Marketing is a passion of mine, and has been since I started coaching. Which is why I know the behind-the-scenes strategies that work, but make some people a little uncomfortable.
At The Coaching Institute we have upwards of 30 campaigns going at anyone time, but for anyone starting out on your business journey, please know I relate to where you are now.
I began marketing when it was old school. Before the internet. It was very expensive and the only method I had was blowing my budget of $1000 on an ad in the newspaper, which would generate four leads and convert one.
My first real success was when the business was called Sharon Pearson and Associates—the ‘associates’ were my dog Buffy—and I went to the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and offered a free coaching session for every new gym member.
So the coaching was primed around value, and from memory I did a 30K month off that one campaign.
The first truth to know: one key with marketing is that whatever is possible offline is possible online, and vice versa.
The next marketing truth most people won't admit to?
In the early days you need more hunger than strategy and when there’s a lack of resources, you need more resourcefulness.
What I had in terms of resourcefulness was massive tenacity, bloody mindedness, anything that could steel my resolve against the inevitable rejection I was about to walk into.
I had a 12 month period where my goal was to get to 10 people a week I didn’t know, and convert.
My eye had to be on the ball.
What happened at the same time was my husband tried to buy the company he worked for and he got fired. So as he walked in the door with his briefcase my attitude was, 'my back is to the wall'. And when my back’s to the wall the best comes out in me.
When JP came home that day I knew that was the end of my buffer and having anything to fall back on. I was going to be responsible for everything.
90 days later, I was doing 40 or 50K profit a month,
My mindset was ‘I will dominate, nothing will get in my way’. It’s not very feminine, I’m supposed to be a chick and lovely and all supportive—but fuck it man, I built a business I’m proud of.
Since the earliest days, reciprocity has been a huge philosophy in how I do business. It’s the heart of our success. It means not having a scarcity mindset of loss and worry and fear.
It's about how you can provide value.
Most marketers think business is about trying to get the client. In the first year of TCI, I did—I thought it was all about getting students.
It's actually about providing value in a cool way to someone who needs it.
It’s all about providing enough value for free before any transaction happens. Give enough value to reveal your style and value proposition and see if you’re a match.
The need is not that they want to become a coach, the need has to be they like our style as we teach.
Another truth: Discounting turns what you've got into a commodity.
At The Coaching Institute, we never discount. We add more value.
Any coaching school that offers discounted coaching programs you shouldn’t join because they teach you to devalue what you know and have to offer.
In the beginning I would have done anything to get a client but the idea of discounting never occurred to me. It was about me having to grow in own sense of worth.
And the last thing to know that most people won't admit to? Marketing is manipulation.
All sales, all marketing, is getting someone to do 'the thing'.
A butterfly being a certain colour is manipulation. Every book is a manipulation of your thinking, every podcast, every idea. Everything is—it's an attempt to change the behaviour outside of us.
For me, it's manipulating people into something that is going to change their lives.
If you’re offended by it think about the times when something really mattered to you. What would you do to get the yes, to push through?
The moment we take the judgement or the hot energy out of the word and just look at and realise all we’re doing is effecting change then we realise, 'Now I just have to get good at that.'