A marketing coach could be one of the best things to happen to your business. These coaches are like teachers. They work with entrepreneurs, small business owners, CEOs, marketing personnel, and others to give them the skills to market effectively, overcome obstacles, and expand their businesses. Each coach has different things to offer. Here are six things to consider as you search for one.
Factors To Keep in Mind as You Look for a Marketing Coach
First things first: Be sure it is a coach you want. Some people search for a coach when they really need a consultant. If you can meld the two roles, that could be the best outcome.
1. Look for Coaches Who Can Also Serve as Consultants
Marketing coaches help you develop skills that will serve you for years. You learn about marketing concepts, strategies, and goals.
Meanwhile, marketing consultants are project-specific. They focus on specific tasks or duties, such as spearheading a promotion or ad campaign. They typically do most, if not all, of the work themselves. Once the project ends, the consultant goes away until perhaps the next project. Minimal or no teaching (coaching) occurs.
You probably want a marketing coach if:
- You’re unsure who your ideal clients are
- You’re uncertain about the unique propositions of your business
- You have little idea which marketing endeavors work and which do not
- You have no time to spend the hundreds of hours it takes to learn digital marketing
Similarly, you likely want a coach if your business seems stuck in its growth or you’re spreading your marketing efforts too thin. You may also want a coach if you’re handling the business marketing efforts yourself, even if they are going well. Soon enough, you’ll run into the limits of your expertise, so it’s best to get ahead of that.
You’d want a consultant if you have specific projects in mind or want to strengthen your business marketing without getting too involved yourself. Consultants can create social media campaigns and tutorial videos. They can develop marketing messages and research your clients.
Fortunately, some marketing coaches also work as consultants. You can save a lot of time upfront by finding a coach who also consults. This person can teach you the ABCs of marketing and step in as needed to help with projects.
2. Search for People Who Ask Questions
A great marketing coach asks you questions to better understand your needs and goals. Marketing coaches should be interested in what you want to learn about marketing and why. They should be able to fit your learning style for maximum effectiveness.
Research also shows that questions help retain knowledge. They keep your attention, get you to participate more, and force you to think critically. They help you master material better than if you were told to memorize lists of facts. Steer clear of coaches who do not take the time to learn about your business, goals, and marketing expertise.
How can we help?
At Rogue Wave Marketing, we reveal the uniqueness of every brand through inspirational and impactful messaging and content catered for your audience.
3. Ask About Accountability
How will your coach test your learning and hold you accountable? For example, the coaches at Rogue Wave Marketing end each session with a list of Highly Important To Dos. Both coaches and clients determine what to put on the list, and clients work on the items before the next session. The work holds them accountable for their progress and ensures things get done.
4. Check the Coach’s Experience
Ideally, your marketing coach would have experience working with companies in your industry. They should be skilled in the specific marketing concepts and tools you want to learn more about. If you are also looking for coaches who can be consultants (as recommended above), inquire about specific projects they have completed and why the projects were successful.
Your coach would also preferably have experience working with people in your position. For instance, some marketing coaches specialize in working with CEOs, while others work with solopreneurs or marketing department personnel. Plenty of coaches work with folks at all levels, though.
5. Go With Someone You Click With
Some marketing coaches are great on paper, but there’s little rapport between you and them. It happens, but you want to find that out before you sign a contract or commit to anything.
Fortunately, you can usually tell with an initial consultation if you would feel comfortable working with a specific coach. You and this person will spend a lot of time together over the months or even years to come, so it truly is important that you like the person’s personality and style of teaching/coaching.
Another way to get a feel for marketing coaches is to watch their video libraries, if applicable. Some coaches create video tutorials packed with helpful marketing content. Through them, you get an idea of a coach’s humor, language choices, and teaching style.
6. Get References From Clients and Read Online Reviews
Ask your prospective marketing coach for client references. You can touch base with the clients about their experiences with the coach.
Online reviews are critical, too. A few negative reviews do not necessarily have to be deal breakers, especially if most of a coach’s reviews are positive. Negative reviews can happen for many reasons not reflective of a coach’s quality, for example, a personality mismatch, unrealistic client expectations, and miscommunications.
When you chat with clients and read reviews, look for specifics rather than generalities such as, “He did great work. I’m very happy with him.” Something better and more specific would be, “I wanted to learn more about how to market my business selling handmade jewelry. John Doe has been a tremendous asset, coaching me about product positioning, paid ads, organic social media growth, and key performance indicators. I never felt like he was talking down to me.”
Need a Marketing Coach To Take Your Skills to the Next Level?
Rogue Wave Marketing offers marketing coach and consultancy services, website design and development, blogging, and SEO. We want to help you meet your goals efficiently, define a strong brand, engage your audiences, and get your business noticed. Reach out today for a consultation.