If you’ve just started your path as a life coach, there is an overlooked pillar of your business you should start working on right away: building an audience and creating content. Even though word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to build a client base, in order to grow you’ll need to take control of leading new clients into your business by building up your visibility, reputation, and authority within your field.
Although there are multiple approaches to making yourself visible, like paid ads, these lack the advantages that creating content and building an audience will give you: you will earn trust, have a way to showcase your expertise, and generate a community around the value you have to offer. Thus, selling services or products will not be a process of chasing potential clients, but rather attracting them, understanding them and establishing a long-lasting connection with them.
So when is a good time to start building this relationship and build up your reputation? After you’ve figured out your client base and service base? Once you’ve reached some popularity in your local area or after you’ve run a series of workshops? Actually, the best time to start creating content and building an audience is day 1 of your life coaching business.
There are several formats you can go with: blogging, podcasting, and video are the most used. Pick the one that will resonate the most with your audience and that will give them the most value. I recommend not relying only on social media to create your content: your reach and efforts may go to waste after a sudden algorithm change. Social platforms can be supporting channels to the foundation of your content strategy—a channel where you have control of how your message is delivered and who it can reach. It will be a communication space between you and your audience, and it will be yours, without a third party’s algorithm deciding on how many people you should be capable of reaching.
Working on building your audience from day 1, even if you feel very few people know you, even if you feel like you still need to develop your experience and expertise, is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your career as a coach, and here go some good reasons why:
1. You already have value to offer
Even if you don’t feel like an expert, you’re already steps ahead from your potential audience’s knowledge and skills. Capitalize on the difference from where you are to where your audience is. I assure you that you have to offer a lot more than you can imagine. Use what you know and what you can do to help people now.
2. Building your reputation takes time
A couple of ad campaigns on Facebook won’t build your reputation. Blogging for two months, or posting on Instagram for a few weeks won’t build your reputation. A reputation is built through time, effort, and quality work. It’s the compound effect of people being exposed to you and your work several times on blogs, podcast interviews, social media, etc. Conveying authority and trust doesn’t happen overnight.
3. Make yourself visible
You can make yourself known through content, it is a tool you can use to back up your knowledge and skills, something people can share with other people. In the long term your content base will become one of the pillars of recognition for your name and brand.
4. Building up an audience takes time
Building a base audience is a long-term project. In some cases it might take a year or even more to establish your focus and audience base. Getting a relevant number of podcast listeners, video subscribers, and email subscribers will require persistence and patience. The sooner you start, the more you’ll be able to capitalize on your audience later.
5. Learn the skills from early on
Creating podcasts, videos, blogs and other forms of content will demand that you acquire a multiplicity of skills. Many of these skills can be transferred onto other projects or aspects of your coaching business. Learning how to record good quality audio for a podcast will help you for creating courses and webinars. Feeling comfortable in front of a camera will improve your public speaking abilities. Also, you’ll learn what engages more with your audience and what has little results, what media channels are more effective, and how to develop content strategies to increase your online presence and to enroll more clients in your programs.
6. Self growth, self reflection, and constant learning
By creating content online you’ll be constantly putting yourself in situations where you need to deepen, expand and even question your own knowledge. You’ll be in the position of a lifelong learner and improve your own practice while also helping your audience.
As you can see, now is the best time to begin building your audience. Although it’s a long process, the benefits are huge both for yourself and for the people you’ll educate, inspire and work with. Your impact as a life coach will go much beyond your direct clients and you’ll be in a constant process of improvement. Your online presence and reputation will grow, and your name and brand will be better known in your chosen field and niche.
What’s the small first step you can take right now?