marketing plan for coaches

9 Steps to a Profitable Coach Marketing Plan

You can have the hottest coaching product on the market and the biggest desire to make an impact on people’s lives, but without a solid coach marketing plan, you’ll fall short of your vision.

Failing to plan – is Planning to fail goes the common adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin. And as a serial entrepreneur, I can assure you that it’s true, this is why I have broken down the

9 simple steps to creating a rock-solid coach marketing plan that will make your practice profitable in just a few months:

Coach Marketing Research

Market research for coaches is not as easy to conduct as it is for other businesses because deciding who your competitors are and finding out the details of their packages and prices is not always easy. Most coaches only share this information with insiders or qualified leads so we need to work a little harder to dig deep.

Here’s a list of information you need to verify if these are the same:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Why do you consider them competitors?
  • Are you competing for the same keywords?
  • Are you targeting the same people? How closely?
  • Are you using the same strategies to target the same people?
  • What are they selling?
  • Are their products/packages/services comparable to yours? Do they resolve the same problem?
  • What urgent need makes the prospect buy? Which main struggle are they focusing on resolving?
  • How much are they charging?

Finding out how much your competitors are charging can be important. As a coach, you can choose to differentiate yourself and target the top end of the market. For example, you can focus specifically on helping CEOs.

This will allow you to charge premium prices. However, it’s also important to know what the average market price is. You don’t want to make other people’s prices your own, but knowing what people charge generally will help you understand your prospect’s expectations. For example, if you know that most stress coaches charge between 1,800 and 3,000 for a 12-week program. You know that going premium might allow you to start from 4K. Knowing your target audience and what your competition charge will help you add that extra value and uplevel the experience to match your price.

When creating your package however don’t just think of your competitors, focus on your ideal client.


coaching niche and ideal clients

Coaching Niche and Ideal Clients

Knowing your ideal client and niche will help you be very focused on your marketing.
If you’re confused and haven’t worked with enough clients to know your right ideal client yet, pick 2 or 3 and run surveys.

Engage with them in FB groups and find ways of getting in front of them to understand how they perceive what you offer and whether they are willing to buy what you offer. The most responsive target audience will be obvious to you after a short while (often within a few months).

If you already know where you want to focus your efforts, pick one target audience/ideal client and go deep on that. In the early business stages resources are limited so focusing on one audience will help you get results faster.

Make sure you’re super clear about your ideal client and their needs, then pick your niche. Picking your niche is so important. Picking your niche is all about minimizing the number of people who get in touch with you for the wrong reason.

You can send clear marketing signals about the niche you picked by mentioning it in your naming/logo, your pitch, etc. Your niche will help you make your specific target audience say “wow, this is exactly meant for me”.

There are a number of things you need to know about your target audience before you can create a marketing plan to reach them.

  • Are they predominantly male, female, or LGBTIQ+?
  • How old are they?
  • What’s their background? (family environment, current marital status/parenthood, etc)
  • Are they employed? If yes where?
  • How much do they earn?
  • How old are they?
  • What are their interests?
  • What does their lifestyle look like?
  • What struggles do they experience that you can solve?
  • Why do they buy what you sell?
  • What do they seek to achieve by buying it?
  • What makes a happy client?
  • What misconceptions do they have about what you offer/sell/teach?

You may be asking yourself, why do I need to know all these things? Because you need to build your offers and USP on this in order to have a successful coaching business.


Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

What is a UVP?

A UVP is a unique value proposition is a sentence that briefly outlines the unique value that you offer your ideal clients. This unique value is provided through your offers/services so it is closely connected to the outcome of your offering. In a nutshell – it basically describes the benefits your clients receive from working with you.

The way you describe this in your marketing is very important. It needs to resonate strongly with your ideal clients and speak directly to their needs and struggles.

UVP should be at the heart of your marketing strategy. When you communicate your unique value clearly as a coach, you differentiate yourself from your competitors with little effort.

In order to determine your unique value proposition you might ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the main benefits clients receive from my coaching?
  • What’s the number one outcome they value most?
  • How do these benefits and outcomes affect their lives overall?
  • Why do they seek these benefits/outcomes?
  • Why do they value the benefits?
  • How much is the outcome worth to them?

allocate a budget


Allocate a budget

Before you start looking at the marketing mix (or perhaps during) you need to look at your budget. Your budget comes first because it may determine your choice of marketing channels.

Some business coaches will go to the marketing mix first – but I highly recommend you work on your budget first, because you don’t want to pick a goal or marketing channel that you cannot afford. You will become very demotivated and your marketing will not work if you pick a marketing channel that is underfunded to show any ROI with your current budget.

Here’s how to approach it.

Step 1.
Pick a number.

In order to do this you’ll need to answer these questions…

How much can you spend on marketing?

(ideally, you should have this cash already in your bank account but you can also budget for future funds if you already know what your income will be, because you already know how much you made and how, last year)

How will this be split?

The answer to this depends on how much of the marketing you do yourself.
The first step is to list the strategies you want to use.
Let’s say you want to use blogging, Instagram, and podcasting.

The next step is to outline what you can realistically do yourself and what needs to be outsourced.

For example, you may be able to do the writing yourself, learn SEO, and do that yourself, you can publish the blog on your site and turn that blog into an email. You can use the blog as a script for your podcast, then outsource the editing of the podcast and write your own show notes.

Time budget: 5-6 hours per week
Outsourcing Budget: $200 – $350/month

Podcast Platform: $40/month
Transcription: $20 – $30/month
Social Media Sharing Software: $29 – $49/month
Image editing tool: $5 – $30/month

One-off expenses:
Podcast Coaching $700 – $3,000 (one-time)
SEO group coaching classes: $1,200 – $3,000 (one-time)
Website SEO Analysis + Website SEO by a Pro: $1,000 – $20,000 (one-time)
PPC Coaching: $1,000 – $3,500

PPC Budget:
$300 per customer approx.



The prices above offer an idea of what it might cost. So if you decide to start by blogging only you can choose to add a PPC element to speed up your results to go with the long-term strategy but spend a lot less.

You can then choose to add podcasting later and enhance your reach and warm up your audience. Or perhaps create a freebie and prioritize list building instead.

In the beginning, you’ll need to experiment with a few different strategies as a general rule different strategies work for different coaching business stages and budgets. I break these down in the next section.


Choose your marketing MIX (based on ROI from various channels)

Now that you know how much you need to spend and you’ve looked at what things may cost you have a vague idea of what your marketing mix could look like. If you get stuck along the way, take some time to collect more information so that you have everything you need to decide which marketing mix is right for you.

In order to pick the right marketing mix, the first thing to look at is your business stage. If you’re a new coach and are still looking at establishing a reputation, you very likely need to work on creating a blog/podcast/youtube channel and valuable content that establishes you as an expert.

The easiest one and most lucrative in terms of ROI is probably the blog. Blogs convert better and faster than the other two options if they have traffic. So SEO (and potentially PPC) go hand-in-hand with this. If coaching is your side hustle and you’re in no hurry to quit your job, go for the SEO approach, build traffic to your blog, and explore one or two mini funnels and you will be able to create a stable coaching business in 4 – 12 months (depending on frequency, competition, SEO skills, and blogging skill).

If you need things to happen faster than that, you’re going to need a bigger budget. PPC on Facebook and Google cost approximately $300 dollars per client when done well.

You could opt for the slower option if the budget is too high. You can add people to your email list and nurture them through email and blogs (or podcasts) slowly.

If you’ve been around for a while and want to move to groups, you need to go for either aggressive list growth or launch campaigns. Both require a 4 figure advertising investment.


blog or youtube channel


As a basic marketing mix, you’ll need the following:

Blog or Youtube Channel
Social Media Amplification (1 or 2 channels)
Email Marketing

Optional Ad budget to speed things up


As a scaling marketing mix, you’ll need:

A podcast (this helps warm up people in your orbit)
More frequent social media
Streaming live on social
FB Ads or Google Ads (or both)
Email Marketing

Once you’ve decided what your marketing mix will look like keeping in mind your time and dollar budget, the next step is to focus on picking the right strategies.


as a scaling marketing mix you’ll need:

Content Strategy and lead generation

As a coach you need to focus on 2 main things to build a strong business:

1. A content strategy that builds your reputation

Content strategy needs to establish you as the go-to expert, but also drive the majority of your website traffic. This is where you have a distraction-free environment that allows you to convert visitors into clients. (it is very much harder to convert people on high-distraction social media platforms.

The best-converting content for coaches is blogs. People who are truly seeking a solution will go to Google and look for a solution then they will read the blog. Those who do both if these things are ready to take action and book your discovery call – they are also very likely to buy. Much more likely than someone you ‘disturbed’ on social media. SEO leads from your blog come with the intention to take action making them higher-converting warmer and more valuable leads.

2. A predictable lead generation method

You will also need to establish a way of generating leads for your coaching business. Either through your blog, emails or other content. It’s very important that you create a predictable funnel that you know generates leads.

This lead generation can later be scaled by increasing the amount of content produced or running ads. (you can decide this later once you understand how your numbers work).

You want to keep your first funnels simple. The more data points your funnel has, the more difficult it is to optimize and scale.

While you build your marketing funnels you also want to be working on your relationships. As a new coaching business owner, you need to start creating alliances and become known to people who are at your same stage of business or further along.

Below is a list of the types of relationships that can benefit your coaching business.



Referral relationships. Building a list of referral partners can help you get easier/cheaper clients.

Customer relationships

The first referrals often come from happy clients or existing colleagues. If you’re doing things right, this will happen naturally, but if it’s slow however you can do some things to increase the number of referrals.

Always ask clients to refer you. If your clients feel that your coaching is a bit personal to refer to, give them an incentive. This can be a free session or a discount on future service. Ans ou can also thank them by sending gifts which will make them feel good about referring to you.



Referral Partners

You can start building a referral network by going to industry events and aligning with professionals that service your target audience but don’t compete with you. You can also use outreach for this purpose.

For example, if you’re an executive coach working with SAAS CEOs you can visit incubators and go to founders’ events and meet both the founders and perhaps accountants and/or legal professionals that incorporate SAAS businesses. You can create allegiances and refer clients to each other creating a win-win situation.

Offer Partnerships:

You can also partner with companies that service your ideal clients with a parallel product. For example, if you’re a stress and anxiety coach, you might partner with a company that offers yoga and sells aromatherapy products. This will allow you to create an offer that combines your coaching with yoga classes and aromatherapy. You can both sell this reaching a much wider audience.

Influencer relationships: Building relationships with influencers who have your audience can help reach a wider audience that is ready to tap into. Influencers will also recommend you to their audience increasing conversion. If you’re starting out choose micro-influencers – they have smaller audiences and cost less but often convert at higher rates because they have a closer engaged following.

Media relationships: Developing relationships with journalists, bloggers, and online magazines that cover the topics you’re an expert about can help you tap into media traffic. These relationships can be hard to create but they are worth working on because the payoff can be huge.

Once you’ve explored and included all the above sections in your marketing plan, you want to make sure that you add a timeline.


If you don’t have a clear timeline in mind of what needs to be done when you will likely stall and fall short of achieving your goals.

So once you have your plan roughly in place start making it more concrete by breaking it down into projects. Create a list of projects that need to be completed in order for the above-planned strategies to take place.

Your projects might look like this:



Project A: Add a blog to an existing website and make sure the structure is SEO-ed.
Project B: Learn how to SEO posts and write the pre-launch content (8 articles)
Project C: Launch the blog
Project D: Start blogging weekly and turning each blog into an email to my list
Project E: Measure traffic and conversion rate from traffic to a discovery call

Once you have the projects listed as per the above list, estimate how long you need to make them happen and break them down under…

Quarter 1
Quarter 2
Quarter 3
Quarter 4

Once you have the plan in place all you need to do is start taking action.

blogging to finding coaching clients

Measure and Improve

The only thing left now is to make sure you’re measuring the data that matters. You’ve probably heard of KPIs before. They are key performance indicators, and they are crucial to measuring performance. Let’s let go of the fancy terminology – important metrics that indicate success (or lack of it).

For example, if you’re building a blog you may want to keep an eye on monthly traffic and weekly discovery calls booked from the blog.

Only measure what you intend to improve. If you have no intention of improving something don’t waste time measuring it. Pay attention and stay focused on the numbers that matter – those you have control over.

The most important metrics to follow are new clients and sales/income. Any other data that can indicate where the cash flow and money is coming from and how, is data worth tracking and improving.

Remember, a marketing plan is a fluid document that should be regularly reviewed and updated as your business grows and evolves. I always plan a 6-month review and adjust halfway through the year. I assess the projects that were abandoned and goals that I didn’t feel so strongly about anymore and re-align the plan accordingly.

Are you looking to create your first marketing plan or re-align an existing one?

Want some help? I regularly open a few slots to help, if you can find a free slot you can book your free strategy call here at