Digital strategy for coaching or workshop business

This article summarises strategies for those in the coaching business. Whether it is skating, dancing, pottery or language classes, these ideas are for you! I believe these strategies would bring more customers to you- because I’ve compiled them from my own experiences on what ads attract and successfully convince me to attend their classes.

My credibility? Trust me, my eyes constantly are glued on Facebook and Instagram all day, all night. Just kidding! I love exploring the digital marketing world; I found them so intricate yet exciting thing to learn. Just a reminder that the post below might be subjective as it is purely my opinion, so I’ll try my best to explain them!

A brief story behind this article- for those who know me, I’m an awkward robot when it comes to dancing. I doubted my limbs coordination ability and my muscle memory (I still am, but I have the confidence now). So this started when I chanced upon a dance class ads on my Facebook. Within a short time, I joined their Free Trial and now, I’ve been part of the group for almost 5 months and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

So, how did I turn into a loyal customer? How do they convince this stiff human being to sign up for a dance lesson? Here I will quickly outline what I think they and others had done well :

#1. Offer Free Trial

Most of us would stop scrolling once we read the word ‘free’, especially me. I usually read more about the ads or post, having a little glimpse of hope that it is something that I’m interested in and suit my schedule. Offering a free trial is your chance to meet, engage, and possibly convert your potential customer.

The first thing that you need to do when they arrive: collect their contact details (emails and phone number). This would be useful regardless of whether they convert to your regulars. For example, if they sign up for more classes- great! If they don’t, they’re now part of your remarketing list. You could contact them through email or upload those list to Facebook as Custom Audiences and run remarketing ad. Remarketing is a powerful online marketing technique as it increases brand familiarity and enticing them to come back.

#2. Click-to-Messenger ads

There are plenty of Facebook ad options and in my opinion, click-to-messenger ads suits coaching business best. It allows you to personalise and add interaction to your message. By doing so, you are one step closer to a higher engagement rate (yay!).

  • What is it?

It is a type of ad where it starts a conversation on Messenger. You could customise the conversations according to your goal. Let me show you an example.

Once they click on ‘Send Message’, a message will pop up on their Messenger like below. Apart from informing them about the ads that they clicked, notice the ‘I sure am!’ bar. Once I pressed it, it prompted another message regarding their class.

The ‘I sure am!’ button is called ‘Quick Replies’ feature, where you can tailor the conversation to your needs.

Facebook allows you to have up to 10 quick replies and 3 buttons to each message.

This opens up vast possibilities on how you want to craft the conversation and customers’ journey. There is plenty of information you could send, from pictures, a link to your website, or more information about the free trial.

  • How do I make one?

Before you start, make sure you have the right format and platform choice.

Eligible ad formats: Image, video and carousel

Eligible platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Messenger Inbox ads

The steps are simple, select ‘Messages’ as your aim, identify the right target audience (see point #3) and go to Message Setup- this is where the magic happens. Here, you can set up your Quick Replies and Button for your chat.

  • Add a little touch: Reminder

Your interaction shouldn’t be limited to the campaign duration. Give those who sign up for your free trial a reminder on the day itself.

#3. Targeting option: Demographic, Location, Interest

Demographic: age, gender, relationship status (you don’t really need the rest).

Location: Your suburb and neighbouring areas.

Interest: This one depends on your business, are you targeting a specific group of people or mass audience?

My insight: Select an area name that is more popular but still close to you.

Let’s say your classes are held in suburb A- a quiet little place. Suburb B is your neighbour, a bigger and busier area. If your place isn’t that far from Suburb B, use ‘Suburb B’ as the title of the ad. This would attract a larger crowd!

Easy peasy.

#4. Create a Group

Phew! We’ve passed the technical part and now moving on to adding details that would turn your customers into a close-knit family.

Online business nowadays mostly focuses on increasing the efficiency of their sales journey. More automation! More bots! Well, they make your life easier, but it also makes the whole experience less personal. Once you successfully attract them to one of your class, create a group platform for members to interact with each other!

You can do so through:

– Facebook Group: Good when you have a large number of members. Don’t forget to set any posting rules and guidelines! Beneficial for those classes that allow casual walk-ins or a onetime event. – Messenger/ WhatsApp Group: Directly messaging your members in one place. Recommended for those with a small group as it might get spammy and messy with plenty of group members. This is useful when you have a fix classes (no casual walk-ins).

#5. Pricing

Ever heard of price perception? Well, if you price your service too low, people might question its quality and it’s bad news to your profit margin, vice versa. However, I’m not here to discuss how to put the right price tag.

Should you place your price list online? Again, highly subjective and debatable. As a digital marketer and customer, I’d say yes.

Assuming that you offer the same flat rate to everyone, there’s no point hiding your price. If they’re interested enough, they’ll call/visit and find out the price soon enough. So, why make it difficult for them to find out? It frustrates me if I couldn’t find a pricing list; it is as if I’m about to get scammed (even though I probably won’t). The pricing list also helps me discover other services that you provide.

I appreciate transparency better. Putting your price online means that your competitor could see it too. Which I would think that you are a competitive and trustworthy business.

#6. Update your content (please)

Update your website and social media platform regularly. You never know when people pop by your online store/ social handles- so always update! It is also a chance for you to showcase happy customer, a recent event or ongoing giveaway.

#7. What’s your augmented product?

Let me introduce you to a different tier of product: Core, Actual and Augmented. It is mostly applied to a physical product, but hey, it’s a concept so we can apply it on services too!

  • Core: What direct benefit do people get from your coaching class? (health, being able to speak Spanish fluently, gain new friends)
  • Actual: Your coaching class! (swimming, wine tasting, marketing classes)
  • Augmented: The added value from your class. (friendship, having fun, get to perform on a festival, free gifts, free advice/ seminars, get to compete in a national tournament)

Now, let’s go back to the question- what’s your added benefit/value?

The reason why I stick to my dance group is the friendship. We’re a mix bunch of professional, amateur and beginner females who love to have fun, together!

All those marketing efforts would go to waste if the classes itself fail to interest them in the long term. Having a clear objective would help you set the tone of your business and create the environment that you want.

I’m sure we are all bombarded with online ads every single day. Facebook and Instagram monetises their platform by placing ads for us to see. Maybe the question 3 years ago was ‘How to advertise on social media’, but this no longer works. Now, you have to ask ‘How to stand out from myriad of ads online’. Every business wants to optimise their budget, which means highest % of conversion per $. This translates to having the right type of ads, shown to the right people.

While there are a number of Facebook ads options, click-to-messenger ads always caught my attention the best. It has successfully made me sign up and attend workshops- so it works! In return, your coaching business not only gain a new customer, but building your online presence as well.

I hope this article gives you new ideas for your business!

2 thoughts on “Digital strategy for coaching or workshop business

  1. Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me
    asking what theme you’re using? (and don’t mind if I steal it?

    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress like yours– but the
    theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of
    yourself during the coronavirus scare!

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