Coaches: Marketing Your Business in Tough Times

As a business coach or consultant, it seems as if the first thing that gets cancelled in difficult times is you. And there goes all your income for the unforeseeable future! You still have bills to pay, your team members' invoices to pay, and a roof to keep over your own head. But to your ideal clients, it may feel like coaching is an expensive nice-to-have rather than an essential for their own business survival and growth. That's exactly when your tactics for marketing in tough times become critical.

quote on marketing your business in tough times

In recent years, we’ve all experienced the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a major impact on the global economy. People stayed at home, spent less in some areas, and did their part to stem the virus. Businesses, including yours, had to adapt to the new environment quickly.

Natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, or avalanches (and not forgetting catastrophic climate change), also have an impact on the economy.  These all can break down supply chains and displace people. And the result is all kinds of business issues - from lack of supplies to inconsistent power to difficulty finding employees.

And it's not just natural disasters that cause severe challenges to business survival. War and famine also cause workforce shortages and power disruptions. Refugees and asylum seekers were once business owners and employees, and they may now be homeless and nationless. 

When your target market’s demographics suddenly change, your business could find itself in trouble even though you've done nothing different or wrong.

Tough times can also be personal. An unexpected loss, a new health issue, or a family issue  can as easily derail you as an earthquake. It's common for people experiencing tough personal times to liken them to natural disasters, because it feels unexpected to them.

These events don't just impact your audience. They can impact you too.

You may have any of these challenges to deal with, or even a combination going on, but you still have a business to market and people to help and serve. 

What Tactics Should You Use for Marketing Your Business in Tough Times?

In this article, we're going to focus on the strategies and tactics you can use as a coach to continue to grow your business without feeling icky, having survivor's guilt, or experiencing other unexpected emotions. We'll even recommend skills you can teach to your audience that will help them grow!

The 'Tough Marketing Conditions' Mindset

Your mindset shifts when times are difficult. You can freeze, or you can go into survival mode. These are not growth mindsets, but survival mechanisms. And you find them useful in the short term, but they're destructive in the long term. 

Looking for silver linings is one way of being positive and ensuring you switch your mindset from survival to a positive one. However, be careful not to overdo it and veer into toxic positivity.  

Positive Thinking Principles

Positive thinking is something you can do daily. Most coaches find it useful to journal their negative feeling so they can free up the space in their mind. There's a technique called "Pray Rain" which asks you to journal as if the positive things in your life are already happening. So instead of journaling about how helpless you feel about the hurricane that's destroying towns nearby, you'd journal as if the event was over. You might say something like

"It's Tuesday today and I normally go to yoga class. Since the hurricane battered the building, I decide to go down to the hall and see what I can do to clear up the mess. I know there are some homeless people nearby, so I'll pick up a some coffee for them. When I reach the hall, I see others have had the same idea, and we connect over clearing the broken debris. It feels good to help the community get back on its feet. I'm grateful that I can do things that help others."

With Pray Rain you are focusing on the positive mindset and the future. You could even be journaling this from your cellar as the hurricane is overhead. 

There are many other positive thinking principles. Choose the ones you feel drawn to and include them more in your daily actions,

Positive thinking Principles

Already in the right place with your mindset? Most coaches find that when they're in this position, they're almost ready to teach mindset to others. We can help you with this. Check out our Mindset Mastery white label course.

Your Magnetic Brand

When times are tough, your brand really matters. You have to ensure it's memorable. Coaches who don't have a memorable brand will find that business goes quiet really quickly.  A magnetic brand helps you remain at the top of your customers' minds.

Being memorable is also about how you show up in your business. It can be tempting when times are tough to be visible online. But your community is looking for you to light the pathway. This means you need to ensure your brand is:

  • Consistent
  • Unique 
  • Engaging

You can create a magnetic brand by researching your target audience deeply and creating an ideal customer profile. This is a persona that explains who your audience members are and what concerns them most. You can then speak to their needs, in their language, and show a deep understanding of what they're going through.

Already have your magnetic brand in place? Most coaches find that when they're in this position they're almost ready to teach branding to others. We can help you with this. Check out our white label courses on Branding

Delivering Massive Value

Despite what people think, value isn’t about price. It’s about perception. Your customers perceive value when using a product or patronizing a business that leads to concrete results for them. There’s a change in the user’s life that they can feel. If your products and services do this, people will pay good money for what you offer, and they will stick with you during tough times. They feel invested in your business and your success because it directly impacts their success.

Now is the time to check your current offers.  Are you

  • Articulating the value fully to your audience?
  • Identifying the problem your offer solves? 
  • Is your message consistent in your content?

If you're not doing all of the above, now is the time to assess your current offers and see where you can make improvements. You'll find small actions here make a big difference to your bottom line.

Already have your messaging crystal clear and consistent? Most coaches know that when they're in this position, they're almost ready to teach messaging to others. We can help you with this. Check out our white label courses on Messaging so your customers can learn from you how to create a message that resonates.

Meaningful Customer Experience

When money feels scarce and problems feel ginormous, people will stay with businesses that take care of them and treat them like stars. These days, people expect a stellar experience. Plus, competition is fierce, so delivering a 'wow' experience will give you the competitive edge you need.

how you make them feel maya angelou

How do you create a meaningful customer experience? There are many ways to do this, but a good place to start is to find something you excel at. You don’t have to learn anything new or make dramatic changes. Pick something you’re naturally good at and lean into this natural strength.

Finding your strengths

  • What do people often praise you for?
  • Why do people say they buy from you and not a competitor?
  • How do people introduce you?

Quite often, you'll find that other people can clearly see your natural strengths and will happily tell you what those are. All you have to do is ask... You can then blend these into your customer experience.

Already in a great place with your customer experience? Most coaches find that when they're in this position, they're almost ready to teach customer experience to others. We can help you with this. Check out our Customer Experience white label course.

Inbound Marketing for The Win

There are two types of marketing, inbound and outbound. Inbound involves creating valuable, free content that helps and engages your target market. You share this content on social media platforms and then, when your audience wants to buy, they naturally come to you. Inbound marketing is closely aligned with a magnetic brand.

Inbound marketing is great for tough times like the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people are online looking for help with their problems. People also don't like to share that they're having problems on social media. Their friends and family will see them asking, and they may be putting a brave face on the situation for them. They go directly to the search engines and ask their questions there.  The advantage of inbound marketing is that once published, your content stays out there, available for people to consume for a very long time. 

The average tweet is visible for 7 minutes, and the average blog post is visible for 2 years! Inbound marketing and enhancing your findability can make all the difference to your business not just struggling and surviving, but ultimately thriving and growing. Whether it's blogging, videos, or podcasting, whatever you decide to do, do it consistently! 

Already in the right place with your inbound marketing? Most coaches find that when they're in this position, they're almost ready to teach something like SEO to others. We can help you with this. Check out our SEO Masterclass white label course.

These 5 simple, yet impactful fundamental strategies can make a huge difference to marketing your business in tough times.  I know from experience, since Content Sparks is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of my corporate career, and then surpassed it. 

If you would like to do the same for your audience, and I highly recommend that you do, then take a look at one of our hottest white label courses. It's on the topic of marketing in tough times. And what's more, you can use it for yourself (become your own case study) and then teach it to others. 

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Marketing in Tough Times

Teach Yourself. Then teach your audience.

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