As an executive coach, you’re an expert at helping top businesspeople reach their full potential. You have an abundance of knowledge to share with the C-Suite, and you’re confident in your abilities to help executives succeed. But, you may not be quite as confident in your ability to navigate the networking scene on LinkedIn, coherently explain how SnapChat works, or describe how, exactly, social media for executive coaches should work.
If you’re feeling a bit unsure about what tack to take to promote your executive coaching business on social media, don’t worry. There is a path to success on social, and we’re here to help. Whether you’re a digital native or a digital novice, you can use social media well.
And it’s important that you do.
That’s because, by using social media well, you can promote your executive coaching business to reach new clients, validate your expertise, and establish yourself as a thought leader.
1. Pick the Right Goals
Like all marketing, good social media marketing starts with setting good goals. That fact may seem straightforward, but it’s often overlooked, because the goals of social media marketing are often taken for granted. The thought goes: if you get more followers, that’s good – and that’s about all there is to it.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Yes, more followers are good. But, in all likelihood, that’s not the primary goal you should be shooting for when you’re social media marketing as an executive coach. If all you’re truly after is followers, go ahead and buy from one of those black hat follower factories that sells 50 thousand fake followers for $50 (yes, these companies exist) – then, after they’re delivered, sit back and watch nothing happen.
Increasing followers may be one of your goals. But, you’re more likely attempting to:
- Get new executive coaching clients from social media
- Use social media as sales validation (so that, when potential clients see your social profiles, their inclination to do business with you is strengthened)
- Drive conversions from social media (in the form of ebook offerings, etc.)
- Increase traffic to your site from social media
Metrics like followers, likes, and retweets are certainly worth shooting for, but your overall purpose should be bigger. Social engagement metrics will nearly always play a contributive role in your success – but they should rarely be the primary goal.
Pick a primary goal. That will shape the content you produce, and give you more clarity as to which metrics matter.
2. Pick the Right Social Channels
As an executive coach, there is almost no conceivable reason that you should commit a significant marketing effort toward SnapChat. If you were hoping that those dog ear filters would be your magic bullet for new clients, I’m sorry to break the news. The truth is that SnapChat has very little B2B marketing value at this point.
Other channels, though, offer a bit more. Here’s a quick review of the major ones:
Facebook: You need to be on here. While Facebook’s organic reach is consistently decreasing, it’s still nearly a necessity to be on the platform simply for validation. The demographic truth is that just about everyone is on Facebook, and potential clients will frequently check this channel to validate expertise. If your executive coaching business isn’t here, you may be able to explain it away during the sales process, but you’ll be lining up an unnecessary hurdle to proving your expertise.
LinkedIn: You need to be on here, with personal and company pages. LinkedIn is potentially the most effective social media platform for B2B, and your executive coaching business can use it to great advantage. That’s due to two main causes: first, the executives you’re targeting are almost certainly on here, and second, the level of professional engagement on LinkedIn is much higher than it is on Facebook. LinkedIn was designed for business networking. Put its capabilities to use.
Twitter: You can use this effectively. I’d rank Twitter behind Facebook in terms of necessity, and behind LinkedIn in terms of effectiveness. That being said, Twitter is a great platform to establish yourself as a thought leader. The new 280 character format allows for content that’s more thought-out, which can potentially make showcasing your expertise easier. And, the quick, news-based nature of the platform offers an easy showcase for charismatic commentators, which, if done well, can boost your credibility and get you in front of new clients.
Instagram: You probably don’t need to be here. Instagram is still a younger, social-focused demographic. It’s more of a place to share photos of your trip to Paris or to showcase your aesthetically-pleasing sandwich than it is to share business-focused images. That being said, I wouldn’t discount it completely; done well, an executive coaching Instagram account could showcase events, personalities, and your people to help your business to stand out in a unique way. But, it will take clever strategy and consistent dedication to pull off.
3. Follow a Consistent Cadence
And, speaking of dedication: consistency in social media is vitally important, not only within each social channel but in all of your marketing efforts.
Posting regularly establishes credibility and makes your business seem engaged. Posting once a month will leave potential clients wondering if you’re still in business.
So, develop a consistent cadence, and stick with it. Consistency will build your brand and avoid your customers feeling any sort of dissonance about you. Keep in mind, this does not happen overnight. Building any brand takes time, but in the end it will pay off.
4. Consider Social Ads
Five years ago, I wouldn’t have recommended this tactic, but today, it’s almost a necessity – especially if your social goals are growth-oriented as opposed to focused on validation.
Yes, the rise in ad effectiveness is most likely all a ploy for profit: if you don’t pay to boost a Facebook post, for example, it will show to about 5% of your follower base. That means that, if you have 1,000 followers, you can expect your organic (or unpaid) content to reach 50 people. And that number is only set to decrease – eventually, only paid content will reach your Facebook followers’ eyes.
While other platforms are somewhat better in terms of organic reach, the truth is that the best way to guarantee that your social content is seen is to invest in social ads.
Now, that needs to be done strategically. But, when aligned with your goals, social ads can pay big dividends.
5. Create Content for People, not Businesses
Finally, a tactical word to the wise for social content creation: create your social content for people, not for businesses.
When you’re creating content, create it around what you think the people who work at your prospect’s companies will like. Yes, executive coaching is often a B2B endeavor, but the fact is that you ultimately sell to people, not to businesses. Let that idea permeate through and shape your content.
Take a look, for example, at the social content that Sophia Fromell creates on Facebook:
It’s focused on people. It doesn’t feel sterile. It’s relational. And, as all executive coaches know, that’s key.
So, create content that’s fun, humorous, or educational – something that will keep them coming back for more. It’s also a good idea to create a plan around the kind of content you will create, to help to avoid inconsistencies in tone or message.
If you want to have an educational or expert feel to your posts (and, as an executive coach, that can appeal you to your audience), then keep that tone throughout the entirety of your marketing. Brand yourself as the expert, and you will become the go-to authority in your executive coaching niche.
So, there you have it: five tips to using social media as an executive coach. There’s more to using social media for executive coaches, of course, but these concepts will be a good place to start.
You can put social media to use – and you’ll be on the path toward growth if you do.
Want help creating and managing a great social media plan? Or, do you want a free review of your current social strategy with recommendations on what you could do to improve?
Get in touch with us. At New North, we’re passionate about helping executive coaches grow with good marketing, and our years of expertise as a social media marketing company in Frederick, Maryland mean that we know what it takes to design a plan that works.
Jon is an inbound strategist with a passion for helping clients take the mystery out of their marketing. His goal is to write about digital marketing using as little jargon as possible. He’s watched a few too many Pittsburgh sporting events.