How Not To Market Your Business
I assume since you are reading this that you want to learn the most effective ways to market you health coaching or wellness business, right? Once you start diving into the world of marketing, you realize that it is much like diet, there is no one size fits all approach.
There are however, some things that just don’t work and end up sabotaging your business instead of building it. Much like in health and diet, we all can agree that eating lots of processed food and tons of sugar is going to harm your health no matter what kind of diet you eat.
What prompted me to write this post was all the ineffective and counterproductive ways I see all sorts of people trying to market themselves online. This is another one of those tough love moments for some people. If you are using one of these methods and it is working great for you, fantastic. Just ignore everything I am saying. If, on the other hand, you are trying these and not getting any results (as I would expect) please don’t beat yourself up, just stop and try something new.
As an online publisher in the Health Coaching arena, I probably get approached a little more than most people by many of these techniques. When I am feeling gracious I simply respond with a very polite notice saying why I think the person should try another approach. Normally, I just ignore the messages or emails and when I am feeling especially cranky, I hit the Spam button. My guess is that for most people, the response to this type of marketing is probably in the reverse order of mine.
The Blind Email or Social Media Message
This is the modern equivalent of cold calling. I’m sure it works for some people, but like cold calling it will be a very SMALL percentage of people that respond. I routinely get emails and social media messages from people I have never heard of, never met and never asked them for any information. It usually goes something like “I have this awesome product that you have to check out!” or “Are you interested in making more money?” My favorite is when I get a follow up message to this initial spam asking me if I got a chance to look at whatever they are hawking.
Most of these types of messages come from Network Marketing reps which is one of the reasons why that industry has the reputation it does. Network marketing businesses are like any other business, you need a solid marketing plan and sales funnel in place. Just aiming your message blindly at the world will not lead to much success.
I hate to bash network marketing (I actually like the business model), it just seems that this is where some of the worst marketing practices show up. I guess this is understandable since many times it is a case of someone who knows nothing about business coaching someone else on how to build their business.
Like My Page and I Will Like Yours
This is mainly on Facebook, but can be any social media account. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unless you are using Facebook for advertising (which you should be), having a ton of likes on your fan page is not going to really do much for you. I understand the excitement, a new business and we want others to know about it. I see this in the health coaching arena a lot, people go into groups of their peers and ask people to like their page or get on their list. Unless these people are in your target market this one is another time waster.
The Buy My Stuff Post
While I am not a huge fan of selling in general on Facebook, this is specifically aimed at those who post their sales messages on pages and groups that are not theirs. Other people create groups to serve their audience and sell their stuff, not yours. This one can get a little tricky, but my basic rule is never to put up any kind of sales message on a property that you don’t own or control. If your material will serve this audience and the owner of the page or the group is OK with it, post useful content or resources, but not sales messages.
The Join My Team Post
Here’s another one I see lots of starting network marketers do, once again this is an exaggeration. The message usually looks something like
“I only have room for x more people on my team. I haven’t tried the products yet and have no idea how to build a business, but my up line told me to do this. Join me and you will be earning a residual income in no time”
OK, so maybe it’s not usually that bad, but you get the idea. Network marketing is a very valid business model, but do yourself a favor and get educated before just blindly doing everything someone tells you is a good idea.
Enough of my rant, sorry if any of this came off as overly negative, but I think there are lots of people using techniques like this and wondering why they are not getting the results they hoped for.
Don’t take all this as an indictment of network marketing. I think network marketing can be very effective and done well, it’s just that so often it isn’t. It’s pretty easy for me to dismiss 90+% of the companies out there simply by looking at the ingredient labels and another 8% by realizing that the prices are so expensive that nobody but sales reps will buy the products. Here is a post I did about the Network Marketing Myth you might find valuable.
No matter what kind of business you are doing it still comes down to the same basics. Developing relationships and providing value to your ideal client and THEN offering your products and services to them. If someone hasn’t given you their email address yet or signed up for an event you are doing, they probably are not interested in buying anything from you. Start generating valuable content and relationships first, worry about making money second, not the other way around.