You are listening to episode 187 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you market your business offline. I know … let’s go!
Hi Coaches, I’m so excited that you are here. It’s June. When did we get to June? How is that even possible? It’s June and yet this episode is a part two. So this is a follow-up on last week’s episode, “Simplest Marketing Plan Ever.” I know I’m straddling the month line. It’s fine. I laid out a super simple online marketing plan that anybody can use, starting where you are already, where you’re already comfortable, and working on your belief that you are, in fact, a good marketer who has a marketing plan. And a couple of times, I touched on the idea that you could maybe do this offline.
So, before I dive in, we have this conversation on how you’re going to ditch social media and you’re going to only market offline. If that’s what you want to do, this conversation is going to make way more sense if you’ve already listened to last week’s episode, “Simplest Marketing Plan Ever.” I’m going to be using a lot of terms and ideas from last week’s episode. This is definitely a part two. If you don’t want to be confused, I want you to hit pause on this episode and go back and listen to the “Simplest Marketing Plan Ever.” Okay, all right, you’re back. Amazing, welcome. I know your brain’s exploding. You have all these ideas, but what if? What if you’re like, “But I don’t want to do any of that online. I’m terrible with technology. I don’t. I’m never online. I got to learn all that plus the running of the business part.” I get this question actually quite a bit. I get this question a lot. Do I have to be on social media? The short answer is, of course, not. You don’t have to do much of anything that you don’t want to do.
I’m going to tell you the three things that you absolutely have to do, no matter where you’re marketing. Okay, because there are a couple of things you have to do if you want to build a business, if you want to be a business owner, but you do not have to use social media. You do not have to be online; you can still create a simple and effective marketing plan. Here’s how we’re going to do it. Okay, so last week, I had you, which you’ve just listened to the episode. I had you break down your regular marketing items, like your regulars, your occasional, and your special events, and that’s what makes up a marketing plan. What are you going to do every single week? What are you going to do every month or every other month, like your occasional items? And then, what are your pure special events? They are just like nothing that you do regularly at all, but when the opportunity comes up, you go ahead and you do it, and then you just put that together. You decide what those things are, and that is a marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
If you paid attention, I did mention some things that were offline. I mentioned some things that were in person, so you can build the same marketing plan and just don’t include any stuff that’s online. So let’s dive in more of what those offline things might be actually like first. I think it’s really important. I’ve mentioned this before. I’m going to pound this into your head. I don’t know how many times. Anyone who says you have to be online is overlooking how we have done business for literally all of time. Online marketing is new. Literally, for thousands of years, we have been buying and selling and trading goods in person through word of mouth and who you know. We’ve been starting conversations and nurturing relationships and offering our solutions to people forever, and we did all of that offline. I want you to really think about this.
Digital marketing technically started in the 1990s. Think about America Online and newscasters starting to announce www website addresses. It was all very brand new. It sounded like a foreign language. I was an adult in the 90s. I turned 24. I’m sorry, no, I turned 20 in 1994, so I have a very clear memory of this. But social media, online digital marketing didn’t really take off until the 2000s and even the 2010s. This really hasn’t been around that long, and yet business has been around forever. Ish, forever, ish. I want you to think about this.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002. That’s one of the older ones. What is it, so what, 20 years ago? Facebook 2004, Pinterest 2009, Instagram, 2010. It’s only 13 years old. TikTok, TikTok, 2016. These are new concepts, and when they were started, they weren’t started as marketing platforms. They were started as communities. LinkedIn was about job searching. Facebook was college friends connecting. Pinterest was, like you know, online clipping magazine ideas. Instagram is about sharing pretty pictures. TikTok is about sharing fun videos. Online marketers find these tools and turn them into marketing platforms, but they weren’t actually started as marketing platforms. So this is all. I cannot hammer this enough. Online marketing is new. Offline marketing is what we’ve always done, so of course, you can do this. You can do this. Life coaches have had businesses before any of those things existed. Life coaches had thriving businesses before online marketing was even a thing. So of course, you can do it offline. It’s not necessary. Now I’m going to have some notes at the very end here about what I strongly suggest is online, but you don’t actually have to market online.
Okay, I did an episode, I think it was back in February, episode 172, Absolutely Thrive in a Changing Industry. It’s one of my favorite episodes. I like that one because it’s just a very different episode, and it talks about the business basics that never go out of style. Understanding this is the foundation of building a business, whether you’re online or offline, and for those businesses that have been in operation for eons. What can we learn from them when we’re marketing online, and also what can we learn from them about marketing offline? So that’s also something to consider. It’s not required in order to listen to this, but if this idea of how people have always made connections, nurtured relationships, and built businesses interests you, episode 172 is for you because the basics are always going to be there.
And actually, there is something that you do have to do. I kind of already mentioned it, but I want to reiterate it. It’s what I teach you right out of the gate. When you join a Free to Paid Coach program, you want to sell what you already know. What do you love? What are you already familiar with? It’s much easier to sell something that you have experience with than it is to sell something you don’t have experience with. So what is your experience with coaching? It’s the easiest thing that you can sell. Start conversations and nurture relationships, make offers to solve their problems. You actually do have to do that. Whether you do that online or offline isn’t nearly as important as understanding that you are going to have to start conversations. You are going to need to nurture those relationships with the human beings that you’re meeting, and you are going to need to make offers to solve their problems when the opportunity arises.
If you don’t want to do any of that, if you don’t want to meet anyone and you don’t want to talk to anyone and you don’t want to tell them, “I can help you,” then you might want to consider whether or not you actually want to be an entrepreneur or a business owner. Like, anyone who owns a business has to do that. Your local flower shop has to let people know, “Hey, we sell flowers, would you like some?” Right? Anybody who owns a business has to do some variation of that.
Now, I am working on an episode specifically for those of you who are unsure of whether or not you actually want to own a business, or if you should quit. So, stay with me if you’re falling into that category. I’m working on it right now, so it will be out in a couple of weeks. But, if you know you want to own your own business and last week’s episode makes you a little nauseous, or this week’s episode makes you a little nauseous, but you inherently want to own your own business and would be willing to do those things if you weren’t so terrified of doing them, well, that’s literally why I created Company Coaches and my coaching programs like Free to Pay, Coach, and the Mastermind. I knew I wanted to have my own business; I loved the idea of it, but selling and nurturing relationships and starting conversations with strangers sounded like “what? No, don’t, thank you.” It was very terrifying to me.
Once upon a time, and I have done all of this work too, I used toNow, I am working on an episode specifically for those of you who are unsure of whether or not you actually want to own a business, and who are unsure if you should quit. So stay with me if you fall into that category. I’m working on it right now, so it will be out in a couple of weeks. But if you know you want to own your own business, and last week’s episode makes you a little nauseous, and this week’s episode makes you a little nauseous, but you inherently want to own your own business and would be willing to do those things if you weren’t so terrified of doing them – well, that’s literally why I created company coaches and my coaching programs like Free to Pay, coach, and the Mastermind because I knew I wanted to have my own business. I loved the idea of it, but selling and nurturing relationships and starting conversations with strangers sounded like, what? No, don’t, thank you. It was very terrifying to me.
Once upon a time, and I have done all of this work too, I used to be the person who wanted to create the marketing plan while somebody else executed it. I had to learn how to become confident in myself, have my own back, and believe I could actually handle anything that comes my way. This is what the coaching part of what I offer is really about. It’s what all the other episodes of the podcast are about, right. So all of that to say, I have done this work too. Just do everything I offer to you. You can do this.
To build an in-person marketing plan, I want you to start by making a list of all the ways that you can think of to start conversations and nurture relationships. So, you are a human being out in the world. How might you start conversations? Attending networking events, mix and mingles through social groups or church groups. You can give free talks at the library or coffee shops. You can post flyers on bulletin boards letting people know about your coaching or letting people know about the free talks. Heck, my friend Danielle, she’s a sex coach. She used to set up free coaching stands like lemonade stands. She would pull out her kid’s wagon with a big sign that said free coaching, five minutes, right. Attend every social function that you’re invited to. Say yes. There’s an episode not that long ago about your yes plan. Maybe we have some ideas for your yes plan here.
Do you normally say no to events that you’re invited to? What if you started saying yes to those events? What if you attended those direct marketing parties and started making connections with people? Engage in conversation with the person who’s telling you they sell real estate or health insurance or life insurance. They’re in the same boat as you in terms of needing to start conversations and make connections. Find out where these people are and get yourself there. Once you start building connections, you can expand your network.
Ask to set up one-on-one conversations with the people you meet, learn more about them, and find out who they know that might be interested in your work. I would meet people at networking events and then we would go have coffee together, and they would talk about their business. We’d discuss who we are interested in, the kind of work we do, and what our ideal clients might be like. This is literally how people have built businesses for all of time.
Ask to speak at networking events, find out if they’re looking for speakers, and give a short presentation. Know what you want to talk about and offer that group, so you’re not just saying, “Hey, can I speak here?” Instead, come prepared with some ideas once you start getting to know people. In those one-on-one conversations that you set up, those coffee talks, ask if they know about speaking events.
Host workshops at co-working sites. There are many co-working sites, and people don’t want to work from home. I belonged to a co-working site for quite a while. You can start charging small fees for workshops once you begin building a network and want to increase your expertise and visibility. Let people know you’re giving a workshop. You may want to offer some for free and then start offering some for a low charge.
Again, I did all of these things except for what Danielle did. I never did a free coaching stand, but I did everything else before I started marketing online. I wasn’t very good at it because I didn’t have the mindset work and everything else we talk about in Free to Make Coach and all of those things. I was doing the actions, but I wasn’t making the connections I needed to. I wasn’t asking the right questions because I didn’t have a program yet, like Free to Pay Coach or the Mastermind that I’m in. That work still needs to be done, but you can still put together a marketing plan and attend those events.
Get to know people. You still need to let them know how you solve their problem. I didn’t know how to tell people how I solve their problem. I would learn to just meet with people and say I’m a life coach. Yeah, this is what I do. I didn’t make offers to help people. I didn’t have a clear vision of who I wanted to work with. I was ambivalent. I was scared to ask people for sure. You still have to do that work, in the same way that you still have to do the work of building a business online and telling people the thing that they really need to know and making offers to them in all of your posts. You still have to work through that stuff. There’s no workaround, I hate to tell you.
You can even start your own local group, start a mom’s group, start a weight-focused group. I’m working on it. I really miss seeing people regularly, and I’m going to start getting the life coaches in St. Louis together. They don’t have to be certified through my school. I’m working on why it would be beneficial for them to come. Will I speak every month? Will I invite them to lead conversations? Will I invite the people who are coming to give a talk every month? Is this going to be something that they’re going to use for networking? I know for sure. The goal is connection and conversations. You can start that yourself.
How do you find these things? How do you start this? How do you find where these groups are? Online was going to come in at some point. Use your computer to look for it, use your phone to look for these things. Hop on Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup.com, Eventbrite, and just start searching for your niche, your topic, your audience. Look for events that are local to you. See what comes up. Search for local networking in your area. So you can search for events in your area. You can search for networking groups in your area. The networking groups probably won’t be niche to the topic. It will probably be a mixture of different business owners, whereas events will probably be more niche to your topic. But get to know who’s hosting those events.
How did the speakers get those speaking positions? What kind of things are they looking for? How long do they book out? When I started, Eventbrite, Meetup, and Facebook were absolutely where I went to find where these things are. I never used LinkedIn, but I’m sure LinkedIn can be used for that. Also, ask your social groups, your church groups that you may belong to if they have business-focused events. Do they have networking or coffees or social hours that focus on business relationships? Do they let you, can you do a talk for them? Are they looking for speakers? Are they looking for subjects? So, I did some talks for local moms group. It’s a church-based moms group. When I was doing health coaching, I gave quite a few talks around the area for moms there.
As you are meeting people at networking events and attending events to meet the organizers, it’s all about starting conversations and nurturing those relationships. Networking is all about the connections you can make and who knows who. This isn’t in my notes, but as I’m talking about this, I want to make sure you understand that you need to decide what you want to do every week, what you want to do on occasion, and what you want to make special events for the same marketing plan.
One thing that I think is super important, which wasn’t in my notes, is that both online and offline marketing plans still need to be rooted in humanity. They still need to be about humans helping humans. If you’re just meeting people to make a sale, it’s not going to work any more than just posting to make a sale online. You want to be meeting people and networking and making connections from a place of “how can I help someone today?” Focus on helping, learning, and listening to what people are telling you. It’s the same work, my friends, whether it’s offline or online.
If you’re going to a networking event with the mindset of “I better land a client,” that’s no different than sitting with a post you haven’t hit “send” on, hoping it will get you a client. If everything you do is centered around getting a client, it’s going to be difficult. But if everything you do is about how this conversation can help someone today, it’s going to be much easier. People will pick up on that. They know when they’re being sold to versus when there’s a connection, community, and humanity in the conversation. They’re going to be much more likely to introduce you to their mom, coworker, or neighbor if they don’t think you’re just trying to get a sale out of them.
You want to be a human first. You don’t want to go into a networking event and be like, “Do you want to buy? Do you want to buy? Do you want to schedule a consult? Do you want to schedule a consult?” You want to be a human having a conversation with another human.
Okay, so when I was building offline, I went to at least a networking event every single week, sometimes more. I set up one-on-one conversations with people I met at those networking events. At least every week, I asked to speak at those networking events. For me, when I did, it was probably more special event timing, but that could definitely be an occasional thing. Like, what if you’re already well-versed in networking, it might be a goal to land a speaking event every single month, but for somebody else, just getting one in a year might be fabulous, right? I also did a couple of workshops. I did some for free and I did one paid one. So that could also be either an occasional or a special event, based on how quickly you know if this is all brand new to you and how quickly you build up those connections or relationships. You know, maybe you visit the same networking events regularly and your occasional thing is to try a new one. Now, some notes, okay, some caveats and some notes.
Spending money on offline paid advertising is probably not a great use of your money or time, but it does still exist, believe it or not. My original mentor, Castillo, who runs the Life Coach School, or who founded the Life Coach School when she first started coaching over 15 years ago, she took out a small ad in a magazine, a lifestyle magazine in Sacramento. That is a thing. I just don’t think it’s a very effective use of your time and money, and in 15 years, I just don’t think there are many eyeballs on paper. You know, local newspapers. You know we have neighborhood community magazines, community papers, those kinds of things. I mean, sure, if you want to throw an ad into your kid’s or your local parish’s fundraising event, it probably wouldn’t hurt, but you’re probably not going to get a ton of business from something like that. Of course, as soon as I say that, somebody out there is going to put an ad in some parish picnic flyer and they’re going to land a client. So never say never, but I don’t know if paying for that is the best use of your time and money right out of the gate. And obviously, where you live dictates a lot of what I just shared.
Like if you’re rural, if you live out in the country, you’re gonna have to drive a lot farther and you’re probably gonna have to search a bit longer to find these events. I live in suburban St Louis. St Louis is what I don’t know what our metro area has two, three million people, maybe I don’t know. Maybe it’s too many, I don’t know. It’s a couple million people in the metro area. I don’t have to go too far and there’s a lot of events going on. It has to do.
And the media market right. If you live in a huge media market like LA or New York City, you’re probably not gonna be on the local NBC affiliate morning show anytime soon, but there might be smaller media outlets that you can connect with. You know, if you’re rural, the local NBC might be three hours away for all I know. I have no idea. So obviously some of these ideas you’re gonna need to tweak and adapt based on where you live. You know, I don’t know how far you can drive. I don’t know if you’re working full-time, I don’t know if you have a family, so attending more than one networking event, that’s gonna be three to six hours. You know, three hours away, may that might have to be an occasional thing. That might be a conversation to have If offline marketing is physically not easy for you for a variety of reasons.
That is one reason why online marketing does work and the mental work is the same either way. Right? I know a lot of people are like, well, but there, you know, it’s so much easier to do this over here. It’s all the same mental work, I promise you. Also, let’s talk about paying for networking. So this is my opinion.
I don’t recommend investing hundreds of dollars in an exclusive networking group that requires you to attend every single weekly meeting. And you know you’re the only life coach and there’s only one real turn, there’s only one plumber, and that would not be where I would start. There should be if you’re, if you live in a metro area, if you live in an area of any kind of population. There should be a variety. We’re looking for happy hour networking happy hours some might ask you to commit after a couple of times that attend.
You know, some of these can be very low-cost.
Some of these can be in the hundreds of dollars. I would start with the things that are free to low cost. Go see what’s out there. Start making a plan. What can you attend regularly? that’s low to no cost? Where can you guest into people’s higher cost things? That’s not going to be a regular thing, but maybe being a guest in somebody’s networking event that’s a high-dollar networking event. Maybe that’s just an occasional thing that you do. I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to commit a lot of money and of course, what’s a lot of money to me might be different than what’s a lot of money to you. I just doesn’t make a lot of sense unless it’s the only option. Unless there’s three networking events in a three mile, three hour radius and they all want $500 a year. Maybe it would be better to just pick one. So that’s also going to depend on where you live.
Lastly, lastly, does this mean you don’t need any social media presence or online marketing? I mean the simplest answer is you don’t have to have anything, but I think the answer is more nuanced than that. Then I mentioned this in last week’s episode. People may want to check you out after meeting you in person and having a profile that you can send them to. That includes regular or semi regular content about what you’re about and what you stand for and what you talk about might be really helpful. Maybe you’re not making offers in that online content, but it’s online content of some kind. Maybe you’re posting once a week or every three days or something like that. Maybe you’re taking ideas from the conversations you have and you’re turning them into a weekly or a semi or, you know, a couple of time a week social media post and you get to decide where you want them to connect with you. You get to decide which platform. Do you want them to meet you on LinkedIn? Do you want them to meet you on Facebook? Do you want them to meet you on Instagram? It doesn’t matter, but they might want to stalk you.
So having a digital business card, so to speak, that says and hey, you know, go to my Instagram @iamamylatta and you can kind of get a feel for what I’m about. It’s a simple thing, right? And also emails. I mentioned this also in the last episode that in your business you don’t own a ton of assets in a coaching business, but your client list and your email list is an asset and it’s one of the biggest assets of your business. You don’t own those networking events, you don’t own those social hours, but you do own an email list and it’s a great way to let your regular people know about your occasional events and your special events like workshops and you know, hey, come see me speak at. You know you go ahead and send them an email when you land that speaking gig. You know, and again, you you do want to ask permission to when you are getting email addresses. Are you okay if I send emails to you? you do want to make sure that it’s okay with people before you just like meet somebody.
There are always those people at those networking events that went around and they collected as many business cards as they possibly can and they put all of those business cards into their email list and you started getting just emails all of the time from real estate agents and insurance brokers and bankers and all of the thing. I don’t recommend that. I think this is probably more of like, after you’ve had some conversations, go have that one-on-one, find out from people If they want to receive helpful information, useful information from you.
Okay, so have I left anything out?
Again, your willingness to do either online or offline marketing is an entirely different topic, like your willingness to do the work and we talk about that all the time and like basically all the other episodes. It’s all the coaching that I do in all of my programs. I’m actually doing a class tomorrow in Free to Paid Coach on whether or not you should create a funnel and an email sequence. That’s traditionally an online marketing tool, but you can totally share that funnel with people offline and get them used to talking to you. You can create a freebie. That is something that’s online and then you can go tell people offline.
If you want to know more, I actually offer this great PDF or actually offer this great worksheet that gives you AB and C. Do you want it? You can be like, “Here’s the address for it,” and that’s another way to get emails. So you see that you can mix and mingle. You can mix and match offline and online. You can have the majority of your presence offline with a couple of online pieces that make it a full marketing plan. You can also just do offline. It’s all a marketing plan.
But no matter what’s in your marketing plan your willingness to start those conversations and nurture those relationships and tell people I can help you. I can help you solve this problem. That’s gotta happen, no matter what’s in your marketing plan And if that’s your sticking point. That is why I am here right, so you can hit me up at any time at Amy at @iamamylatta so we can decide what’s the best next step for your life coaching business. And, like every week, when you see this podcast episode hit social media, share it in your stories. Tag me @iamamylatta and share what you needed to hear today. Let people know how this work is changing for you. Like, what did you learn in the past two episodes that you are gonna run with? That would be so fun for you to share with me. I would love to hear how you’re running with this. I can’t wait to hear from you. I’m so excited to see what you create in the world and I’ll talk to you next week.
Coach, it’s time to sign your first free client, your first paid client, your next client, and to learn how to do it consistently and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way. This is exactly what you’re going to do in Free to Paid Coach. It’s the only program giving you step-by-step what to do to become a paid coach and step-by-step how to handle the roller coaster emotions that come with doing what you need to do to become a paid coach.
If you know you can’t not do this life coaching thing, but believing that you can do it, handling rejection and remembering how to do all of those things shuts you down, the Free to Paid Coach Community is waiting for you. Find everything that you’re looking for inside. It’s only $1,000. Payments are available, and then you’re in forever.
Visit www.amylatta.com/ftpc to join us right now. See you inside. Let’s get paid, coach.
Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.