Time and/or Money – Deciding how to fill a knowledge gap for my Small Business

Original article by Nerice Gietel 

Here I go again. I am doing yet another qualification. This time it is a nanodegree in digital marketing from Udacity. No, I am not considering changing careers, again. Coaching is way too satisfying to give up. But I have decided to do this course to fill a knowledge gap that I believe is essential for my business.

Running a good coaching business relies on two key elements:

  • Being qualified to coach
  • Having clients who want you to coach them

Before I set up my practice I made sure that I could tick the first box. But it soon became clear how much effort the second element takes. Unlike psychotherapy or mentoring that can sometimes go one for years, coaching programs should take place within defined and relatively short periods of time. Personally, I see it as a mark of success if I am able to help my clients achieve their goals in as few sessions as possible. The flipside of this is that I am constantly having to attract new clients.

Digital marketing keeps coming up as one of the solutions to this problem. As soon as I started my business I built a website and soon after that I also set up a business page on Facebook. Up until then I barely used my personal Facebook account so I felt very uncomfortable promoting and posting on my business page. I looked up digital marketing courses. The sheer volume of available options overwhelmed me so I tried to do knowledge exchange with friends who were professional marketers or self-taught digital marketers instead. This did not help me to overcome all the challenges I was facing. I then decided to pay for the consultancy services of a professional marketer to help me draft a marketing strategy. What can I say, I am writing this blog now so, I will let you guess how that worked out for me.

More recently, I considered hiring freelancers but then I had a light bulb moment. I realised that without being clear about what I need from whoever I hire and how to set success criteria for them I could continue this search forever. That is when I decided to enrol in this course. Funnily enough, I first heard about it more than two years ago from one of my clients who was doing it at the time.

Digital marketing is not just about selling

I am not even a quarter of the way through and already it feels like one of the best time and money investments I have made in my business. One of the most valuable things that I have learned is that digital marketing is not just about selling to potential customers. Instead, it is about building and maintaining relationships over prolonged periods of time by consistently creating quality content. Not only does this make sense to me but doing it also excites me so watch the space. There is more to come.

About the Author

Nerice Gietel is Founder of The Career Lounge helping professionals access meaningful job opportunities through coaching and connections.