What does Google+ mean for your coaching business?
As predicted by many of the gurus out there, Google+ has increased in popularity and is now overtaking Twitter as more businesses join the community to utilise the various facilities offered, as well as promote their products and services.
One of the service sectors that can really benefit from using Google+ is coaching. In this article we'll take a look at various aspects of Google+ (G+) and see how it is particularly suited to a coaching business.
1. Author Rank and Search Visibility
While author rank is still a relatively new concept, and Social Media companies like ours are still waiting to see what the true impact of it will be, it is definitely something to be aware of and take action on now.
What is author rank?
Essentially, author rank refers to how the author of a website would be ranked based on their influence in the content market, both in search and social media. So with their beady eye on quality of content, Google is now looking at the authors of content as well as the content itself. If you are producing great content (and as a coach, you will be taking every opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge of your subject), then Google will rank you accordingly. This is a fantastic opportunity for coaches to up their games and get higher up in the search engine rankings, and if you're already producing great content, here's how to make sure Google notice you:
- Get an account on Google+ (plus.google.com)
- Follow the steps to fill in your profile and make sure its public
- Add a clear headshot of yourself. This will be displayed on your posts and (as we'll see later) in Google search engine listings, so make sure it is clear enough to show up in the little circle.
- Go to Profile, then About. In this section you'll find Links. This is the area where you can record your other social media accounts, and your other websites, blogs and any presence you've created online.
You're now on Google+!
To link your G+ profile to the content on your website or blog you need to add a special link:
or, if you've got a good content management system, add your profile link in the appropriate place.
You might need to ask your developer for help on this, but it will be worth it!
What happens when you've signed up to G+ and started producing content?
Google are now ranking popular G+ posts, as well as content from websites, so you will have three possibilities of getting ranked, just because you've taken the steps above (and are producing quality content of course).
- Create a great G+ post and it will show up in the search engine listing along with your headshot
- Write a great piece of content and it will be displayed with your G+ headshot. It might be ranked either a) because of the nature of the content, or because b) you, as a highly valued expert, wrote it.
It has been proven that images attract clicks, therefore with your headshot being displayed, your posts and content are more likely to be clicked on.
Notice on the entry above, that besides linking to the article, Google has noted how many circles Patrick is in - and added his name of course. This gives the searcher an indication of how influential the author is, and therefore how much knowledge and expertise you will access when clicking the link.
Using Google+ for Communications
As a coach, a lot of your work is face-face, meaning that your time is very precious. This can be limiting to the geographical area you want to cover because travel can interrupt the amount of time you have available. Google+ is addressing this kind of problem through Hangouts and (if you use Google Apps), chat (which can now be used as Hangouts as well).
What are Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts are essentially a facility for video chat, with the added inclusion of screen sharing. There is also the direct facility to share YouTube videos and Google docs. As a free tool, where up to 10 people can participate in a meeting, this is a great feature for a business coach to conduct interim meetings with clients, offering quality without extra travel charges. There are no charges for the service and it is extremely simple to set up and invite attendees.
As a coach, you may include training in your suite of services. Google+ can help to promote training via events. Any events you post will automatically go onto your Google Calendar (if you use one) which you might expect, due to the integration Google has managed with their services so far. However, the extra bonus is that anyone in your circles will also have the event put onto their calendar as a reminder, thus helping you to get more bookings from people who are interested.
Google Plus is definitely something that, as a coach, you should seriously consider getting a very strong presence on, to enable you to demonstrate your expertise to potential clients, communicate effectively with current clients and lift your website - particularly your blog - in the Google search engines rankings.