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I have been helping coaches and experts scale their businesses for some time.
Over the years, I have learned that most people who want to achieve scale in their online coaching businesses fail because they don’t truly understand their customer’s buyer’s journey. Most often they think that it’s their funnel, their complex systems, or their marketing that’s not working, and they never realise that it’s not having clarity on their customer’s user journey that is holding them back. Honestly, it took me quite a while to learn this lesson too.
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3 key drawbacks of not having a mapped-out customers journey
Before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at three critical disadvantages of not having a mapped-out user journey for your online coaching business:
- You will have massive gaps in your online coaching business: To build a well-thought-out plan for consistently finding new clients and filling your schedule with coaching calls, you will need to understand your ideal customer’s user journey so that you can plan out very personal touchpoints with your perfect customer at every stage. Building a website and offering your services as an online coach will not be enough to do a sustainable business. You need to determine how to reach potential clients, connect with them, convert them into paying customers and keep them engaged for ongoing coaching. Without a mapped-out customer journey, it will be challenging for you to do it effectively. Some key areas you will need to focus on to avoid gaps in your online coaching business include:
- Client Attraction – let’s say you are trying to figure out How will you attract potential clients to your business? You might consider some options including social media marketing, search engine optimization, paid advertising, building referral partnerships, etc. But which one should you prioritise? The answer to this question lies in your customer’s journey.
- Lead Nurturing – Once you have interested potential clients, you need the plan to nurture them into paying customers. Now imagine if you know your ideal customer’s user journey and you realise that the critical source of information for your ideal client happens to be websites like quora, well then you can prioritise written content in the form of blogs and answers to your ideal customer’s questions on websites such as Quora.
- Sales Conversations – If you plan a very thought-out sales strategy based on your user’s journey then your sales conversations will be effortless and very non-salesy which will create a very positive experience for your ideal customer.
- Client Retention – Mapping out a user journey will also enable you to craft a very personalised post-engagement campaign with your clients so that you can upsell them more products and services and your ideal customer will be very willing to stay working with you because of the personalised experience at every step of interaction with your brand. It will be challenging for you to create a consistently positive client retention plan without a good understanding of your ideal customer user journey.
- You will get a very poor return on investment for your marketing efforts if any!: Without a well-designed and strategic marketing campaign, a company is unlikely to see significant benefits or gains from the money, time, and resources invested into marketing activities. You cannot design an effective marketing strategy or a campaign without understanding your ideal customer’s user journey. Simply spending money on various marketing initiatives in a haphazard manner with no clear prioritisation based on your ideal customer’s user journey will result in minimal impact and do little to boost brand awareness, engage customers, or increase sales. For marketing efforts to be effective and provide a good return on investment, companies must thoughtfully evaluate strategies and tactics based on their ideal customer’s user journey. Otherwise, the investment into marketing will be largely wasted.
- You will lose customers to competitors: if you have not mapped out your customers’ journey. In contrast, your competitor has, then they will provide an exceptional experience at every touchpoint, causing you to lose many customers. Your competitor’s brand will seem more relevant to your ideal customers. The only solution is mapping your ideal customers’ journey and ensuring you have a strategy to meet them at every touchpoint. By planning your customers’ experience, you can battle competitors and keep your customers. If you are not present where your customers are, you will lose them to a rival who is.
Why do many coaches not map customers’ journeys for their coaching business?
Many coaches, experts, and consultants lack a mapped-out customer journey for one key reason: they are experts in their fields but not in marketing. They are constantly bombarded by marketing agencies through email and social channels like LinkedIn or Facebook, promising to scale their online coaching business overnight. This noise distracts them and keeps them focusing on micro marketing elements, such as a funnel, website, or webinar, without guidance on strategic thinking focused on the customer and their journey.
Here is a practical example of an ideal customer user journey.
Ideal Customer: John is a coach who has been doing 1:1 coaching and consulting for a few years and is now considering launching an online coaching program. He is a great coach with many people vouching for his expertise, but he lacks marketing experience. He decides to start looking online for brands or people that can help him launch his online coaching program quickly and with as less pain as possible. He starts searching on google and social platforms like LinkedIn to see if people are discussing online coaching programs.
John has a problem and is open to getting help → he comes across Online Coaching OS social posts on his LinkedIn feed or finds an article on Google published by Online Coaching OS → He appreciates quick straight-to-point free educational value add without any fluff on Online Coaching OS → Looks at what offers are available on the Online Coaching OS website → Ends up on the offer page → sees all the testimonials of other people that Online Coaching OS has helped → so by now John is aware of Online Coaching OS brand, its offers and testimonials and has also developed some affinity with Online Coaching OS.
Outcome: based on the above user journey it is paramount that Online Coaching OS as a brand does three things consistently:
- Post relevant content on social every day
- Write in-depth articles that answer common questions for people looking to start an online coaching business
- Create long-form YouTube videos for all the published articles
After checking out various offers at Online Coaching OS, John decides to subscribe to the OCOS Newsletter and Online Coaching OS YouTube channel to build more trust and connection → at the same time John is looking at other competitors who provide similar products and offers → John decides to try out a small, low-cost product from both competitors to see the value that they give and see if he genuinely connects with the coaching style. However, he realises that only Online Coaching OS offers a short, tactical course out of the two competitors!
Outcome: Based on the above user journey Online Coaching OS needs to have the following:
- A newsletter that promises to deliver helpful content for people wanting to launch or scale their online coaching programs
- Launch small low-cost but very high-value online courses so that people on the fence can genuinely experience the value that Online Coaching OS will bring to them in its high-end offers.
BOOM! Online Coaching OS competitors lack affordable yet valuable products that John can try. If your short, tactical online course exceeds expectations, you have a new client for your premium offerings, like a membership or 1:1 consulting.
- Ensure that the short, tactical course delivers at least 10 times more value than the price charged so that anybody who goes through the course can continue talking about the benefits they gained from such a small investment.
Now that you have exceeded your promise and given John an exceptional experience, you have a new loyal customer. However, it is essential to stay in regular contact with John and get his feedback on the overall experience. It is also essential to inform John of all your other offers. Since John received so much value from your brand, he will likely be keen to take advantage of more upsells. John will also provide a glowing testimonial and share his story with his network. This will attract more ideal customers like John, as word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing tool.
- Online Coaching OS needs to have systems in place to ensure the smooth closing of projects that includes upselling opportunities. All the tactical courses also promote offers so that anybody who goes through the tactical courses is very aware of all the other offers.
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Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the various stages and touchpoints a customer goes through while interacting with a business. It is a tool used by businesses better to understand their customers’ experiences, pain points, and needs and to identify opportunities for improvement.
The process of creating a customer journey map involves gathering data on customer behaviour, preferences, and feedback and using this information to create a visual representation of the customer’s journey. This map typically includes several stages, such as awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase support, as well as the different touchpoints where customers interact with the business, such as websites, social media, email, and in-person interactions.
The map may also include the customer’s emotions and expectations at each touchpoint, as well as any pain points or areas where the customer may be dissatisfied. The purpose of the customer journey map is to identify areas where the business can improve its customer experience, optimize its processes, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
By creating a customer journey map, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. They can tailor their products, services, and marketing efforts to better meet those needs. It is an effective tool for businesses of all sizes to better understand and engage with customers.
Customer journey mapping is essential for businesses looking to improve their customer’s pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase experience. Here are some benefits of using customer journey maps:
– Identifying gaps in the customer experience that need improvement
– Understanding the customer’s point of view and pain points
– Creating a customer-centric culture within the business
– Building empathy for the customer
– Finding opportunities to surprise and delight customers
– Uncovering ways to improve customer retention and loyalty
– Aligning the different departments within the business to work towards a common goal
– Developing new products and services that meet the customer’s needs and preferences
Using customer journey maps, businesses can gain a better understanding of their customers and their needs. This understanding can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, business success.
Customer journey mapping involves creating a visual representation of the customer journey. This process helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customer’s needs and pain points. By mapping out the customer journey, companies can identify areas to improve the customer experience, such as reducing wait times or simplifying the checkout process. These improvements can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.
Defining your customers’ journey involves mapping out the different touchpoints and interactions that they have with your business, from the initial point of awareness through to post-purchase support. Here are some steps to help you define your customers’ journey:
1. Identify your customer personas: Start by defining your ideal customer personas, including their demographics, preferences, pain points, and motivations. This will help you better understand your target audience and their needs.
2. Map out the touchpoints: Identify all the touchpoints where customers interact with your business, such as social media, website, email, phone, and in-person interactions. Consider the different stages of the customer journey, including awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase.
3. Gather customer feedback: Use surveys, focus groups, or customer feedback tools to gather feedback from your customers about their experiences with your business. This will help you identify pain points and areas for improvement.
4. Analyze data: Use data analytics tools to track customer behaviour, such as website traffic, engagement rates, and conversion rates. This will help you identify trends and patterns in customer behaviour and preferences.
5. Create a customer journey map: Based on the information gathered, create a customer journey map that visualizes the different touchpoints and interactions that customers have with your business. This map should include the various stages of the customer journey, the touchpoints at each stage, and the customer’s emotions and expectations.
6. Refine and optimize: Once you have a clear understanding of your customer’s journey, use the insights gained to refine and optimize your processes, products, and services. This will help you provide a better customer experience and improve customer loyalty and retention
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