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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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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.

[embed]https://youtu.be/AAx60JxxWFg[/embed]

#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)

[embed]https://youtu.be/SgXlOH-1pPk[/embed]

#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Xe1E59N6A&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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