This guest post is by Amy Harrison of Harrisonamy.com.
This article is part of a three-part series on how your blog can feed different types of business models. In the previous article we looked at how blogging can attract the attention of clients who want to hire you directly, for the right price. In this article we’ll be focusing on how your blog can feed a coaching business model.
Potential coaching clients are looking for two main elements when they hire you:
- confidence that you can do what you say you do
- the idea that they will enjoy working with you.
Whether you’re offering life coaching, technology training, or marketing consultancy, your client wants to feel like your service is worth their investment, and that you will be easy to work with.
And through your blog you can provide evidence of both.
Build confidence in your expertise
We looked previously at how writing on the subject of your specialty showcases your expertise. This also works well for coaching models because you are letting your audience do a little “try before they buy.”
Not only are they getting to know you and your personality, but they’re getting to sample what they can achieve if they worked with you one on one.
One of the most obvious ways to encourage your reader to move from visiting the blog to hiring you is by offering lessons they can use to see some results. There are plenty of blogs regurgitating generic theory, but if you can break down your blog post into specific lessons (with examples drawn from real coaching clients), you prove that you can do what you say, and build credibility by referencing people who have seen results through your work.
Obviously you won’t be able to name all your clients, due to confidentiality, but you can still use specific examples without revealing identities.
For example, if you’re a marketing coach, which of these pieces of copy do you think are more likely to build your credibility?
“To succeed in social media marketing you’ve got to get your business to stand out and be noticed. If you look different than your competitors, more people will visit your page and you can increase likes to your business…”
Last week as part of a client’s Facebook marketing campaign we made a couple of tweaks to their advert and managed to increase clickthroughs by 20%, get 5% more phone enquiries, and generate two sales within the week. Here’s an example of the processes we used to analyse what to change…
What you’re doing with this style of blogging is proving you know what you’re talking about, and making readers more familiar with the way you work with clients (as well as building social proof!)
Remind them you’re a coach with a blog, not a blogger who sometimes coaches…
If you blog regularly, you might find yourself attracting people who were first looking for the kind of coaching that you offered, but then turned into a blog reader, got comfortable and forgot all about the coaching.
This can happen if people get so comfortable with a presence in their lives that they forget the reason they were there in the first place. (I’m getting married this year and in no way is that an analogy to how I think married life will be—honest!)
Sometimes you need to remind your readers that you can also work with them one on one if they need a little extra support. Otherwise your coaching business is taking a backseat to the blog, and you might find yourself with a large audience, being very popular, and getting all the retweets you can handle, but no sales.
If you offer purely free content, people may go to another coach simply because they forget about your services. You don’t want that to happen.
Every now and then, whether on your blog, or on your newsletter, remind your audience about the services you offer—but position that message in a way that’s relevant to them and their problems.
For example, if you’ve done a rocking blog post on the power of NLP and increasing confidence for presentations, let people know that you offer a specific “confidence for presentations course” that can be done intensively over two days by anyone with an upcoming speech, pitch, or presentation to make.
The key is to make it relevant to the topic at hand, and not simply a plug to sell your services.
Tip: Don’t be afraid of giving away “too much” in your content
I’ve worked with coaches who have been afraid of giving away too much about how they work. They feel that if they explain their processes online, people will just use the advice and not need a coach.
However, reading an article and working one on one with a coach is not the same. In my experience, the more content you publish on your expertise, the more people know, like, and trust you, and want to work with you directly.
Remember, someone who wants you to coach them doesn’t just want your knowledge of theory—they want access to you. They want the accountability that comes with having a coach. They want to be able to ask you questions directly rather than interpret a blog post. They want specific tailored answers that they can apply to their life or their business.
They want you. And your blog is a way of attracting them to you.
What about you? Do you attract coaching clients through your blog? Do you find it’s easier to sign up a new client if they’ve been a blog reader previously? Let me know in the comments! And look out tomorrow for the final post in this series, where we’ll look at blogging to support a product business.
Amy Harrison is a copywriter and content marketer for Personality Entrepreneurs wanting to connect and sell authentically to their audience. You can now download her free report on how to write sales copy when personality is part of your business at Harrisonamy.com.