How does a certified parenting coach hold the right mindset for the ideal clients they envision? Mindset: Focus on your client, not on you.
How You Think and Envision
When a new author writes a book, the author is filled with his or her personal story — it’s drama, it’s inspiration, and the need to have others learn from their experiences.
However, if the author wants to sell the book, he or she needs to know what the reader wants to read and ensure the book addresses that.
If a coach wants to sell services, the services or product must fulfill the client’s needs. The fulfillment is essential to demonstrate in your story, writing, advertising, and offerings. All of your marketing materials need to be client focused:
- About them — someone to listen to their story, not hear about yours
- About solving one of their issues — your book, story or brochure will tell how…
- About finding support — every word you write and every visual clue you use in a logo, color, design and copy reflects how you support them.
The New York Times best-read nonfiction books tend to be cookbooks, biographies of famous people, and how-to books on weight loss. If people are buying these books...
- Why are they doing so?
- What does a client want from a coach that is like a cookbook?
- A recipe, a formula, something that appeals to their appetites.
Remember who you are marketing to:
- A doer wants an achievement.
- A thinker wants the list of steps.
- The supporter who wants whatever is most practical, appealing and adaptable.
- The creative influencer wants to share the beauty with others and convince them of its benefits.
What does a coaching client want that is like a biography?
- The emotional connection to you.
- Small pieces of your life experience connect with their hearts and mind.
What does a coaching client crave?
- the answers
- the steps
- the hope
- the promise
- the guarantee
- the formula… …to their dilemma and solutions or strategies for the issues they deal with every day - the issues that overwhelm them or make them tired and edgy.
Successful coaches respond to the needs of their targeted clients just like an author who is writing a book for them. You answer their needs, provide the soul food they crave, and develop a heart connection. Then, you’ve got it! !
If there’s one mistake that new—and even established—business owners make is failing to develop a clear vision of the ideal client.
Too often we think our service or product is “for everyone.” And while it might be true that everyone could use your help, it’s simply not possible for you and your brand to appeal to everyone. Your prices might not be in line with what some can afford. Your branding might not resonate with others. Your story may not touch everyone with the same sense of urgency.
And when you try to reach everyone, rather than narrowing your focus to your truly ideal client, you dilute your message, making it even less likely that those perfect customers will find you.
But if you’re just starting out, it can seem an impossible task to know who your ideal client is. Start with these three points.
- Gender. Is your audience male or female? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your products—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women are different, and they are affected by stories and branding in very different ways, so what appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman. Look around at some of the brands you buy, and you’ll quickly see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both.
- Goals. What does your client hope to achieve, and how do your products and services help to realize those goals? Whether she’s trying to build a profitable crafting blog so she can stay home with her children, or he’s working to create an online resource for muscle car fans, if you don’t know where they’re going, you can’t help them get there.
- His or her point in the journey. Is she a beginner or well along on the path? How you speak, how you write, what marketing methods you use, and even what prices you charge will all be determined by your ideal client’s level of sophistication. Whether you’re teaching beginning knitters how to cast on, or helping couch potatoes train for their first 5k, their level of commitment (and willingness to spend) is far different from a long-time knitter who is discovering intarsia, or a runner working up to a triathlon. And you will not reach your market effectively if you don’t know exactly where they are and what they need at this point.
Of course, what if you are just starting out, you might not yet know who your ideal client is. That’s okay, but pay attention because the client will tell you...
- Through the products they like
- Through the services they buy.
- By following your social media
- By commenting or asking questions on your blog.
Watch your interactions, study the businesses of those who contact you for help. Take a look at what your competition is doing, and soon enough you’ll have a clear understanding of who your ideal client really is.
In copywriting, you know it is important to grab your reader's attention. What better way to do that than with a good story? But the process doesn't stop there. Good storytelling can not only get your prospect's attention; it can move them, compel them and leave them ready to buy, but only if done right.
Your story has to support your end goal.
- What are you trying to sell?
- What is your story's goal?
- Do you want the readers to buy a product, sign up for a service, or become a coaching client?
- Make sure that whatever the sales are, the story is relevant and illustrates how the purchase will benefit the reader.
You'll only close the deal when there's a natural progressing from the first headline to the final call to action. If the story doesn't support the product, you'll grab the readers' attention and entertain them, but you're not generating customers. Fcus on copywriting as if you were sharing concepts or suggestions like this
- What is the problem
- How easy is this solution?
- Which action is needed to learn or do the action?
- Why this is the best action?
- What your customer gains from this solution?
Your copywriting focuses the story in steps, like flowing from the bottom step, and up to the top, where they see the big picture or goal. Help readers follow you through the narrative. You don't want to risk losing readers along the way.
- Write your copy, then do something else for a while.
- Come back and read it out aloud.
- Are you able to tell if it flows well and makes sense.
- Will the reader like what happened in the sequence of events?
At the same time, it's important to keep the story to the point. It's easy to go into "storytelling mode" and go on and on about a point. As you edit, pay attention to areas where you repeat yourself. Do you need three examples to illustrate one point? Pick the strongest one and ditch the other two
There's a fine line between too much information and so little that you lose your reader along the way or force him to jump to conclusions. Editing your story will help you refine it, until it fits the purpose of the copy perfectly. Go through it line by line and ask yourself
Does this contributes to the overall storyline?
Does this move things forward?
Is the story too shallow, too much fluff and filler?
Throughout the writing and editing process keep your end goal front and center. By paying attention at all times to what you're selling in the end, you'll spin a tale that is sure to lead the reader in a straight line to the order button.
Telling stories is a great way to connect with your audience, and for life coaches, business stories illustrate the struggles and successes we all share.
It doesn't matter if you are on stage, teaching a class, writing an email to your list, recording a podcast or writing a blog post. Business storytelling could and should should play a big part of your content creation and marketing strategies.
But how do you come up with those stories in the first place? Here are seven tips to help you keep the business story ideas flowing so you can find just the right one for just about any situation.
Share A Recent Encounter
Often the best stories are things that are happening to you and all around you. Think about a client who is successful in her achievements? Can you tell her story as an example to newbies? What is the best coaching conversation you ever had? Or which complement from a client meant the most to you? And why was that story most meaningful?
Recall A Conversation
Conversations offer great story ideas. Without going into too many details or sharing too much information about the person you were talking to, what was the underlying message of the conversation in your storytelling.
Example: One parent, who called me, was frustrated her their three-year-old daughter was always singing, dancing, and seemed "overly" playful. The daughter was a total contrast to their eldest daughter, aged ten, who mom described as most like the parents. Parents and older daughter liked to read, study the stars, read science-type magazines. The younger child shared few, if any, interests with the parents and older sister.
I shared with the parents how there are different temperaments, and because the older sister was an intellectual, didn't mean that the second child would be of the same temperament. No, the younger child was the talkative, creative, dancing ballerina.. They got it, and I didn't hear from them until ten years later. Now older daughter is thirteen and younger daughter is six. Mom called to share how the knowledge of temperaments changed their lives. They started offering the younger child outlets for her dancing body and creative brain, as they offered the older child classes and experiences in which her strengths could flower.
Dig Deep and Share A Childhood Memory
Childhood memories are another great source of story ideas. The memories that stick with us from way back when are often the ones that taught us a valuable lesson or had a significant impact on who we are today. Think back to what you remember from your childhood and how you can tie those memories into what you're doing today.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Stories are going on all around us. Pay attention to the situations and conversations people have around you. You'll be pleasantly surprised how many story ideas you'll get just by paying attention your surroundings.
Example: I went to the hospital when I felt sharp pains crackle cross my chest. Heart attack? Not sure! Go to bed or go to the emergency room? Go to the hospital. Over five hours, I was admitted, assigned a bed, tested, and the doctor finally arrived in the early morning to tell me the news.
"You have a pulmonary embolism."
"And that is....?"
"You have a blood clot in your lungs."
Carry A Little Notebook
We've established that there are conversations around us from which we draw a story theme. as you observe those stories, which are memorable that would be a good fit with the content or product. Stick a little notebook and pen in your purse, briefcase or jacket. Keep it with you and jot down short notes about ideas, thoughts, conversations and situations that have storytelling potential.
Listen To Your Family and Friends
Pay attention to your loved ones. They are sharing stories with you on a regular basis. Listen to your kids when they come home from school. Sit down for an after-school snack, and ask them about their day. You'll have an almost never-ending supply of storytelling material. Listen with rapt attention to feel their emotions and exemplify those feelings in your story, as they are genuine and believable. Keep looking for new ideas and keep telling those stories to grow your business, connect with you readers and make the sale.
Storytelling is a great tool when you're marketing online. You...
Connect with your audience.
Share a message without sounding too salesy.
Open your heart to allow your readers to know, like, and trust you.
Offer a product or service that fits your client profile.
Start With The End In Mind
Every story has a purpose or a moral if you will. Start by writing down the moral of your story. If a moral or purpose aren't clear yet, then start with a simple goal.
What is the purpose of your story?
What do you want your listeners to do after you've finished the story?
What action do you want them to take?
Once you know the goal, it's easier to craft the story.
Know Your Audience
You know what you want to accomplish with your story. Now think about your audience. You need a good grasp of patterns, habits, motivations, responses, preferences.
How do you do this? Through administering in your coaching session a Core Temperament Style Inventory. The purpose of this test is to discover your inherent traits, emotions, stress patterns, learning preferences and your orientation to living.
It doesn't matter if you'll use your story in a business presentation, a blog post, an email or a sales page. You need to have a good grasp on who your audience is to ensure you can tell a story that's meaningful to them. Think about what you share with your audience. Those are the experiences you want to pull from for your stories.
Make It Personal
Don't be afraid to make it personal. Once you find that connection, it should be relatively easy to come up with a story based on facts and events from your real life. Using real life stories helps you make a deeper connection with your audience. You'll sound more authentic and more believable.
Why is this important? It helps you build trust with your readers, and they will be more likely to take you up on any product recommendations you make.
Make It Memorable
The best stories are the ones we can hear and then remember well enough to share. To make a story memorable make it short and to the point, but also try to evoke emotion. We remember things better when our feelings get involved. Surprise your readers, make them laugh, or bring them to tears with your stories. Either scenario will make sure they remember the story along with you and your brand.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This last tip may be the most important. While we all have a little storyteller inside us, telling stories to market our business isn't something that comes naturally to us. The trick for getting good at it is to practice. Start writing and telling stories about anything and everything. Share your favorites with your audience and just keep at it.
The more you practice storytelling in your business, using the tips shared here, the better you'll get. It's a powerful tool to have and well worth the time and effort it takes to become an effective storyteller.