Marketing is something on which big companies spend millions every year. How can you compete?
It all comes down to branding.
The reality is that, unless you let people know about your business and have a consistent personal presence as a Health Coach, you won’t be able to grow your business past word-of-mouth.
But building a brand is not only about attracting people to your business. It’s about their whole experience of your service. That’s because every person coming into contact with your business potentially becomes part of your branding. And the story they tell about you needs to be a good one.
So, here’s how you set branding goals that makes sure 2021 is the best story yet…
What branding goals make sense for your coaching business?
Branding opportunities exist internally and externally for your business and can be incorporated into your systems and processes. Which ones you should be focusing on in 2021 will depend on where you are in your health coaching business.
If you’ve been operating for several years, it’s probably about time to refresh critical elements. If you’re only starting out, developing your brand story is essential.
#1 What’s your brand story?
Traditional advertising is a “show and tell” of your business – what services you offer, where to find you, and so on. A brand story is a more encompassing narrative that includes these facts but also inspires an emotional reaction in potential clients.
A brand story may include the path that led to you becoming a health coach. It tells people what you place importance on (your values) and what you hope to accomplish (your mission). Ultimately, every component of your business can contribute to your brand story.
Have you considered that even your pricing can inspire an emotional reaction? Affordable pricing can provide comfort to budget-conscious parents who might otherwise feel guilty spending money on themselves. But premium pricing can make other clients feel your services are a well-deserved luxury for all their hard work and long hours at the office. How do you position yourself?
Going into 2021, take time to develop your brand story. Until you know what you want people to know about you and how you want it to make them feel, you can’t move forward with other branding goals. A good brand story is characterised by:
- Authenticity – let the true you come out; don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
- Consistency – your story must be repeated often, in different ways, without contradicting itself.
- Confirming experiences – your brand story is more than words on a website; it must flow through to the experience you provide.
- Knowing your audience – it must be personalised for your target audience; don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Top Tip: If you already have a brand story – using your most recent clients, think about why each of them came to you as opposed to one of your competitors. Do their reasons sit well with you? Are they the kind of clients you hope to attract? If not, take control of your narrative!
#2 Promises and lies – A brand audit of your customer journey
Brand audit? Customer journey? I know, I know, but it’s not as confusing as it sounds, all this involves is seeing whether you’re delivering on your promises to your clients.
However, there is one definition that is important to understand. A “customer journey” is all your customers’ experiences from when they first come across you, to signing up, working with you, and even when they “sign off.”
For your 2021 branding goals, think about your values and mission. They are the promises you make to your clients. Do they come through in your branding? For example, does a prospective client looking at your Facebook page get a sense of what you value and how that could help them? And are these values experienced consistently by all clients throughout their journey with you?
Perhaps you are a firm believer in personal attention and being present for your clients. You may take this “promise” so seriously that you spend so much time with existing clients, you don’t have time to return the calls of prospective clients. Your existing clients may feel valued enough to tell their friends about you, but when those friends don’t get their calls returned, they also have an experience of your business – and it’s not one of personal attention!
Top Tip: Ask a friend you can trust to be honest, to help you audit your customer journey. Share examples of your customer successes and disappointments (including the customers’ feedback, if available). Pay attention to what your friend has to say, without getting defensive and use this to help drive your branding goal choices for 2021.
#3 Make SMART branding goals
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timed. One of the frustrating things about branding is that it can be difficult to tell if it’s having any effect.
An example of a SMART branding goal could be to increase your health coach website traffic. It might look something like this:
Goal – To increase revenue using my website:
- Specific – I want to increase my website’s traffic by publishing a blog weekly instead of monthly like I currently do.
- Measurement – I want an increase of 10% over my regular traffic.
- Attainable – My traffic increased by 5% when I started blogging regularly once a month, so at least 10% for four times the effort sounds very attainable.
- Relevant – 25% of my clients reach out to me via my blog, so increasing blog traffic is relevant to increasing my revenue.
- Timed – I want to achieve this growth in twelve weeks.
Other branding goals could be to boost video views, achieve a certain number of newsletter subscribers, to increase the average number of pages a website visitor visits, or the number of shares a tweet gets.
Top Tip: Don’t worry if you don’t reach your goals even after trying your best. With branding, it can be just as valuable to know what doesn’t work.
#4 Refresh your graphics
Content marketing is a very effective way to drive brand awareness and gather leads. But sometimes, we can forget about the “old-style” branding relating to the graphical representation of our business.
Brand graphics can include:
- Colours – colours can evoke emotions, but they also go in and out of fashion. Do the colours of your brand say what you want them to?
- Typography/scripts/fonts – these are also subject to changing fashions and can give people an impression of your business. Are you professional, playful, creative?
- Logo – your logo can be a valuable way of telling people what you’re about because people process images faster than text. Is your logo simple and functional? Does it quickly let people know what you do?
Paying a professional graphic artist to refresh your brand could be money well-spent. It’s the one area of branding that most marketing specialists will insist is not a DIY option. It shouldn’t cost a fortune, but you can control costs by making sure you have your brand story straight. Knowing your values and mission will help capture your brand the first time around.
Top Tip: If you need help with giving your brand a refresh, this is something I help health coaches with specifically. So reach out and I can help you achieve your branding goals for 2021!
Once you have your new graphic identity, make sure it is used consistently across all your branding platforms.
#5 Update your keywords/phrases
A specific social media goal that is worth discussing separately is SEO (search engine optimisation). Unless you are a well-known brand that people know to look for, you rely on prospective clients finding you through web searches. Knowing how the search engines behind these work is essential to getting yourself ranked high enough for people to notice you.
Search engines use algorithms to go through the content on websites, looking for meaningful words and phrases that indicate what the site is about. They look at other things too, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s concentrate on these “keywords” and “keyphrases.”
To make sure your website comes up in the right searches, you need to understand what words and phrase your clients will be searching on and incorporate them into your content. You can see what your competitors are using by using online tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Übersuggest, or Keyword Tool. They will also provide you with suggested keywords and phrases that are popular.
For 2021 think of the main problems you solve, and write content about them on your website – how you help, which services would be best to help them, as well as showing you have an understanding of their issue deeply.
Top Tip: Be aware that many short, individual keywords are oversubscribed. Think of longer phrases or connected words that will give you a better chance of ranking.
As a health coach branding is important, and the end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on what’s working and what isn’t! Try to enjoy the process, and that way it won’t overwhelm you, and if you need any help, give me a shout!