What is a marketing coach?

Janine looking very worried on the phone

I thought I’d made up the title ‘marketing coach’. I was under the impression I might be the only one!

But after a quick google, I found that there are other marketing coaches but we’re a ragtag bunch with not-a-lot in common.

Some marketing coaches can help you to get more out of your social media or to plan your content. Some are more akin to a business coach. 

This is my stab at a definition of small business marketing coach:

A marketing coach works with business owners to understand their values, mission and lifestyle before sharing strategies and tactics to meet their goals as efficiently as possible. The ultimate decision on what direction to take lies with the business owner.

Wondering which type of marketing coach would be right for you?  Download the Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Coaches for a full run through.

Why would you need a marketing coach?

There are four main reasons why you might want to work with a marketing coach:

  1. Their marketing knowledge will fast track your progress
  2. Their objectivity and fresh insight means you’ll be able to scrap activities that aren’t working, fix things that should be working better and spot opportunities you hadn’t thought of before.
  3. Knowing that there’s someone there as you work through your world domination plans and start to implement them can be worth it’s weight in gold.
  4. Accountability. There’s something about paying good money that means that you’re more likely to do the work!

A good marketing coach will always get clear on your goals first, then check that what you want is actually what you need. Sometimes you think it’s logical to aim for something, but your underlying motivation means that a different approach would be better.

For example, someone might say ‘I want to get 10,000 email subscribers by the end of the year’, but what they actually want is a higher, more stable long-term income. A quicker route could be to create an offer for a higher paying client type. Getting 10k of the wrong subscribers isn’t going to help anyone.

Other common issues a marketing coach can spot:

  • Offers that could be more compelling
  • Your current ideal customer won’t help you reach your long-term goals
  • How you could make your offers more profitable and bring you more sustainable income 
  • Whether now is the right time to launch other services e.g. online courses or memberships

It’s SO difficult to work through these things on your own.

What gets me hopping up and down with excitement is to see clients developing their own marketing instincts, which means you:

  • Get more income for less effort
  • Have tried and tested systems in your back pocket, ready for your next launch
  • Make better business decisions that save you time and money
  • Be able to see why things aren’t working and what to do to rectify it
  • Know when to try something and when to steer clear

In short, if you want to move forwards, more quickly, a marketing coach might be just the ticket. 

Janine Coombes pointing to the buyer's guide to marketing coaches

How do I find a good marketing coach?

Having worked with several coaches myself; some good, some not-so-good, my best recommendation is for you to get to know them.

Working with someone on the basis that they’re entrepreneur-famous risks an expensive mistake.

If you’re newer to this mad online world, then ask around for recommendations. Keeping in mind what it is that you specifically want to get out of a coach.

Have a little look at their LinkedIn profile and see what their previous experience is.

Read a few of their blogs, watch a few of their videos and have at least one face-to-face chat on Zoom or Skype before making a decision. Ideally speak to a former client of theirs too. 

There are more ideas for finding and vetting a good marketing coach in the buyer’s guide to marketing coaches.

How do marketing coaches work?

I’ve seen marketing coaches work in a variety of ways:

  • One-to-one programmes 
  • Masterminds
  • Memberships
  • Group programmes
  • Online Course

For a thorough run through of the pros and cons of each, read my blog ‘What’s the best investment? Online course vs Membership vs Mastermind vs Group Programme vs One to one Programme‘.

Most marketing coaches will offer some sort of one-to-one coaching package. This usually involves regular video calls between the two of you and in-between support using some sort of messaging app like Voxer or Whatsapp, or good old fashioned email. 

For these coaching programmes to work, you usually have to commit to working with the coach for 3 months. Personally, I like working with people for a minimum of 6 months. You’d be surprised how quickly the time flies! 

For a thorough look at the four elements that all good marketing coaches will cover with you read my blog ‘What do marketing coaches actually do?

What qualifications should a marketing coach have?

It depends on the type of help you want.

If you all you want is to improve the results you’re getting from your social media campaigns, then you could find a social media expert with no marketing qualifications at all and they might be the best person for the job.

However, if you have even the slightest suspicion that you need higher-level, strategic help; I would suggest that you need someone with formal marketing qualifications and/ or solid experience in doing marketing for other people at some point in their career.

Going back to the whole sexy influencer thing; I see so many people saying:

‘I’m successful, I did this, you do the same and you’ll be successful’.

Without knowing how marketing processes break down and the necessity for them to be adapted from business to business, they won’t be able to spot why it’s not working for you. They could have no choice but to blame you for not following their formula closely enough.

Or, on large group programmes, they may not be close enough to your business to be able to notice which part of your marketing machine needs attention.

Without going into my life story, I’ve got business degree, postgrad marketing diploma and 15 years working in the marketing departments of corporates. Plus 4 more years of working with small businesses and entrepreneurs.

I’ve lived and breathed best practice. I’ve seen how slick successful organisations function, and I love sharing how simple it can be to think about your own small business in the same way.

Tactics change but fundamental business principles don’t. FACT.

How much do marketing coaches cost?

I know talented marketing professionals charging less than £60 per hour for a done-for-you service and others charging £60k plus for a 12 call coaching package.

Personally, it costs upwards of £600 per month to work with me.

More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better, but if someone is super cheap it would suggest that they might not have confidence in their own abilities. Or at the very least, they won’t be able to help you create offers that will earn you the kind of money you’re looking for.

I don’t work with newbies, because it’ll take them too long to recoup the investment. I don’t work with low-ticket service providers or product-based businesses for the same reason.

My ideal client can earn back the investment of working with me with only one or two sales. Or they’d be in a position that I could get to that level within 6 months. 

I go in depth about how much you should expect to spend on a marketing coach in the Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Coaches. Download it here (it’s free).

What’s the difference between a marketing coach and a marketing consultant?

Marketing coaches and marketing consultants are frequently muddled up.

The way I distinguish between the two is that a marketing consultant will base their advice on data and will tend to work with bigger companies. A marketing coach tends to work with individual business owners and takes their client’s mindset and life goals into consideration. Marketing becomes very personal when it’s you that you’re selling! 

Have a look at my blog What’s the difference between a marketing coach and a marketing consultant? for a full comparison of these two very similar service providers.

Which type of marketing coach is right for me?

I like to break down the types of marketing coach into three categories:

  • The strategic marketing coach
  • The tactical marketing coach
  • The holistic marketing coach

The strategic marketing coach is the one that’s most similar to a business coach. The tactical marketing coach is likely to focus on just one or two very specific areas of your marketing communications e.g. email marketing.  The holistic coach has the strategic skills but will also take a view on all of your marketing efforts for a rounded view of the best way forward for you.

If you want to find out more about the three types of marketing coach and find out which one would be right for you, download the Marketing Coach Buyer’s Guide here.

Marketing Coach Buyer's Guide download button