Five Ways Leveraging Your Thought Leadership Can Help To Attract More Clients To Your Coaching
You may have heard me say before that if you want to be successful as a coach in today’s highly competitive marketplace, your coaching business needs to extend beyond the coaching conversations. You need to become more than a coach, to become a trusted authority in your chosen field and the way to do that is to impact your audience through thought leadership.
This is how you can establish yourself as a person others need to get to know in your industry, it broadens your impact and helps you win potential clients whilst also positioning you and your coaching business as a leading light in your niche.
If you truly want to attract the right clients to your coaching, you need to prove that you know what you are talking about or, even better, have a clarity of vision to provide insights about the future, giving your potential clients a new perspective on your particular area of expertise.
When your audience gets access to new information they may feel like they have something no competitor has ever offered them, which can make you, as the coach, more valuable in their eyes and worthy of their business. They stop relating to you as merely a coach but as someone who has the capability to keep them up to date with what is happening in their market, by bringing them the information they can trust. You become the trusted authority – their go-to person for insights and information.
This is the power of thought leadership. It raises brand awareness whilst positioning you as the trusted and relevant source of information for your audience.The inherent value of the insights a coach shares can translate into brand equity, where an audience applies that value to the coaching products or services that you, as a coach, represents.
Much has been written about the power of blogging for coaches, it is an excellent way to demonstrate thought leadership on a particular topic or industry that, in return, helps shape and instill your brand’s audience. But it’s just one brick in the wall related to establishing your thought leadership. As you think about yourself demonstrating thought leadership to your audience you need to consider the many different types of media, both online and offline that can provide you with a channel to market for your messaging.
Here are five other ways you could consider building your platform of influence in conjunction with blogging.
E-Books and Whitepapers
The white paper is a well recognized and often integral way to illustrate thought leadership in a particular knowledge area related to your coaching business. When you use a combination of content, research and statistics you can demonstrate to your audience that you have done a depth of research, that you have done your homework and know what you are talking about. You can also create short questionnaires to survey your audience, using data to generate new perspectives and unique insights whilst also showing how these are impacting your reader in some way.
In my coaching business, it could be findings related to business trends, leadership and how global business is changing, etc. My recommendation is to read widely, study what issues are top of mind for your target audience and then generate research and findings that show you understand their problems and have the capability to help. In this way, you showcase that you and by proxy, your coaching brand, has the knowledge and more importantly the leadership to provide them with potential solutions without even having to try to sell them anything through these documents.
Video marketing is the new media on the block, which is proving very successful as a channel to market for many coaches brave enough to invest their time and energy in this growing trend. I am currently exploring how to leverage video apps and platforms that are growing in popularity for coaches, like Facebook Live and YouTube. I find these help me to share more of my authentic personality than I can get across in a written blog post.
When I am able to see and interact with clients, especially in the Livestream, it helps me to get closer to my audience and foster deeper connections. By using video marketing I have been able to get a better understanding of my audience and I can even address their questions in real time, which keeps me and my coaching with a finger on the pulse of what matters most to them. This is true client centricity in action.
Article MarketingI know a number of coaches who write blogs, and these messages can be leveraged by publishing them as articles on multiple platforms. You can distribute your articles through syndicated article sites to spread your thought leadership across a much larger audience than the reach of your current blog. Consider taking the time to regularly develop valuable content that is likely to resonate with your audience (and follow the guidelines of each site). There are sites where you might have to pay to publish, but it’s a great idea to start out with the free ones to see how far you can get. I’ve been able to get thousands of views and shares using this tactic which has helped to build the presence of my thought leadership on many different platforms and attract potential new clients from around the world.
Speaking, Panel Participation and Interviews
Most coaches know that if they can speak on their particular topic it will help to raise awareness of their coaching business. However, it can be challenging to position yourself as a keynote speaker, when you are known to be a coach – for some reason, it’s not valued as highly by the speaking community.
Sometimes, it can be easier to secure a position participating on a panel at a conference, and this can be just as effective at ramping up more interest in your thought leadership, your coaching and business brands. I suggest you try to illustrate the unique perspective you can bring to a panel, to help get more of your speaking proposals accepted. For me, I look for panels that will align my coaching brand with that of other recognizable thought leaders, inhaling my credibility. I can share insights from a coaching perspective, as well as gain numerous benefits through participating, including networking, deepening my relationships and generating new leads.
Interviews also help to position you as a go-to authority in your space. I simply suggest that you ensure that the audience who will be listening to the interview is aligned with the client base you are wanting to attract to your coaching. I have found that as my presence has grown, so have the number of interview requests, so it’s important I invest my time wisely with interviews that work for my coaching business, as well as the host.
In the purpose driven economy, storytelling is rising to the top as a key marketing tactic and I notice many of my global clients are harnessing the power of story by creating case studies and using them as an effective thought leadership tool. As coaches, we can do exactly the same. In my business, I use case studies that are focused on specific clients, who are willing to share their stories about the problems they have experienced and how my coaching helped to solve them. Having clear client testimonials gives your audience other voices that can testify to your ability to help them overcome certain challenges. A potential client may read the case study and relate to the situation outlines which can really help with your engagement process.
Case studies can either be content or video lead, Either way, they can be created fairly easily and affordably and then shared across multiple channels, including social media, your website, your blog, included in your newsletters and more.
While each of the above tactics can be beneficial for building trust in your thought leadership, don’t try to do everything all at once. I recommend starting with one approach and adding others as you begin to gain traction. It’s overwhelming to try and do all of these at once, especially if you are working on your own as a coach, without the help of a team. It can help to have access to resources and talent who can help you to stay ahead of the curve yourself, so you can develop the necessary content for all these thought leadership tactics and position yourself as the trusted authority who is leading the conversation in your field of expertise.