Coaches Ignore These 4 Marketing Stages

In order to attract and retain clients, coaches need to have a strong marketing strategy in place, however much of the marketing I see from coaches is unstructured and inconsistent.

So, I thought I’d put together a simple framework that includes four key marketing stages that endurance sport coaches should focus on to attract and retain clients. Each stage represents part of the journey a customer goes through from the first time they are aware of a coach to the point that they become a paying customer.

Coaches should be engaging in different activities and creating different assets to optimize for each stage, I’ll include those activities as well.

All of the stages and activities in the blog should be focused on a given specific target market or niche and also importantly you should always keep it simple.

Unfortunately, many endurance sport coaches inadvertently skip the first two stages of marketing and jump straight to making an offer. This is often due to a lack of experience with marketing resulting in coaches not realizing that there are clear and specific stages that a customer goes through as part of your marketing. Skipping lead generation will result in not reaching enough potential customers. Skipping lead nurturing will lead to potential clients feeling like they are being sold to rather than genuinely supported in achieving their goals.

Even coaches who understand the importance of the first two stages often struggle with structuring them in a way that guides clients through the process. Without a system in place, clients may get lost or confused, ultimately hindering the coach's ability to attract and retain clients through niche marketing.

Important Note: It’s important to understand that once you start your marketing, potential clients will constantly be cycling through each of these stages. So even though you should consider each stage separately they will all be running at the same time, just with different customers in each stage.

Stage 1: Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of initially attracting potential clients to your business. One of the ways to effectively generate leads is to focus on a specific niche within the endurance sports market. For example, targeting “beginner triathletes wanting to complete their first Ironman” or “Busy professionals, wanting to race for fun without compromising work or family” can help coaches stand out and attract a specific audience with specific goals, problems or desires. Coaches can then use niche-specific language and create content that speaks directly to the pain points and goals of that audience to generate leads. Once you have attracted potential customers to capture them as a lead you would offer a free and valuable piece of content in exchange for their contact details.

Activities to focus on

  • Define your target audience and niche
  • Create a compelling lead magnet, such as a free guide or e-book, to attract potential customers
  • Use social media advertising, such as Facebook or Instagram ads, to reach your target audience and promote your free content
  • Attend events where your target audience will be present
  • Offer a free trial or consultation to generate interest and leads
  • Optimize your website for search engines to improve your visibility and generate traffic
  • Complete SEO research to determine what questions your target audience is asking. Create blog posts, video or content that answers those questions.
  • Collaborate with other coaches, brands or partners in the endurance sports industry to expand your reach. E.g appearing as a guest on podcasts or in partners emails or social posts.

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Stage 2: Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with potential clients to convert them into paying customers. When it comes to niche marketing, lead nurturing is essential in establishing a connection with clients. By continuing to offer valuable help and advice through content that caters to the unique needs of a particular niche, coaches can demonstrate their expertise and build trust with potential clients. Coaches can also share case studies and success stories of clients within the same niche to showcase their capabilities and prove their abilities.

Activities to focus on

  • Provide valuable content to your leads, such as blog posts or videos, that demonstrate your expertise and knowledge
  • Use email marketing to stay in touch with leads and build a relationship over time
  • Produce regular podcast episodes
  • Offer exclusive content, such as webinars or free courses, to your email list to build trust and authority
  • Personalize your messaging and content to speak directly to your leads' needs and pain points
  • Address common objections and concerns your leads may have about your coaching services
  • Set up retargeting campaigns to reach leads who have shown interest in your services but have not yet made a purchase
  • Use social proof, such as customer testimonials or case studies, to demonstrate the value and benefits of your coaching services

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Stage 3: Making an Offer

Making an offer is the process of presenting a compelling offer to potential clients to convert them into paying customers. When it comes to niche marketing, making an offer needs to be specific to the needs and pain points of the targeted niche. For example, if a coach is targeting beginner triathletes, they can offer a beginner-friendly training program that addresses the common challenges faced by beginner triathletes. By showing that they understand the unique needs of the niche, coaches can increase the likelihood of converting potential clients into paying customers.

Activities to focus on

  • Craft a compelling offer that meets the specific needs and goals of your leads
  • Clearly communicate the benefits and outcomes of your coaching services
  • Use urgency and scarcity to encourage leads to take action and make a purchase
  • Offer a guarantee or refund policy to reduce risk and increase trust
  • Use persuasive copywriting and design to make your offer stand out and grab attention
  • Provide multiple options and pricing levels to accommodate different budgets and preferences
  • Use a sales funnel or landing page to guide leads through the process and increase conversions

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Stage 4: Delivering the Product and Service

Delivering the product and service is the process of providing a high-quality experience for clients to retain their business and generate positive referrals. For niche marketing to be effective, it's essential to deliver specialized and personalized services that cater to the unique needs of the targeted niche. Coaches can use their knowledge of the niche to create training plans, provide specialized feedback, and offer value-add services that are tailored to the specific goals of the clients. By delivering high-quality, personalized services, coaches can retain clients and generate positive referrals within the niche.

Activities to focus on

  • Provide exceptional customer service and support throughout the coaching process
  • Deliver on your promises and ensure your coaching services meet or exceed your clients' expectations
  • Offer ongoing support and follow-up to ensure your clients achieve their goals and feel satisfied with your services
  • Use feedback and testimonials to improve and refine your coaching services over time
  • Encourage referrals and word-of-mouth marketing from satisfied clients
  • Use automation and systems to streamline the onboarding delivery process and ensure a seamless customer experience.

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Rounding things up, for endurance sport coaches to be successful in their marketing efforts, they must understand that their customers go through four stages of marketing activities: lead generation, lead nurturing, making an offer, and delivering the product or service. Skipping any of these stages can result in lost opportunities and unsuccessful marketing campaigns. Coaches should also be very specific about the type of marketing activities they undertake for each stage, as not all activities will be equally effective in each stage. By focusing on each stage and guiding customers through the process, coaches can build trust, create loyal customers, and ultimately grow their business.

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