Ep #186: The Simplest Marketing Plan of Ever (and it’s Not Ads)

Marketing can be simple. This is the episode that shows you how.
 
You don’t need Facebook Ads. You don’t needs layered plans. You don’t need complicated if-this-then-that systems. You don’t need a marketing degree to be great at marketing your business.
 
Grab your pen and notebook, because after this episode, you will walk away with the Simplest Marketing Plan of Ever that has you in front of more potential clients than ever before.
 

The doors to Free to Paid Coach are officially open! If you’re ready to learn the foundational concepts of confidence that get you from being a free coach to a paid coach who makes six figures and beyond, join us right now! 

What You’ll Learn:
  • The simplest marketing plan consists of three key components: regulars, occasionals, and specials
  • You get to decide what your marketing plan means for you
  • Email marketing is a crucial tool for coaches because it’s truly the only thing you own in the digital marketing space
  • Social media is an awareness tool and calling card, and it’s essential to choose the platform that feels right for you and where your peeps are hanging out 
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 186 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you leave with a marketing plan today. All right, let’s go!

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m Amy Latta, let’s dive in.

Hello, my friend, do you have your pen and paper? Because you’re going to need it. I’ve had a lot of clients come to me in the past couple of weeks freaking out about the fact that they don’t have Facebook ads, and I don’t know what went down. But you all don’t need Facebook ads unless you want to; you don’t need them. So what do you need instead? Easy, I’m about to give you the simplest marketing plan ever, and it does not have to include ads at all. And I want to be really clear. It’s not that paying money for advertising is a bad thing. It’s like all of what we know. How do magazines get published? Advertising. How are you watching TV for free on your local news? It’s advertising. Advertising makes the world go round. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s incredibly neutral. And for people who’ve built their entire business using just ads – amazing. And then also, there are people who are making millions who’ve never spent money on ads, and there’s everything in between. There is no right or wrong, but anybody who’s saying you have to have them is being disingenuous at the least and flat out lying at the worst. But then also, your brain, your mind, is going to say, “but if I’m not doing that, then I need to be doing something.” So this is your something. So you’ve got your pen and paper, right? Because by the end of this, you should be able to have the simplest marketing plan ever, and that’s what I’m calling this. I feel like that needs to have a registered or a TM at the end of it. The simplest marketing plan ever.

Now, let’s be really clear. What I’m going to give you in this episode really is super easy. It’s super simple, and also, your mind will hate how simple it is because it will tell you that it needs to be more complicated. And no, it doesn’t. There are other factors that do come into play. Like, this isn’t an episode about what to say in your marketing plan because there’s going to be a word or two about that towards the end. But what about this? What about that? What about this? I want you to really see that all a marketing plan is, is a plan for how you’re going to market. I know all a marketing plan is, is a plan for how you are going to market your business, and marketing is just letting people know that you have a business, the problems that you solve, and invitations to work with you.

Marketing is saying, “You know, here’s the thing that I have.” Selling is saying, “Do you want to buy it?” It’s really this simple. Something happens, okay, I didn’t realize that this was going to be part of the episode, but like leaning, something happens in so many minds where, as soon as we talk about well, I got to do marketing, and everybody starts throwing out like, “I hate marketing, I don’t know how to market,” because you didn’t go to business school or you know it’s got to be this thing that you got to go learn. And I want you to understand this right now. No, it’s not okay. Yes, I’m telling you this as a, I actually have a marketing degree. Did you all know that? This is literally my college degree, what I did for four years and my corporate career was in corporate marketing. Marketing is what my career was.

Marketing can be complicated. Marketing can be multi-layered. It absolutely can be, but it doesn’t have to be, particularly when you are a one-woman show running a very simple coaching business. Now you can do integrated marketing play. This is what we did in college. This is what we did in my corporate career. Right, like integrated marketing with this and that and this tie-in, and this piece over here and this bamboozle is all like, I’m just like it’s got wizards and bangs and booms. Right, I’m channeling a little Grinch. Right, it’s got all these pieces and it’s got all these moving parts. And yes, that is also marketing, but that’s not what we’re doing here.

None of that is necessary. You are not a multinational corporation with multiple things going on. You’re a single coach who just wants to let people know that you have something that can help them. A simple marketing plan to match your simply structured business. That’s all you need. It doesn’t have to be more complicated. It can be as simple as this. Okay, all right.

So now, right out of the gate, I’m going to tell you a little bit about what we’re not covering in this episode so that you can see just how simple the marketing plan in and of itself is. In the Free to Paid Coach program, I coach my people on the simple steps to becoming a paid coach. You want to sell what you know, start conversations and nurture relationships, and then make as many offers to help those people as you can. Of course, most of the time, we’re spending time working through the emotional roller coaster of doing these simple things because our minds want to make it very complicated.

Now, once you’re moving into the mastermind, which has previously been called Path to 100K, the name is still TBD, but the new purpose is really about profitability. I’m way more concerned about you becoming a profitable business with income than I am with you hitting this magical 100K mark but not actually having any money in your bank. The process is still the same. We’re going to take what’s working, what you know. You’re already signing clients. You’ve already done the sell what you know, start conversations and nurture relationships, make as many offers as you can. Now we’re building on that with what’s working.

What do you love about your business? What feels like play and fun? Let’s replicate that, even if it goes against norms. Then we’re going to look at what’s not working. What have you done that feels forced? What are you doing because you think you have to do it? People running Facebook ads, for example. What’s sucking the life out of you? Let’s let that go. In the past, I’ve called it “try a hundred things,” “your Epic Action Plan,” and now we’re calling it “your yes plan.” It’s the episode from a couple of weeks ago. It’s all the same thing – testing and trying more things to add to those first two lists of what’s working and what’s not working.

Okay, so this is happening, and depending on where you’re at and where you are in your business and how much money you’re making, the coaches who are making over a hundred K, who hire me for one-on-one, we’re doing any combination of that. You know, maybe we are. How can we make the same amount of money with significantly less stress, significantly less burnout? Let’s simplify your business plan. Maybe we’re burning down what you’ve already created that’s making you a lot of money and building something that you love in your bones to replace it. It could be any number of things, right? So depending on where you are, the marketing plan and what’s in the plan kind of depends on where you are in your business. But the plan itself is very simple. So, what are the components of the simplest marketing plan ever?

I was thinking about my plan, and I want to be clear, I actually don’t have a written plan that I am following. Some people do that, but the ADHD personality in me does not love sticking to a strict plan. However, when I sat down to teach this and add this to the mastermind, I had to think about the fact that I do have a plan; I just don’t have it written down as, “This is what we’re doing here, and this is what we’re doing here.” But I have been working the plan, and so I was thinking about the components, and there are the things that I do all the time, like my regular stuff, and then there’s stuff that I do semi-regularly or occasionally, and then there are things that are maybe one-offs or special events. So, the components of the simplest marketing plan ever are those three things: your regulars, your occasionals, and your specials. All I did is write down everything I could ever think of that I’ve ever done to market my business, and I found that they all fell into one of those three columns. You’ve got your stuff that you do all the time, the stuff that you do occasionally, and then the stuff that’s that I do semi-regularly.

It’s more like I do it on occasion, like they’re the occasionals, and then there’s things that are kind of maybe one-offs or special events. So the components of your simplest marketing plan of ever, are those three things: your regulars, your occasionals and your specials.

All I did is I wrote down everything I could ever think of that I’ve ever done to market my business and I found that they all fell into one of those three columns. You got your stuff that you do all of the time, the stuff that you do occasionally and then the stuff that’s just like a special event.

So what are we talking about? Like what do I mean? regulars and occasionally and specials? So I’m going to give you some ideas of what I’m talking about And I want you to note that some things that I call occasional you might call special and some things that I’m calling special you might call occasional.

Okay, your simplest marketing plan ever is not carved in stone. You are not tied to it until the death of your business. This is a mix and match and everything in between. You don’t have to do all of it. You can actually do very little of it. You want to start where your comfort level is. So, what are we talking about here?

For regulars, the first thing I do is email my people every single week. I have a podcast that’s released every single week, as well as social media posts. Maybe you’re doing regular Facebook Lives, YouTube videos, reels, TikToks, or even networking events. For some people, there are freebies, Facebook groups, and even Facebook ads. Facebook ads might be a regular thing, even though this whole episode is about not needing to do them.

So, what are you doing all the time? For example, I’m sending out weekly emails, producing a podcast every week, and doing a live in my Free to Paid Coach group every week. I used to do lives outside and to the public every single week. I’ve got a freebie, Facebook groups, and used to go to networking events every single week, as well as creating reels, TikToks, and YouTube videos. You may not be doing all of these, and you don’t have to, but you want to think about what you are doing all the time. By “all the time,” it doesn’t have to be daily, but instead, what you are doing every single week or three times a week. These are your regular activities that you’re starting with where you’re comfortable and have gotten into the habit of doing regularly.

Then, there are other things that I only do occasionally, such as webinars, masterclasses, free training, or email series. Back in the day, I would do the occasional in-person workshop, speaking events, or vendor fairs. So, before I really had an online presence, I was doing a lot of in-person activities back in 2015 and 2016, like vendor fairs, workshops, and speaking events.

Probably, you know, “occasional” might be a kind of once-a-quarter thing. You know, every other month or once a quarter-ish. Again, you’re going to notice none of this is hard; none of this is black and white. None of this is like it’s got to be this, and it’s got to fit into this category. So, your regulars are what you’re doing daily or weekly, while your occasionals are maybe like every other month or quarterly. And then you’ve got your special events. Now, you might notice that for some of you, what I’m going to put under special events, you’re actually doing occasionally, or maybe what I’ve listed as an occasional would be a pretty big special event for you.

For me, specials would be like collaborations. I don’t do them very often. It’s not a semi-regular kind of thing, but they do happen. Podcast guesting, maybe giveaways – I did a giveaway last fall for a push. I don’t do those all the time, but I decided to try it. Hot seat coaching – this is like a coaching hot seat. I’ve been entertaining the idea of maybe doing that a couple of times, like a free coaching Friday kind of thing. Come, do some hot seat coaching with me. Free coaching days, Voxer days – something that I’m putting under specials. Like a close friends list. If you follow me on Instagram, I have created a close friends list. If you follow me and you ask me to put you on my close friends list, you’ll get stories with a green circle that only people who are close friends will get. It’s been under the specials category, but I think the close friends list is going to be moving to more regulars because I’m moving a little bit of my marketing plan around.

So you’ll notice, even in the conversation I’ve just had with you, I’m sharing the things that I have done and where I have put them. But I’m even moving things around from what’s a regular to an occasional to a special. And you should be doing that too. What do you want to do all the time? What do you want to do regularly? What do you want to do semi-regularly or occasionally? And then, give it a try – special events, what comes up for you, what do you want to have in your columns? So, your regulars are like what you’re doing every day or every week. Your semi-regulars or occasionals are like every other month or once a quarter, and then maybe your specials are.

You get to decide if you want to make sure you do a special, like once a quarter or twice a year. I don’t plan mine that far out. If a special event comes up, I just do it. But for you, you might want to make a specific plan for it. You know, maybe your regulars are daily and weekly, your occasionals are monthly, and your specials are quarterly. So, in the simplest marketing plan ever, you get to decide the timing. My regulars are daily and weekly. My occasionals are more like every other month to quarterly. My specials are whenever the hell I feel like it. If you want to put more time constraints on that, you certainly can, but don’t think that if you don’t have the timing 100% that you don’t have a marketing plan. You do have a marketing plan, even if that plan is doing some things whenever the hell you want. But you’ve identified that you want to do them or you like doing them, and when the opportunity arises, you’re going to do them.

We start making marketing plans complicated when we start demanding that they be something very specific and nothing else. The way you keep the simplest marketing plan ever simple is to decide to make it your own and it doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s. It doesn’t have to fit anybody else’s definition. So what are you going to do regularly? What are you going to do semi-regularly or occasionally, and when are you going to do a special? Now, for a lot of people starting out, your yes plan is probably going to have a lot of those occasional and specials. Right, your yes plan is where you’re trying new things out, to see if you like them and see what’s working and what’s not working, so they can even be TBD and then tied to your yes plan. That’s super fun, right?

Okay, so a note about email marketing: one of the things we could probably discuss in a whole separate episode is that email marketing is as simple as having people’s email addresses and sending them emails.

Email marketing isn’t more complicated than that. Do you want to know what an email marketing plan is? It’s simply determining how often you want to email your people. That’s your plan. In the past, I would have a specific email marketing plan. For example, Monday would be Motivational Monday, Tuesday would be the podcast, and then on Thursday or Friday, I’d send a once-a-week email with deep thoughts. This email would be inspirational and full of useful content. Now, I send an email every Tuesday and sometimes have email series where I send emails five days a week or one day a week. It’s still an email marketing plan, and I can make it more structured or less structured as needed.

Even if you are a brand new coach, don’t stress out about this immediately, but understand that people’s email addresses are the only thing that you really own. You don’t own your contacts on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube. This episode is not about how to build an email list, but at some point, you’ll want to start gathering email addresses and compiling them into a list. I conducted a technology class in Free to Paid Coach in April about the tech needed and where not to spend your money. You can use a free email service like MailerLite or MailChimp to gather those emails.

Decide what your email marketing plan is. A once-a-week email with an idea for the week is a beautiful email marketing plan. It’s the perfect place to start, and I strongly recommend it. It doesn’t matter if you have five emails; those are your emails. You can use a free email service like MailerLite or MailChimp to gather those emails. Use them, write to them, nurture those relationships, and develop your voice. Start writing to get better at figuring out how you talk, the language you use, and why this matters.

Invite your contacts to occasional or special events, and ask them to follow you on Instagram. Encourage your Instagram followers and online contacts to give you their email so you can send them updates. Give them a reason to want to do that. This is where you can promote your specials and occasionals on social media, and there’s a way you can tie them in for people to sign up. Keep in mind, this is a separate topic on how to gather emails.

In the simplest marketing plan ever, sending regular emails should be included, regardless of how many email addresses you have, because it’s the only thing you own. It’s a great way to nurture relationships, develop your writing, and find your voice. Get into the habit, and in the future, when you have a freebie and a sequence, sending regular emails won’t be a big deal.

Regarding social media, it does not matter which platform you use. In your simplest marketing plan ever, include a social media post once a week or three times a week, whichever suits you best. Start where you’re already comfortable. I have a breakdown of the different social media platforms, their pros and cons, and why you should be on one and not another.

This was March’s class in Free to Paid Coach, focusing on meeting people and nurturing relationships. We discussed how to meet people online and why you might choose Instagram over Facebook or TikTok over LinkedIn. It’s important to note that the information in this class is probably already dated a couple of months later, as social media platforms are constantly changing and evolving. What might be a pro in one month could be a con six months from now. However, it doesn’t matter which platform you choose – start where you are already comfortable. If you want to grow more, there’s a class in Free to Paid Coach just on where to go to meet people.

Additionally, this discussion leads to a note about in-person marketing, as you don’t necessarily have to do everything online. This topic could warrant its own episode. For your marketing plan, your regular activities could include attending a weekly networking event, and your occasional activities could involve hosting an in-person coffee club or workshop. This is a simple in-person marketing plan.

Many people have a love-hate relationship with social media, so if you have great in-person connections, a social media marketing plan is not your priority. However, it’s suggested that when meeting people in person, they might look you up online. So, being able to send them to your Facebook page or Instagram profile could be beneficial. Post content from your emails or short, inspirational messages on your social media platforms. Take inspiration from your in-person conversations and turn them into content, just like this podcast episode, which was inspired by coaching sessions where people were freaking out about Facebook ads. Look for those opportunities to create content and simplify your marketing plan.

A word about social media: It doesn’t matter which platform you use; start where you’re already comfortable. If you want to build your simplest marketing plan ever and implement it in person, I strongly recommend having a place for people to look you up and connect with you on Facebook personally. Aim to post something that speaks to your audience and niche at least once a week or three times a week, whether on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or another platform. This way, people can get a feel for what you talk about, and the next time you meet them at a networking event, they might have scoped you out a bit.

This episode focuses on where to put your content, not what to put in there. Decide how often you’re going to post on email, social media, videos, or podcast episodes, and then get intentional with your marketing plan by looking at metrics. The last piece of the simplest marketing plan ever is examining metrics. What posts are performing better than others? Are they being opened? Email services like MailChimp and MailerLite can provide open rates, which indicate how effective your subject lines are. If there’s a link to schedule a consult call with you, the click rate will tell you whether or not people felt compelled enough to click through.

If you’re on Instagram and you have professional or business or creator anything other than a personal account, it will give you data on what your most interacted posts were, your most popular posts. It will tell you what time of day people are looking at. That can get as complicated or as simple as you want it to be, but you can get data and feedback and see how your stuff is doing. You can repost or repurpose what a lot of people interacted with. Posts that feel really great to you but didn’t get a lot of interaction. That’s great stuff that you can rework and turn into something.

So your simplest marketing plan of ever. What do you want to do regularly? What do you want to do semi-regularly or occasionally? What do you want to do for special events? And then follow up where numbers and data is available and pay attention to what it’s telling you.

All right, it’s the simplest marketing plan of ever. I promise We can get more complicated. It doesn’t need to be.

Yes, what goes in the plan you might need coaching on? Yes, you might want to do in person versus online. You might want to do online versus in person. You might want to do a combination thereof, mix and match. What I want you to walk away with is that this doesn’t have to be complicated. Every bit of your plan can be whenever you’re in a situation, whenever the hell I feel like it. That is a plan Don’t use I don’t know how to do marketing as a reason not to market your business. Keep it simple and in both, Free to Paid Coach, Path to Profitability, mastermind, whatever the hell I’m calling it … it’s still in transition.

Whether you’re working with me on one on one, we can absolutely hammer out the best, simplest marketing plan for you And what’s going in that plan, how you’re talking to people, what your message is, what the things that you want to say in that BFF energy that you just speaking from your heart to their heart. Listen, now is the time. I don’t even sure what the release date on this episode is, so I might be shooting myself in the foot, but if you went when you’re enrolling in Free to Paid Coach, if this episode is dropping, yes, on the day that it drops, you can still do this through the end of May, free to paid coach. You’re going to get bonus one on one coaching sessions with me and we are pre enrolling for the next round of mastermind and we can coach one on one until the mastermind starts. You want to make sure that you’re getting in now If you know this is the work that you want to be doing. 

If you’re in a situation where you’re not doing anything, this podcast landed on you. If you needed to hear this and you know other people who need to hear it, share it in your stories. Tag me at @iamamylatta. Share what you needed to hear today. I can’t wait to hear. I’m so excited to see what you create in the world.

All right, 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.

 

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