Building a Coach Business — Article Marketing — The Secret to Getting Lots of Clients

I was working with Jim, a business coach, who was struggling to get new coaching clients. I had him start writing articles that showed not only what kinds of results his clients got, but how, and the value that his clients got.

But Jim showed me that he wasn’t getting very many people showing up in his list from his article marketing.

What happens frequently is that a coach gets one part of his marketing working but immediately behind that working part he has another part that just falls off the cliff. Look at your marketing steps as multipliers. So, if part 1 gets 50% of those that entered step one going to step 2, and step 2 has less than 0.1% or even zero, the results are still zero.

You should break any marketing down into steps so that you can not only identify where it falls off the cliff, but so that you can actively manage it.

For instance, in article marketing,

  • Getting your article read. Depending on how many people read this particular ezine, and how many are reading in this topic area of the ezines will have some impact on the total daily reads. But so will the title. The measurements for this part can be broken up into two parts
  • Getting the article found –controlled by whether you have the right search words so that it’s found in the search engine of the ezine that it’s published in, and also whether it’s on the most current articles list of that ezine. Getting it found in search engines will have the biggest impact. That means using the right search words, and searhc engine optimizing the article. 
  • And then GETTING ATTENTION with the title — once it is seen, either in a search, or in the “most current articles list” the only thing that determines whether it finally gets read is . . . whether the title gets attention. I’ve got other blog postings that discuss how to write a really powerful, compelling title. That’s another topic for another day.
  • Getting the reader all of the way through the article — obviously if he starts reading but loses interest somewhere in the article he’ll never get to the final call to action. I use a formula, AIDA, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (a call to action) which leads the reader through the article steps by step.
  • Attention — starts with the title, but, break the article into segments with subtitles that also get attention. That keeps ’em reading, and attracts them from section to section.
  • Interest — basically this is where you give them the meat, what it was you implied in the title that they would get. This might be information, or the “why they are reading.”
  • Desire — this can be one of the most powerful parts. I always say that our job is not to “lead the horse to water” . . . “our job is to make him thirsty.” And this is the part that does it. The best way is that every time you give them some “interesting” things you follow it with a story or a testimonial of a client who once did what you just told them how to do and then tell what kind of MEASURABLE results that client got, in other words ESTABLISH the VALUE they will get if they just do what you told them to do. That’s what makes ’em thirsty for more, not only reading more of the article, segment by segment of the article, but actually wanting to do what you will finally ask them to do at the end of the article.
  • Action (call to action) — Although we will have a final call to action at the end of the article, at the end of each segment we should have a call to action, make the article interactive, make them think, make them plan to use what you have shown them and ask them to do it. It could be “Like to see those kind of results? Then start by doing step 1 this week, step 2 by . . . “
  • NOTE: In most online publications you may not be able to measure this step directly. You will only be able to see how many actually respond to your call to action (the next step). So, the next measurement comes from the call toa ction which combines both “getting them to the end” and “what percentage respond to the call to action” combined.
  • Final Call to action — after getting them all of the way through the article, the next step is in the resource box at the end, the final call to action. This is where you get them to do what you wanted them to do. NOTE: In most ezines you will not be able to measure
  • Your final call to action must be powerful, and follow through with the thoughts that you started in the article. If the call to action doesn’t complete the thought you started your response rate will be low.
  • What do you want from your final call to action — someone signed up on your list, contact information (at minimum name and email address), and someone really excited about you and what you just gave them. Someone really excited about getting more from you. Keep them that way with your follow up emails.
  • Good measurement for the percentage of people who start reading that click on the final call to action is around 30%.

If we created a formula it might look like this.

  • Number of people searching for the keywords
  • times
  • Percentage of searchers that we get (which gives us “number of readers”)
  • times
  • Percentage of those that finish reading the article, get to the end
  • times
  • Percentage of those that are compelled to click through and do.

So, if that results in

  • (# searches)X(% that read)X(% that finish reading)X(% that act)
  • ……1,000………X……10%…….X……50%………………….X…50%…….=25

Now take another look at that formula, and what happens if JUST ONE of those multipliers go to near zero? Of course the end result goes to near zero.

Or consider what would hapen if we doubled two of them, our overall result would go up 4 times. See how easy this is to multiply the number on your list, the number of potential clients, and ultimately the number of dollars of your income?


Back to Jim, and the first step, how many people read his articles. We discovered that some articles were read over a 1,000 times in a couple of months, and some were below 100 reads. So, that was a glaring aha moment. There was a huge opportunity here. All we have to do is understand what causes only 100 reads, and what causes 1,000 reads in the same time frame, that’s a 10 times increase in readership.

Here’s what we found:

  • The biggest difference was that those getting 1,000 reads were search engine optimized and had been found for search words that were searched for a LOT.
  • NOTE: there are two levels of this. One is being found on the larger search engines outside of the ezine itself. And the second is being found on the searches within the ezine itself. Obviously being found outside on the major search engines will have the biggest effect on this specific article. However, it’s easier to be found within the ezine, so search engine optimizing for words that are not as competitive can frequently get you a position INSIDE the ezine. You want to do that for EVERY article. Working on a search engine position outside of the ezine may be harder and not happen quite as often. Check out my articles and blog posting on “finding the right search words.”
  • And the other way of being found was during the first few days of publication when the article was listed in the “most recent articles” list. But, in this case, if you have a great attention getting title, you’ll get read for the 10-15 days that the article is listed as “current” but as soon as you drop off that list, reads drop to only maybe 1 read every 10 days or so. If you have search engine optimized your article, about the time you drop off that “most current articles” list you may be acquiring that search engine position, so you don’t see much of a drop in reading, in fact, you may see a sudden lead to 10-50 a day, depending on how many people are searching for that specific keyword, and what position you have on the search engine.

So, the potential for “number of readers” if you get a search engine position can be 10-50 a day, or 300 to 1,500 a month, as opposed to Jim’s low end of 100 reads in a couple of months, or about 3 a day. An increase of 100 to 500 times readership. Of course that also means that ultimately this is an increase of 100 to 500 times more clients and more dollars.

Now to Jim’s article conversion rate, click through rate, what percentage of those that start reading actually take the action, the click through at the end.

Again, we found a huge spread. Some articles had a click through rate of 1%, and some were up at around 30%. So, understanding what makes this difference could be a 30 times increase in list members, potential clients, and dollars of our income.

Take that (30 times) times the first 100-500 times from search engine optimizing, and 30×100=3,000 times increase in our list growth, potential clients, and dollars of income. Not bad is it?

What impacted Jim’s click through rate for his articles was a combination

  • How well his articles delivered on what had gotten their attention in the title.
  • Was the article more about the pain and solution that the reader was looking for.
  • Was the article “interesting” and “exciting”. That goes back to the AIDA, and the Interest and DESIRE part
  • Was the call to action compelling, and did it follow through with the article. Some of Jim’s calls to action had little to do with the article. They were more “call me if you need help” instead of “Take what you just learned to an even higher level by joining us at

The ultimate outcome of all of this, Jim’s overall signup rate is up by 100’s of times. We’re waiting to see how that carries through with number of new clients and increased dollars.

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