Coaching is intensely personal, which is why maintaining a client base requires a personalized approach. A personal brand is a great way to do this, enabling you to redefine your customers’ expectations and giving you new opportunities to exceed them.
However, many coaches struggle to turn the intangible brand elements (such as unique characteristics, personality, and innate expertise from your history and training) into a branded customer experience.
While it can be difficult, the benefits are worth it—allowing clients to fully understand your offer, transform their current state, and become long-term brand enthusiasts.
If you’re struggling with branding your coaching business, we’re here to help. Below, we’re looking at why coaches should have a personal brand, what to consider when rebranding, and how you can make your coaching brand even more effective with a strategic approach to elevate your client experience.
Why do coaches need a stronger personal brand?
A personal brand connects you to your customers, accelerating their journey and lowering barriers to purchase—especially if it looks professional and signals the quality of the experience.
A strong personal brand makes this connection possible by communicating who you are, what you stand for, and the value that you provide. And clients will invest more in a brand that aligns with who they are or aspire to be. It builds trust and makes them feel understood.
A well-developed and well-positioned personal brand enables you to drive leads, conversions, and buy-in to the programs designed to help your clients achieve their goals.
Whether they commit to working with you now, or in the future, they will feel like they know you and will be able to easily refer you to others facing similar challenges.
What is rebranding, & how does it work?
Rebranding is when you change the “image” of your business. Customer-facing marketing assets share several branded elements. Some examples include:
- Updating your logo. Your logo is an extension of your personal brand and should reflect who you are and what you do.
- Refreshing your color palette. Colors influence buyer behavior and should be consistent across all brand assets.
- Clarifying your messaging. Your brand messaging lays the foundation for marketing copy—and refining your messaging periodically allows you to hone in on specific buyer personas you wouldn’t otherwise reach.
What are some reasons to consider rebranding?
Below are just a few of the reasons why coaches might consider rebranding their business:
You aren’t attracting the right type of customers
If you’re not attracting the right leads for your offer, it may be time for a rebrand. Throughout the rebranding process, you’ll want to ask yourself what qualities your current leads have that make them “unqualified” or a poor fit. By answering this question, you can further refine who your ideal customers are and attract more of them.
You aren’t getting enough coaching clients
If you struggle to get customers in the door, consider narrowing your target audience and rebranding to appeal to a more specific type of client. The benefit of doing this is that it can make your marketing efforts twice as effective and allow you to resonate with your ideal clients—who are more likely to experience the best results from your services and become long-term brand champions and advocates.
Your client needs are changing
Innovation is a constant in business. Adapting your brand to better fit evolving client needs is an excellent way to keep yourself relevant and authoritative in your zone of genius.
You want to better align with your mission
Rebranding is a normal part of business, and it can be both impactful and profitable with the right strategy. With a new brand voice, identity, and message, you can quickly reposition your business and reach a target audience who will be moved by your mission.
The trick is understanding how to align your mission with your messaging. It should influence tone, phrasing, descriptions—everything. Unless they’re in full alignment, there’s going to be confusion around your offer.
You don’t know how to tell your story
Maybe your current coaching brand isn’t really hitting home with your customer base, or maybe you’re not sure how to refine your story to fit into your company’s strategy. Any “off” feeling about your brand experience and communications warrants a rebrand. Investing time and resources is worth it if your new brand attracts more of your ideal customer type while preserving your unique offer, personality, and sense of authenticity.
Building a coaching brand using the StoryBrand Framework
The StoryBrand Framework, established by Donald Miller, is a great way to refine your brand positioning and messaging to suit the needs of your ideal customer.
Here are a few steps for refining your coaching business branding strategy.
Step #1 – Determine who the “hero” of your story is & tailor your approach accordingly
Your ideal client should always be the “hero” in your brand story. They need to imagine themselves stepping into a better, successful future fueled by a transformation that only you can provide via your brand and services.
When determining the “hero,” it’s important to avoid the temptation to swing wide. Generalizing your ideal customer profile can lead to ineffective marketing and lackluster lead generation. Now’s the time to niche down and get specific.
Step #2 – Understand & empathize with your customers’ issues
The key to becoming relevant in your customers’ world is knowing exactly what problems they face and empathizing with them. Conduct research and interviews, and pull from your own coaching experience to identify your ideal client’s needs. Then consider ways you can powerfully show up to meet those needs.
Step #3 – Establish yourself as a trustworthy guide
The next step in your branding experience is establishing yourself as a trustworthy and relevant guide in your space. Explain why you are uniquely qualified to help them succeed on a personal and professional level.
Doing this helps you connect with your customer and remove any sort of hesitation that they have around trusting you for their transformative process.
Step #4 – Outline your plan for their success
Now that you’ve identified your ideal customers and their pain points, it’s time to strategize a way to position your core offers as a solution to them. As you build your strategy for delivering transformative coaching, consider how you can introduce them to the simple steps (ideally just three or four) in your no-fail plan for their success.
Step #5 – Create compelling calls to action
By this point, you’ve used your branding elements to attract and engage. So, this is your chance to invite clients to start the coaching journey with you by taking a single action they can take immediately.
This call to action (or CTA) prompts your clients to get started today—joining you in a partnership-based transformation that only you can provide as their trusted expert and guide.
To engage those who aren’t ready to respond to your CTA, consider a secondary offer for instant access to valuable content that addresses a specific problem they are facing today.
Step #6 – (Continue to) paint a picture of success for your clients
Thought leadership is about sharing yourself and your expertise through compelling stories, useful tools, and original content that demonstrates your understanding of their problems and how you’ve helped others overcome similar obstacles. That’s why testimonials are important—so they don’t have to take your word for it.
In other words, every single aspect of your branding should emphasize your ability to coach at a high level and help your clients achieve their goals. Use a tailored approach to speak to specific audiences about the coaching experience and the life-changing results it can produce when clients commit to the process.
Elevate your coaching business with a new brand strategy
If you’re looking to build your coaching business, it’s time to build your brand. Investing in refining your messaging, story, and visuals is a good way to connect and establish rapport with your ideal audience. As a trusted expert and thought leader, you’ll have a greater chance of attracting clients who are willing to pay more to work with you.
It’s time to rethink any “meh” marketing assets and truly transform your brand awareness and perception from a foundational level. Connect with me, Dionne Kumpe, to learn more about clarifying your messaging and developing a brand as impactful as you are.