How To Build An Awesome Brand Image For Coaching & Consulting

If you are a coach or a consultant, you are selling yourself. You are the brand, and brand image is extremely important. This is especially true since people form their “first impressions” in 50 milliseconds on the internet – that’s 0.05 seconds!

But you should know from the get-go: building a brand is not primarily about logos and slogans, though those things are important. You need to become memorable for one highly specific thing that people desperately need help with.

Think about your website, social media, proposal documents, and all the other client-facing stuff you create. You need to deliberately craft it all to leave people with a clear message. That way, people will remember you and – by extension – request quotes, book calls, turn over their email addresses, and so on.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can build an awesome brand image for your coaching or consulting business in eight concrete steps.

You need to build an online presence for consulting or coaching. Here’s why.

Nowadays, if you’re coaching or consulting, being online is a must. You want to be easy to find online, whether through Google and other search engines or on social media. This will give you plenty of opportunities to show off what you know and attract the right people.

You know what you’re talking about. You specialize in something specific and you have a skill set that relatively few people have. The trick is to make sure that comes across in your online presence.

This is your shop window, your storefront, your billboard, and your business card. You want your brand to look inviting and show clearly what you offer, so the right people want to work with you.

Every business ultimately needs to attract people, get them interested, and push them to make a purchasing decision. Having a good online presence makes this a million times easier.

1. Your target audience matters more than anything else. Figure out who they are.

You need to have a clear-headed sense of who your audience is. What kind of problems do they have, and why are their problems considered problems in the first place?

If someone asks you who you typically sell to, you want to be able to give a clear, specific answer. You want to be able to describe what they do for a living, what motivates their decision-making, what makes them happy, and what makes them unhappy.

Buyer Personas
Hubspot maintains a good template for Buyer Personas.

One exercise that a lot of marketers will recommend you do is create a buyer persona. This process involves imagining your target audience as a single, individual human being with wants and desires. You don’t have to do this to succeed, but it’s an excellent place to start if you feel really stuck.

In coaching and consulting, you need your brand to communicate that you can solve specific problems for specific people. If you’re a health and fitness coach, then you want to communicate, for example, that you help busy mothers of young children lose weight in a sustainable, healthy way.

That’s a lot more specific than “I help people lose weight.” This same principle can be applied to just about any kind of coaching and consulting.

2. Define your audience’s problems in great detail.

“Wow, you really get me.”

Those are the magic words that you want your customers to say to you. This is only possible, though, if you both really do get them and if you are able to communicate that fact.

One trick that you can master that will help you out here is to master the art of the problem statement.

A problem statement is a short, clear, and simple explanation of a problem that your audience faces. If you really want to succeed here, you need to be able to describe your audience members’ problems with an uncanny amount of detail.

For example, I’m building up a brand called Agency Care Package. It’s a website built for freelancers and small agency owners who have trouble with the backoffice parts of the job. That is, financial modeling, hiring and firing, delegating work, and that sort of thing.

That audience is educated, motivated, and intelligent. But they feel like they are drowning in a sea of vague, poorly written advice. And they feel like their education isn’t helping them as much as they want. That makes them feel terribly lonely.

So I make sure to hammer home these points in every single page of the website, email in the inbox, and post on social media.

Smartly defining your audience’s problems means your brand will be remembered, not just noticed and forgotten.

3. Figure out your unique selling proposition.

Part one is defining your audience’s problems. Part two is positioning yourself as a solution to those problems.

To do that, you need to have a crystal clear unique selling proposition. You need to be the “go-to guy” or “go-to girl” for a specific problem. A problem so specific that people feel all alone in the world when they think about it.

To build a positive brand image, you need to have an answer to this key question: “what makes your service so special?”

Your answer to that is your unique selling proposition. What are you doing differently that no one else is doing? Maybe it’s your approach, your experience, or a particular method you use.

Unique Selling Proposition Diagram
Unique Selling Proposition Diagram

This is what sets you apart and what you need to communicate clearly to your audience. When people understand what makes you different, they’re more likely to choose you over someone else.

Luckily, if you spend the time spelling out the problem statement, and if you have expertise in your area, then coming up with your unique value proposition will be easier than you expect.

Once you figure out your unique selling proposition, then you have one vital job after that. Make sure you mention it everywhere, all the time, from your website to your social media posts.

4. Decide which brand messages to prioritize.

Pick three things that you want people to take away from your online presence. When people stumble across you, you want to always be talking about one of these three things.

This is going to force you to pick only the brand messages that resonate the most. So be sure to focus on the ones that truly reflect your brand values and what your audience needs to hear.

Narrowing down your messages is going to help you stay consistent, and consistency is key in branding. You want to make sure that no matter where someone comes across your brand—be it on Instagram, your blog, or an online ad—they get the same core message.

This doesn’t mean repeating yourself word for word but ensuring the spirit of your message is consistent. This helps build trust and reinforces your brand in the minds of your audience.

To give you a concrete example, I started a board game development blog in 2016. My three messages were:

  1. Making board games is a worthwhile endeavor.
  2. You can make your first board game.
  3. Here’s how you make your first board game.

I wrote hundreds of articles and thousands of social media posts for that site. But these three messages were always at the core of everything. That’s why it’s still pulling in substantial traffic despite going over three years without an update!

5. Figure out where your audience hangs out online, and start posting there.

Now that you know who your audience is and what you want to say, figure out where they spend time online. Are they scrolling through Instagram, reading LinkedIn articles, or watching YouTube?

Whatever it may be, you need to be there. That doesn’t mean being on a billion platforms at once and trying to put out more content than anyone else. You just need to be findable where your audience is already spending time. As for your posts, you need to be consistent in your content cadence, but your #1 priority should be posting quality, on-message content.

One more word of advice: tailor your content to each platform. Nobody wants to see a square video on TikTok.

Social Media Abstract
Stock photo makers think apps are just blank screens with nothing on them.

6. Be consistent.

Consistency builds trust. There are a few parts to this, though.

  1. Your visuals and your message should be the same across all your online spaces. 
  2. You need to regularly post, whether on social media, your blog, or somewhere.

Consistency makes your brand feel more reliable and professional, which can turn casual browsers into loyal customers.

This isn’t complicated – it just takes time and effort!

7. Start conversations with others.

Being active online isn’t just about posting. You also need to interact with others.

I encourage you to reply to comments and direct messages on social media. If someone sends you a thoughtful email, send a thoughtful email back!

Don’t be afraid to proactively reach out to others too. Comment on their posts and reach out to people you admire. Well-crafted cold outreach can have a shockingly high response rate, even today.

In other words, show people that you are a real person and use social networking for, well, social networking!

8. Know that you will learn, change, and grow over time.

The online world is always changing, and so will your understanding of your audience and what works best for your brand. Embrace this learning process. 

Be open to trying new things, and don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy based on what you learn from your successes and failures.

Building a strong brand image is not a one-week task. It takes years of refinement over time. Yes, it is important to make a good first impression – but there are a lot of people in the world, and that means you’ll constantly be making first impressions!

Final Thoughts

Building a strong brand for your coaching or consulting business online is a journey, and a long one at that. It begins with being clear about who you are, who you’re talking to, and what makes you the right choice for them.

Then from there, success is built through your day-to-day consistency, engagement, and willingness to experiment. As long as you are patient and put in the work, you can create a brand that not only stands out but also builds a lasting connection with your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

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