recession proof marketing

Recession Proof Marketing

How to create coaching offers and marketing strategies to keep your business thriving during a recession.

The most dangerous thing for a coaching business is to fall prey to fear during a recession. We must think positive, and look for opportunities. A downturn can cause havoc in some industries but if you look deep enough you will notice that it also creates plenty of opportunities. You just need to learn how to spot them.

I co-founded my first brick-and-mortar business – an advertising agency – in the downturn of 2008. Me and my business partners soon realized that we had to think outside the box. Advertising is the first thing to go in a downturn – but we looked and strategized and we found opportunities. We sought to work with those industries that are not affected by a recession and made it our goal to pursue these clients.

So a good first step for you, is to understand which industries thrive during a recession…


The Table Below Shows Industries that Thrive in a recession and explains why:

Healthcare Healthcare is considered an essential service and often is not affected largely by a recession because the persons affected don’t have a choice. They need the service.
Technology Technology companies have proven that they can thrive and grow in a recession. Companies like Slack, Airbnb, Netflix, Asana, Instagram and Uber to name a few, were forged and founded during the 2008 downturn.
Essentials like food and children’s items Essentials like food and clothing will not be largely affected by a recession. Brand loyalty may see a dip because people will prefer to go for special offers, however, spend doesn’t largely dip.
iGaming 2008/2009, the iGaming industry was seen as recession-proof because of the robust parallel growth that emerged from players shifting from land-based to online gaming.


Repair and maintenance Repair and maintenance services will usually peak during a recession. People try to get a longer lifespan from their existing appliances, plumbing, furniture etc. so they’re more likely to call the repair guy instead of just buying new.
Training The training industry usually doesn’t dip during a recession. Recessions are often accompanied by lay-offs and this means two things. The labour market is more competitive and companies need people to multitask to save on more recruits. This means that both companies and individuals seek to grow their skills.

If you’re a coach you can create corporate training packages and courses to get a piece of this market.

Coaching Not all types of coaching businesses are resilient during a recession, however, there are many ways to diversify your coaching to fill the needs that recessions create.

Companies that experience lay-offs and restructuring during hard times will need the support of coaches to help the morale of the staff that wasn’t laid off, to help the remaining staff grow their skillset to fit in the new structure. They may also need support to deal with a great deal of change happening around them.

This presents opportunities for life coaches, wellness coaches, career coaches, soft skills coaches and executive coaches. By designing the right packages for the right companies you could be selling more.


    thriving in a recession as a coach



Recession Proof Marketing

Now that you’ve thought about the kinds of packages you could create to make your coaching business more recession-proof, it’s time to talk coach marketing. As I mentioned earlier, when we opened the doors to Defined Branding Ltd, our full-service agency creating everything from Websites, Digital Launches to TV Ads and everything in between, we landed in the middle of the recession. It was June 2008 and business was shaky, to say the least.

What we saw globally, was that companies were slashing their advertising budgets. They were training people to deliver campaigns in-house to save and therefore hiring fewer agency services. They now expected their marketing team, receptionist, and assistant to manage social media – so they needed a whole lot of training to make it work.

Social Media use by businesses saw a large boom. People wanted to do things themselves and saw that Facebook could help their businesses get visibility – a few coaches started doing this too. Facebook as we know it opened its doors to the average 13+ joe in 2006. A decade after SEO was a thing.

What did this teach me – that companies will often make bad mistakes out of fear during a recession. So the first thing you need to fight is fear.

All you need is to develop a nose for finding them.



recession proof marketing


Marketing Strategies to see you through the Downturn

SEO is the ONLY truly recession-proof marketing is SEO.
More specifically SEO-ed blogging and growing the traffic to your website.

People go to Google and other search engines to look for what they need. There is always an intention behind that. They’re either looking to resolve a problem or directly buy something.

When there is a recession this behaviour does not change. There may be some changes in what they’re looking for, but they will still search. And it only takes a bit of keyword research to find out what they are now looking for.

Once you know all you need to do is create a coaching or training offer to fulfill the need, and content to a blogging content plan to attract the right people.

If you don’t have a blog yet no worries.

You can very easily add it to your website and start blogging. But before you do that you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience and outline your offers.




Getting ready to recession-proof your coach marketing


  1. Research and Outline your ideal client
  2. Do some keyword research
  3. Create or tweak your offers based on what people actually want
  4. Create a Content Plan based on your chosen keywords
  5. Write content that sells your offers
  6. Create a simple system for people to book calls with you
  7. Make sure you get all geared up to close discovery calls and receive payment



recession proof marketing 


Sell more in a recession by focusing on client upsells and retention


The best way to make more money in a recession is to market to your existing clients. Research shows that people who have worked with you are much more likely to buy than a stranger.

A survey conducted by Invesp found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

You can sell more to your clients by creating programs that help them with the next step, after they’ve finished working with you.

For example: if you’re a sales coach and you teach clients how to close the sale, after you’ve taught them how to make the sale and follow-up you can upsell them to a course that helps them create a sales slide deck or create a client retention strategy.

Ask yourself:
What’s the next natural step for your customers, after they’ve finished working with you?




Focus on Client retention

Research by Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%. This gives us a good perspective on how important our existing clients are.

Are we doing everything we can to keep our clients happy? Give them the results they seek. Are we helping them understand how they can keep getting our support until they achieve the goals they set for themselves?

Client retention starts with the onboarding process – make sure that you’re giving your client the attention they deserve. Make them feel like they’re your only client. Support them in between sessions. Give them all the help they need to get results.

You also want to pepper your program with opportunities to discuss the next step after they achieve the goals you’re working on. Help them understand the journey they’re on and let them know that you can be there for them beyond the program they purchased.

You can do this with 1:1 clients, group programs, and even recorded courses.

Are you looking to recession-proof your coaching business so it can support you and your family through hard times? Let’s talk about the fastest way  to get you there from where you are Book a call here at

If you’d like some guidance on picking the right strategies that will work specifically for your type of executive coaching practice book your free consult here


 About the Author: Stephanie Fiteni

Hi, I’m Stephanie, a Digital Marketing Coach and Business Mentor for Coaches. I’m the creator of the Profitable Content Marketing Method™ and help coaches generate more leads and clients through SEO, blogs and websites whilst helping them build a business that makes good money with ease. My clients get fully booked with just a handful of enjoyable marketing hours per week!

I have over 15 years of experience creating websites, building businesses, writing blogs, and growing traffic and creating funnels. As well as ranking articles, videos, and podcasts on the first page of Google. I also managed the content and web dev team in my own agency for over 10+ years.

I can teach you how to create content that will convert your visitors into discovery call bookings, every time. Let’s Talk