Develop a marketing plan for your coaching business

Putting a well-structured marketing plan into effect is the surest way to attract clients — even better, the ideal clients — to your business. But, where does one even start creating such a plan?

Fret not! In this post, we’ll share what constitutes a marketing plan, what elements it should include; and, how you, an endurance coach, can create one for your business.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is nothing but an outline of targeted marketing actions — including strategies, and tactics — that you need to follow, to reach your marketing goals, within a specific period of time; usually monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. 

All these sound fine, but what should you include in your marketing plan, dear coach? Time to get down to brass tacks! 🙌

What do you need to have in your plan?

As you have probably gathered, a marketing plan requires thought, research and commitment. Having said that, to make the right marketing decisions, it’s important to understand why you need to put together such a plan and how

What are you achieving in the next 4-6 quarters?

Before you begin with your planning, you should first determine what your goals are. Put differently: What do you want to achieve in the following months? Be as specific as possible; maybe you want two new clients every month, or 200 new subscribers in your email list. It’s upon those goals that you’ll start building your marketing plan. 

Conduct your market research and summarize it into actionable findings

Conducting market research is simply gathering information about your clients and ideal target audience to ensure the effectiveness of your marketing actions. How is this research going to help you? Above all, it will provide actionable insights into your target audience’s pain points, and, thus, desired solutions. As a result, you’ll be able to adapt your services correspondingly, to attract them to your brand.

Audit your marketing activities for at least the past two years

First, let’s clarify what ‘auditing’ means in this case. A marketing audit, in simple terms, is the process of examining what you’ve done, marketing-wise, in the past couple of years, by going through the data. Essentially, you analyze your previous goals, tactics, campaigns, etc., to identify any issues; but, also, areas of opportunity. This way you can make the necessary adjustments to cover the needs of your business, today. At the same time, you ensure that your future marketing decisions will be more informed.

Make sure your marketing plan is competitive

If you want to stand a chance with your prospective customers, your marketing plan needs to stand out from your competition. Thankfully, there are several ways to give a boost to your marketing efforts and make your plan work. If you’re curious to know more about it, read on!

1. Conduct a SWOT analysis 

What is a SWOT analysis? To start with, let’s see what SWOT means. So, SWOT is an acronym for: 

  • Strengths — What differentiates your business from the competition
  • Weaknesses — What makes your business fall behind the competition
  • Opportunities — Factors that can help your business evolve and expand
  • Threats — Factors that may endanger your business’s scalability; or, even sustainability

As you can see, these are all elements that you can work on to achieve your business goals. To briefly explain how a SWOT analysis works: You begin to describe your business’s strengths and weaknesses with the first two. These are situations that you have the power to change; especially weaknesses. Opportunities and threats are external factors that may affect — or are already affecting — your business. You can use the information they provide to further your marketing efforts. 

2. Identify your target audience; go for a niche and differentiate yourself

A marketing plan that is not targeted toward the right audience will not be effective; you’ll be shooting in the dark. To avoid this, you need to do some research to identify your target audience and understand its demographics. 

Once you get to know your audience well, you’ll start noticing certain patterns. Pay attention to that, because these patterns can help you market yourself to a promising niche and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

3. Run a competitive analysis

Speaking of competitors, running a competitive analysis will allow you to learn how your competition works. Analyzing your competition is simply doing some research on your competitors, to gain insights into their services and strategies (marketing, social media, sales, etc.). 

In a nutshell, by performing a competitive analysis, you’ll be able to:

  • Stay atop of industry trends
  • Identify opportunities for growth
  • Come up with stronger business strategies
  • Develop new services
  • Market yourself effectively

4. Identify your partners and contributors to the success of your business

Running a business is a lot of work, and you can’t do everything on your own. What’s more, you can’t be an expert at everything. You need people — partners and contributors — who can lighten your workload; and, of course, complement your skills (to compensate for your weaknesses). Only, be sure to choose partners who share your values, vision and philosophy

5. See if you can run a ‘Porter’s Five Forces’ Analysis

Here you go! Another ‘analysis’ for you, dear coach 😁. You may wonder, ‘What’s a Porter’s Five Forces analysis?’. Essentially, it’s a framework for examining and understanding the five main forces that determine your industry’s strengths and weaknesses. Like SWOT, in this model, too, competition is in focus; but the approach is different.  

To explain, your industry is impacted by these five forces:

  • Competition
  • Potential of new entrants
  • Power of suppliers
  • Power of customers
  • The threat of substitute products or services

Your goal here is to gain enough insights from these forces, in order to adjust your marketing strategy, and stay ahead of the competition. 

6. Determine the budget you’ll need

If you want your marketing plan to bring the desired results, you must determine a detailed and accurate budget for it. Mind you, your budget needs to outline your current financial capacity, but also your future financial needs; specifically, what you need to spend to achieve your marketing goals. 

7. Employ the marketing tactics that work for you, to build your marketing strategy

Marketing tactics are the backbone of a marketing strategy. Without them, you just can’t build a strategy at all. And, you certainly can’t create a marketing plan. Employing the right marketing tactics is where you start toward reaching your target audience and achieving your marketing goals.

8. Price your services or products, mindful of the competition

Determining the price of your services or products is a key aspect of managing and growing your coaching business. Pricing can make or break your marketing plan, because it affects your business on so many levels; From market positioning and brand awareness to scalability and profitability. Hence, before you set a price for your services, you should consider all the factors affecting your business — including your competitors. And, as those factors tend to change over time, so should your pricing strategy. 

Deploy your marketing plan

Once you’ve created your marketing plan, it’s time for its implementation. In other words, it’s time to turn your plan into a reality. Read on, to find out how!

1. Build an implementation schedule

As with any task or project, a marketing plan should have an implementation schedule, too. Building such a schedule will enable you to keep your focus on your marketing goals. Meanwhile, it will help outline the deliverables, on a day-to-day basis — and, meet the requirements —  within the defined time frame.

2. Go digital, for measurable results; use KPIs

In the era of the digital revolution, you can’t do much, marketing-wise, if you don’t join the fray. Going digital will help you measure the results of your marketing efforts and track your progress. What’s more, using the right KPIs will help you understand whether your marketing strategy is working or not. In case it’s not working, you can adjust accordingly and change course.

3. Run your campaigns in a consistent and timely manner

Consistency and timeliness are the secret ingredients of a successful marketing campaign. And, if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. On one hand, consistency is about keeping the same voice in your messaging — across all channels. On the other hand, timeliness is about delivering the message when your target audience needs it. So, needless to say, the more consistent and timely your campaigns are, the easier you make it for your audience to recognize your brand. 

4. Use SEO, email, and social media for greater reach

SEO, email and social media can become a shortcut to marketing success, if you integrate them appropriately into your strategy. And, since these tactics can be highly complementary, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t combine them for greater reach. Given, of course, that you know your target audience and you share high-quality content.

5. Measure and analyze to evaluate your results, each time, with SMART goals

SMART, as in: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Why do you need SMART goals? Because they’re crucial in measuring and analyzing your results, every time you run a campaign. That’s how you’ll be able to know if your campaign was effective. 

6. Improve your decision-making process

Effective decision-making is a valuable skill, but it doesn’t come easy to everybody. So, how can you improve your decision-making process, to ensure a successful marketing plan implementation? The following brief guide will help you:

  • Collect all the information you need
  • Weigh the pros and cons
  • Get a second opinion; maybe, consult someone who has experience on the matter
  • Narrow down the choices
  • Focus on your goals and values
  • Create a plan of action — if/when possible
  • Set a deadline
  • Evaluate the result
  • Learn from the experience

7. Use your insights to generate demand 

Demand generation is a marketing strategy that can help you build brand awareness, and attract prospective clients. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to generate demand, if you use the data you gathered — and insights you gained — from your marketing activities so far. 

8. Stay focused on what matters

Being a coach, and a small business owner often involves juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. As a result, your focus is wandering away from your goals. When this happens — or, better, before this happens — you need to:

  • take a step back, 
  • remind yourself what you’re trying to achieve, and 
  • regain your focus on reaching your goals.

This, of course, requires dedication and discipline, but, as a coach, you’re no stranger to challenges! 💪 

Expand your business and diversify revenue streams, to improve your ROI

As your business reaches a point of financial stability, you may want to consider diversifying revenue streams, to increase your ROI. There are several approaches to this; but, in the end, finding your business’s revenue streams depends on your goals. Therefore, don’t hesitate to explore all of your options, to find one that works best for you.

TL;DR — Go create your marketing plan

Developing a marketing plan for endurance coaches doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The points that we discussed in this article are simple enough to integrate; and, most importantly, effective. 

One last tip will do the trick for you, though, dear coach; The key to a successful marketing strategy — and, by extension, plan — is to pick one or two strategies that make sense, and make them work for you. That is, before you jump into another marketing activity. 

That was it, dear coach! Now you’re ready to put everything you’ve learned here to practice. Good luck!

Develop a marketing plan for your coaching business was last modified: January 11th, 2023 by Eleni Konstantinidou