• Claire Shelley

Start with the foundations and stay connected with your audience

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Building online awareness

Content marketing is a fantastic way to help you grow your training or coaching business. Not only is it free, but sharing information about your business via social media is a powerful way to connect with potential clients, showcase your expertise and build credibility.

I know that when you’re looking after your clients or busy with a big project, your marketing can take a back seat, it happens to me too.

But it is important to make your marketing a priority and put the time in the diary to get it done, as a more regular and strategic approach will bring rewards in the long run.

Before you try to advertise a workshop or a special offer, it is beneficial to do some groundwork first.

It’s going to be harder to promote your business if no one knows who you are or what you do. It's like the difference between a standing start and a rolling start in a race. It’s much quicker to get the cars to go on a rolling start than a standing start because they already have some momentum.

When you've already built a solid foundation of connections and your audience has become familiar with you and your brand, you are much more likely to be able to sell your services.

Make a start

Everyone has to start somewhere! Whatever you choose to do, whether it’s posting on Twitter or writing a blog, once you’ve started, ideally you need to keep it going.

Don’t try and take on more than you can manage, decide on one or two areas to focus on and do them well and consistently.

If you're not sure where to start, have a look at my blog about the benefits of social media marketing.

Marginal gains

When you look at all of the marketing that activities that you could be doing, posting on social media, blog writing, sending newsletters, networking, creating a Facebook group or podcast, it can feel overwhelming.

I find it helps if you break the tasks down into bite-sized chunks. Over time, your efforts will all add up to something bigger.

“Marginal Gains is all about finding and improving the small things that can make a difference. And we can all do this. It doesn’t have to be sport, everyone’s doing it these days. Businesses are using it to be more efficient and to make more money. Even the army think it’s a good idea” Matthew Syed, best selling author of Black Box Thinking and Bounce

Pick one marketing action and choose the time of day that you are most likely to get it done (for me, this is first thing in the morning before I get involved in anything else). This might be posting on social media or taking some time to comment on other people’s posts.

Just 15-30 minutes every day focused on marketing can make a big difference over the course of the year.

If you are really struggling to find the time, you could always outsource your social media, blog writing and even newsletters. Imagine how good it would feel to have it all done for you.

Keep your social media accounts up to date

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client. They’ve found out about you and decided to check out your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.

How will it look to them if nothing has been updated for months, maybe even years?

Another benefit of being consistent is that you are keeping at the top of people’s minds. Then when the time is right for them, they might just use your services.

Being constant in providing relevant, helpful and current info also sends a message that you are reliable.

Organic marketing (the non-paid for measures that you can implement) is a long term project. It can take a few months to see the impact of the marketing you do today. This is why it’s so important to keep going, even when you’re busy, to make sure that your pipeline of new enquiries doesn’t dry up.

Engage with your online community

Getting online and engaging in conversations is the best way to get to know your online community. Join groups that are relevant to your business, share resources and tips and answer people’s questions. Where you can, add value and be helpful.

Take your conversations offline too and arrange a virtual cuppa with your favourite people, as they say, it’s good to talk and you never know where your conversations might take you.

Being consistently present on social media, not only raises brand awareness and builds trust, but it will also direct traffic to your website. So if you catch someone’s attention with a post, they might just hop over to your website where you will have lot’s more information about what you do and how you do it.

Just as it does in the real world, building a network and relationships takes time. This is where the consistency is important, you have to engage regularly for the long term.

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