What is branding exactly?
Branding used to be pretty simple. It was a logo, some colors, a tagline, and a design that identified you as a company. These are all still a part of it, but now it is much more.
Branding is how clients or customers think of you. How they feel about you, what they see when they look at your branding and what will ultimately cause them to want to purchase your products and services.
Branding is who you are, your values, your strategy, your uniqueness, and how you’re perceived by others. Your branding can show that you are adventurous, holistic, determined, affordable, aspirational… the list of descriptors can go on and on. Your brand should show your future clients YOU.
So what do you need to do to make your brand?
You need to create the following. You should really sit with these tasks and think every aspect through. You may want to do a passion map™ first, or journal, or whatever helps you connect with yourself and what you want the public, and ultimately your ideal clients to see. An authentic brand is one that will last! Your brand will be with you for the duration of your coaching business so take the time and do it right the first time.
Here’s what you need:
- A Mission Statement and Values
Your mission statement and values are the directions for all activities having to do with your branding. These help you to communicate to your possible customers or clients your (and your business’s) purpose and what your long-term goals are.
- A Story
A brand story that is authentic and powerful will connect people with you on an emotional level. Your story should include how and why you started your business, how you and what you’re offering is different than your competitors, and how your products or services benefit your clients.
Brand guidelines are often the easiest part of this all. These are what will and will not be acceptable for your identity. These are usually visual and include things like how your logo can be used on your website, what fonts and colors you want to use, and anything else that keeps your brand on track visually.
Your brand identity is how you will be seen by others. What do you want people to see and automatically think of you? This could be a certain type of graphic that’s always used, like how The Coach Guardian does with their articles and social media. Quite simply, this includes ALL the visual elements associated with your brand, how your products will look, your website design, your social media posts, etc.
Where do you fit in the market? How do you compare with your competitors? Where do you fit within the scale of the price for your services and products? A good thing to remember when deciding this is that the more someone pays for your services or products, the more convincing may be needed for the client to bite. So you need to KNOW why you are different than the rest, and then communicate that in your branding.
What will my Brand do for me?
- Branding sets the first impression
Your branding will convey your message and what you believe. This draws people in and makes it easy for them to say YES!
- Branding allows you to charge more
The amount of effort and authenticity you put into creating your brand will give you the ability to charge more for your products and services. Why? Because all the information and work you have done builds trust and authority with customers. All the work you put in on your branding now will help you make more money over the months and years to come.
- Branding builds customer recognition and loyalty
Admit it, there is some product or service in the world that you can identify without thinking and want it. For me, it used to be Coca Cola, their branding is everywhere, and just seeing their logo would make me want one. Nowadays, I run using only Asics shoes, seeing their branding in a shoe store makes me want to shop there every time I need new shoes. This is what you want your brand to do to your customers or clients- they see it, they know it, they want it and they share it with others!
- Branding takes your marketing strategies to the next level
Having a clearly defined brand makes it so much easier to market yourself and your business.
Branding and marketing sometimes get confused for each other, they are not the same thing, but they do go hand in hand. Marketing is what actions you take to accomplish your goals (from your mission and values) and build awareness of your brand. Marketing activities can include social media campaigns, press releases, email marketing, SEO, etc. All of these marketing tools are kept on track with your branding.
You have now accomplished one of the most difficult parts of starting your coaching website. Your branding is ready to go!
You can start building your coaching website with a clear vision of what you want it to look like and say to those that find it. All your content, images, the look and feel of your website are laid out in your branding. This is PURE GOLD for your website designer (or yourself if you are creating your own site).
Not having your branding completed first wastes precious time and money! Having your brand ready before you design your coaching website is the smartest, most cost-effective thing you can do. So go do it!
Have you created a brand for yourself? What did you think was the most difficult or the easiest part? Has it helped you to gain customers or clients? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For those new to the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what this means is getting traffic to your website through search engines, usually Google. For a great resource on how coaches can get leads from Google, check out this podcast from Coach Pep Talk.
SEO is a huge part of getting website traffic and can seem very overwhelming. But I promise you it is not that complicated. It is completely doable and just takes a little time and research. A great place to start is with this article “SEO Basics: Beginner’s Guide to SEO Success”.
6. Be a Guest Author
- Bringing traffic to your website
- It helps your site rank better on Google (SEO!)
- It increases the reach of your content
- It builds authority
- It builds connections with those in your field
7. Interview Experts and Authorities
8. Have a kick ass website
If your website is outdated, slow, confusing or not mobile-responsive, you will lose traffic. Having a website that is awesome is a MUST! Besides having incredible content, it must be fast, safe, and it must be well maintained.
Nothing will decrease your website traffic like a site that is unusable or hard to navigate. If you feel like your website could be better, feel free to contact me and I can go over your website with you!
9. Link to Others
When you write an article for your website and include links to other articles on other websites, this often creates a trackback or pingback. A trackback/pingback notifies the author of the article you linked to and if the author approves it, it will show a link to your article at the end of theirs. This is perfectly illustrated in this article, “What, Why, and How-To’s of Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress”.
10. Link to Yourself
Linking to others isn’t the only way that links can help you increase the traffic on your website. Linking to yourself is also a great way to gain traffic! The more links that you have that take people down a rabbit hole on your website, the better your SEO will be and the more useful it will be for the visitor.
So there you have it, 10 ways to increase the traffic to your coaching website. Do some of them or do all of them! And these are not the only options, I have included a list of resources below that may help you find more that will suit your needs. If you have any questions, please leave a comment!