Brian is a regular Branding & Marketing Columnist for the International Coaches Federation Blog, where this article first appeared.
David Alexander, co-author on my book Networking Like a Pro, made a great point I wanted to share:
“You can have the skills in the world to be a great carpenter, but if you don’t have a good hammer and nails, you’re going to have a hard time building anything.”
I love that, because the same thing is true when it comes to branding your coaching practice.
You can have all the skills in the world when it comes to “branding”, but unless you have the right tools for getting the word out, and making others aware of what you do…you’ll have a hard time being successful.
Which is why I wanted to share some “tools of the trade” for better branding your coaching practice. Think of them as the branding infrastructure of your business. And just like a house with a solid foundation, these tools will provide a platform for your future growth.
We’ll start from the most basic and work our way up.
Every person reading this should already have a website and if you don’t, stop right now, and hire someone to build one for you.
Seriously…it’s that important.
But assuming you have one, let’s talk about some general concepts that will absolutely impact your brand. First off, it needs to be clean. In other words, it can’t be too jumbled with all of the “stuff” you do or accreditations you have.
Remember, people don’t have a lot of time. So make sure your website represents a clean, crisp brand by getting straight to the point or problem they want to solve.
Second, make sure it has testimonials. This is something I tell my clients all the time: Social proof is important and it affects a lot more buying decisions than you would think. And by including them on your site (written or video testimonials), your brand will take a huge step forward.
And third, include a picture of yourself!
Remember, people want to associate a person with the business, so having a professional headshot in the “About Us” section is an absolute must.
Having a blog is super important because it gives you a platform from which to spread your ideas and brand yourself as an expert.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have anything to blog about!”
Well, actually you do.
How about some frequently asked questions relating to your area of expertise? Or some good points that came up during a session with one person that you’d like to share with others (anonymously of course) via a post?
Personally, I keep notepads all over the house, and anytime I get a thought or idea, I jot it down, stick it in a folder and when I’m ready to write about it, I pull it out.
Which brings me to my next point: Blogging doesn’t have to be all about writing articles. As a matter of fact, I recommend doing audio blogs that you can record on your phone and post right to your site.
This can take literally 10 minutes to record then upload to your blog.
Again, I know blogging has been out there for awhile, but if you’re not utilizing that particular tool, I think you you’re missing out on an easy way to brand yourself as an expert.
Now I know this might be a stretch for some of you, but hear me out, because creating your own podcast has the potential to be absolutely huge for your brand.
For those who don’t know, a podcast is simply an audio file that’s distributed through iTunes, which others can then download onto their phone or mobile device. Think radio, except instead of people listening live, they’re listening to a recorded version on their phone.
Now why is this so important to your brand?
Because it will be like hosting your own radio program. People will view you as a quasi celebrity of sorts, and assuming your content is good, they will absolutely associate you as being The Expert in your field. And why not…you have your own podcast!
To say nothing about all the new people you will be exposed to, as your podcast will be uploaded to iTunes (think Google of the podcast world), and then downloaded by hundreds more who didn’t know you before, but saw the show while browsing iTunes one day, and thought you had good stuff.
Instant new follower of your brand!
In my mind, starting a podcast is one of the single best things you can do to brand your coaching practice in 2017.
So there you have it, my “tools of the trade” for branding your coaching practice.