As coaches, we always provide products and services that are of immense value to clients. However, one of the key challenges we often face is being able to effectively market ourselves to the outside community. Quite a few of us, who are in early stages of setting up our business; or are looking to expand their presence in the market may not a clear view of what they need to do to market themselves. We may often be faced with the question- “I have great understanding of how I can address my client’s problems, however, how do I ensure the client knows about how I can add value”? This is where marketing comes in, and how having a marketing plan can be a very useful tool to propel our business.
So let’s start from the basics, what is marketing? To quote one of the standard definitions of marketing, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. A simpler view would be “Marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs and meeting them profitably”. So how does it apply to what we do? This article, the first of 6 parts attempts to look at a few aspects of marketing and how we can leverage that to our advantage. I trust this will be valuable to anyone who has often wondered “Marketing, what does that mean for me?”
We’ve often heard or used the term SWOT analysis. A SWOT Analysis is a representation of your Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. In context of coaching, the aspects of the SWOT analysis can be explained further as below:
This analysis focuses on what is working well for us already. What is that we already do that can add great value to clients? Some examples of strengths could be strong understanding of diverse coaching models, excellent content delivered in our packages etc. A strength is an internal factor and not linked to external circumstances or what others can do for you.
This analysis looks at where is that we can improve to play at a higher level. Like strengths, this too is an internal factor and having this analysis can help us overcome any limitations we may have and as some of you may relate, having this awareness can result in an amazing turnaround. Some examples of weaknesses can be lack of vision for the business, goals etc.
These are avenues for us to expand our business, or make our presence well known in the market. This could also be any learnings/trainings we can undertake to strengthen our competencies. Unlike strengths and weaknesses, opportunities are what we can leverage around us to stretch and grow.
These are external factors that may pose a risk for our business. An immediate factor that comes to mind is competitors. These could be in the form of other coaches operating in the same niche as ours, content available in the market on similar programs that we offer to clients. However, we are extremely fortunate be in a community where you can never have enough coaches and valuable content- the more the merrier. So, in essence we can use knowledge of what these “threats” are and come up with a strategy to step up keeping those in mind. The net result? We stay ahead of the game!
A SWOT Analysis can be represented below with a few examples against each factor:
Here is an overview of what we would look at in the next article: