Inbound Marketing[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing.  If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing. — Guy Kawasaki[/perfectpullquote]

Tired of slaving away and not getting anywhere.

You’ve spent great effort in your coaching practice. You want to help clients lead healthier and happier lives.

So far you are offering clients coaching in person and on the phone. 

What if you could revolutionize your coaching business?

With inbound marketing, you’ll learn about an efficient method for generating targeted leads and appealing to the right audience.

In this post, I will talk about the world of inbound and give you a big picture view of everything you need for a successful inbound marketing strategy.

Are you ready?

First, let’s start with this question

Why Inbound? Because Inbound changes the way you do business.

To explain, inbound is about:

  • Empowering your ideal clients
  • Being part of the conversation

In short, inbound marketing is customer-focused and draws people in.

In today’s world, your ideal clients have the buying power. 

It’s time for you then to support that buying process, join in and empower your ideal clients to make the right decisions for themselves.

So how do you actually do inbound in the first place?

Well, the best way to start is by understanding the inbound marketing methodology.

Inbound Marketing Methodology

The inbound methodology reveals the four stages that make up the inbound marketing and sales process.

These stages are Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

Inbound Methodology

Source:  Hubspot

To illustrate, listed along the bottom of the inbound marketing methodology are the actionable steps you can take to achieve desired results.

Starting at the beginning, on the left, you’ll need to attract strangers to your site, turning them into visitors.

You can attract new visitors by creating a coaching blog, optimizing your coaching site, and sharing relevant content on your social media platforms.

Then you can convert some of these visitors into leads by gathering their contact information.  

In essence, contact information is the world of inbound’s currency.

In order for your visitors to offer up that currency, willingly, you’ll need to offer them something in return.

That ‘payment’ comes in the form of offers, whatever information appeals to your prospects.

For example, you may decide to offer an eBook about health and wellness.

Once you’ve attracted your new visitors, you can convert them into leads by using the conversion process.

All in all, website components like calls-to-action and landing pages can tempt your visitors and help you get information about them.

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Source:  Maddie Penko

What is a Lead?

Let’s start with the basics.

To explain, a lead is a person who has indicated an interest in your health and wellness eBook.

What is lead generation then?

In essence, lead generation is a way of warming up your ideal clients to your coaching business and getting them on the path to eventually investing in your inner circle group coaching membership.

Why do you need lead generation in the first place?

Because generating leads is a key point in your visitor’s journey to becoming a delighted client of your coaching business.

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Source:  Hubspot

Moving along, now that you’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, it’s time to turn those leads into clients.

In the Close stage, you can use tools like email to help sell to the right leads at the right time.

Inbound is truly all about providing remarkable content to your users, whether they’re visitors, leads, or existing clients.

Just because someone is already a coaching client doesn’t mean that you can forget about them!

Next up, learn the necessary best practices that make up a strong inbound strategy.

How to Plan Your Inbound Success?

Remember, your coaching clients don’t want to be sold to.  Your clients want to be educated. 

In truth, inbound tactics can provide the kind of information your prospects need to to help them make smart decisions.

You can begin your inbound journey by keeping these best practices in mind.

  1. Use buyer personas
  2. Use the buyer’s journey
  3. Create epic content.
  4. Leverage your content.

First, let’s start by taking a look at how to use buyer personas.  You need to know who you’re trying to reach.  

You don’t want just any traffic to your coaching site.  You want the right traffic.

In fact, you want the people who are most likely to become your leads and ultimately your happy, loyal coaching clients.

Inbound Marketing

Source:  Valerie Cogswell

Who are considered the right people then?

The right people are your ideal coaching clients, what we call buyer personas.

In fact, your buyer personas are created by taking a close look at who’s already buying from you or investing in your services.  Your current clients can help you get into the mindset of your ideal buyers and create the right content.

When you create the right content, you’ll effectively:

  1. Attract your ideal visitors to your site.
  2. Convert them into leads.
  3. Close leads into happy clients and loyal buyers.

How Do You Create Your Buyer Personas?

There are three things to keep in mind:

  • Research
  • Identifying trends
  • Creating persona profile stories

First, do your research.

There are a few questions that you can ask to develop your buyer personas.

You can start this process by asking your current coaching clients and buyers different questions to gain valuable insights:

  • Are you employed? What is your job role and title? What industry is your role in?
  • Do you work for yourself?  Do you own your own business? Are you a freelancer?
  • Are you single or married? Are a single-mom? Do you have young children?
  • What is the first change you like to make to feel more in control, healthier and happier?
  • What do you want more of in your life? What do you want less of in your life?
  • What are your eating habits? What changes can you make to feel more vibrant?
  • Do you exercise regularly? How often? How can you make exercise a habit?

You get the gist. Tailor your questions to your coaching niche areas. 

Your goal is to understand your persona’s goals, behaviors, and motivations.

How Do You Do Research?

Second, start by interviewing your current and former coaching clients.

After you’ve spoken to a few people, it’s time to start looking for trends.

Patterns and similarities in answers to persona research questions indicate who your personas really are.

How much research does it take to create personas then?

As much as it takes to identify trends.  Be on the lookout for similarities between the types of answers you’re getting.

How many personas should you have in essence?

As many as needed, as long as you start noticing trends that will help you develop your buyer personas.

The final step is to gather your research findings and create your coaching persona profile stories.  Include any resistance your coaching personas might show to your coaching product or service and use real quotes from your interviews.

buyer personal busy mom

 Source:  Content Marketing Institute

What better way then to represent your coaching persona than to use their own words?

Your personas give you a clear ideal of exactly who your ideal coaching clients might be, what appeals to them, what they are coping with, and what are they working towards.

When it comes to creating a great inbound strategy for your coaching business, it is not enough to know just who you’re trying to reach, you also have to know what they want to see.

What Exactly Is The Buyer’s Journey?

Every interaction your persona has with your business should be tailored to where they are in the buyer’s journey.

In brief, the buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase.

Knowing the buyer’s journey for your persona then will be key to creating the best content possible.

In short, the buyer’s journey is made up of 3 stages:

  • The awareness stage
  • The consideration stage
  • The decision stage

Each of these three stages portrays the experiences your prospects go through.

buyer journey

Source:  HubSpot Academy

To explain, the awareness stage is when your prospect is experiencing symptoms of a problem.  For example, your prospect is experiencing low energy and comes across a blog post on your site about chronic fatigue.

In the consideration stage, however, your prospect has clearly defined and given a name to her problem.  For instance, your prospect is now committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches and methods to treating her chronic fatigue.

In the decision stage, your prospect has finally decided on her solution strategy, method, or approach.  For example, your prospect may decide to purchase a herbal remedy from your site that can boost her immune system and treat her chronic fatigue.

Once you understand your buyer personas and their buying journey, it’s time to start doing inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing can’t exist without content, and that’s why the third best practice is to create remarkable, tailored content.

How to Create Tailored Content?

Inbound Marketing is Content plus Context.

Your content is what fuels your entire inbound strategy.

To explain, your content is your marketing toolkit.

Your blogs, interactive tools, photos and infographics, videos, and eBooks work to:

  • Attract
  • Convert
  • Close
  • Delight

Context, however, is who you’re creating your content for.  You can’t just write any blog posts.  You have to write the right ones, tailored to who you’re trying to reach and what they’re interested in.

In fact, your best content has to be grounded in the correct context.

How to Leverage Your Content?

In essence, you need to make your content available for your coaching personas to find.

It’s not enough to just have great content.  You need to have a way to get that content out into the world. Distribution makes content relevant.

There are a few different tools you can use to leverage content by distribution. The right distribution technique gets the right content in front of the right person at the right time.

You can use your website pages, business blog, social media, landing pages, calls-to-action, and marketing emails. Just make sure you’re using tactics that help your content reach your buyer personas where they’re spending their time.

For example, if your coaching personas aren’t spending their time on Twitter, Twitter shouldn’t be a major part of your distribution plan.

And that brings us to the end of the inbound best practices.

In summary, research, develop, and use your buyer personas. Then combine that new knowledge with the buyer’s journey to help you create and leverage remarkable content.

Also published on Medium.

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