For many the second half of 2017 was a challenging time to be in business. As a whirlwind of changes in online marketing left many Coaches (and other business owners) in a tail spin, when their previously highly lucrative sales funnels simply stopped working.
I heard the same story from Coaches; my live launches are not working as I am not getting enough attendees, I’ve clients who owe me thousands of dollars who say they can’t pay me, everyone who is coming onto strategy sessions with me say they would like to work with me, but no one can afford to!
This turn around in fortunes was so sudden that it seemed to catch the entire industry unawares. But the danger signs that this maelstrom was brewing were easily visible in the first half of last year.
I’ve written this blog to dispel the confusion that you might be feeling about why these changes have arisen.
I want you to be know exactly what changes have occurred in online marketing that are affecting your coaching business, AND importantly what you need to do to attract clients and be successful in 2018.
First let’s look at what these changes are…
Falling attendance numbers on live webinars
“LIVE WEBINARS ARE DEAD!”
You might have heard this statement being said lately, “Live webinars are dead!”. The reason marketers are saying this is because the second half of 2017 saw falling attendance rates on live webinars to the point where you were lucky if you achieved industry standard of 10% of your registrants turning up live.
Many 7 figure Coaches found that their live webinar launches grossed 60% less than they had done the previous year. Launches that made over $1 million in 2016, made only $400,000 in 2017.
I too found my business exposed to these changes last year. Live webinar launches have been a mainstay of my business since I started it in 2014. I absolutely love the interaction with my audience that I get on my live webinars and so had resisted moving away from them.
However, I could see that my attendance rates on my live webinars were falling from May 2017 onwards. What saved my business was that the great connection that I form with the participants that attend my webinars. This meant that that I still achieved my target numbers of attendees booking in calls with me and my team.
The changes did make me stop and research why these changes were occurring. Here’s what I discovered:
- Consumers want convenience when it comes to attending webinars, they want to be able to attend the webinar within a short time period after registering
- They are simply likely to forget about a webinar if it is happening a week (or even few days) after they register for it
- The average length that a webinar can hold an audience’s attention has reduced from 2 hours a few years ago to 60 minutes or less.
Rising Economic Uncertainty in UK
Sadly, the steam train called, “Brexit” that pulled out of the station on 23rd June 2016, has gathered momentum.
It is no longer possible to live in disbelief about the negative impact of leaving Europe on the UK economy.
The Business Insider reported in July of this year that, “Brexit is easing the UK into a recession much like an old man eases himself into a hot bath tub”.
Six months on given falling house prices in London and South West of the country, stagnant wages and rising inflation, it is fair to say the UK is in a recession.
What does this mean for Coaches who are selling to the UK market?
Well what I’ve seen is that UK consumers are becoming increasingly cautious about spending their hard-earned cash. This is meaning that many Coaches are struggling to gain UK clients.
Low quality leads coming onto calls
It is nothing new having some people who are not a fit for your coaching programs coming onto calls with you.
However, what has happened since the second half of last year is that many Coaches are seeing that the volume of high quality leads has declined, and the volume of low quality leads (i.e. those people who are not a fit for your program) has increased.
Facebook Ad Costs Rising
There was a rise in the cost of Facebook Ads in 2017, and we are set to see the cost of Facebook Ads continue to rise in 2018.
It is important to recognise that Facebook’s users use Facebook for fun and to socialise. Facebook has to keep its users happy.
In 2017, Facebook users became very disgruntled with all the ads they were seeing. Facebook also landed itself in very hot water over the “False News” stories in relation to the Presidential election in USA.
So, what this means is that Facebook’s algorithm caps the number of ads that can be shown to a user at any one time. Thus, in markets where there are lots of advertisers wanting to have their ads shown to the same users, the price of getting your ads shown goes up.
Many Coaches reported to me that in the second half of 2017 their target audience seemed to tire of their ads much more quickly that previously, and they were having to spend double to get the same number of conversions.
This means that these Coaches ads were not performing correctly. There are solutions to these problems that can rescue ad campaigns which suffer this fate (more to come on this!).
Emails not getting opened
There were those that cried, “Email Marketing is Dead!”. Which in my opinion is far from the truth, however, what we did see at the end of 2017, is a sharp decline in the open rates of emails by mailing lists.
Email open rates have been falling for decades and this is nothing new. You have to consider that these days many people are receiving 200 or more emails per day.
Those prospects that I call, “high paying clients”, who are typically professionals, are likely to be receiving even more emails each day. So, you are fighting to get your email seen and opened above all the pressing other emails vying for attention of the subscriber.
Not to mention that if your subscribers are using Gmail accounts, then your email might not even get seen if it is put straight into the “Promotions” folder. Instead your email lanquishes silently amongst hundreds of other unopened emails!
Now let’s look at the SOLUTIONS…!
The simple solution that will give your attendees the flexibility and convenience they want when it comes to watching your webinars is to shift from Live Webinars to Automated Webinars.
An automated webinar can be watched by a viewer within an hour of registering for your webinar. Attendance rates on automated webinars can often be as high as 75% of registrants. This is a massive increase on the industry standard for live webinars of 10%. It also makes much better use of your ad spend. A WIN-WIN!
Take Your Business Online & Attract Overseas Clients
If you are a Coach or Consultant who is working with clients in the UK market and experiencing problems attracting clients who can afford to work with you, then the simple solution is to adapt to this change.
I would recommend targeting other European countries which are prospering right now. For instance, Germany, Netherlands and the Nordic Countries are all good places to start.
Given many individuals in these countries speak English, even if you don’t speak their language it does not have to pose a problem to you working with them. Simply make sure you set your Facebook Ads to be shown to only English-speaking individuals who fit your target audience in those countries.
Sterling is rather cheap for these Europeans because of the favourable exchange rate, which is another incentive that makes buying from you very attractive.
I know this can be very challenging (I went through the recession in Ireland recently enough to see how painful it can be!), yet it is part of the adventure of being an entrepreneur to flex your muscles with adapting to changes in the macro-environment.
“High Paying Clients are those clients who are committed and motivated about obtaining the transformation they desire, they value working with you and only you, and they can afford to work with you”
Focus on Attracting High Paying Clients
The only way to attract high quality leads is to focus on high paying clients.
What this means is focusing on those clients who will be your BEST clients. They are the clients who are committed to getting the outcome they want in the fastest time possible.
They are not interested in cheaper solutions like completing an online course, because they recognise that they will achieve their outcomes faster and with more ease by working more deeply with a Coach through a 1:1 or group program.
All your branding, marketing and messaging needs to focus on these clients and NOT be focused on the clients who are not your best clients.
If you have been attracting a lot of low quality leads, then you will need to take an honest look at your marketing and how you are presenting yourself.
Be truthful when you consider whether the reason you are attracting low quality leads is because you are putting out an image and material that is suitable for those leads and not the high paying clients you would love to work with.
It is easy to find yourself writing blogs and Facebook posts that are directed at the WRONG clients – just because they are the ones that are coming onto calls with you and so you are immersed in their problems and struggles. Now it is more important than ever to get crystal clear on who your high paying client is and provide them with valuable content so that you become their trusted adviser.
Create Opportunities to Engage with Your Audience Deeply
The most important thing to remember is that your audience is made up of HUMANS. They are people with real lives, real stories, real needs and real problems.
With the crazily fast-paced world of online marketing it can be easy to forget this and to unintentionally talk to your audience without sensitivity to WHO they are. Yet still expect them to respond to you with interest and a desire to work with you.
I have been guilty of this myself.
What you need to do moving forwards is to speak directly to the individuals in your audience by:
- Segmenting your audience into smaller groups, and segmenting your mailing list so that you only send emails that are of specific interest to that specific group and not on mass to your entire mailing list.
- Create valuable content that is suitable for each of your segmented groups, instead of making one piece of content to fit everyone in your audience. Promote your valuable content to only the relevant group.
- Pick up the phone and speak with your audience 1:1 as much as possible. This is the best way to connect more deeply with your audience and for them to get to experience how you can help them solve their problems.
Get an Experienced Mentor
Those who are using Facebook Ads as a way of attracting clients will find that it continues to get harder to be successful with campaigns in 2018 unless you get assistance from a mentor with expertise in Facebook Marketing.
Facebook algorithms are set in such a way that it will become even more challenging for newbie advertisers to break into Facebook Marketing. Facebook Advertising is simply too complicated to do as an amateur without support. The likelihood is that those who do go it alone will find that they end up with an expensive bill and little to show for it.
Do I think that given all of the changes in online marketing New Coaches should resist starting their Coaching Business? No not at all.
There are still massive opportunities for Coaches who are committed to creating a Coaching Business that makes a positive impact on their clients’ lives. I would not be continuing my own business if I did not know this is the case. The Coaching and Information Industry is still only in its infancy and we will see it continue to grow in importance over the coming decade.
However, given everything I have presented I do feel that it has become even more important to get your business on the right track from the word go.
If you would like my help with getting clear on how these changes affect your business and what you need to do to ensure you succeed this year,
please book a personal 1:1 call with me by clicking the link below:
I look forwards to speaking with you soon,