How to Become a Business Coach

The Secret of Successful Content Marketing for Business Coaches

By on September 1, 2017

Want to know the secret of successful content marketing for business coaches? Here’s something that happened to me recently–that’s just as applicable for business coaches as it is for copywriters like me.

MS recently downloaded a copy of one of my free special reports.

I offer it free to folks interested in my copywriting services, books, and courses — and MS took advantage of it.

After MS downloaded the free report, he sent this quick email to me in response:

“Hi. Thanks. This is an awesome report — much better than some I’ve paid for.”

And therein lies a simple but powerful marketing lesson:

The content you give away for free should be as good as, or preferably better than, the content you sell.

This may seem counterintuitive.

You think, “Well, the person is not paying. So it doesn’t have to be that good. For free, so-so should be good enough.”

But the purpose of giving away a free report is to either (a) strengthen your reputation as a subject matter expert or (b) upsell prospects to your paid products or services.

So riddle me this: If I get a report from you, and it’s a yawn, then why would I bother to give you money for more of the same level of thinking, expertise, or advice?

And don’t tell me, “Well, people know the free stuff is just a taste, but for the steak dinner, they gotta pay the full price.”

Because actually, they don’t see it that way: If the free sample sucks, you’ll almost surely fail to whet their appetite for doing business with you on a paid basis.

That’s why the content you give away for free should be as good as, or preferably better than, the content you sell!

The content you give away for free should be as good as, or preferably better than, the content you sell.

But … just because the free has to be as good or better than the paid, it doesn’t have to be the SAME as the paid.

Here’s a useful rule of thumb from my colleague WM: The free content tells people WHAT to do.

Paid content, or business coaching, tells them HOW to do it.

See the difference?

One more time:

Free content is “what to do” … paid content, or business coaching, is “how to do it.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the secret to successful content marketing for business coaches–and anyone else.

P.S. Back in the day, we called these free reports “bait pieces,” the idea being we used them to go fishing for leads.

Today these free content offers are called “lead magnets,” because they are used to attract potential customers.

Also back in the day, we didn’t call it “content marketing.” We called it “giving away free information.”

Want more tips to become a business coaching rock star? Check out our FREE ebookSecrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.

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Bob Bly

About Bob Bly

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant with 3 decades of experience in business-to-business and direct response marketing. He can be found at

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