How to hire a marketing coach ... or not
When I started my business, I wanted to save time and make
more money. A marketing coach, I thought, was the answer.
Here's what I wish someone had told me before I reached for
my credit card.
1. Hire a coach who knows your product and your market.
Coaching, pet-sitting, organizing, marketing and weight loss
services are not marketed the same way. You can't reach high-powered
business owners and stay-at-home moms the same way.
Don't accept a canned list of tips, tricks and techniques.
What you need is an understanding of your customers and how
2. Ignore the coach's "here's what I did" stories
unless you, too, are a marketing coach.
A marketing coach uses different strategies from other kinds
of coaches, let alone other businesses.
And some marketing coaches don't understand their own success.
One "book coach" admitted she never looked at her
own web statistics. She had no idea where her own business
3. "If it ain't broke, don't fix."
Feeling discouraged by your numbers?
You may be doing better than others who have been in your
business a comparable length of time. In that case, a marketing
coach will just tweak your tactics with no impact on results.
4. Just because a lot of people are doing something doesn't
mean it's working.
You want to know, "Are they making money from what they're
5. Calculate expected results in dollars.
"Double your ebook sales" sounds good -- but what
if you've only sold one for $20? Sell two and the coach kept
At t his rate, you'll need a hundred years to recover the
6. Your coach should read and analyze your materials before
each meeting -- not during the call.
You need thoughtful insight, not impromptu, top-of-mind ideas.
7. Insist on a results-based guarantee.
An idea may sound terrific till you implement it.
Don't thank the coach or offer testimonials till you realize
what you've gained. You may be thrilled with the coach's ideas
when you first try them out. You may want your money -- and
your testimonial -- back after three months.
8. Get an idea of what process the coach suggests.
There's no magic in marketing. Generally you need to network,
give talks, identify benefits, and make calls. If you already
know what you need, but can't or won't do it, why pay a coach?
9. Anyone can get great testimonials from clients. If you
can't get a referral from someone you know, pay for a single
Try out a few ideas. Allow enough time to see results. Then,
and only then, schedule follow-up sessions.
10. You can lose more than the fees you paid.
One marketing consultant said, "I charge $100 to evaluate
your website and I guarantee my work. There is no risk!"
Wrong. If you follow bad advice you can lose clients and
business for months. One "expert" tells clients
not to schedule free sample sessions -- a mistake in the career
and life coaching business. Anyone who follows her advice
will lose a lot of potential business.
And there's the rub. You hire a consultant because you feel
clueless -- but blindly following advice can do serious harm.
Some of the most successful business owners I know haven't
paid a dime for marketing help. They follow their intuition,
which is not for sale. They may hire someone to implement
their ideas, such as a web designer, but they know their market
well and won't let anyone else create their strategy.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.