The #1 Thing a Digital Marketing Coach Should Give You

What’s the #1 thing a digital marketing coach should give you?


Let me explain.

Digital marketing can feel like you’re lost in a forest. You have an assortment of tools (hiking boots, rope, compass, etc.). But this is a really big forest. Goes on for miles. You don’t know how to get out, even with your tools.

You might wander around for a few months or even years … until one day, you find a guide. Great! Time to get out of this stupid forest.

This forest guide says he’s used all the tools you have, and then some. So you ask for help using the compass and he shows you how. After a bit, you realize your boots are getting worn, so he helps you reinforce them so you can walk further. When you come to a ravine, he teaches you how to use your rope to cross it.

All these things are helpful. But … Shouldn’t there be a faster way to get out of the forest?

What if, when you spoke to the forest guide, he said something like this instead?

I know this forest like the back of my hand. You need to travel north using your compass until you come to the cliff, then we’re going to navigate by the stars because the magnetized rocks interfere with the compass.

In all, the journey should take us 15 days if we start tomorrow.

The first situation — where you and the guide wander around together — is like many of the digital marketing coaches you might find. They offer to teach you how to use a bunch of marketing tools — Facebook ads, content marketing and search engine optimization, social media marketing, LinkedIn outreach — but they don’t give you a clear path out of the forest. They don’t solve your #1 pain point: Get more leads.

You can have the best product in the world, but people won’t find it on their own. You have to get them in front of your sales copy. And you need to get them there without spending 80 hours a week on marketing and running your business.

Coaching that gives you tactics vs Coaching that gives you focus

In the second situation, the guide has a specific method that he knows will work for you. Or maybe he has expertise in navigating the forest (digital marketing) no matter what your situation is. In either case, that means coaching you through ONE strategy that can take you to the next level instead of dabbling in many things and doing them poorly.

Look for the coach who will lead you out of the forest, not the one who will “walk with you” on weekly coaching calls.

Good coach: Here is how to get out of the forest vs Bad coach: Let's walk together; Good coach: ONE method at a time vs Bad Coach: Learn lots of marketing tricks; Good coach: Gets you focused vs Bad coach: No help on what's right for you; Good coach: Increased leads without 80 hour work weeks vs Bad coach: Leads to burnout.

A great digital marketing coach will help you…

  1. Focus on the one thing you need to be doing right now.
  2. Give you a tried-and-true method for doing that thing.
  3. Guide you whenever you get stuck implementing that method.

Finding your “One Thing” in marketing will do amazing things for your business. I would know — I tried every internet marketing tactic I could find to grow my business. I learned a lot, but it took years to find the best ways to grow. If I had found my One Thing sooner, it would have fast-forwarded my business by years.

In this post, I’ll tell you what I learned from years of experimenting, share the best digital marketing strategy I’ve found, and tell you step-by-step how to find a great coach so you don’t have to spend any more time like a hobbit lost in Mirkwood.

Want us to audit your business strategy and help you skyrocket revenue in the next 90 days? Schedule a complimentary strategy session with a certified coach.

How I Found My #1 Digital Marketing Focus

A good digital marketing coach will teach you how to follow a focused strategy instead of the tactic of the week.

For three years, I tried every new online marketing tactic I could find. And if I wasn’t trying it myself, I was interviewing people who did about how it went. Stuff like:

I tested out each strategy, blogging about the results. Most of them were OK. Some of them were just bad. And a few were good enough that we turned them into free tools like Attract (make a lead magnet in minutes) and GoViral (to get people sharing your campaigns). But a handful stood out as providing the biggest bump in revenue for the least amount of work.

Turns out there’s a better way to get leads than Facebook ads. Better than obsessively tweaking an evergreen funnel. Better than tweeting twice a day for the rest of your life.

Want to know the absolute, hands-down, best digital marketing strategy I’ve found? Using other people’s audiences (OPA). I stumbled across it by accident, but after I saw how effective it was, I made it my One Thing.

Here’s how it happened.

Noah Kagan asked me to write a guest post on his site about how I got my first 100 subscribers. So I did. At the time, the post generated several thousand new subscribers. And over the years, that one post has generated $100,000+ in revenue.

Not bad for one blog post.

Why did it work? Noah’s audience is entrepreneurs. I was gearing up to sell a course on building your email list. His audience was made up of the same people I needed to sell to. So I gave them good content, and they joined my email list to get more.

OPA (we also call it partnership marketing) is doing more of that. Instead of waiting for someone to ask you to post on their blog or be on their podcast, you pitch them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Find a content creator in a space related to yours.
  2. Pitch them on how you could educate their audience for free.
  3. Teach their audience something awesome.
  4. Watch the leads pour in.

This approach can get you to $10k/month, $20k/month, or $50k/month. It works best for course creators, coaches, consultants, and agency owners, but we’ve seen it work for eCommerce, too.

For example:

Your Business Potential Partner
Handmade leather belts The Art of Manliness blog or podcast
Course on how to build an amazing design portfolio UX Magazine
Ayurvedic diet coaching The Doctor’s Kitchen podcast

OPA is our One Thing. And it works like gangbusters for us. We teach one new audience each week. That’s it!

If you’re curious, you can read all about how to execute OPA here.

The point isn’t to rave about partnership marketing (even though I love it). The point is that focusing on one digital marketing strategy was huge for my business. And it’s been killer for our coaching clients as well.

Testimonials from customers: "I celebrated my first 5-figure month (and it wasn't even 5-figures it was multiple 5-figures)! My biz went from $8K in July to $20K in August!"

So find yourself a coach who will teach you that one thing to bring new leads in. Don’t spend 60 hours a week spreading yourself thin on email marketing, SEO, and social media. You’ll burn out and end up with fewer leads than if you did one thing well.

What to Look for in a Digital Marketing Coach

The best digital marketing coach is one who helps you focus your marketing efforts on one thing at a time. It’s not that you shouldn’t learn all about how to run a webinar, how to do Facebook ads without losing money, or how to keep a Twitter following engaged.

It’s that you shouldn’t do all of them at once. You end up doing none of them well. Instead, it’s better to focus on a One Thing that gets great results and doesn’t take all your time. When that’s dialed in, you can think about adding one more channel. And so on.

A good digital marketing coach will teach you how to use one really good channel really well.

So how do you find that coach?

Follow our tried-and-true process for hiring coaches. You can read all about how to find a great online business coach here. That post will walk you through four steps:

  1. Asking the Five Why’s to pinpoint the exact problem you’re having.
  2. How to set a clear business goal for your engagement.
  3. Where and how to look for coaches.
  4. How to evaluate potential coaches.

When you’re shopping for coaches, see if they can set a realistic goal with you. A coach who can set realistic, timeboxed goals with you is a coach who knows what they’re doing. If they can’t or don’t want to, that’s a red flag that they either don’t have a reliable method or that they don’t know it as well as they should.

Say you find a coach to teach you how to do partnership marketing. Before you start working together, you might agree on a goal like this:

In 90 days, I will have 10 partners who said yes to my pitch, two who have already executed partnerships with me, and at least 1,000 new leads for my business.

That’s a concrete, reasonable goal and should give you confidence in trying the method.

Once you’ve made a selection, do the work. If you’re still not seeing results, find another coach. There’s no reason to keep spending money on a program if it doesn’t help you.

Join Growth University

Each month, we offer a limited number of course creators, coaches, and similar business owners access to our digital marketing coaching program.

You’ll get:

  • Clarity and focus on that One Thing you need to do for business growth.
  • Step-by-step instructions for each task (with video tutorials and templates, because who wants to reinvent the wheel?).
  • A detailed marketing plan tailored for your business.
  • On-demand help from coaches who have actually done this stuff before.
  • Regular check-ins and reminders to keep you accountable.

Oh, and one more thing — we pair business owners in similar stages with each other in a 15-person mastermind. You’ll be able to learn from each other’s progress in addition to your one-on-one coaching sessions.

Sound cool? Schedule a complimentary strategy session with one of our certified coaches. We’ll audit your business strategy and help you skyrocket revenue in the next 90 days.