A Tale All Too Familiar: Why Your Marketing Coach Isn't Helping You Produce Results
I've put together a checklist you can use before you get involved with a marketing coach. I'd go even further than that, but this is a marketing agency. Carrying on!
Well hello there! Glad you stopped by. It's almost a new year and with a new year tend to come resolutions most of us won't keep, so I'm proposing something NEW. I am proposing you make a promise to yourself to use this checklist before signing up and spending thousands (if not 10's of thousands), on the next coach that strolls along and has a perfect pitch.
If I get one more call from a broken-hearted solopreneur who's spent far too much to accomplish absolutely nothing, I just might make a YouTube channel denouncing these parasites. I digress.
It's come to my attention that far too many of you have gotten caught in the marketing coach trap. Beautiful words and promises laid out and only an empty wallet to show for it. I'm so ANNOYED, I'm writing this article about it.
There's a reason nothing is coming from your marketing coach: their classes/programs were not built for you, they're one-size-fits-all.
They claim to have THE PLAN for you to achieve success. Here's the thing with marketing:
YES, there's a "method".
YES, if you learn the right skills, specific skills, and follow a very typical road map to online success, you can get there with a good idea, organization, and some good ol' elbow grease.
NO, there's no one-size-fits all method to succeed. It all depends on every point I'm going to make in this article. Ready to dive in?
Let's assume you have done your market research and know who it is you're talking to (and I don't mean: "women" or "men"), you're off to the races.
For clarity, knowing who you're speaking to means you have identified:
gender (if applicable)
Right! You can go even deeper if you wanted to. So, once you've identified your audience, it's time for a 4-phase strategy.
Phases of Marketing/Business Growth
Gather: build an audience. You can't sell if you have no one to talk to. Followers to names and emails, baby! Ads can also be used here, if you have the budget, to grow an audience at a faster rate. Contact a professional: don't just throw money at the machine. Understand the tool you want to use before blindly trusting an agency.
Engage: build trust with your new audience. This should, in fact, start right from phase. Building trust means becoming the reference in whatever it is you're selling. To do this phase effectively, your market research should include a content strategy that brings value to your audience and sets you apart from your competition. Blog articles are my favourite, hence why you're reading this.
Monetize. To do this phase effectively, your market research should include:
an analysis of rebuttals, or "no thanks" you get to;
word your content to refute those rebuttals so you can then;
position your product or service to solve whatever problems you claim it does all while;
Creatively refuting rebuttals you KNOW will come up. At this point, you're ready to run ads with an objective to sell.
Growth/Scale. You've found your winning formula and are ready to scale your business up. You've perfected your offer, conversion rates are where you want them to be, now is the time to throw big bucks at marketing campaigns.
Ok, so why am I going into so much detail? You were expecting a checklist, right?
Well, this is one piece of it. If the coach you're speaking to has not taken these phases and where your business finds itself into consideration, they're not going to propose the right tools, at the right time, for the right reasons.
Considering What You Already Know and Have in Place: The Never-ending Monthly Subscriptions
"You need Mailchimp!"
"You should use Klaviyo!"
"Build your site on Wordpress!"
"Wait no, build it on Shopify!"
"You NEED this plugin!"
Do I need to keep going? Most coaches know only what they've used for themselves. If you're running on a tight budget, the last thing you need from your marketing coach are more monthly costs for gadgets you might not actually need.
What you need is a coach that will guide you in selecting the best tool available to you for the goal you want to achieve.
Wix websites don't need a Mailchimp or Klaviyo: they have CRM integrated with their services.
Shopify isn't really made for a 2 product shop that has more in-person events than things to sell online.
Hence: does your coach propose different tools to match your budget and needs? Do these tools help you accomplish whichever business phase you're in?
Therein lays the conundrum: you hired a coach because, well, you don't know, right? You're expecting professional advice and trusting that's what you're getting.
Until I come around and tell you you're currently paying for TWO calendar apps to book clients, when all you need is one. (True story)
Or I tell you that you're spending a fortune on ads that aren't using the Meta (Facebook) pixel and custom audiences. (True story again)
Or restructure your business strategy around your debilitating and unpredictable disease:
The point: your marketing coach should analyze what you already have in place so as to make logical suggestions.
These suggestions also need to take what follows on my list, into consideration:
Who You Are: What Can You Do, What Are You Willing to Do, What Are You Willing to Pay Someone Else to Do?
Here's the truth: paying for every aspect of marketing is expensive if you're a solopreneur on a budget. Blog articles, social media content, emails, community engagement... I could go on and on.
So what option do you have as a solopreneur? Do it yourself.
Has your coach considered your skill-level? Are you able to write code or are you more plug-and-play or somewhere in between?
Do you want the independence of running your own website or do you have the budget to pay a programmer whenever you need to add something to it?
There is a whole spectrum of personalities in the world and if your coach is not taking any of that into consideration, they just can not build a learning strategy that will show results.
It's just not going to happen. Which leads to the final point in my checklist:
If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
It's simple, really. Chances are, if you sign up for access to a 100 videos all at once, you'll never finish one. Why? 2 main reasons.
Choice Overload Bias and Knowing Which Tool to Study, At The Right Time, For The Right Reasons.
"Choice overload, also known as overchoice, choice paralysis, or the paradox of choice, describes how people get overwhelmed when they are presented with a large number of options to choose from".
On the other hand, I would point you to one skillset or series of videos, based on what's missing from your current arsenal, taught in a way that works best for you. Maybe that is in written format. Maybe it's video. That's the whole "know your client" shindig, right? YOUR COACH SHOULD KNOW YOU!
I won't propose connecting a monthly Mailchimp service if you don't have anyone to email.
I won't tell you to sell a coaching program that hosts a live q on Sundays at 10 a.m. if you have a family of 5 and you're a stay-at-home mom.
Bringing It All Together: The Checklist!
You didn't think you needed to make a checklist from what I wrote above, did you? Here's a checklist you should use if you're deciding on paying for any kind of business/marketing coach:
Has this coach identified which phase my business is currently in?
Has this coach considered if I know my audience and who I am speaking to?
Has this coach considered the tools I already am using?
Has this coach mentioned things that are missing and are critical to my growth?
Is this coach fixated on a specific set of tools because that is all they know?
Is this coach proposing a customized learning plan based on what I need to fill-in missing tools in my marketing toolbox?
Is this coach working with my skill level and willingness to do things myself?
Is this coach built a strategy I feel fits with who I am, what I can do, and what I can pay for?
Is this coach explaining why I need things or should pay for things?
When my coach points to a tool, do they also tell me what results I should expect?
There you have it. A no to any of these and you have a red flag. It's telling you that no matter how much "value" this coach can bring, their program is just not built for you. It's built for EVERYONE and well, you're not EVERYONE, are you?
Happy New Year. May this checklist = more money in your pocket and results you can start to bank on. If you're curious about my services and how I help solopreneurs learn the right skills, at the right time, for the right reasons, I made a bet only a few can cash-in on. You'll get more from it than I will. That's a promise.
See ya 'round,
AI: It's there to amplify your productivity in ways you could have never imagined. Join me on January 15th for an introduction to ChatGPT, your new best marketing friend.