How to Become a Business Coach

Business Coach Marketing: Why You Need to Nurture Your Database

By on July 2, 2016

Are you ready for the #1 rule of successful business coach marketing (well, any marketing, for that matter)?

Nurture your database.

Your database is your most important marketing asset. When you treat it with the love and care it deserves, you’ll be rewarded handsomely.

I’ve been continuously amazed by the number of coaches whose database is a disparate collection of Excel spreadsheets, Outlook contacts, piles of business cards with rubber bands around them and even scraps of paper laying around the office. If that describes you, consider this your wake-up call!

The key to business coach marketing that works is building long-term relationships with the people in your database by continually providing high-value, educational content that is clear, compelling, and actionable. Here at the Coaches’ Coach, we strive for “10x content,” a term we picked up from the SEO masters over at Moz that basically means extremely impactful content that is head and shoulders above what your competition provides.

But it’s not just about SEO–though that’s a great side-benefit when you deploy 10x content on your blog or social media channels. More importantly, nurturing your database through high-value content keeps your prospects warm and engaged in a positive relationship with you. Even if they’re not ready to buy immediately, nurturing them over time will yield results. (And no: you don’t have to do this all digitally. In fact, we recommend a multi-channel approach, as I’ll explain in greater depth below.)

Three Keys to Database Management and Effective Business Coach Marketing

1) It’s gotta be targeted. Know who your clients are and speak to them directly. Generally, I recommend targeting small businesses turning over at least $250,000 in annual revenue per year. A business smaller than that will probably be too small and cash poor to be worth your time, unless group coaching is a major part of your business model. Some business coaching franchise systems will tell you that the annual revenue cut-off is $500K–but I’ve had numerous business coaching clients in the $250K-$500K range happily pay me $2,000+ per month for years on end! In fact, one of my favorite clients ever was generating just $475K per year when I signed him up for a business coaching program. He stayed with us for more than six years, doubled his revenue, retired all his business debt, and now lives the designer lifestyle he went into business to achieve!

2) You’ve gotta be consistent. Your database is the basis for all your business coach marketing campaigns for years on end, including email blasts, newsletters, notification of blog posts, targeted direct mail campaigns, and telemarketing. When I built my first $1 Million Dollar coaching firm over a four-year period, I worked the same database of about 15,000 records that I had purchased from a list broker using a single CRM package. My prospects got warmer and warmer over time, eventually yielding hundreds of business coaching clients. Of course, if you don’t build and warm-up a database over many months and years of consistent marketing, you’ll never be in a position to harvest a crop of ripe prospects ready to buy!

3) Do regular maintenance. Keep your database pruned to maximize your effort and minimize expenses. That means cleaning up old and outdated information. If you’re not keeping your database updated, you’re wasting money on postage and ineffective telemarketing calls! Every time a new lead comes in, make sure the record is complete with a quick web search to gather all relevant contact information. Check for duplicate records on the spot and regularly scrub your list.

When you market to your database consistently, great things will happen. For instance:

On one occasion, four guys (who I’d never met or even heard of) showed up at one of my local business growth seminars. I went over to them, introduced myself, and asked them why they came.

“We’ve been getting your mailings and telemarketing calls for over six months so we wanted to come check you out,” they said. “What do you have planned for this morning’s seminar?”

“Well, I’m going to teach you how to build an amazingly profitable business and then I’m going to get you started on one of my business coaching programs,” I said.

To my great surprise (and delight!) this was their response: “Sounds good!” 

Two hours later, they were signing a business coaching agreement at the back of the room, complete with credit card details! That relationship added at least $20,000 of value to my business (and probably more when you consider the value of their referrals) and took me just six months to develop, using completely leveraged marketing strategies (direct mail and telemarketing) to my database.

You’ve got gems like that in your database, too–IF you’ve targeted it correctly, are adding consistent value, and doing regular maintenance. Check out my ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star, for more great strategies for getting value from your database and building a steady stream of business coach clients.

Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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