Ep 52 – Listeners’ Choice 2019 – How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Being Salesy

Last week I shared the Listeners’ Choice #1 Best Episode and again it had record plays!

A shout out to Susan who wrote:

“So much truth. It was like a choir of angels harmonized in the background as I understood. Happy Anniversary to you and Prosperous Coach Podcast. You’ve helped me get to someplace new and exciting in my business, thank you.”

I love that, Susan!

Today, is another Listeners’ Choice Best Episode in 2019 — How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Beings Salesy.

I’m not surprised that this episode was super popular. For one thing who wants to be salesy? But also this episode also has a content upgrade – a downloadable guide you can get for free that walks you through my step by step questions to ask coaching prospects during your Discovery Session.

The questions actually inspire people to hire you.

Here we go with Listeners Choice for 2019 …

This is the first episode in a new series that I’m doing called Smart Mindsets and Systems. There’s a ton of juicy stuff that’s going to be in this series. 

Now, in this session we’re going to dig into something that I know is critical and also difficult for a lot of people — how to actually enroll clients.

How can do enroll coaching clients in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re selling?

How can you enroll authentically while standing in your power with ease and grace?

When I shifted to this method of enrolling, it improved my enrollment success rate. I’ve taught this to every coach that I worked with. It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s not hard.

It’s much easier than giving a free sample coaching session!

We’re going to get down into it in just a minute. This session is sponsored by my own free offer to you. 

I want you to have this cheat sheet that walks you through 10 Steps to Enroll More Clients Fast!

You’ll find this cheat sheet really helpful and it also includes some of the secrets I’ll share with you in this episode.

Have you ever choked when it came time to tell a potential client your fees?

This is where discovery sessions often go astray because you’re shifting a conversation that’s more connective with your potential client to suddenly trying to tell them what you charge and why it’s worth it. 

Have you spent hours delivering your best sample sessions only to hear “Thanks, but I can’t afford you”?

Those two problems are big for new coaches. You’re not alone in that. I struggled mightily at this once upon a time. 

If you want to dramatically improve your enrollment into coaching programs, there’s a different that inspires prospects to say YES and hire you. 

3 Shifts to Enroll More Coaching Clients

There are three shifts you can make right now that will ease the money conversation and the whole enrollment process in your discovery sessions.

Shift from:          Over delivering in introductory or sample session

Shift to:               Having more effective enrollment conversations

Shift from:          Stumbling into your pitch at the end of the session 

Shift to:               Being transparent from the get go that you’re enrolling

Shift from:          Timidly asking for the sale

Shift to:               Confidently owning your worth

Something clicks internally when you believe in yourself. It seems hard to do, but it is something you can control. 

A Powerful Mindset Shift

I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is in life — in business with your clients, with your friends and family — to stand in your power. 

This is something I’ve been challenged with in my life. So I’ve made a study of it. That’s my Teacher Archetype coming in there.

Everyone fears rejection when asking for significant fees. You start wondering, “Who am I to think that I can help this client and why would they pay me well for coaching?” 

That thought form can take over your mind.

The trick is to notice your feelings and thoughts, then take a moment to notice it and turnaround your thinking. 

Those types of fears stem from two main things.You’re forgetting to own your innate gifts. It’s as if you haven’t taken ownership of all the talents and gifts you bring to the table.

If you’re a new coach who might be thinking: “Well, I’m new, so that means I’m not that good.” But that’s just not true.

Own everything you bring to the table!

Flip Your Mindset

Blow off that mindset about being a new coach.

Instead of looking for the proof of your worth in other people, know that you are inherently valuable. You wouldn’t be listening to me if a part of you didn’t already know that.

Decide right now to own your gifts!

And please know I am not talking about arrogance here. I’m not talking about strutting around thinking you’re better than everyone. It’s about being at peace with who you are and living the power of your essence, your integrity and your humanity.

It’s super magnetic.

The Power Pose

A quick tip to be able to access your personal power at any time. It’s a little physical exercise and here’s what you do:

Stand up

Feel your feet

Sense your spine

Find your center

Breathe

Try it now. Just stand up, spread your feet apart a bit and access your personal power in connection with everything else.

Let’s say you’re about to get onto a call with a prospect, why not just take a moment and do the power pose? Then have your enrollment call.

Feeling powerful in your skin goes a long way to helping you become a master at enrolling your clients.

Seeding Co-Creativity and Choice in Your Potential Coaching Clients

So now let’s talk about how to empower your potential clients and detach from outcome.

Now that you’re in connection with your personal  power, simply enjoy the human being that you’re talking to. I feel so honored that I get to meet amazing human beings in my discovery sessions.

When you put your focus on enjoying them, it’s as if the spotlight comes off of you.

The other thing that seeds co-creativity and empowers your prospects is to set fees that pay you well and then stand firm in them.

I find that a lot of my new coaching clients are charging subsistence fees that are never going to help them make a good living as a fulltime coach.

What about you? Are you charging subsistence fees?

My guess is that you are thinking that that’s all you’re worth. Or, because you haven’t done something — certified, coached a lot — you feel that you have to keep low fees.

The truth is you haven’t started enrolling clients at higher fees yet because you haven’t asked for them.

$50 to $100 US per hour (convert to your currency) may seem like a lot if you’re working for a company with benefits. But as a entrepreneurial coach, you have marketing and website expenses plus health insurance and higher taxes to pay all out of your own pocket.

All of these considerations should go into how you set your fees. And I don’t even want you to think in terms of dollars per hour for your fees. (I’ll cover fees in more depth in another episode.)

Right now, if you know you’re charging too little, double, triple or even quadruple your fees. Just do it and then stand firm. The more that you charge higher fees, the easier it’ll get for you to attract excellent clients.

Trust that your IDEAL clients will afford your fees.

An interesting thing happens when you show up this way — enjoying the human being you intend to enroll, having set fees that pay you well and trusting that your ideal clients will afford you … clients feel that power and they step into their own power.

And so, for the highest good of all, your prospects feel at choice and choose from their highest self.

If you make concessions to enroll a client, you unwittingly disempower yourself and your prospect.

Take that in.

If your prospect does hire you because you discounted a fee for them, then your professional relationship begins out of balance. It is not co-creative.

Anytime that I have done that in the past, the client ends up becoming a burden.

Have you ever felt that a client has become a burden? It’s not a good feeling, right?

They’re not showing up enough because you’re carrying them and then you will resent the relationship and how hard you have worked for so little.

So you see that your fees are not just a pragmatic choice. And it’s not a choice about how experienced a coach you are or your money issues. This is really about integrity. It’s about the health and wellbeing of your relationship with your clients.

Attachment Stunts Your Growth

Attachment stops the flow of prosperity.

Let’s say you become attached to enrolling a potential client. Your expectation builds. And then if you don’t reach that outcome, then disappointment breeds and becomes toxic.

Detachment is seeing what is as perfection and that is freeing.

Do set intentions to achieve the things that you want. While you’re enrolling a potential client, if you feel they are a good fit, think to yourself: “For the highest of all, I’d really like to work with this client.”

Then, let it go.

Literally, open your hands and let go of attachment. Let the energy dissipate. Acknowledge what went well and aim for continuous improvement in your enrollment skills.

Whether potential client says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ neither diminishes nor elevates you.

Just bless their decision and bless yourself and move on. That signals the Universe that you’re serious about your success and it pays off in the short run.

Hold Back the Goods During Discovery Sessions

Do not coach or problem solve during enrollment conversations. That muddles what the discovery session is meant to be.

Why? Primarily, because they have not paid you yet.

If you were taught to do sample coaching sessions by your coach training school, know that the reason schools have you do that as a student is to get you out there having coaching experiences.

Now that you are not a student anymore and you are the CEO of your own coaching business, enroll clients in a professional way.

Sample coaching sessions are not set up well for enrolling clients at fees that pay you well. Here’s why:

  • They don’t uncover what prospects want in the long term that would inspire deeper investment for real value.
  • They tend to focus in on one bite size issue and they leave prospects feeling complete without the desire for more. Prospects are not hooking on because they don’t perceive a longer arc in what you can help them achieve.
  • Lastly, giving free sample sessions keeps you in the newbie frame of mind and offering session by session or monthly services for low fees.

So what do you do in a Discovery Session to enroll a client? That’s where my free cheat sheet comes in …

These steps will keep you out of the coaching role with prospects. They set you up for success because you are transparent from the get go about what’s going to happen in the session.

There’s no shock when you get towards the end of the session and tell your prospect about your program and your fees. They’re ready for it. They know it’s going to happen.

This step by step enrollment process works for any coach.

How to Earn More and Work Less

This enrollment process and the mindsets that go with it work beautifully with higher ticket programs.

But you’ll need to set your business up with a strong foundation for it to work for you:

  1. Target one unique viable audience that fits your specialty or build your niche around that audience and what they want so much, they’ll pay you well to get your help to achieve it. (This is your coaching niche!)
  2. Make your brand, messaging, marketing, website and offers congruent with your niche.
  3. Stop selling coaching. (Listen to Episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?)

Your business could look like mine if you take these 3 steps. And that’s what I teach my clients.

  • I only need to work with 20 – 30 clients per year to earn really well.
  • I market very little to attract all of my clients.
  • I earn a lot because I deliver high value in a longer term package
  • My overhead is very low.
  • I only work with clients 3 days each week.
  • Most months I have a whole week off

If you’d like VIP handholding to become a coach in high demand with a business model like this, let’s work together. Try me out with a Strategy Session and we’ll go from there.

The Next Episode is about gratitude. Did you ever think about this — what comes around goes around … even in your coaching business. In other words if you put positive energy out to others it comes back to you.

Ep 51 – 2019 Listeners Choice #1 – Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

I’m starting out here with an announcement … I’m proud to say that Prosperous Coach Podcast is 1 year old and going strong with over 18,000 downloads thanks to you.

I’m grateful for the continuous stream of enthusiasm I hear from you and how generously you’ve shared my episodes with other coaches.

Keep that up because coaches need this kind of community support.

We’re in this together. Whatever generosity you have towards other coaches comes back to you many fold.

Very soon I have a new series for you. I’ll be digging into pricing, packaging and all the mindset issues that I know coaches have about asking for fees that pay you well. I had them and I see the same limiting beliefs in my clients.

The good news is you can leap over those issues with a bit of coaching. I’ve seen lots of coaches go from stuck and limited to suddenly understanding why it’s so important to charge more than you think you’re worth in order to realize your worth and help clients transform significantly.

More about that and all the MONEY topics very soon.

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Prosperous Coach Podcast, I wanted to share the top episodes so far. Listeners’s Choice.

I’m not surprised that this is the clear #1 episode. And it’s so important for all coaches to hear. It’s called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

Listen closely. You’re about to have your eyes opened. And it’s in a good way that will help you succeed as a coach.

Click here to find the rest of the Show Notes for Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?

Ep 50- How to Get Authentic and Useful Testimonials from Coaching Clients

This is a short episode with practical suggestions that work for how to get useful testimonials from clients.

After a 2 episode hiatus, I’m getting back to the Client Winning Coaching Website Series.

Not All Coaching Testimonials Are Useful

Think about what you like to read when you’re considering hiring a professional. A testimonial that reads like this is sweet, but not compelling:

Rhonda is such a great coach. She’s kind and gentle but also tells me the truth when I need to hear it. I always enjoy our sessions and feel energized afterwards. I’ve learned so many things from her. I think every coach should hire Rhonda.

Now, I just made that up but it’s the kind of testimonial I used to get and I stopped posting them because they aren’t helpful.

You want testimonials that have substance

not just ooey gooey praise for you.

People read testimonials to hear results. So good testimonials reveal the tangible and emotional outcomes your client experienced working with you. It’s the before and after picture in words that’s most affective.

Here’s a testimonial from a recent client of mine:

My Strategy Session with Rhonda was a game changer. I’d been overwhelmed by all the information out there for coaches and was essentially taking no action. My confidence was at a low. I had no clients, was earning no money, and had no idea who I was trying to serve. In our session, Rhonda helped me identify a target audience that I’m truly excited to work with and take ownership of what I bring to the table. It was so productive and confidence building that I invested in Rhonda’s private business coaching program to build a business around my new niche. I’ve accomplished more in 5 months with Rhonda’s help than I imagined possible. I now have a clear path forward!

– Kate Minogue, Basel, Switzerland

Thank you for that, Kate!

Can you hear the difference between those two testimonials? It’s not just than one was longer. There was a clear picture of transformation in it with specific results.

Super long testimonials aren’t as useful as short ones. A guideline is 75 – 100 words. But even a one sentence testimonial can be impactful.

Where Should You Put Testimonials from Coaching Clients?

Your coaching website of course. I recommend that once you have 3 great testimonials, put up a What Clients Say page on your website. Check out mine at prosperouscoachblog.com/what-clients-say

But there are other places where testimonials will help you.

  1. Put an excellent testimonial in the pre-Discovery Session email you send out inviting a prospect to have that free conversation with you.
  • If you have a blog, podcast or other type of steady-drip generosity, put a testimonial for it in the confirmation email after they opt-in. Yes, it’s good to have testimonials after prospects engage.
  • If you use multiple lead generation offers, also called freebies, make sure you have 1 – 3 in each of those.
  • If you have an online training program or webinar, add in a well placed testimonial or two, or ten.
  • If you’re using LinkedIn, they have an excellent process for getting testimonials — what they call Recommendations — on your profile. And those recommendations go a long way to helping you attract clients through LinkedIn. You can copy that recommendation into your website also.

The best thing to do is pepper testimonials all over the place.

In fact, I’m going to model that just now …

A shout out to Christy who recently wrote to me to share:

“Accolades for such a job well done on your podcast and your Facebook community. You take generosity marketing to the level that I hope to one day.”

Thank you, Christy!

Cultivate Social Proof in A Non-Salesy Way

Gently let people know that your services are valued. You don’t have to be salesy about it. Use appreciation as a way of connecting instead.

You’ve heard of social proof. Social networking brought us that in spades. When someone responds to your posts, you get social proof. And, if someone writes to thank you, put that out into world. It actually inspires more appreciation.

Gratitude is good for everyone.

Now, if you’ve got a new-ish coaching business you might not yet have testimonials. That’s okay.

Don’t put testimonials on your website until you have at least 3 to put up there. Include photos of your clients and their name & city if they’ll let you. If you have a sensitive niche, you may not be able to do this.

Build in Opportunities for Coaching Clients to Give You Feedback

The main point I encourage you to take away from this episode is be active about getting testimonials. Ask for them in several ways and not just at the end of your time with clients.

I’m embarrassed to say that in my first five years as a coach I was not good about asking for testimonials from my clients. I had the mistaken belief that if they appreciated our work together they would just naturally give me a testimonial.

But later I heard from more experienced coaches that that’s rarely the case.

People have so much on their minds. They may love you and your coaching but if you don’t ask them for their testimonial, it may never arrive.

These days my clients are continuously giving me testimonials. It’s not because I’m so great. It’s because I ask them to notice their accomplishments. They deserve the accolades.

I’ve built it into my Session Prep template and the sessions themselves by asking directly for feedback.

By the time a client is finished with my VIP program, I have captured how they feel about their accomplishments in their words many times over for all the phases of work we do together.

Their accomplishments are social proof. They are results.

When I’m close to finishing with a client, I let them know that I’d like a testimonial if they feel good about it. To make it easy for them I pull together all the previous statements that they wrote in the Session Preps and that they shared in our private sessions. I send them an email with my request and those statements.

What that does is makes the process easier for them. They can then use or not use the previous statements they’ve made. It might spark memories or feelings about their accomplishments too.

Now, what could YOU put in place right now that would help you seed and cultivate authentic and highly useable testimonials from your clients?

Ep 49 – The Only Good Reason to Give Up on Your Coaching Business

Okay so the title of this episode is a bit tongue in cheek. Really, it’s more about — Bad Reasons to Give Up On Your Coaching Business.

The truth is there are several good reasons why a coach might choose to give up on their coaching business but they all fall under one overarching reason … that it’s not a priority.

Timing is Everything

It’s been said that timing is everything. When you’re undertaking something big, timing matters.

I’ve shared in an earlier episode that when a coach is interested in hiring me to help them develop their coaching business from niche to messages to offers and website – all the little and big details – I ask several powerful questions to see if they are ready to do this.

Most of the time people can sense they’re ready and we’re off on the path, dreaming it up together.

Now, I’ve known coaches who dropped their coaching business because …

  • they found out they were pregnant and their priorities changed
  • they had a health crisis and their priorities changed
  • they got a job offer and their priorities changed
  • their partner lost a job and their priorities changed

You get the picture. Priorities changing is the only good reason to give up on your coaching business.

Launching a Coaching Business is Not for Everyone

I’ve helped some coaches realize that entrepreneurship is not for them. It’s truly not for everyone.

The reality is it’s a HUGE endeavor to launch a business and then grow it.

It takes a certain kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that’s about vision, drive, ambition, and risk-taking.

I am definitely crazy. Not only did I launch my business 20 years ago before there was a known pathway to building a successful coaching, but I’ve also remade my business to fit who I am 4 times now.

I love entrepreneurship so much that I love to see other people choose it for themselves. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a work-style preference.

Entrepreneurship may be the only place where you can fully bring all that you are to the table.

You are the script-writer, the executive, the director, and you have the lead role.

To me that’s thrilling. It gets me out of bed in the morning. Not only innovating and pivoting in my own business but also helping my clients develop those essential entrepreneurial skills.

A lot of people don’t realize. You aren’t born an entrepreneur. You transform yourself into one when something is important enough to you.

It’s worth it to figure stuff out piece by piece and day by day.

But no coach has to do that all alone. There’s a village of guides, peers and support systems.

Don’t Give Up on Yourself

So what are the other good reasons for giving up? There aren’t any.

If it’s not for changing priorities, giving up on your coaching business is giving up on yourself.

Don’t let this be you.

I say this with love and compassion. I have been where you are. The absolutely only difference between you and me is time.

  • I’ve spent loads of money on training without results.
  • I’ve been confused and discouraged.
  • I have been fired by a few clients.
  • I’ve flubbed Discovery Sessions.
  • I’ve had failure launches.
  • I’ve had lean years.

I even thought about giving up a few times. But I did not.

Success doesn’t come without a few “failures”.

Because I stuck with this:

  • I’ve had many windfall years and exceeded my lawyer husband’s income.
  • I increasingly have attracted more ideal clients for me.
  • I’ve done all the fancy pants events and been the big name.
  • I’ve morphed my business to fit my needs and passions.

(You couldn’t pay me to work for someone else.)

Through all of it I’ve bumbled around like a newbie surfer falling off the board more times than I could count. And it’s still an absolute blast.

Coaches, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your business. Don’t give up on your future clients who are waiting out there for you.

If you want to give up because you’re thinking that you aren’t good enough or don’t know enough, realize that you can always grow. And reach out for support.

If you’ve tried and failed a couple of times, be patient for your successes. They are coming. Nurture them.

Some tough love … if you’re not willing to grow into your business, to develop from the ground up and have the patience to allow it to blossom, then I’d say entrepreneurship is not for you.

Success is not often what we think it is.

  • It’s not being THE best coach.
  • It’s not making the most money.
  • It’s not a long list of credentials.

Real success is when you fully believe in yourself and do what needs to be done until you find the sweet spot.

It is simply that you want it so much you WILL make it happen.

That’s why I often sign off my podcast with “Stay inspired and make things happen.” That’s what the proud owner of a coaching business does.

In the Next Episode: How to Get Authentic and Useful Testimonials from Coaching Clients

Ep 48 – The Meanest Mindset That Holds Coaches Back From Success

I’m taking a break from the Client Winning Coaching Website series to talk about 2 widespread coaching business killers — perfectionism and analysis paralysis.

This episode fits into the series on Smart Mindsets & Habits.

Perfectionism and Analysis Paralysis are two mean siblings. And they may be holding you back from … well, so many things in life.

By the way, perfectionism is an older cousin of Imposter Syndrome. Check out episode 1 for more about that.

Think of it, if we could all cure ourselves of these things for good, there would be a lot more happiness in the world — happier kids, happier students, happier entrepreneurs, definitely happier coaches.

First, I want you to know, I am not cured of perfectionism and I do still find myself stuck in analysis paralysis from time to time.

But I’ve studied these 2 mean siblings. I’ve put the spotlight on them. And you know what happens when you raise awareness on a poor habit or harmful mindset, you learn how to think and behave differently.

My clients are an excellent mirror for my own perfectionism. And so I learn best how to handle my own perfectionistic ways by supporting my clients to go for good enough.

The Difference Between Standards and Perfectionism

That doesn’t mean that you should let go of your standards in your coaching business. But, you know who you are if your standards are unrealistic. That will hold you back. And, I can relate.

Bless our hearts, coaches are often the worst perfectionists. And maybe you’re thinking, “No Rhonda, you should say the best perfectionists.”

But here’s what I know for sure … perfectionism is crippling not empowering.

It doesn’t help you. It’s literally painful. And that’s where the 2nd mean sibling comes in — Analysis Paralysis.

Perfectionism causes analysis paralysis. So one mean sibling hits the other on the head and then the other hits back and it goes on like that.

When it comes to growing and running a business there’s absolutely no use for perfection anywhere.

Think about it. There is absolutely no advantage to being a perfectionist in your coaching business.

In fact, perpetuating this habit of perfectionism will keep you from doing what you love and earning well. It will kill the huge potential for joy in your business.

Basically, it’s a habit of expending massive amounts of energy without getting anything done.

Know what I mean?

So sheer honesty here. Today, I was sitting at my desk procrastinating on my podcast. Oh, believe me, it happens.

It’s not for lack of ideas. I literally have pages and pages of potential topics and series ideas.

And it’s not for lack of skill or desire. All that’s there and growing.

But where I get into trouble is overthinking things. I sometimes have too strong of a desire to serve you and that gets me into trouble. But what’s underneath that is a vestigial belief that I am not worthy of helping you.

Do you ever feel that way?

Serve Coaching Clients While Trusting Yourself

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t want to serve our target audience well and be generous with them.

But if I serve while trusting myself, it will come off with prosperity instead of scarcity.

If YOU employ your desire to serve while trusting yourself to take decisive action you’ll be prosperous at this business. Even if you make mistakes. Because you make mistakes and learn from them.

See, perfectionism is driven by a scarcity mindset. It’s the fear that you’re not enough.

And before you beat yourself up about that, realize these two things:

  1. Nearly all brilliant people suffer from the belief that they’re not enough.
  2. And, it’s natural part of having an ego.

But it is a limiting belief and a mean habit that you want to break. Now would be a good time for that.

4 Steps to Break Free from Perfectionism

So, here is my process, for lifting myself out of the constrictive, unforgiving frame of mind that is perfectionism and then shifting out of neutral (because that’s what analysis paralysis is). You’re not in gear.

Try this on for size, then morph it into your own process – one that works for you.

  1. Get into new habit of noticing when you’re holding yourself back.
  • You’ve been procrastinating.
  • You’re waffling all over the place.
  • You feel stuck.
  • You’re second guessing previous decisions.

2. When you realize you’re stuck in analysis paralysis, clench your hands together tightly. Then slowly open them up while you imagine your heart and mind also opening up. Release perfectionism. You may have to do this several times a day at first.

3. Create a short mantra and soothe yourself with it. Something like:

Good enough is better than perfect. There’s no one right choice. Taking decisive action is good for me.

4. Then take that action you’ve held yourself back on.

If you’re still paralyzed, talk to your coach or mentor. And I’ll offer myself for that.

If you’d like to move from a stuck place or work on changing the habit of perfectionism to get-to-good-enough-and-move-on let’s have a Strategy Session.

I’d love to work with you. We are all in this together. Don’t let yourself stay stuck.

In the Next Episode: The Only Good Reason to Give Up on Your Coaching Business

Ep 47 – 5 Rules to Write Better Copy for Your Coaching Business

Today I am diving into the 8th episode in the series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.

Writing smart copy is both an art and science. You’ll be amazed how using these rules will turn you into a significantly better writer. And, you will attract and enroll more coaching clients because your communication speaks to the heart of your ideal clients.

If you want support to write powerful copy for your coaching business, let’s talk. Fill out the questionnaire on my Work with Rhonda page of my website and I’ll be in touch quickly.

I wished I’d had a list of copywriting tips back in the day when I started my coaching business. These rules apply to your:

  • benefit statements
  • titles, subject lines, headings
  • web copy
  • emails
  • freebies
  • blogs
  • show notes for your podcast episodes
  • social posts

Copy that’s written with these 5 Rules will be evocative and action inspiring. 

Get Your Special Download of the 5 Rules

Download it. Print it out. Keep it next to your desk so that —whenever you write — you’ll apply and ultimately integrate these tools into your writing.

One Copywriting Rule to Rule Them All

Write to attract attention and keep your readers interested. 

We live in times where people read a lot less than they used to. So you can’t write the way you used to when you were in school.

Many of the academic rules of writing that you learned in school will not at all help you attract and keep attention these days. Learning how to write compelling copy is partially an unlearning of some of those old rules. 

Rule #1 – Specificity Attracts

Specific words and concepts are more attention getting than broad, sweeping, vague or abstract words and concepts. 

What I see a lot with coaches is they haven’t yet niched and drilled down their target audience to a narrow, viable target audience. They want to cover all the bases. They want to write in a way that won’t turn off someone.

But trying to turn on everyone means you won’t turn on anyone.

When you target a unique audience, you discover their psychographics through market research. https://prosperouscoach.com/22 You come away with valuable information —specific words and spoken phrases — that drive your target audience to action.

Then use those keywords and phrases in your content. That helps you to boost search engine optimization (SEO).

If you write any kind of copy, I don’t care whether it’s a social post or it’s a blog or its copy on your website, go through it and replace the broad, vague, and abstract words with specifics that are highly relevant to your audience as it relates to your niche.

Rule #2 – Less is More

Writing well is always about making choices. 

  • Do not try to cover all the bases.
  • Don’t attempt to include everything in one sentence, paragraph, article or page on your website!
  • Focus in on easy to digest ideas.

Specificity ties in here too, but there are lots of little tips for this rule to guide you.

Keep paragraphs short. No more than four lines deep in order to encourage reading. If people are looking at your website or whatever you’ve written on a mobile device, that four lines deep on a laptop is going to be 16-20 lines deep on a phone.

Use single sentence paragraphs often. Emphasize a point or ask a powerful question.

Reduce prepositional phrases in sentences. The more prepositional phrases you have in a sentence, the more complex it is, which reduces the chances it will be read online.

Prepositional phrases draw a relationship between a noun/pronoun and another word in a sentence. The most common prepositional phrases include one of these words:

  • after
  • at
  • before
  • by
  • during
  • for
  • from
  • in
  • of
  • over
  • on
  • past
  • to
  • under
  • up
  • with

De-complicate your writing. Break run on sentences into multiple sentences.

Avoid beginning sentences with it’s, here, and there. Listen to the difference between these two sentences:

There are some bloggers who use filler phrases.

Some bloggers use filler phrases. 

The second sentence is more effective. It’s easier to parse the meaning and it uses less characters.

Use adjectives sparingly. Adjectives tend to dumb writing down. In school, we were taught to use lots of adjectives. Go through your copy and pull out the adjectives as much as possible while still keeping the meaning. 

Eliminate VERY and REALLY. See how much more powerful the 2nd sentence is below?

It’s a very important to use really powerful verbs. 

Use powerful verbs. 

Rule #3 – Write to Your Avatar 

Your AVATAR is a detailed description of your most ideal client in your target audience

Describe specific details about their:

  • top goals and ultimate desires as it pertains to your niche
  • top challenges and pain points as it pertains to their goals and your niche
  • background, education, occupation, job title, income
  • age, gender, marital status, children, location
  • other details about their day to day existence
  • buying habits

Again, these are the things you discover through market research.

Write these things down as if they describe one person. Then, when you write, picture your Avatar. Your copy will be more specific and on target. 

Develop your Avatar only when you have narrowed to a specific viable target audience and you’re crystal clear about your niche — the urgent problem they have that you help them solve.

Use the word YOU instead of we or they.

Write informally and use contractions often. Less formal is more connective.

Balance authority with vulnerability. When I first started my blog in 2006, authority was the way to go. The current culture prefers vulnerability blended with authority. You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal obstacles you’ve overcome.

Use present tense to keep the feeling that you’re with your audience. 

Rule #4 – Use Devices That Keep People Reading 

Use punctuation strategically. Pick your spots wisely for exclamation points. Don’t use semi-colons. Rarely use colons. Use long dashes for parenthetical phrases that you want to emphasize.

Keep paragraphs short — a maximum of four lines deep — to encourage reading. 

Convert lists of information into a lead in phrase followed by bullet points. Bullet points help to pull the eye down the page. 

Scan for repetitive words and replace them with a synonym. Repetitive words will bore your readers and stop them from reading.

Rarely use italics or bold type. Use italics only for quoted sentences or questions. Bold is best for headings, subtitles, or rare points of emphasis. 

Occasionally, indent a single sentence to make a point stand out.

Add in evocative images now and then.

Use boxes or pull quotes now and then.

Rule #5 – Balance Authority with Vulnerability

You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal a bit about your own journey while also sharing how you’ve overcome obstacles and created a system for others.

Share a short personal story from time to time and relate your own challenges or blunders.

Convey your authority about subjects by using the imperative voice in sentences that guide. Start those sentences with a verb.

See the difference in the 2 sentences below?

You’ll want to edit your work.

Edit your work.

Eliminate ‘can’ and ‘will’ wherever possible unless it’s something like: You can do it!

3 Steps to Take Before Your Call Your Copy Done

When you feel you’ve done your best on a draft:

1. Read what you’ve written out loud to catch and correct awkward syntax and other errors.

I might read my copy will out loud 10 times before I publish it in.

2. Challenge yourself to reduce the overall number of words by one third to one half. You will be amazed how much better the copy is when there is less of it.

3. Spell check, check grammar and then proof. Use the spelling and grammar. Spellcheck won’t catch everything, that’s why you proof. (Reading out loud helps enormously.) 

Okay, that’s my gold mine of copywriting tips for you accumulated over 20 years. Use them and write better copy, Coach!

In the Next Episode: 2 Mean Habits That Hold Coaches Back

This is about something most coaches are all too familiar with. And it has to stop!

Ep 45 – Custom Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template with Guest Nichole Betterley

Find the full transcript here of my interview with Nichole Betterley, web designer extraordinaire for coaches.

Don’t forget to check out Nichole’s free guide for you below, 5 Things for Powerful Coaching Websites.

Nichole Betterley is the Owner and Chief Web Wiz at “N” Powered Websites. She helps coaches, consultants, and other solopreneur service providers create websites that get noticed, get used, and get clients. She has more than 13 years of experience with what works for the ever-moving target of powerful websites and online marketing. Nichole lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, daughter, and the obligatory, work-from-home cat (even though she’s really a dog person at heart).

Rhonda Hess: Hey coaches, I am so excited to share a special person in my business life with you. And this is the sixth episode of Client Winning Coaching Websites.

Today we’re going to be talking about the difference between a DIY website, one that you do yourself using something like Wix or Squarespace or having a professional designer create a custom website for you.

There are a bunch of differences and I want you to know what they are so that as you’re making this decision you can go in with your eyes open.

The special guest that I have for today is my friend and colleague, Nichole Betterley. She and I have known each other … I think for 13 years or something like that now. (Nichole: Yeah!)

Nichole runs a company called NPoweredsites.com. Nichole, you call yourself the Chief Web Wiz. Tell us a little bit about you.

Nichole Betterley: Thank you so much for inviting me on your podcast to begin with. I’m just, I’m so excited to be here and to talk with you about this. I’ve been a web developer for 13 years now. Actually, you were one of my very first clients and I just hold our relationship so specially in my heart.

I came to be a web developer. I have a long history of loving technology and coming out of college I got a job as a developer at a big corporation. And like so many of my clients are, you know, after 11 years of that, I, I totally burnt out on that. And so now I’m corporate refugee.

And, I went on and didn’t quite know what to do. My husband and I started this little oatmeal business where we were making pre-packaged oatmeal, selling them at farmer’s markets and craft fairs.

I had to build the website so we could sell them online. And so I went down this whole rigmarole of figuring all of that out and designing a site and setting up, you know, the ecommerce platform and everything. And I really, really loved doing that a heck of a lot more than I actually loved making the oatmeal!

And so, you know, that’s kinda how I fell into my calling here and just discovering my love for it and transitioning into being a web developer.

Early on as I was kind of searching around for what I wanted to do after my corporate life, I did take some coaching certification classes and I kind knew coaching itself wasn’t quite right for me, but I just loved the people. I loved the philosophy, you know, I loved getting coached myself.

And so coaches just turned out to be, you know, an ideal client for me. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and love helping people. I think I’ve blossomed from being just a developer and a designer to more of a consultant and a partner. I’m working with people now and I am just so grateful for where I’m at and what I get to do every day.

Rhonda Hess: Oh, that is such a fun story. It explains a lot. It’s funny, because I did not know that you had taken coach training.

I always recommend you to my clients because I’ve been through lots and lots of web designers and I’ve never found one nearly as good as you. That is so great to know.

So tell us a little bit about who your favorite types of clients are to work with Nichole.

Nichole Betterley: Oh Gosh. You send me the best clients … coaches that work with you. It’s somebody who … the thing that I value the most … is the clarity that they have about their business. The clarity and the energy and the enthusiasm.

So when somebody shows up and they are super sure about who they’re working with and what they’re helping them with and they’ve got that sparkle and that energy about them, that that just comes from knowing that you’re in the right place and, and, and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That is just, it’s contagious.

And I just love those kinds of clients once they’ve hit that point. And once they found that for themselves, because that’s really special to work with. And it helps us.

When I create a website with somebody, I really believe that we co-create the website, just like coaches co-create the outcome with their clients. And when somebody brings that sparkle with them, we end up with this really amazing website at the end because of what we brought together.

Rhonda Hess: Well, first of all, I’m honored to hear that. I’m really glad you like the people that I send you. They like you. What I always hear back from them is: “I’m, like, besties with Nichole already” after they first meet you. They are so enthused to work with you.

And there’s that real sense of partnership. I also feel really lucky that I get to be in on it to a certain degree because usually when my clients work with you, they’re still working with me. And so I get to see the first designs before they’re finalized. I get to see everything as it’s going along and it’s a very  exciting unfolding.

Here’s a question for you, and you’ve already kind of partially answered this, but I want to be really clear with the people that are listening.

What do you think makes a client winning coaching website?

Nichole Betterley: What I have discovered over the years and, and the websites that I see actually work really well for coaches to in, in getting clients. They’ve got a couple of things that are, you know, that they have in common.

  • One of them is they’re talking to and about their client using their client’s language.
  • The website’s not about the coach. I mean, almost the entire website is not about the coach.
  • Even the About page really needs to connect with the client and the site visitor. The words and the branding, your company name, all of that immediately speaks to the client.
  • And then the other big thing is there’s a clear next step on just about every page for a client to take.

And not just a next step, like, oh, go read this next page. It’s the next step of, you know, this is how to take the next step with me. And it’s not even usually contact me. It’s usually, an email opt in something kind of a powerful that is a clear next step for the site visitor to take and, and kind of get them into your funnel— that process of starting to interact with you and build that relationship with you.

And, and then they’ve got things on the back end of that too, that continue that, that journey for the client. They have processes and systems in place, emails that go out that build that relationship, invitations that go out, they’re putting regular content out.

On top of that, they’re out there in the world sending people, driving that traffic back to their website. So it’s like a whole ecosystem that they start to build and have in place. And, and those are the sites that I see that actually work really well.

Rhonda Hess: That was beautifully said. And you’re totally in alignment with what I say to coaches as well. And what I have found is worked so well on my own website.

I’m very lucky that I continually get clients from my website, people I have never met before, hire me through my website and that is the beauty way to go. That’s what we all want. The things that Nichole just laid out are pretty much the same things that I laid out on episode 42.

If you have not listened to that episode, listen to that after this one because it it lays out all the very specific things that make a coaching website claim winning.

I wanted to hear it from Nichole’s perspective. She’s on the other end of the table, if you will, and usually by the time I send clients to you, Nichole, I’ve done 3 of the 4 phases of the work that I do with my clients.

So there is a lot of prep that goes on before the web design process happens, before the content gets put on the page. And then that means that the content that’s put on the page is highly valuable. It has that piece of clarity you were talking about.

By the way, I just wanted to mention, Nichole has a fantastic blog. I recommend that you go to her website and sign up to get her blog on a regular basis. I read every word of her blogs and share them out because I learn so much from them. Find Nichole’s blog at https://npoweredsites.com.

What’s the web platform that you prefer and why?

Nichole Betterley: I have been building websites almost exclusively on WordPress for just about the entire 13 years. I think you were one of my very first WordPress sites too.

I occasionally have a client that will come to me who has a Wix or Squarespace site and wants support. And every now and again I’ll take them on because they need just little bits here and there. So I have experience with both of the platforms.

I don’t want to knock Wix and Squarespaces of the worlds because for what they provide they’re pretty good solutions. They can be. And I’ve seen some really beautiful websites built on them, so I know that it’s, it’s possible.

But what I love about WordPress, it’s OPEN SOURCE software and what open source means is it’s free. The software itself is free. And it’s built almost entirely by this huge community of largely volunteer people who just love it so much that they give their time to it to build it up and support it and make it what it, what they want it to be.

They always have a project team that’s guiding the next release. But I mean, literally thousands and thousands of people can contribute to WordPress in so many ways. It’s this incredible community of people that are so supportive.

And WordPress is very much like coaching in a lot of ways it’s just the comradery of the people that are in it and the giving attitude that they have. There’s this whole community and they just put so much love and so much effort and energy into it and it’s grown and it continues to grow.

There are new releases of WordPress about every 3 months and a major new release almost at least once a year. So it’s not going anywhere. It powers over 1/3 of the websites on the Internet today, which, if you think about that, is just a phenomenal number of websites.

Just about anything you could imagine you want to do with your website, somebody has imagined it and built a solution for it. The software itself is free, but the ad-ons (plugins) are usually very reasonably priced. And so you can build an incredibly robust website that does e-commerce, membership sites, learning management for not that much money.

Things that had cost tens of thousands of dollars, you can build for a couple of hundred dollars in software and you know, course developer time takes more than that.

WordPress is such an incredibly powerful extendable system that your WordPress site can be literally whatever you need it to be.

Whereas with, with sites like Squarespace and Wix, you are limited to what they offer you. So, if you’re using Aweber for example, Squarespace doesn’t even have the necessary ability to integrate with Aweber. They integrate with MailChimp really easily. And so it requires custom coding to get that on your website.

If you don’t use what they have provided a solution for, you’re having to build custom anyhow. It’s not very easy. And, you can’t build a membership site on Squarespace or Wix. You’re just really limited by those platforms with what their offerings are. And if that’s where you’re at with your business, that’s totally fine.

But if you’ve got grand visions for your coaching business and have ideas of where it’s going to go, WordPress is a much better foundation to grow with you.

Rhonda Hess:  You’re saying everything that I have felt. I love OPEN SOURCE. I always feel really excited when I can be a patron of an open source software. And I just think WordPress is so cool.

My site, which you have helped me with all along, has done all of those things. We’ve had a membership site on there. We’ve put online training on there. There have just been so many things that we’ve added with plugins onto the original WordPress site. So it’s, it’s just imminently expandable.

I will honestly say, I hate to see my clients go with Wix or Squarespace. If they really want to have what I call a going concern, and they want to have a business that’s going to last them for 5 – 10 years or 2 – 3 decades.

I just think we never know where our business is going to take us. And that’s one of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is you twist, you turn, you pivot. And I love the way that WordPress can do that too.

And I just loved your enthusiasm with that. Nichole, you’re, you got really going. You’re just like sending out energy rays as you talked about it.

Why do you think it’s important for a coach’s website to be customizable?

What’s the advantage of hiring somebody like you over getting a Wix or Squarespace template and trying to figure it all out on yourself?

Nichole Betterley: I will tell you, I’ll admit straight out. I’m a total DIY person. I love do it yourself. Plumbing projects and electrical projects around my house. And just a couple of weeks ago I refinished my tabletop and so I get the DIY desire and I get why people want to do that and because I’m just right there with you.

But the templates that they offer, and you can do a lot of things with them, but the way I put it is … you’re trying to cram your business into somebody else’s template and your copy, your message into their template as opposed to building your website and your marketing engine around your message and having your website fit your message.

Having a customizable site just gives you — from an aesthetic point of view — you end up with a much more beautiful site because you’re not trying to cram this piece of copy here and, and find a picture that’s supposed to go right there.

It’s just so much less flexible and then the fact that it doesn’t grow with you.

You asked me a question … what do I do with people that come to me with those kinds of websites that they want my help to fix them?

I just don’t even do that anymore because 9 times out of 10, we just need to start from scratch because it was going to be more expensive to fix and to shoehorn in an opt in form here where the site clearly doesn’t really want an opt in form. It’s not designed that way.

One of the things I do in design is pay attention to how your eye travels down the page and make sure that where your eye lands is where we want people to be looking. That’s where you want your opt in form and that’s where you want your call to action and things like that.

So I don’t even take those clients on anymore because it’s not usually really worth their time for me to try and fix the template. I do occasionally take them on to become new custom design clients.

Yeah and I feel bad for them that they have this website that just isn’t going to adjust and grow with them as they learn more about their business, as they change their messaging, as they refine their messaging, as they want to add new features to the site.

You know, they may want to start doing content upgrades and doing more social sharing type things. The templates just don’t really support growing and changing very well without a little good amount of pain I think.

Rhonda Hess:  Well I really appreciate your point about loving DIY. I will tell you that for most of my clients that decide to DIY, it’s mostly about money. They don’t want to invest the money into hiring a web designer.

And while sometimes I think that’s just the choice you have … you’ve got to do that on your own. I will say that it does take something away from the coach as opposed to being one of these wonderful experiences where you learn something new that you’re going to be able to use again down the road.

I find that for most of my clients that DIY their website — who don’t already know what they’re doing — it actually becomes a heartbreak. It becomes this torturous sort of rabbit hole that they had no idea what they were going to experience and they’ve found it very hard to get the kind of support they need without shelling out a lot of money for consultant support.

And so in the long run they end up spending nearly as much as they would if they invested in a designer like you who is going to be kind and friendly.

And the other thing that happens is that when my clients decide to DIY their website, it means that for the time they’re working on their website, we’re not able to move forward on other tasks during the time we worked together. And so very often we don’t get to those other things. They’re sort of robbed of my support during that time.

There’s a mindset that goes with the idea of put your time and effort into things that you know how to do, that you have strengths for, and then be willing to reach out and in best in people who are experts to help you with the other things.

I’ve run my business that way from the get go and it has paid me back so many ways to be generous with myself and say:

“Okay, I don’t have any idea what I’m doing here. And, I’m not going to spend the next 3 months with my head stuck into this trying to figure this out, when I could have this person, who knows what they’re doing, do it so much faster, so much easier.”

So for what it’s worth, I really encourage that. And you’ve said something to me once that you actually charge clients more. What was that about?

Nichole Betterley: Over the past 5 or 6 years, I have come to the very sharp realization that in a good website design your copy absolutely has to come first. And, I say that as a diehard designer and developer. I love the design step. I want to get in and start doing the pictures and the layouts and things like that.

But, if you don’t have good copy up front and we build the design around that good copy. If you don’t have that piece, you are starting 100 yards behind the start line at least. And you know, you’re starting in the hole.

Clients that you send to me that you’ve worked with on their copy, I’m able to offer a substantial discount than what I charge somebody who walks in off the street. Because the person that walks in off the street … they might have a general sense of who their target audience is and what they’re helping them with but we’re usually starting from scratch on that copy.

Yes, somebody who comes to me that hasn’t started with you and doesn’t have that incredibly strong foundation about what they’re doing in their business. They’re not clear about what their signature system is and what their freebie is that they’re going to offer. It’s just, it takes so much more time and so much more money.

I just am so grateful to what you provide them. And they come up with much better at websites at the end. It’s not as hard to get that website to be churning in new clients for them as it is when we’re starting from scratch.

Rhonda Hess:  Yeah. When you mindfully put time and energy into your business rather than slap something up or follow the leader of the other coaches, you know, who may not really know what they’re doing … it’s just amazing the difference that can make.

And at the same time, I’ll just say that it’s all a developmental process. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has to do, do-overs. I have done many. It’s just all about how you like to roll.

It’s so great for me to have a colleague like you that I can send my clients to.

Nichole, I know that you have something that you want to give to the listeners of prosperous coach podcast. Could you tell us about that?

Nichole Betterley:  Absolutely. I have a little freebie of my own called:

5 Things for Powerful Coaching Websites

It’s not super long and it applies whether you’re just starting out with your website or if you’ve got a website. It’s really good to look at your website through this lens and what are these five things that you can over the next week either get really clear about what you want to go up on your website or to actually make changes to your website to make it work better for you.

Rhonda Hess: Nichole, I just want to thank you. This was so much fun. I wish we could just talk all day and I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Nichole somewhere down the road.

Nichole Betterley: Thank you!

Rhonda Hess: Okay, everybody well, stay inspired and make things happen.

The Next Episode Is: 6 Steps to Ace Your Coaching Website ‘About’ Page

Ep 44 – Craft a Compelling Benefit Statement for Your Coaching Business

This episode is part of the Client Winning Coaching Website series.  

In the last episode I described 3 approaches to choosing your brand or company name and domain.

Today we’re diving into how to create your benefit statement so that it’s attention-getting. It’s the second thing your web visitors should see on your website to help them feel at home and interested in what else you have to say there.

 You’ve no doubt heard the concept of a Benefit Statement. It’s a single well-crafted sentence that describes specifically how people in your target audience will benefit from working with you.

I like to call it a Core Message because it identifies your coaching niche and all of your other messaging and offers will stem from the concept. But for the purpose of this episode, I’ll stick with Benefit Statement.

If you’ve ever done any live networking, you’ve probably experienced that dreaded moment when it comes around the table to you and you’re supposed to say what you do.

I remember times like that where I literally snapped to attention when someone introduced themselves with style. That’s the power of a well-crafted Benefit Statement.

But I’ve also heard and read a lot of there statements that lack inspiration and won’t help the coach attract clients.

Obviously, you want yours to be highly relevant and compelling to your target audience. 

 So in today’s episode I’ll explain 4 main things:

  1. What makes a Benefit Statement COMPELLING as well as how to avoid that “MEH” response.
  2. What a well-crafted Benefit Statement will do for you and your target audience  plus why it will help you get engagement and enroll clients from your website.
  3.  A bunch of Benefit Statements that are beautifully word-smithed for impact as well as some that are duds so you can see the difference.
  4.  The pre-work and basic formula for crafting your own Benefit Statement.

 So first, what does a Benefit Statement do for you and your prospects?

 Your Benefit Statement is an attention-getter. It’s the centerpiece of your marketing. When you share an effective Benefit Statement, people will understand exactly who you serve and why those people would want to hire you.

You want colleagues and friends who hear it to say:
     “Oh, I know someone who could really use your help!”

You’ll use your statement a lot over the course of your business, including as:

·      The first marketing message in the header of your website.

·      The first sentence that you say to introduce yourself to prospects.

·      The beginning of your “elevator” speech when you share what you do in a networking meeting.

·      One of the first sentences within your “bio” for a presentation or your by-line in any kind of guest article or promotional material.

·      It’s also what you’d say if someone asks what you do for a living.

What Will Your Core Message Do for You?

·      Make it easy for you to articulate how you benefit your target audience.

·      “Weed out” non-ideal prospects. 

·      Spark interest with ideal prospects in seconds.

·      Evoke the response “That’s me!” or “I want help with that!”

·      Invite them to take a step with you.

·      Open potential for an enrolling conversation.

What Will Your Core Message Do for Your Coaching Audience?

·      They feel that you understand them and what they urgently want.

·      They recognize you as a potential go-to resource for them.

·      They begin to know, like and trust you (or move on).

Wouldn’t it be grand to stop having those awkward moments of trying to explain feebly what coaching is and why someone wants it.

In fact, and this is important … the word coaching doesn’t show up at all in a powerful Benefit Statement.

So before I go further let me share some actual Benefit Statements used by successful coaches.

As you listen to these, notice how each begins by specifically naming a target audience, then artfully goes on to name a challenge that target audience has which implies an outcome they want.

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

I help parents empower their teenage daughters to build confidence, integrity and resilience for all of life’s adventures.

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

I help restaurant owners and managers keep the staff and patrons who keep them in business.

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

I help financial planners confidently build a lifetime of value with multi-generational clients.

So, do you see why those would snap the specific audiences mentioned to attention and pique interest?

What Makes for a Top Notch Benefit Statement?

Those were all top notch Benefit Statements. Why?

1.     Its one single sentence streamlined to 10 – 25 words max.

2.     It has the fewest possible prepositional phrases.

3.     The target audience is defined in the first phrase. I help _____

4.     The rest of the sentence names 1 to 2 SPECIFIC challenges and/or desired outcomes for your target audience.

5.     It flows mellifluously off the tongue. In other words it’s easy to say and read.

6.     It’s emotionally evocative.

That last one is critical if you want your statement to inspire action.

The words and concepts are highly relevant to the target audience and the syntax of the sentence is crafted mindfully.

That’s again why it’s really helpful to do market research in the form of info interviews to draw out from individuals in your target audience what specifically they say — how they language pain points and desired outcomes.

If you take nothing else away from today, I want you to hear this: Specificity grabs attention!

That applies to all messaging, whether you’re creating a Benefit Statement, writing web copy, blogs, social posts. You name it.

It’s so tempting to go with bland, broad, vague and abstract words. But those don’t grab attention or inspire action.

I think what happens for a lot for coaches is they want to leave the door open. They want their message to cover all bases. But that’s a misstep. Because broad, vague and abstract words and concepts don’t move people to action.

Let’s look at some of the Benefit Statements I read before one at a time. First, I’m going to dumb it down by replacing specific words with more broad, vague or abstract words. Then I’ll read again the crafted statement.

Here’s an example of how vague and broad misses the mark.

I help women get through divorce and thrive in their new life and relationships.

It’s not bad, just not attention getting. Now here it is with more specificity in the words:

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

Instead of trying to cover everything — thriving in their new life — this statement hones in on vitality and positive sense of self, something all divorced women would want. 

Here’s another Benefit Statement dumbed down with abstraction and vagaries:

I help moms find fulfillment and joy in their businesses and family.

Starting with the audience as moms is too broad. The words ‘fulfillment’ and ‘joy ‘are too abstract, especially when used in a sentence that doesn’t get to a tangible benefit.

Tangible benefits get more attention. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also have emotional benefits included. 

See what I mean with this emotionally evocative Benefit Statement:

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

See how much more powerful that statement is?

We know the previous statement was talking to moms with businesses but it didn’t make it as clear as it could. And what do business owners want? To make more money doing work they love. But since she’s a mom she also wants to take good care of her family.

Listen to one more set of Benefit Statements that goes from so-so to fantastic!

I help authors write with ease and grace so they can publish their books.

Okay. Not horrible. It names the target audience and something want, but it’s lacking emotionally evocative words. So this one infuses that emotion with a sense of motion:

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

The Basic Formula for Your Benefit Statement

It might surprise you to know that a highly effective Benefit Statement is NOT:

·      About you.

·      About your skills.

·      A laundry list of how you help your clients.

·      The same as a tagline. That’s a different device altogether.

When you write your Benefit Statement:

1.     Begin with ‘I help’ or ‘Helping’.

2.     Then describe your target audience in the fewest possible words.

3.     Lastly describe in evocative language a specific tangible outcome they know they want that implies a related challenge they’ll move beyond.

CAUTION: Testing your Benefit Statement on people who are NOT in your target audience or who are not experts in marketing won’t bring you useful feedback. Well-meaning people who don’t understand what you’re doing may try to dissuade you from targeting and using specific language.

Okay, go forth and word-smith a compelling Core Message!

In the Next Episode: Custom Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template with Guest, Nichole Betterley, Chief Web Wiz

I’ll be interviewing Nichole Betterley https://npoweredsites.com, an ace web designer, the best I’ve found for coaches. We’ll talk about the real differences between DIY websites and custom professionally designed site. We’re biased for good reason.