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Why All Bloggers Should Offer Coaching (Yes, Even You)

You started your blog because you want people to read it.

You want your blog to connect with people. You want your content to reach a wide audience. You want to build a base of fans that gobble up your every word.

And yes, at some point, you also want to make money from your blog.  

Because let’s face it … as much as you love to write, you didn’t start your blog as a journaling project. (If you did, this article isn’t for you.)

But here’s the thing … if you want your writing to connect with people, you need to connect with them first.

And the best way to connect with anyone is to talk to them — as in, one-on-one.

That’s why every blogger should offer coaching.

Yes, even you. Even if you don’t think you can.

“But… My Niche Really Isn’t Coaching-Compatible…”

You sure about that?

Okay, I won’t lie — some niches do lend themselves to coaching more than others. Everyone’s heard of business coaches, dating coaches, and fitness coaches. And if you blog on those topics, coaching people will feel like a natural step.

On the other hand, nobody’s ever heard of a web design coach, an anxiety coach, or a travel coach. Those niches aren’t quite as compatible with coaching as the previous ones.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a coaching-like service.

You don’t have to label it “coaching” if it doesn’t feel natural, but you can offer something that gets you one-on-one time with your audience.

For example:

  • If you blog about web design, you could offer website reviews and feedback sessions.
  • If you blog about anxiety, you could offer guided meditations or in-person teaching of techniques to calm down.
  • If you blog about travel, you could offer sessions where they tell you their dream trip, and you help them create the ultimate money-saving itinerary.

So let’s be clear: You don’t have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word. The important thing is that you get to talk to (and help!) your audience in a one-on-one setting.

You do not have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word.

“But… But… I’m Not Ready to Be a Coach!”

Let’s be real. Your first coaching sessions will always feel scary, and you’re not going to feel ready the first few times you do it.

But you shouldn’t wait to start coaching until you feel ready, because you won’t feel ready until you start coaching.

Jeff Goins started coaching early in his blogging career, and even he admits he was mostly winging it at first:

Early on in my blogging career, people started asking me to coach them. I had no idea what this meant or how to do this. So, of course, I said yes. I began meeting with people in person and on the phone and seeing how I could help them. When we met, I realized what Derek Sivers says — ”what’s obvious to you is amazing to others” — is true.

 
Yes, you read that right. One of the world’s most popular writing coaches had little clue what he was doing when he started coaching. He was just confident he could help people get results, so he said yes.

And that’s the point: Coaching clients don’t expect you to be perfect. They just want you to help them get results.

If you have enough knowledge to run a blog on a certain topic, you have enough knowledge to get people results on that same topic. Right? Right. (Otherwise, I doubt you’d have started your blog in the first place.)

If you’re uncomfortable charging people at first, that’s totally understandable. (And even honorable that you don’t want to take money without first proving your value.)

To get past this, go ahead and offer your first 5–10 coaching calls for free. You’ll not only gain experience running a coaching call, you’ll also gain the confidence to charge people for a session when the time comes.

3 Critical Reasons You Should Offer Coaching to Your Audience

Are you feeling convinced that you can offer coaching on your blog?

Good, then we can talk about why you should.

The truth is, coaching can be a godsend for your blogging business.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years now, and it’s only been in the last year or so that I got the readership, engagement, and profitability I’ve wanted all along. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also started coaching about a year and a half ago.

Here are three ways coaching will benefit you as a blogger:

#1. You Gain New Insights and Create More Engaging Content


One of the coolest things about coaching is that clients will tell you their own specific struggles without you having to guess. I know that sounds uber-simplistic, but how many hours do you spend scouring the web for information on your audience instead of just asking them directly?

Coaching clients are incredibly forthcoming with what they need your help with, which means you’ll gather a ton of valuable insights for your content strategy.

Take Jacob McMillen, who noticed some tangible data differences after running his first coaching/mentorship program. He’d reached the six-figure mark as a writer, and wanted to know how he could help other people do the same.

I decided to mentor 10 writers for 3 months and see what would happen. I priced it at $200 per month to make it accessible and all 10 spots were filled within a few days. My hope was that, even if I wasn’t successful, I would get a more intimate understanding of what was really holding people back.

 
From mentoring only ten people, he already got a wealth of information and results. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the long run.

After the group mentoring experiment, he realigned his content marketing based on the information he collected, and saw the following results:

  • Average article views increased from 1,218 to 3,802
  • Average time on page increased from 3:38 to 6:21
  • Average shares increased from 72 to 99

After his coaching experiment, the insights he gathered helped him develop more compelling content for his particular audience, and as you can see, his engagement shot way up.

#2. You Can Start Earning Cash Right Away


One of the best parts of coaching is that you can make money right away.

As we saw above, Jacob mentored ten students at $200 a pop, which means he brought in $2,000 he wouldn’t have otherwise.

In my own business, I let people book one-off sessions ranging in price from $125 to $200, and sometimes I even book month-long programs for corporate teams for thousands of dollars.

It’s relatively quick and easy money, and you don’t even have to spend time creating a product. Coaching is something you can start to offer as soon as you get readers. (Or even sooner, if you explore other ways to score your first coaching clients.)

Even if you don’t start out charging $100+ per session, and even if you’re only getting the occasional client at first, it’s still cash in your bank.

Yes, even if you only book one session per week and only charge $30 to $50 for it, that’s still money coming in. (And it means you’re officially “in business” as a professional blogger.)

#3. You Can Validate and Refine Your Product Ideas


As Pat Flynn put it: “If you truly want to know whether or not a product will sell or not, you’ve got to get people to pull out their wallets and actually pay you for it.”

He’s right. You’ll never know if you’ve got something worth paying for until someone pays for it.

One of the most popular ways to make money as a blogger is through product development — but with the amount of time that takes, it can be a risky venture if you don’t validate your product idea beforehand.

And you can validate your product idea by selling coaching sessions aimed at helping people reach the same goal. You’ll already know people are willing to pay for it, so you’ll reduce most of the risk up front.

Not only that, but the insights you get from coaching will help you refine your product and maximize its effectiveness.

James Johnson based his entire first course on the results he got from coaching:

I was looking to find my first product to run through Freelance Writers School. I needed to find out what people needed, and what I could deliver to them in a small space of time.

So I asked around some freelance friends on Facebook, explained to them what I was doing, and offered to coach them for free on some of the problems they were having in their business.

 
James got one friend on board and asked him what his problems were. James then offered his solutions, and when they worked, he’d add them to his course as modules. When they didn’t work, he’d cut them and try something new.

When James was done, he’d helped his friend grow his freelancing business, and he’d assembled 90% of a course.

He then continued to test his solutions on paid coaching clients, noting where they hit roadblocks or had further questions. This helped him refine his course further, making it even more helpful and easier to navigate.

Start Coaching Right Now and Reap the Many Benefits

Your first coaching offer doesn’t have to be perfect, especially if you’re at the first stages of using it as a method of market research and a simple stream of revenue.

You’ll refine your offer(s) over time, and only experience with coaching can teach you how to become a better coach for your audience.

You’ll learn so much about your audience, build a better blog, earn some money, and gather the information you need to make your blog more profitable in the long term. (Plus, you’ll be helping people with your knowledge, which is rewarding in and of itself.)

It’s a win-win-win situation, and the world is waiting for your expertise.

So give it to them.

About the Author: Chelsea Baldwin is the founder of Copy Power, where she teaches copywriting and helps entrepreneurs make the kind of bang-bang impression that gets remembered. (Even days after people leave your site.) Use her free 3-part email course to learn how to write astonishingly memorable copy for yourself, even if you’re not a writer.

 

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes

Latest Facebook Updates 2018

Latest Facebook Updates 2018

From the Russian ad debacle to the Cambridge Analytica scandal to suffering a major stock price blow just a few short weeks ago, Facebook has been making less-than-stellar headlines the past few months. Users are concerned about their privacy and how their data is being used—and brands and marketers are wondering whether the platform will continue to be a viable advertising and engagement platform.

In an attempt to rebuild trust, ensure better data protection and transparency, the social network is doubling down, again, on their commitment to improving the user experience and creating a fun, respectful community.

As all marketers will remember, the quest to improve user experience started way back in 2015, with the announcement it would be making refinements to its News Feed to strike a better balance between friends, public figures, publishers, businesses, and community organizations. That continued in the summer 2016 with more updates favoring friends and family content—and was still on the move when the first scandal broke later that year.

Of course, these changes didn’t do marketers and brands any favors in the organic reach department. Organic reach had already been declining, and these moves have nearly eliminated its potential. And now, more changes have arrived, presenting new challenges as well as some opportunities.

Below we share the low-down on five of such recent or rolling out changes, what they mean for social media marketers, and some potential next steps to take.

1. A New News Feed

Once again, the News Feed is getting a facelift—a big one. While Mark Zuckerberg announced back in January 2018 that changes would be rolling out throughout the year, a “major update” was announced in April, which Director of Product Management, Mark Hull, details in the video below:

Essentially, meaningful person-to-person interaction is what will carry the News Feed ranking weight, and person-to-page interactions will continue to be second tier. Oh, and Facebook expects people to spend less time on the platform.

This sounds pretty scary for marketers. Most have adapted their strategies to zero-in on fostering engaging discussion, as well as throwing spend behind Facebook’s ad platform (which is also changing and we’ll get to that later).

But before you eliminate Facebook from your marketing mix, there are a few opportunities to consider:

Working with influencers: With Facebook continuing to elevate content from individuals, there may be no better time to start building relationships with industry influencers and thought leaders that you can collaborate with on content.

Read: Death of Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing

Facebook Groups: As my colleague, Nick Nelson, reported not too long ago, while groups have long been available as a feature on Facebook, the brand-driven “Facebook Groups for Pages” were just rolled out last year. And some brands are seeing traction with them, but this isn’t something you leap into without being thoughtful.

Read: The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group?

Facebook Stories: Very recently, Facebook insiders asserted that Facebook Stories may very well be the future of connection on Facebook. Once again, as Nick Nelson pointed out: “Facebook Stories are intriguing because they offer a real chance to capture part of a user’s attention — maybe even more than the minimum amount.” And early adopters may secure an advantage.

Read: The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game

2. Stricter Ad Targeting

As of late, most of Facebook’s critiques are a result of their advertising products and practices. By increasing the targeting capabilities of their advertising products, Facebook arguably put users’ privacy at risk. To help correct that perception and protect user privacy, Facebook is making several changes to their advertising platform.

One such update was released in early July, requiring advertisers to state where they acquired people’s information for their custom audiences. Instead of simply uploading a list of emails you want to target as a custom audience, Facebook wants advertisers to take extra steps to ensure those emails came from a reputable source and that the audience has consented to those ads. With this change, Facebook hopes to improve transparency with users about why they see ads from certain brands and how they received their information.

New Facebook Ad Disclaimer

(Credit: Facebook)

In addition, Facebook has also disabled their Partner Categories product, which provided targeting capabilities from third-party data providers to advertisers. This limits advertiser insight into user behavior outside of Facebook (e.g. purchasing activity), making ads appear more natural to users and less “big brother.”

From our perspective, this is good news. Consumers are increasingly wary of marketing and advertising messages and this move can help strengthen the credibility and relevance of your ads and brand. Of course, this is all assuming you can and do confirm your custom audience lists and sources fall within the new guides.

So, if you haven’t already, take the steps to review your custom audience lists and their sources. You need to be able to state if you received the information directly from your audience, a partner, or a combination. If you used a data provider like an advertising or marketing agency, double check that they’ve acquired the data honestly and they agree to Facebook’s Terms of Use.

3. New Data History Tools

Now more than ever, people want control over their data. They want to know what information is stored, who has access to it, and they want to be able to delete it.

Recognizing this need, Facebook announced a new feature called Clear History that will be released “soon.”With this new feature, Facebook is giving users the ability to see the websites and apps that store information with Facebook, and delete that information from their account.

However, Facebook will still retain aggregated analytics, but no personally identifying information will be contained.

“We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can build reports when we’re sent this information so we can tell developers if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group,” Facebook says. “We can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, we don’t tell advertisers who you are.

What exactly does this mean for marketers? If you use Facebook plugins on your website (think Facebook Pixel or “Like” buttons on websites), your audience can now see and delete the information that the plugin collects; meaning it won’t be connected to their profile any longer.

Obviously, if users take advantage of this when it rolls out, clearing their history could be problematic for marketers, and maybe even users. For marketers, it will be incredibly difficult to target these folks with ads. For users, that could mean an uptick in irrelevant ads for a time.

However, the eventual upside for advertisers could be the “re-learning” that needs to happen after a history cleanse, which can lead to a more relevant and accurate look of who your audience is.

4. Poor Customer Feedback = Ban

A poor customer experience really sours your impression of a brand. An to ensure that ads on Facebook lead to positive shopping experiences, and not negative ones, Facebook will now ban brands that have low customer satisfaction ratings from advertising on their platform.

For example, if users give you too many frowning faces shown in the rating system below, Facebook will reject your ads.

Facebook Negative Review Example

(Credit: Facebook)

Before you become too concerned, however, Facebook says it will: “Share feedback directly with businesses that receive high volumes of negative feedback and will give them a chance to improve before taking further action. If feedback does not improve over time, we will reduce the amount of ads that particular business can run.”

So, even if you receive negative ratings, you will have an opportunity to make improvements to prevent being banned.

The opportunity here is obvious. The better customer experience you provide, the more successful your marketing efforts will be. For Facebook ads, this is rooted in focusing on clarity and honesty within your ads.

At a minimum, Facebook suggests taking steps to ensure your ads aren’t misleading. In addition, use images or videos to make it very clear what you are selling and what you are selling it for. It’s also a good idea to set clear expectations for how users will receive your product or service. By setting clear guidelines, you’re more likely to meet customer expectations, leading to more positive user ratings. For more insight, read Facebook’s tips on how to improve customer feedback.

5. All of Your Ads, Exposed

Knowing the organization behind an ad is important. Otherwise, users might not trust the content of the ad. So, to increase ad and page transparency, Facebook now allows users to see all of the ads any page is running within their partner network.

This includes ads on Instagram, Messenger, and the rest of the Facebook partner network. In addition, even if pages aren’t advertising, Facebook will provide more information about a page including name history and the date the page was created. Together, these changes aim to give users more information about an organization so they can decide if an ad is credible or not.

Facebook Ad Transparency

(Credit: Facebook)

For marketers, this change isn’t a bad thing — it may even mean more eyeballs on your advertising content. However, marketers should still be thoughtful about how their ads will be perceived by individuals outside of their target audience.

For example, even if an ad isn’t specifically designed for or served to them, users can still review (and report) your ads. As a result, you need to take extra steps to make sure your ads are consistent, clear, and friendly for all.

The Life Force of Facebook

Long before the scandals and latest privacy concerns, Facebook has been rooted in evolution. Just think what the platform started as and has become. So, while the recent and coming changes seem pretty fierce, I think it’s safe to say we were already on that trajectory. And there’s probably more to come.

Since the major changes that impacted advertisers and brands began rolling out in 2015, Facebook has maintained their actions are all in the interest of creating a better user experience. And at the end of the day, that’s what the goal of any marketer is in their quest to nurture their audience and aid them on their customer journey.

So, it’s OK if you’re a panicked, disheartened, or simply irritated. But, at this point, the platform still holds marketing opportunity, marketers just need to adapt their social media marketing strategies, try new features and avenues, and work hard to ensure they’re part of providing that great user experience.

Looking for more social media marketing news, tips, and insights? Check out all of our recent social media-related blog posts.

The post The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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