In last week’s free workshop, a question came up that resonated with many of you, and I’m excited to delve into it further in this week’s Women in the Coaching Arena podcast.

Should you focus on business-to-business (B2B) or direct-to-client (B2C) sales in your coaching practice? This decision is crucial, especially in executive, leadership, or career coaching, as it significantly influences your marketing strategies, lead generation activities, and overall messaging.

The Pros and Cons of B2B and B2C Coaching (00:01:20)

This topic discusses the differences between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-client (B2C) coaching, including the pros and cons of each approach.

Marketing Strategies for B2B Coaching (00:05:02)

This topic explores the marketing strategies and activities that are effective for business-to-business (B2B) coaching, including building relationships with decision-makers, attending industry events, and showcasing thought leadership.

Marketing Strategies for B2C Coaching (00:06:04)

This topic discusses the marketing strategies and activities that are effective for business-to-client (B2C) coaching, including social media marketing, personal branding, and connecting directly with potential clients.

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Transcript
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Hello and welcome to Women in the Coaching Arena podcast. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor and ICF accredited coach

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and I help coaches to build brilliant businesses. I know that when you prepare to enter the arena, there is fear, self doubt, comparison, anxiety, uncertainty. You can tend to armor up and protect yourself from vulnerability. In this podcast, I'll be sharing honest, not hype, practical and emotional tools to support you to make the difference that you are here for. Dare greatly. You belong in this arena. Hello, welcome to the 38th episode of women in the coaching arena. I am so glad you are here. This week, I held a free workshop to help people get clear on their niche offer. And somebody asked me a brilliant question that I thought I would cover today. So am I selling business to business or am I selling to the individual client? This is especially a quandary when you are doing executive coaching or leadership coaching. Because it's hard to know. Is it going to be that individual leader who perhaps sees your social media posts. Or are you marketing to organizations? So that's what we're going to dive into today. This is a critical decision that can shape how your marketing pans out. Your entire message on your website. It really is pivotal to your success in your coaching business. So first let's define these items. So B2B refers to transactions between businesses. So this would be you as perhaps a leadership coach. Selling to an organization and they are your paying client. B to C on the other hand involves a transaction between you as perhaps a leadership coach. And your individual clients. You talking to that client in all of your messaging and that client paying your bill. So let's talk about the pros and cons of each of these. Business to business coaching often involves larger contracts and longer engagement periods. It means more stability, potentially higher income per client. However, the sales cycle is longer and more complex. A lot of the time requiring you to get through those different layers of an organization to get to that decision maker that can sign off your invoice. On the flip side, B to C coaching allows for more personal connection with your individual client. There isn't that confusion about who is my contract with. The sales cycle is usually shorter because that individual can just make a decision. You've got that flexibility to mold your services, to suit that exact client. If they want more, if they want less, you can negotiate with them directly. However, the trade off is smaller contracts, less money per client usually, and potentially more effort in gaining that client in terms of the marketing it takes to get that one client. So, how do you decide? It starts with understanding your strengths, your preferences. Do you thrive in corporate environments? Do you prefer one-on-one interactions? Are you looking for long-term engagements or variety in your clients? Another key factor is market demand. You would want to research both markets of your area of expertise. What are the trends? What are most people doing that are out there doing what you're doing? What do potential clients in the sectors need the most. Are they happy to purchase this themselves? Or is it the sort of thing that they expect their employer to fund. So, for example, I worked with someone who is providing maternity coaching. And she was selling it to the individual. But most people who are employed going off on maternity leave kind of expect that that's something that their employer might fund rather than them payout when they're about to take that hit in their pay. So often it's about really thinking about your ideal client and are they seeking your service themselves to invest in. How you want to market is also crucial. So in business to business, building relationships with key decision makers and understanding their needs is essential. You would be more likely to want to do things like networking. Attend conferences. Do in person events for business to business. The sales process for business to business is very different for business the client. So you are likely to need very different revenue generating activities, different methods of lead generation. For example, social media doesn't really cut it with business to business. You have a very different conversion rates. If you are talking to organizations your usually building that relationship, therefore you will gain higher trust and higher conversion rate. Good deep long-term relationships with a few really good potential leads. A lot of the marketing for B2B is behind the scenes. So that may please some of you, because I know visibility comes up a lot. That's not to say it's easy though, because there is a lot of admin heavy work to do to gain those corporate contracts. It's about sending a lot of cold emails, a lot of the time, making sure you have a really good system to follow up on them. Making sure that you're constantly keeping in touch with people. So if you are thinking, it sounds like the easy option there is still work to be done. It's just a different type of work. So you would need to balance which you prefer. And if you are thinking neither, I hear you. And all we need to do is really shift it to how good you are going to feel when you gain that contract. For those of you who don't want to use social media, that will please you that it's nowhere near as relevant for business to business as it is for business to client. So B2B marketing involves thought leadership, publishing articles, speaking at industry events. It's really about building your credibility, showcasing your expertise to that business audience. They are less likely to be impressed by your social media posts and more likely to be impressed by studies that you've done in your area of work. And things that completely raise your credibility. Let's move on to exploring B to C. With B2C expanding your personal brand, connecting directly with potential clients through social media, really growing that audience can be more effective. For B to C social media marketing is a core part of your strategy most of the time. Blogging, email newsletters, lead magnets, funnels. That kind of thing can be really powerful to reach those individuals seeking personal development. That's not to say that online is the only way. You can get out there and your local community. Figure out people you can partner with, who have your ideal client and might be able to come up with some sort of referral arrangement with you. There are so many ways of building those relationships and getting your message out there and the right way will be the right way for you, because you need to enjoy it to ensure you actually show up and do it regularly. The choice between B2C and B2B isn't necessarily binary. Many coaches can blend both approaches. I would recommend doing a campaign, for example, like the next six months, for example, I'm going all in on B2B. And everything I do is going to be targeted at gaining that big contract. Maybe then once you have that big contract, you might want to do B2C, and then you could kind of change things. I do think it's difficult to do two at the same time. They're not impossible because the B2B marketing is often behind closed doors. You will be probably cold emailing or LinkedIn, going to conferences. It won't necessarily impact what you are showing on your social media, for example. Nevertheless, I would still always recommend making your life as easy as possible. And really going all in on one campaign. To sum up whether you choose B2B or B to C. The key is to really align your business strategy with your strengths, the market demands, personal preferences. The person, for example, who asked about this on the workshop already has B2B clients. I think she was an HR consultant. So therefore it made perfect sense that she would align her coaching in line with the rest of her business marketing, rather than have that coaching as a B2C thing and then her HR consulting work as B2B thing, and it would just get a bit confusing who her message was talking to. So let's share two client case studies. One doing business to business, and one doing business to client. And see if it helps you to gain clarity at all. So Zoe, my client was wanting to work with leaders in agencies. Before she came to work with me, she was focusing on business to clients. So she was talking to the leader who has been promoted and he's lost and confused and stressed out. Rather than to the agency who wants that leader to perform well in the business so they generate more profits, for example. So she transferred to business, to business, and she has really thrived ever since, because she absolutely loves going to industry events. She loves building relationships. She's way better in person than she finds social media. So she really found business to business, helped her. Saying that though one of my clients, Kate is targeting the individual and she has done really well with that. Don't get me wrong she has showed up every damn day building her business for entire year. So that. is why she is doing really well with it. So again, if you do want to gain individual clients, It is going to take a lot more visible marketing. Both paths are exciting, have different opportunities and challenges, and that right choice will depend on your individual goals and the specific dynamics of your coaching niche. Thank you for listening to today's episode. I hope this discussion has provided a bit more clarity and direction for your coaching business. Remember your journey is unique. The right path is the one that aligns best with you. Your vision. Your values. And as I say, at the end of every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. I have a mess of free resources on my website joannalottcoaching.com. That's Joanna with an A and Lott with two T's. joannalottcoaching.com. And I'll also put links in the show notes. Let me know if you found this episode useful. Share it with a friend and leave me a review, and I will personally thank you for that. Remember to trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Get into the arena dare, greatly and try.

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