The Complete Guide to Choosing a Small Business Marketing Coach

Coaching is big business, and if you pull up a search on LinkedIn, you’ll get over 6 million results. Although this statistic covers every niche of coach, it’s certainly a booming sector with an abundance of choices.

So out of all those results, how do you find the best small business marketing coach for YOUR SPECIFIC business, and what are the pros of using a coach? Is it the latest buzzword, or can hiring a good coach ACTUALLY help you accelerate your business growth? 

From my past experience of hiring my own coaches, annnnnd the feedback I get after working with my clients, finding and hiring the RIGHT marketing and visibility coach can be a game-changer in your business.

If you’re thinking about starting out on your marketing coaching experience and want to get the low-down on what it’s all about, you’re in the right place…

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Marketing Coach?

A marketing coach is an expert advisor that works closely with you and your business to help you build your own marketing capabilities. A marketing coach can also be referred to as a visibility coach or visibility strategist since a big part of marketing is helping you get your business in front of new people.

I tend to use the word coach, strategist, and consultant pretty interchangeably, but that’s because when I work with my clients they get a little bit of everything, depending on what we’re doing together.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Coach vs. Consultant vs. Strategist:

Marketing Coach:

Typically question-focused. Asks thought-provoking questions to help you extract your own answers, plus offers accountability towards a goal.

Marketing Consultant:

Typically has more expertise in a specific marketing arena that you, the client, aren’t as knowledgeable in. Offers guidance and is there to answer questions or guide you or your team as you implement things.

Marketing Strategist

Typically skilled at creating a customized plan for you including clarity around a marketing goal, possible tactics to utilize, and focuses on resource allocation. Sometimes a strategist offers done-for-you packages, as well as higher-level strategy creation.

All in all, regardless of the title, most small business marketing coaches help you identify problems in your current marketing strategy and offer actionable solutions to help build a fully systemized approach to your business’s marketing efforts with the goal of business growth in mind. 

What IS Business Growth?

Business growth is another term that we should define real quick before going much further.

How YOU define growth in your business, is up to you. “Business growth” can mean different things for different people depending on the season of life they’re in or the priorities they have.

Different ways to measure “growth” when running a business:

  • Financial growth — making more money (this is what people USUALLY are referring to)
  • Time Freedom (having more free time)
  • Consistency (creating more sustainability)
  • Scaling (team building and support)
  • Resource management (how effective things are)

Because sometimes your business has to GROW a deeper and more stable foundation before it branches out and starts growing in a financial way.

Before hiring a marketing coach, try to get clear on what YOUR priorities are, any non-negotiables you have, and what kind of time/resources you have available.

5 Reasons to Hire a Small Business Marketing Coach

You might be in two minds about whether hiring a marketing coach is really worth it. 

There’s always quite a bit of skepticism among business owners when it comes to coaching. 

One of the main concerns is that it’s going to be money down the drain with a very low return on investment. Some people say they just don’t need coaching for a variety of reasons. Here are several reasons why, as a small business owner, you should consider hiring a marketing coach.

#1. You Need More Support

Of course, you know your business better than anyone else, but it can be challenging wearing all the hats.

You might not think you need help with your marketing, or that you’re doing all right, but honestly, whatever your strategy, there’s always going to be room for improvement. Investing time and resources looking into new and better ways of doing something often gets sidelined if what you’re currently doing “sort of” works. 

Even if your business is seeing a good level of growth, without expert guidance you could be missing out on vital gaps to accelerate your growth even quicker. 

Doing #allthethings all the time isn’t sustainable on a long-term basis, so getting extra help, delegating tasks, and knowing where to focus your energy will save you from burnout. 

A marketing coach provides valuable and honest feedback as well as give reliable support when you’re facing problems and challenges in your business.

#2. Your Business Isn’t Growing Financially

Maybe you’ve been building your business for a while, but you just aren’t seeing monetary growth. You’re investing more and more time, but the revenue ain’t quite increasing. 

A lot of small businesses fail to grow financially because things either aren’t getting done at all OR the wrong things are getting done and the priorities are out of whack.

A marketing coach can analyze your business structure, customer journey, marketing plan, etc. to see what is and isn’t relevant to your business growth. And then they can help you create a strategic plan to implement moving forward so you only focus on the tasks that will help improve your business, in the way that you’re craving.

#3. Lack of Consistency

You might be dabbling in Facebook Ads, creating random Instagram reels, or sending out sporadic emails but there’s no real plan and it’s a bit hit-or-miss if these tactics are working.

Having a solid strategy in place for your marketing efforts stops you from chasing the wrong things; like starting a random ass Tik Tok because “that’s what all the kids are doin’ now”.

You need a marketing strategy that allows potential customers to be led down well-thought-out sales funnels (customer journey) to help convert them from strangers into buyers.

Instead of doing random acts of marketing, your marketing coach will help you build, implement and manage a solid marketing plan based on your business goals and objectives.

#4. Your Business Has Gaps You Can’t See

Have you ever heard of the phrase “you can’t see the forest through the trees”? This could be exactly what’s happening in your small business.

You’re probably so focused on one thing, that it can be difficult to step back and see the bigger picture and where are the gaps in your business.

A marketing coach will look at your business with an experienced and fresh set of eyes. They will be able to identify any low-hanging fruit opportunities or things that you might be missing and recommend the best course of action to take, depending on your goals and what “growth” means for you.

#5. It Helps to Free Your Mind

If it feels like all you do is an eat-work-sleep repeat, then you’ll hit burnout pretty quickly. When was the last time you 100% switched off from your small business and took a break?

A marketing coach is an expert who can help with this feeling. They will understand the ins and outs of how to build a successful business most effectively, meaning you’ll be able to reach your goals faster and more efficiently, in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.

Hiring a marketing coach can allow you to free your mind and help to improve your work-life balance.

5 Tips for Choosing the Correct Small Business Marketing Coach for YOU

Okay, so now we know that hiring a digital marketing business coach can help you achieve your goals in all sorts of ways, let’s get into some top tips for choosing the RIGHT small business marketing coach; because no 2 are the same, truly.

Tip #1: Check Testimonials

With so many options for coaches, it’s important to use your discernment.

Look for one who has great feedback or testimonials to back up what they say they do. Small business coaching isn’t a regulated industry, so anyone can claim to be amazing at what they do.

Do your research before saying yes & signing a contract with a new coach. Use a recommendation from other people, or ask the coach you’re considering to connect you with a past client of theirs so you can ask them in private what they thought about working with the coach.

Also, listening to your intuition or your gut is underrated here.

How do you FEEL when you read their website, social media, or marketing? Do you feel shame or like something is too good to be true? OR do you feel excited and curious? Listen to that.

Tip #2: Do They Offer a Free Initial Consultation?

Most solid marketing coaches will offer a free clarity call or initial consultation. This is for both of you to get to know each other, discuss goals and see if there’s an initial spark between you.

If you speak, and you left feeling deflated or that you didn’t feel a click between your personalities, then find a different coach. 

((It’s better to know there’s no spark from the jump, than after you’ve already signed a contract))

Tip #3: Make Sure They Are Upfront About Fees and Services

A legitimate marketing coach or visibility strategist will be transparent and upfront about their pricing and investment costs. They will also provide a detailed contract that states what services you will receive.

If they are vague about the price or have lots of hidden fees, then this is a huge red flag. 

Run.

Tip #4: Do They Have Relatable Experience?

Find out what previous skills and attributes your marketing coach has. Do they have knowledge and experience in marketing businesses online?

Have they done work with other small businesses in a similar niche? 

If you’re not sure, ASK THEM.

This is a really great way to see how the coach handles your curiosity and asking of questions. You want to feel safe to explore things with a coach, so if they’re not open in the beginning, they might not be a good fit in the long run.

Tip #5: Commitment Type

Some marketing coaches, consultants, and strategists, depending on their area of focus, only work on a long-term basis; meaning you’d have to sign a 6-12 month contract with them upfront.

Does that work for you? Is that the type of relationship you’d like?

Or would you prefer testing out a shorter one-time intensive or 3-month option?

There really is no right or wrong here. Some coaches prefer to work with clients long-term and form longer relationships. Some offer one-off sessions.

The main thing is, what kind of support are YOU looking for?

What to Do Before Hiring a Small Business Marketing Coach

Here’s a quick summary of what you should be doing before hiring a small business marketing coach.

  • What kind of support are YOU looking for? Take some time and journal on this a bit so you have clarity around the areas you’d like to focus on during a coaching relationship (this helps keep your search focused)
  • Ask your friends for a referral or start searching online
  • Check the testimonials and scope out past client feedback
  • Arrange clarity calls and initial consultations to see who you click with
  • Trust your gut and double-check your budget so you FEEL GOOD about this investment

Find Out How Coaching Can Help Improve Your Small Business

All in all, hiring a small business marketing coach can be an insanely amazing investment, especially if you’re wanting to expand your small business in the online space, but you’re not sure where to start.

If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of working together, fill out this quick form and we can schedule a free consult call to see if we’re a good fit.

OR if you’re looking to dive in right away, book a marketing breakthrough session so we can move past those roadblocks holding you back.