Your Marketing Plan Matters

Considering skipping your marketing plan?

Don’t because it’s the biggest mistake you’ll make.

Without a plan you can’t evaluate your efforts to discover what is and isn’t working. Plus it keeps you focussed towards your goals and makes your sales and content creation easier.

Join Gemma and Mikala as they discuss why your marketing plan matters and how it’s the tool you’ll use to grow your coaching business.

Introduction:  Welcome to the Freedom to Coach podcast with Gemma and Mikala, we’re both coaches and entrepreneurs passionate about teaching you how to set up and run your coaching business, create more time and manage your mind because you’re changing the world one mind at a time.

Mikala: Hello everyone and welcome to our third episode of the Freedom to Coach podcast.

In this episode, Gemma and I are going to be talking about the importance of having a marketing plan for your coaching business, so Gemma, I’m going to let you as a marketing expert jump in straight away and just give us a few reasons, I’ve got plenty to add later on, but just give us a few reasons why from a marketer’s perspective, a marketing plan is so important to any business, not just coaches, we know for sure,

Gemma: I mean, first of all, the entire purpose of a marketing plan is to have a set plan in place, right? And its overall idea is how you can sell your thing to your people and if it’s not put in place, if it’s not decided ahead of time, then you’re not going to have any form of structure to follow and you know what if rather than assuming that, you know, my product, my services for everyone, it’s not right.

So it gets you very clear on who you’re speaking to, who you’re targeting, where to find them and how to find them in, you know, within a six month or one year period that you’ve decided, I’m going to target this person and I’m going to do it, you know, x, Y Z for six months, you know, it’s like you’re not putting a little bit of a promo over here, You’re not saying some random things over here, you’re not doing a Facebook ad for no reason. You’re not trying to do things rushed probably friend and you know exactly what you’re doing

For the next six months and the purpose of that, even if none of it works within the six months, you’ve got an exact, you know, you can look backwards and see, okay, let’s evaluate everything this worked. But these three things did it, what can I change here? How can I fix this? You know what I mean?

Mikala:  Yeah. And I think what you’ve said is really important just to really write the two main things that you said. It’s about being more focused in your efforts. So you’re not doing a little bit here a little bit there, you know who you’re talking to, you know how you’re going to talk to them, you know what you’re going to say and you know what you’re trying to sell them. So you’re not trying to sell them 16 things at once. You’ve got a definite plan in mind of how you want your prospect or lead to move through their relationship with you.

So how are you going to first get them in, how are you then going to convert them to a trip wire if that’s what you’ve got or how are you going to sell them to your core offer. So just to elaborate a bit in case people don’t aren’t familiar with the terms I’ve just used.

So a trip wire is what you use or a lead magnet. Let’s start back at the beginning. Lead magnet is something free that you give someone in exchange for their email address. If you’re not giving them something in exchange, you are much less likely to get an email address out of someone.

So that’s a lead magnet. It can be anything, it can be a downloadable cheat sheet or a video or you could do something a bit more structured in a bit meatier, like a free mini course, something like that. But it’s something that’s going to attract their attention. It’s something that’s relevant to what you do and who you serve and it’s something that they can get access to straight away. So that’s a lead magnet.

The next thing that comes along as a trip wire and a trip wire is that thing that gets people to first spend money with you. So it’s generally a lower priced item from your core offer which I’ll explain in a minute. Um And it can be a little chunk of your core offer. So say for example um Your core offer is a big meaty six month long e. Learning course or a course of some description. Your trip wire could be one unit of that where it’s a specific unit on a specific topic, it’s all encompassing in that one unit. Like it makes sense as a standalone course and people can purchase that at a much reduced price.

So it just sort of gets your foot in the door or gets them to part with their first dollars with you that then brings us to the core offer, which is what you really want your prospect or you’re lead to do. So it’s what you really want them to buy, what you really want them to invest in. So it might be one on one coaching, you know, for a specific period of time it might be an online course, anything like that. So there are those marketing terms explained for you.

Gemma: So the marketing plan helps you to focus all your efforts and focus everything in the one direction leading to getting people to purchase your core offer. And I’ve worked with clients who haven’t had a marketing plan in place and so their social media has been a bit of, it’s a bit of that, a bit of the other. They’ve often tried to sell different things all at once which can confuse your lead if you’re offering them all these different things, it’s like people like to be told what to do next or like to be guided down a path.

If you’re really clear on where you want them to go the path, you’re guiding them down. That makes it much easier to move them along through your sales funnel for me, having worked with clients that don’t have a marketing plan, the biggest bonus that I have found is that everyone is more organized You know, you know what’s coming up and you can plan for it and you can put whatever you need in place long before it’s ready to be used. So everyone knows what’s happening, There’s plenty of time to review copy to make sure that there’s no mistakes and to test everything to make sure email marketing funnels or all of that sort of thing works.

It really provides freedom in that respect because there’s no last-minute rushing around trying to pull something together, making mistakes, that’s not going to give your clients a good experience, that’s really not going to do anything for your client journey.

You want everything to be organized clear and just on track across your team if you’re working with the team or even for yourself, if it’s just you That way, you know, and you can plan your content for the next six months or 12 months. There’s no last minute, oh my gosh, I don’t know what to say when you’re trying to put together your socials.

Gemma: Absolutely. And the point, I love there is about the testing and, you know, the back-end back side of it, because, you know, putting together copy and then putting them into an email chain and funnel and automation and all of that. And if you’re connecting it through to, you know, Facebook ads and then you’re connecting it to sync up to your website and sync up to you, social media’s and then sinks through to, you know, uh purchasing platform and all of the things that’s a whole lot of automation, a whole lot of tech. And let me tell you, it will not work perfectly the first time.

Mikala: Absolutely, it won’t, and you know, I am the tech and automation person and it won’t, it’s like unique. It really is. It’s like all marketing, I think you told me this, Gemma marketing is always just testing and trying again and testing and trying again and testing and trying again, and it’s the same with setting up your tech and automation like and in doing it too, if you’ve got a longer lead time, if you’ve got more time to work it out, you can often come up with better ideas, okay, That worked well, but this might work better and then you’ve got the time to try it out.

Again, it’s all about creating the best experience that you can for moving the people along the sales journey that you want them to.

Gemma: Absolutely, and you know, like you said before, it’s so important not to react to something, so you may think, oh this is a great idea, let’s do this idea tomorrow, you know, without proper planning without everything, but it’s like, you know, if you were to put an ad in a newspaper, it’s not common at all oh at all for clients or customers to just jump on this out and buy the thing, you know, it’s not how it works, it used to work that way, you know, 50 years ago, right?

You know when the new vacuum was out and things like that, but it just doesn’t work that way anymore. So it’s not a matter of, slapping up a few Facebook ads and that’s it, it’s about a full client journey and you need those touch points like when you were speaking about, you know the lead magnet and the trip wire and all of those things. It’s the whole journey and that having that marketing plan in place is all of that journey from taking your new consumers customers, clients, whatever you want to call them through the process in a planned way, you know.

Mikala: And it’s just so important and on the flip side of that again with the tech, that stuff, it takes time, the solar systems in place and test them, see if they’re working, you know. And they may work once and they may fail, you know, something may go wrong the next day, but that’s part of the process and that’s okay. It’s just so important not to rush those things and as well, if you’ve got a copy and bits and pieces of things everywhere, if you want to change, you know, through line, that may be a matter of changing the first two lines of the copy in order for it to work.

If you’ve got stuff everywhere, you’re not going to know what’s what and you’re not going to know if you’ve planned a specific campaign for this month, for example, you planted ahead of time, you know, what’s there, you know what the copy says, you know, the automation in place.

You know, something’s at fault easier to find it if you’re focused on that and you know, if you’re you’ve had some feedback or whatever and you think, well, hang on, let’s just change these opening lines and that could be everything that needs changing but if you’re focused on that one thing, then you’re going to be able to make some changes.

Just small changes because like images that it’s testing, everything has to be tested. And you can’t test 10 things at once. You can have a B testing. You know, take this one against that one and I suggest you do that, see which ones working, go with the one that’s getting more traction and then you can make small changes within that one. You know that it’s all about the testing.

Gemma: If you’re thinking I’ve got this marketing plan, it’s all in place and nothing’s working. You know, you change one thing that will happen and another thing and see what happens. You know it really is all about testing and if you’re giving up at a time, we’re not going to see what works and it is especially if you’re a new coach and a new business, you know there’s going to be a lot of things to test.

It’s going to take time, going to take planning and you know, don’t give up keep at it because marketing it really is about testing. You know it’s not it’s not 100% like this is my marketing plan, this is what’s going to work. Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t work like you know, it’s not a scientific formula but you know.

And something you just said then to about the giving up, I think if you’ve got a marketing plan in place like you’re six months, 12 months marketing plan then you’re a lot less likely to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Oh this isn’t working. If you didn’t have that longer term plan in place, you might be more inclined to just go, it’s a failure.

I’m not doing it anymore and then you desperately try and find the next thing, oh well I’m going to do this instead and it might be a complete pivot and that’s not that’s not going to work well for you because in situations like that then you tend to panic and you tend to rush and you tend to do all of the things that we’ve just said are not helpful, which you know again brings you around to not getting towards the goal that you want and not being able to evaluate your efforts and see what’s working.

Mikala: And Gemma mentioned touchpoints earlier and can you just talk a bit more as to what touchpoints are Gem?

Gemma: Yeah, for sure tough points is all of the times you will speak through a client before they become a client site. You know you may have exchanged the email address. So that could be your first touch points like right I’ve got that email, this person is you know, x person got their first name, the email address. Cool. So that would be you know, touch .1 and then you send a welcome email to them like the big point through and then you sent them you know, your first Freebie, right? You know, and downloadable, something like that .3.

So, you can keep going in that journey and you could have exchanged information with them nine times before you have spoken to them. But it’s all about nurturing right?

You know and they haven’t unsubscribed from you, you know with analytics and with data tracking you can see that they are engaging with you that are opening emails that you know they have looked at your website. They may have gone in and you downloaded a three course, you have so all of those touch points, you know, that you’re nurturing them and you’re getting to know them.

But I have an exchange of money with you yet. That’s the importance of these early stages of marketing plan. And that’s what it’s all about. Because again, like you said earlier, it’s a one-off sale anymore.

Some are becoming clients without that exchange. But typically, you need to exchange something with them, You need to be giving them this value. You know, maybe they’re listening to your podcast, maybe they’re doing other things. Maybe they’re liking your post. You know, there’s so many touch points, but you need to be giving that value through them before, you know, they’re going to actually spend money with theory and then it’s most likely going to be a trip wire, right?

That’s smaller priced item. But then you’ve got you’ve got that structure in place, you know, to be speaking to them to know you’ve got that six months, one year structure in place. And this is how I’m going to get this client from, you know, a to be after the touch points. You know, and that is, it’s so normal, it is so not much to see how it works.

You may have 16 exchanges with someone until they actually make a purchase the very different world now. You know, it unfortunately doesn’t really work of someone walking into a shop and buying something straight away. You know, it doesn’t work that way anymore.

Mikala: Yeah, it’s a very different world. And the whole point of the touch points really is to help build the know like and trust factor with the lead or potential client. So you know, they get to know you they get to know who you are and what you’re about. They get to like you, they like the content that you’re talking about. They find it relevant to them in their lives and then that develops into trust and that’s the important part. That’s where they trust. That if they give you money that they’re going to receive value, useful value in return.

And that’s that point of it is where it’s really useful to also use client testimonials and that sort of thing. Get a bit of social proof behind you whether you’re adding that sort of thing into your social media or into your email marketing funnel or if you’re inviting people into a Facebook group, if you’re getting current or previous clients to talk about something in a Facebook group, something that they learned from you.

So it’s helping to build the trust. They know that you’re the person that when they give you their money, they’re going to get what they want and what they need and what they expect in return, that you’re not going to leave them high and dry. one other thing that you mentioned to gem the ab testing, can you talk a bit more as to what that is and how that works and all the different forms that that can take all the different homes, some of the different forms, so they say Facebook ads for example.

Gemma: Yeah. If we’re looking at maybe testing of ads, um, you know, and again, even within that side of promotion, it can get quite difficult or quite complex. But what I remember A B is is two options, right? So you got option A you’ve got option B that may option a maybe two different types of copy with two different types of images or videos.

An option B, maybe two different types of copy and two different types of videos or images. But now you’re there with, eight different types of testing ads, but you put them in two buckets.

We’ve got four over here and four over there you’ve got bucket A bucket B and you test which ones are working. Copy option A with option A of image, you know, so you test a copy with an image and you test another copy with an image. Then you swap them and you’re gathering all this information of which ones are getting the most traction.

That’s what I mean that A B. Testing and testing two completely different types but targeting the exact same people and what you’re promoting at the time.

So you’re gathering all this information to see what’s working and what’s not, but you’re not just going in there with one option, you’re already going in with a few different options and you’re doing some slopping around and you’re seeing which ones work. So after, you know, it depends on um your audience size and everything, but it can be after a couple of days or after a week or it right, let’s get rid of these ones.

Let’s keep going with these two. And then you may swap those ones and see which bit pieces are working. So it’s testing everything to sort of find which ones working the most and then going with that one. So what you I ideally want to end up with is the picture like the image or the video that people are loving the most and that is resonating the most with your target audience with the copy or the words that are resonating the most.

So that’s like that’s the ultimate winning ad.

Mikala: Yeah, for sure. Visuals and the words that are really capturing the interest and the interaction of the people that you’re after, the people that you’re targeting.

Gemma: Yeah. And if you really sort of think about what, you know, marketing is and what it means. I mean that’s the internet is just, I guess inundated with various definitions of marketing, right?

But if you really think about it, you know, it’s successfully communicating the value of your product, you know, through your target audience, right?

But in order to successfully do that, you do need to test and see, you know, which one of those communications is the most successful and that that’s really what it’s about. So it’s so important to just think about it. How am I showing the value of my product, my service, my offer through my target audience,

You know, are they coming to me and my successfully showing them how much they need this? Okay. If I’m not, how can I fix that? How can I change that? Because, you know, the value in your preaching? You know what it does, you know how it changes lives, you know, all of that. So, are you communicating that successfully?

Mikala: Mm. Exactly. You know, and it it’s so important and it’s not just about spelling your thing, you know? It’s really not, it’s about reproaches, it’s about helping people.

Yeah, So it’s you need to do it in a way that you’re showing them the value, so they’re coming back to you, right? But it’s really about increasing your awareness to the right people and it’s not just about sales.

You know, it’s not just about making the money, like you were saying earlier, make it’s all about building that trust, you know, with that new person, with the new target audience, building that trust and all of that, and, you know building a relationship and then, you know, it, once you’re saying the right things and you’re really showing the value in what you’re offering, it will come back to you, right? But It’s not going to take five minutes, right?

And this is why you need that plan in place. And one thing I’d like to mention here too is that when it comes to marketing, you don’t have to be heavily sales-y like there’s no reason to be. By now do all this sort of thing, it’s more important to be and I know this is a word that people can get very funny about, but it’s really important to be authentic to be you too.

You know, you’re not trying too hard sell people, you’re trying to build the know like and trust factor so that people understand how your coaching is going to change their lives because that’s what you authentically believe it will do, because that’s why you do it.

Gemma: I know a lot of coaches are like, I don’t do the marketing thing. I hate marketing, it’s to sales-y.

Eh no, it’s not if you’re doing it right, it’s not at all, you’re actually constantly providing value to your leads or your prospects, so they feel like they are getting value from you before they have even spent the money or before they have signed onto your course or core offer absolutely, you know, and I guess marketing.

It’s there to help your business, you know, and I know so many people I guess being a marketer myself and I love it but I know it can feel extremely overwhelming, but if you think of it in a way of you know like what nick just said, it’s about okay people when you want to help more people.

So then think of marketing in a way of, you know, what am I clients need, you know, what do they need?

How can I meet those needs?

How can I help my target audience?

How can I help them understand the value of what I’m doing will help them?

It’s not about being sales-y it’s not being pushy, it’s not being by the thing now you are genuinely there to make a difference in your client lives. So you have that structure in place and the plan in place, because it’s not going to benefit you it’s not going to benefit your clients either.

Mikala: You know, it’s like you really want to make a difference and what that structure, you know, in place so you can figure out what works what doesn’t and find the right way to help them. Yeah.

And the thing that I keep trying to push home with this is if you’ve got a longer-term marketing plan in place, you’re not doing the knee jerk reaction stuff which is stressful, it’s very stressful. You’re not doing the last-minute tweaks and changes like that for you as a coach. It’s really important.

We all know it’s really important to take care of ourselves to do self-care, to not work ourselves into the ground, especially when we’re starting to build our coaching businesses.

So it is just so important to have the longer term game plan so that the effort is spread out over time and you’re not, you know, you’re not working all weekend and staying up till midnight for five nights in a row, trying to get it ready for your launch, trying to get everything ready for your launch because you’ve made a decision a month ago that you were going to do it and you’re just trying to fit everything in.

Like that is not going to be a benefit to you, you’re going to be stressed, you’re going to be tired and then you’re not going to deliver for the people that you do have clients.

If you’re stressed and tired and worrying about other things, you’re not going to be able to hold space for the clients that you do have.

And if you’re having discovery calls or whatever with new potential clients, you’re not going to be all there for those either because you’re going to have these other worries and concerns moving in the back of your head.

And that’s something Gemma and I always really mindful of in helping coaches with their businesses. It’s like you want to be, you need to be well rested, you need to take care of yourself and that needs to be part of your business plan, part of your marketing plan, not just something that, you know, we’re coaches, we all know this should happen, but we don’t really do it.

Gemma: Yeah. Building on that, you know, it’s just speaking of against measuring marketing plan, there’s other parts of your business. You can measure right at the end of that six months, so you know, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked from reaching your clients.

What about, you know, income, you know, uh are you making what it is that you planned on making um, you know, freedom, but what, you know, how are you spending that time, you know, once this six-month marketing plan allowed you the downtime you need, it has it allowed you the space to speak with your client to be there for your clients, right?

There are so many things you can be measuring as well, you know, and then, you know, have you made impact in your client’s lives, you know, there’s so many parts of your business that a full marketing plan in place will help you with, it will give you more time.

It will save you more time, right?

It will it will save you money as well because you, you it within the plan, you’ve got that budget, so you’re not trying to do things quickly last minute, you’re not losing money here because you’re busy doing something else. It’s all in place. It’s all properly set out, you know?

So, it really, it’s going to save you time. It’s going to save you money. It’s going to help you build the business that you want that, you know, why did you go into your preaching business in the first place?

Mikala: You know, it’s going to help you stick to your plan as well as your plan for your clients, mm. And what Gemma just mentioned about saving you money.

I’ve often seen clients or coaches who will throw money at a problem to try and fix it. You know, they’ve done everything last minute and they will just throw money at it to try and get other people to fix it.

Whereas again, if you’ve got your plan, if you know what you’re doing, if you’ve planned it all out, then you don’t need to do that.

There’s not that need there to blow money to try and get other people to come in and fix things that you could have done yourself.

If you’d allow yourself the time or your team could have done. But now because it’s the last minute, they don’t have the time to do it. So you have to bring someone else in. So that’s just another thing I wanted to reiterate their so jam, I think we’ve really hit home with the importance of having a marketing plan. Do you want to talk just briefly on what makes up a marketing plan?

I think we’ve kind of touched on it in a little bit, but just to help our listeners really understand what makes up a marketing plan, what a marketing plan might look like.

Gemma: Sure, sorry, now it doesn’t have to be something you know that that’s easy and in depth and you know you’ve got a marketing plan, you’ve got a business plan, right?

They are two separate things but they do also very much go together because you know because the marketing is without it, you’re not going to have a business, right?

As much as your business plan is your business plan and the marketing is interacting and getting your clients without that there is no coaching business, your marketing plan brings the money into your business completely.

So you know if you’re a new coach starting out, what you want to do is look at that, you know, all areas in which you plan to you know interact and source your clients and find your clients and speed of your client, you know, so are we looking at social media, email marketing and say Facebook cards for example and you know it’s planning from there, you know it was for six months, What am I going to do organically.

So that means you know not spending money, so it would be a plan of you know um posting on Instagram and Facebook three days a week, a video once a week, right?

And that’s how you’re going to engage. And that’s all set in the plan. Then there may be, you know, I’m going to do an email newsletter once a week, so you put that in the plan and it’s all there. So you know what’s coming up, you know, and that’s your organic, you’re free marketing and then you move into your paid, you know, so what am I going to spend on ads X amount.

Break it up over the six months and then from there break it up into, you know, specific campaigns. I want to promote this offer this month, I want to do um you know, and then decide how you’re going to promote that.

So are you going to offer a free course? A five-day challenge? Are you going to have, webinars? And then you put that in place.

So, January, I’m going to do this and then February, I’m doing this March and April will be this and then, you know, may in June will be getting people into my big course or big program or big offering or whatever it is.

It’s sure thing, your platforms that you’re going to promote on and plays keep it simple, you’re not try and be on every single social media platform, do not try and be everywhere because it doesn’t work and it’s so overwhelming.

My suggestion is to choose, you know through social platforms to focus on and then, you know, one paid avenue to really boost yourself out there and then you plan it, you break it down in budget, you break it down month per month, what you’re going to tell me what you’re going to tonight and then you break it down platform by platform, so it’s all there.

If you put that time in to create that plan, it’s there in place. So you don’t need to worry you by spending that time on creating that. You’ve created more time for yourself over that next month.

Mikala: And what you really need to do is first of all, you’ve got to work out what it’s like, It’s basically goal setting, what is the big thing that you want to achieve? Is it you want to have 30 people in your new course, you can start small, you can start big, you want to have 300 people in your new course

By the end of six months or 12 months and then how do you plan on getting there? What are some ideas to get you towards that goal?

And then there are the things that become the steps in the plan that Gemma just spoke about, You know, well this month I’m going to try this next month, I’m going to try that the next month, I’m going to try that, you plan it out, so, you know what’s coming up next?

So you know what you’re working towards, so when you’ve set up for example, maze projects when that’s already and all set up and ready to go and scheduled, then you can start working on june’s, if June’s is actually quite easy for you to get in place.

Once you’ve got that done, then you’re working on July so you can, you know what’s coming up, you know what the next thing is that you’ve got to work on your not finishing one and then going, oh, what am I going to do next? You know what the plan is?

You keep working ahead to the deadlines that are coming up and you know what your overall goal is. And then as Gemma said, once you get to the end of say a quarter or a six-month period, if you’re doing your 12-month plan, then you look back and you go, okay, this worked really well, this was a flop well for the next half of my plan or for my next plan, I’m going to do more of this, I’m going to do less of that because it didn’t work.

So, again, I know I’m coming back to why it’s important, but this is why it’s so you can really get down to what works well for you and your target market and your business.

Gemma: Absolutely. And I, I love the idea of thinking of it as your goal, right? So, you know, at the end of six months, I want you know to have X, Y Z like Mik said and then you know start with your goal in mind and what backwards.

How am I going to get to this goal, work backwards and then you’ll find that plan, falls into place so much easier.

If you’re planning with the end goal in mind and all the steps that you’re going to take in order to get to that end goal and you know, put it in an Excel spreadsheet your month by month, have it there in front of you write it on a big piece of paper in your wall.

Doesn’t matter how you want to plan or structure it, you know the visual side that’s up to you. But you know you have the end goal in mind planet backwards, you thought month by month, keep it simple, don’t try and plan everything at once.

Yeah, I know and always remember that marketing is a learning experience, it’s try fail, learn, try fail, learn.

Mikala: And you know this is something that’s been told to me right from when I very first started my business by someone who was a very successful professional marketer.

It’s not a win or lose type situation. Marketing is constantly try, fail, learn, you are never going to hit on the secret formula that is then going to work for all eternity. Because everything constantly changes.

Facebook algorithms change technology changes, You know, we didn’t have Facebook ads 10 years ago. So, naturally what you did 10 years ago isn’t going to work now. So, just remember that it’s constantly trying failing, learning and trying again.

Gemma: Mhm. Absolutely coaches and as a coach, you know, that’s what it’s all about.

So please plan out your marketing strategy, have a plan in place and don’t give up, try fail, try fail, keep going because you will find what’s working and it will work for a while.

But as anything else, you’ll evolve it into something else. It will change because technology changes people change platforms. Everything changes All right. So just trial, test, trial, test and try again and keep going.

But have it all in a plan and have it all in place If you want more time and more freedom in your preaching business.

Outro: Thanks for tuning in to our podcast. If you enjoyed it. Hit subscribe if you’d like to learn more about how we can give you the freedom to coach, then check out our website www dot freedom to coach dot com dot au Until next time. Take care and keep on coaching