searching for
These days, consumers typically seek out websites to research services and businesses that will meet their needs. So you will want to have an impactful website with “content” (definition: video, audio, text, images, or some combination of the four that holds value for your customer) that speaks to your target audience and can be found by search engines like Google, Safari, Bing, etc. There are companies that will design a website for a fee and there are DIY options available too. Do some exploring of both to find a good fit. When you are designing your own website you want to think about what pages will be included, what order, and what content and images you want. Remember to be consistent with your brand. Make sure you give the reader an easy way to find what they want to know. Describe what services you offer, how they can be purchased, and how clients can contact you. Include information about you and why you are doing this type of work.
In order to build a website, you’ve first got to choose a platform. Most people think setting up a website from scratch requires a lot of coding and design skills – but that’s no longer true. In 2022, there are content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. It is free and has made creating a website accessible to everyone. To put it simply, a CMS (or website building platform) is a user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your own online content, instead of creating a website from scratch coding languages. Nearly half of the websites on the Internet are running on the WordPress website platform. One advantage to using WordPress is your site will be ‘responsive’. Meaning the website you build will instantly look great on every mobile device, smartphone, and tablet. There is also a large community using WordPress to share information and offer support.
How will my customers find my website?
As you work on your new website, you will want to build in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that search engines like those listed above can find and index your site and rank it. Webpages that have effective SEO receive more visitors particularly when the site shows up on the first page of the search results and ranks higher on the search engine results page (SERP). These visitors can then potentially be converted into customers. Think of it like adding a book to the card catalog of an online library system — you want to give your book keywords in the system that you think a searcher would likely use in a database query so that the book comes up in the list of results they receive.
It is also important to note that SEO targets unpaid traffic (known as “natural” or “organic” results) rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. This is an important distinction because unpaid traffic makes up a higher percentage of the overall search traffic, so increasing your unpaid traffic gives search engines and visitors the best possible chances of finding your website.
While learning about the fundamentals of SEO and implementing them on your website can take some time at first, the results really pay off in the long run. An effective SEO plan covers all of the measures that can be taken directly within your website to improve its position in the search rankings. This includes:
- Technical SEO: Setting up your website’s infrastructure so that search engine spiders crawling your website can easily access and index your website.
- Keyword research: to uncover what terms your target audience is searching for, how much traffic those terms can send your way, and how difficult it is to rank for those terms.
- Onpage SEO: Creating content that both answers the searcher’s query and improves search engine visibility.
- Offpage SEO: This is getting to know the type of websites that link to your content and in what context they refer to your brand. It tells you a lot about your website and your overall presence on the web.
Boosting SEO quality through blogging and newsletters
Once you have implemented your technical SEO and keyword strategies, you can continue positioning your website further through blogging and newsletters. A blog is a tool you use to meet new people, whereas a newsletter is a tool you use to make a deeper connection with people you already know (i.e. your subscribers). Blog posts can be about a case study, some advice you can give, a look behind the scenes in your company or a guest post or interview. A newsletter should have a brief introduction followed by a series of snippets of stories, coaching practice news, latest project launches and bits of advice, and you can highlight or feature one of your blog posts as well.
Both blogs and newsletters can expand your opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to visitors. For example, you are reading our weekly blog for the Empowered Entrepreneur Program. We also publish a monthly newsletter, as a way of updating our mailing list subscribers on what is new with our program and we feature one of our blogs connected with that month’s theme for a more personal touch.
You may be full of ideas and love to write blogs and newsletters as an outer manifestation of your inner knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic of career design. In this case, writing a weekly or monthly blog or newsletter can be a worthwhile creative endeavor. On the other hand, you may not have the time, energy or writing ability to pull these publications together, so consider hiring a freelance blogger to perform this all important function for you. Either way, we want your content to be “King” and excellence to be “Queen” when it comes to marketing your services and a blog and newsletter are important tools in providing that content.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this blog. We have done a deep dive on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), touched on a lot of significant information about creating your own website and shed light on the importance of a career coaching blog and newsletter. Hopefully, you find this information enlightening and motivating to help you tackle some of the building blocks for your career coaching practice.
If you want to learn more about creating a comprehensive game and marketing plan for your career coaching business, consider taking our eight-week online Empowered Entrepreneur Program (EEP) created and taught by successful career coaches. The program gives you tools specifically designed for your coaching clients and gives you access to a Facebook Group where job seekers are connected to EEP trained coaches called “Find your Right-Fit Career Coach.