How to Create Your Most Effective Introduction Video

Quick question: what percentage of Life Coach websites have an introduction video? Take a guess. I looked at 50 sites and give you my findings below, but I’d like you to guess before you have any of the information in this post.

So take a guess and we’ll see how reliable your gut is.

Okay, this post is about HOW to create your most effective introduction video for your website, but first, I want to spend a few minutes explaining WHY you should create one.

And here’s why …

An introduction video gives you powerful leverage in these four ways:

  1. You attract more of your Ideal Clients to your website through Google searches (more details for ranking on Google and YouTube searches are below).
  2. Video on a website’s Home page increases conversion by 20% or more.
  3. People spend 2.6x more time on sites with video vs. sites without video.
  4. When we hear information, we retain 10% 3 days later. Add images and retention goes up to 65%.

Your site ranks higher, people spend more time on it, they retain your message better, and you get 20% more conversions.

Would you agree these benefits would help your business grow faster and stronger?

14% of Life Coach websites include an Introduction VideoWith these deep benefits, you’d think every Life Coach’s website would include an introduction video. However …

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I reviewed 50 random Life Coach websites. How many do you suppose have an introduction video?

7.

7 out of 50. That works out to one of every seven Life Coach websites.

So not only will you enjoy the four important benefits above, but you’ll also have an excellent strategic advantage over other Life Coaches. A double win for you!

Let’s Make an Effective Introduction Video

I’m going to give you steps to take to make your most effective intro video. When I say “effective,” I mean the message is right, but I mean the technical details are right as well.

But please, don’t avoid this if you don’t have time or the patience to tackle all the technical stuff. The important thing is to create an intro video and put it on your site. When you do that, you’ll still enjoy 3 of the 4 benefits I list at the beginning of this post.

Okay, here we go. These are the important elements of Your Most Effective Introduction Video …

Practical Elements

Lighting:

  • Make sure there’s a lot of it.
  • Keep it in front of you so you avoid shadows across your face. Let’s not scare away your prospects.

No Distractions with Audio:

  • Make sure it’s quiet.
  • Barking dogs, a humming clothes dryer, outside traffic … avoid any extra noises so your audience has an easy time paying attention to YOU and your message.

No Distractions with Video:

  • Make sure your camera is level and stable (no shaking).
  • Use wide/landscape mode because it’s the standard for viewing web videos. If you record in portrait mode, you risk having those ugly dark bars on both sides of your video.
  • Frame yourself a little off-center.
  • Choose a clean and quiet background; no clutter.
  • Dress nicely
  • Sit tall or stand

Storage:

  • YouTube. Definitely YouTube. Because YouTube is recognized as the 2nd largest search engine with over 3 billion searches each month. That makes YouTube a likely entry point to your website, because if

Length:

Content

Cater to the tastes and inner conversations of your Ideal Client. Lori Underwood does this well.

Do NOT spend much time talking about yourself. Instead, talk about your Ideal Client and his pain and problems. Then, with that pain in mind, make a big promise or state a big benefit of your coaching services.

Remember, the person viewing your video is looking for someone who can help him solve his problem or meet his need. Help him to know, like, and trust you in this magic 2 minutes. Connie Jones does this well.

Include a Call To Action. Make sure you tell your viewer what to do next. Here’s an example: “Obviously, I can’t solve your problem in this video. But if this sounds like something that will make your life easier, send me an email.”

Bonus: The Technical Stuff

To get the most from your introduction video, follow this outstanding guide to manage your search rankings with Google and YouTube.

And if you’re very ambitious, jump over to this post, scroll down to point #3, and make the most of Annotations.

Finally, if you have an Android Smartphone, here’s an excellent 10-minute guide on using it to record your introduction video.

A Few Good Introduction Video Examples

I provided links above to the videos of Lori Underwood and Connie Jones. Watch them to get good ideas for your intro video.

Here are a few more good examples. You’ll notice they don’t follow all the guidelines about timing, background clutter, and framing. You don’t have to follow the rules, either.

Listen, if you create an introduction video, I’d like to know about it. I’ll be updating this post every so often, and if you create a video based on these guidelines, I’ll want to feature it here as an example of doing it the right way. So please, if you create one, leave a comment below and tell me about it. Thanks!


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

How to Get the Greatest Benefits From Your USP

A coaching business without a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is like giant Redwood tree in a forest of Redwood trees. It’s a grand tree, but it’s lost in a sea of equally grand trees.

It doesn’t stick out.

Now, that may be just fine for a giant Redwood. But it’s definitely NOT fine for your coaching business.

However … the Redwood tree people can drive through … now THAT’S a tree that sticks out.

… it’s unique.

… people notice it.

… people are attracted to it.

… and people want to experience it.

Aren’t these the traits you want for your coaching business?

Problem is, how do you get people to notice YOU and want to experience YOU as a Life Coach when there are so many other coaches to choose from?

This is where your USP comes in. It says something about your Life Coaching business that makes you unique and valuable to your Ideal Clients. When they’re searching for a Life Coach, your USP gets their attention and draws them to you.

And it makes you one of the most sought-out “Redwoods” in a forest of highly qualified, motivated, passionate Life Coaches.

Your USP should lure your Ideal Client

It’s like you’re fishing for a specific set of clients. You choose your a lure (your USP) to match your Ideal Client’s desires and pains. When you put it in the water, it attracts their attention and they follow it to a conversation with you.

 

Here are two other reasons to develop your USP:

  • When you make the effort to articulate your USP concisely, it helps you focus your mind to create marketing messages directed at the right people.
  • Your USP tells people who are not your Ideal Client that they should look elsewhere for their Life Coach. You need you to get them out of the way. Early. Otherwise, your business will suffer while you waste your limited time and energy in the fruitless and frustrating process of finding out you two are not a match.

So Just What Is a USP, Anyway?

I think it’s easier to look at some great examples, then work backward into a definition from the examples.

  • When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. – Federal Express
  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hand. – M&M’s
  • The Nighttime Sniffling Sneezing Coughing Aching Stuffy Head Fever So You Can Rest Medicine. – Vick’s NyQuil
  • Hand tools so tough, they’re guaranteed forever. – Craftsman Tools
  • Earth’s biggest bookstore. – amazon.com

Every USP has two traits in common, and these traits will serve as our definition. A USP is a phrase that:

  1. States something unique about your product/service, or about how you delivered it
  2. States or implies a benefit to people who use your product/service

How Do You Create a Powerful USP?

Step one to getting the greatest benefits from your USP is … create a POWERFUL one.

Because your USP must distinguish you somehow from the vast forest of Life Coaches in some SPECIFIC way.

Once again, I look to examples. Here are a few statements I found on Life Coach websites. They’re highlighted as if they are USPs, but they don’t say anything that’s really unique about these coaches or what they offer.

  • “I coach individuals to live life with greater competence, ease, joy and well-being.”
  • “Christopher is a certified life coach who specializes in personal empowerment, relationship building, goal achievement, and more.”
  • I help clients with their career and their life by eliminating stress and utilitizing their strengths, so they feel engaged, passionate, and able to achieve the success they desire.”

Here, take a look at the following list. Do one of these traits — or an unusual combination of them — describe you, and at the same time, help attract your Ideal Client?

  • Training
  • Expertise
  • (unique life) Experiences
  • Specialty
  • A System or methology you use
  • Niche

Of course, you have to do research on other Life Coaches to find out what makes you unique. It would be embarrassing to publicize a USP that could be claimed by 6 other Life Coaches … who live within 25 miles of you!

However, if you’ve done a thorough self-assessment AND thorough market research, then you’re ready to craft your Unique Selling Proposition.

Want some ideas?

Here are a few sample life coach USPs to give you some ideas for your own:

  • Martha “is the life coach to the life coaches.”
  • Lauren “is passionate about helping women to detach their self worth from the number on the scales and to start loving the guts out of themselves and their lives!
  • Lyn “guides first-time mothers to become embodied women and up level their self-worthiness.”
  • “This intuitive life coach has 32 years of field experience.”
  • “Coach Peg — The Abilities Coach — helps others maximize their abilities while honoring their disabilities.”

See how this works? These coaches state something unique. And if you visit their websites, you’ll see they prove it with credentials or experience or testimonials or case studies.

And you can be sure they also prove it through their blog posts, About page, and free offer.

But before they could do any of that, they had to figure out their USP and express it succinctly so their Ideal Clients would take notice.

If you’d like, I’ll be glad to send you my one-page worksheet, “How to Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).” It’s taken from my book, 7 Steps to A Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business. Just fill out this simple form and I’ll send it to you right away.

How Can You Leverage Your USP?

Okay, quick review. The first step one for getting the greatest benefits from your USP is to create a POWERFUL one.

Step two is to use it. Frequently.

  • Post it prominently on EVERY PAGE of your website.
  • Print it on your business cards
  • Integrate it into your Elevator Pitch
  • Include it in your letterhead
  • Make it a part of your email signature, your LinkedIn profile, and your Facebook profile

Broadcast your USP everywhere, because you never know where your Ideal Clients are hanging out. You never now when or where they’re going to come across your name.

Listen, I’d like to encourage a little accountability. If you have not yet created your own USP, but are inspired to do it, drop a message in the Leave a Comment box below. If you’ve got one, but aren’t promoting it as fully as you could, drop a message in the Leave a Comment box below and share two or three places where you can start using it.

Because if you put your goal out there for the world to see, well … I’m pretty sure you’re going to make progress with it!


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

“Dear Life Coach, Can You Help Me Run Smarter?”

Dear Life Coach,

Listen, I’m no Usain Bolt, but if you can do for me even half of what his coach did for him, then I can’t lose!

I mean, today we know Bolt is the fastest man alive. He’s got those two world records, running 100 Meters and 200 Meters faster than any other person. Ever.

(Now pay attention here, because as I’m talking about Bolt, I just might possibly maybe a little bit be talking about someone else, too {wink, wink})

Usain Bolt has talent. There’s no doubt about that.

And he has determination. Crazy, unstoppable drive.

He’s focused. Disciplined. Excited to be doing what he’s doing.

… but he was merely a very good performer until he found the right coach.

Bolt had a Problem He Couldn’t See

It was late 2004. Bolt was 18. He was running fast. But not fast enough to win consistently. And definitely not as fast as he was capable of running.

That’s where Glen Mills comes in. Bolt chose Mills to be his new coach.

Check out what Mills said about Bolt:

“Usain is an extremely gifted athlete. When I started working with him, one of the things that stood out like a sore thumb was his poor mechanics. He was running behind the center of balance. This resulted in a negative force against his forward drive and it was affecting other areas.”

I gotta say, the first time I read those last two sentences — it was like someone opening a can of the brightest sunshine inside my foggy brain.

“He was running behind the center of balance. This resulted in a negative force against his forward drive and it was affecting other areas.”

Now, if we take that quote literally, it’s good. Mills saw what Usain Bolt was doing wrong, AND he knew the consequences of doing it wrong, AND he knew how to fix it.

But I can’t help thinking of it metaphorically. I can’t help thinking it applies to my life

… that I’m running behind my center of balance …

… and it’s a negative force against my forward drive.

I’ve got a Problem I Can’t See

Out of balance

Ok, so here’s the thing. I’m not running my “race” as well as I can. I’m sure of it. But I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I can’t see it.

I mean, sure, I know I watch too much TV and eat too much junk food and waste a lot of time on Facebook and YouTube.

But after reading about Usain Bolt and Glen Mills, I’m starting to think I need to focus my search at a deeper level. Somewhere far below the surface, I’m out of alignment with my center of balance.

And it bothers me.

Hey, look, like I said, I’m no Usain Bolt. I don’t need to be the top performer of my little corner of the world.

But I definitely don’t want to end up where I’m headed now.

Because I know what’ll happen. I’ll have a mountain of regrets created by the moments I squandered and opportunities I ignored because I wasn’t prepared to seize them when they passed in front of me.

And I desperately don’t want to end up there.

Discovering the Center of Balance

Here’s how Mills helped Bolt change:

“Our first task was to get him to run with his upper body core in line with his center of mass or a forward lean of somewhere around 5-10°. We set about doing drills then we took videos of his workouts and broke them down on the screen in slow motion to show him exactly what he was doing. I would draw diagrams and show him the position that we are working to achieve. Part of his poor mechanics was because he was not able hold the sprint position during maximum velocity running, so we had to do an intense program to develop his core strength.”

Ah, the beautiful metaphor returns. Mills knew the objective, communicated it effectively to Bolt, then created new habits and strategies to change Bolt’s behavior and develop his core strength.

Question is, is there a Life Coach who will help me dig deep to identify MY center of balance … what’s most important to ME. And then point out the bad habits that keep me running behind it. Then help me create new habits to develop my core strength so I can run in line with — or slightly ahead of — my center of balance.

Is there a Glen Mills out there for me?


And more importantly, to whom will you be a Glen Mills?

Don’t give up, coach. Marketing may be a grind for you, but it’s your marketing messages that will help all your Usain Bolts will find you.

I’ve got to know — does this metaphor resonate with you at all? If so, please take a minute and let me know by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

How To NOT Sabotage Your Marketing

Wondering how to set yourself apart from the crowd and draw your ideal client to your coaching practice?

There’s no mystery about it.

You just need to understand how your prospect’s mind works.

It’s probably no secret to you that your marketing efforts need to be more about their needs and less about your greatness.

But now let’s take it to the next level.

The Laws of Marketing

Meet Al Reis and Jack Trout. Their 1994 marketing manifesto, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, presents 22 basic laws that, as their book’s subtitle implies, we ‘violate at our own risk.’

Reis and Trout propose that there are laws of marketing, just as there are laws of nature, physics, the universe.

You can pretend they’re not there, work against them … but they’re ‘immutable.’ They operate whether we recognize them or not….like gravity.

The first five of these laws could just as easily be called “The Immutable Laws of Your Prospect’s Mind.”

Law #1: The Law of Leadership – It’s always better to be first to market, rather than waiting to get to market with a better product.

Law #2: The Law of Category – If it’s impossible to be first in a category, invent a new category in which you can be first to the market.

Law #3: The Law of the Consumer’s Mind – It’s better to be first in the mind of the consumer than to be first in the marketplace.

Law #4: The Law of Perception – Marketing is never a battle of products … it is always a battle of perceptions.

Law #5: The Law of Focus – The key to success in marketing is to find an effective way to come to own a word in the mind of the prospect.

Let’s see what you can do to make these laws work for your coaching business.

 

First? Best? Or Most Unique?

It seems, at first glance, that Laws 1-3 are working at cross-purposes. Be first to market, but it’s better to be first in mind … If you can’t be first, make up a category where you can be … what’s a business owner to do?

The long and short of it is this:

In any business, being ‘front of mind’ with your prospects is crucial to increasing your client or customer base. When a prospect is finally ready to make a buying decision, you want to be the first person they think of.

As a life coach, this is even more vital.

People who seek out coaching to improve or fix their life often take some time to make the decision to reach out and contact someone.

It’s a big step. They may be unsure how much of a ‘sell’ they’re going to get once they contact you. Can they trust you to be sensitive to their expressed needs, rather than anxious to promote your own services?

How do you become the trusted figure they turn to? The content you send to your list goes a long way toward this.

When you write a newsletter or email series for your list, you want to focus on their needs, much more than on what you offer. Your content should be about 90% information and 10% selling.

When done correctly, video is an even better choice for communicating with your list. Prospects can be face-to-face with you in the safety and comfort of their own space, and get a ‘feel’ for who you are.

Toot Your Own Horn!

If you have a new or innovative offering that you want the world to know about, tell them! Right away!

It isn’t a competition. Rushing to get your new program out there just for the sake of being first isn’t what it’s about.

Sincerity, commitment and something that really meets the needs of your ideal client will make an impression more than trying to be ‘top dog.’

Be innovative. Be creative. Follow Law #2. Carve out a niche, a method, even something as simple as a unique combination of offers, and put it out there. Dare to be different.

The Law of Perception

The laws of marketing ask you to manage your customer's perceptionsThink of the last important decision you made. Would you say your final choice was based solely on logic? On evidence? Of course not.

According to the University of California’s Marshall School of Business, “our perception is an approximation of reality.”

This probably isn’t news to you. We filter our perceptions through our own personal reality: experiences, good and bad, that have brought us to the moment when we’re trying to make a buying decision.

When it comes to a decision to engage a life coach, it’s even more personal. Your prospect isn’t selecting a car or a toaster. They’re contemplating an engagement with someone on an emotional level.

The trust required to make this decision is far greater than what they’d need to select a tangible item that can be returned. They’re investing in you, and trusting you to help them solve some life problems.

So, how can you ensure that your prospects have a positive perception of you and your coaching business?

Know Thy Prospect

Here’s where the well-worn marketing adage, “know thy prospect,” becomes vitally important.

Your marketing efforts will work best if you have a well-defined niche or target consumer.

Rather than marketing to “people seeking a career change,” how about “teachers over 50 seeking a career change”?

The more specific your target market, the easier it will be to research their needs, wants, hopes, problems, barriers to action, etc.

Without this research, you’re just shooting fish in a barrel. You don’t really know what they need from you.

 

Language is the Key

Find a word to express your uniquenessHumans are the only beings on earth that think in words, use language to understand things and make decisions.

Reis and Trout’s fifth law says that you must ‘own a word’ in the mind of your prospect. What does this mean?

It probably brings to mind catchy slogans like Nike’s “Just Do It,” or Subway’s “Eat Fresh.”

But this law of marketing is not about crafting a cute, catchy advertising slogan.

Again, it’s about helping your prospect know you and trust you.

This may require that you take a step back and look at the core values you hold for your coaching practice.

Here are some clarifying questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • Who are my ideal clients?
  • What key benefits do I offer them that other coaches don’t?
  • What makes me different from other coaches, in terms of how I interact with clients?
  • What’s unique about my approach or methods?
  • What are some things clients have said about their successes with me? Review (or ask for) some testimonials to your work.

You may have done this work before, but it’s worth repeating as you try to discover a word or phrase that expresses your uniqueness.

Once you do, you can work to weave that language into your content. Highlight it. Talk about it. Let it shine.

A Final Note

Some of what we’ve talked about in this post may come naturally to you as a coach. Some of it may be old news that’s worth reviewing. And some of it, hopefully, has given you new insight into how to market your practice.

How about letting us know? Please leave a comment and tell us how this information is helping you in your coaching practice.

 

Copywriter Joyce HollmanJoyce Hollman is a copywriter and content marketing consultant, and the owner of Joyce Hope Copywriting, With decades of experience in education, Joyce develops Web content strategies for both education and health related companies in the B2B and B2C arenas. For specific project needs and to contact Joyce, visit www.joycehopecopywriting.com.


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business following the laws of marketing. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

Why You Need — and How to Get — Remarkable Testimonials

Think about the person who will win BIG if she hires you as her Life Coach. Let’s call this person your Ideal Client.

Now, do you suppose your Ideal Client has ever been hurt, burned, disappointed, or ripped off by another human being? Of course.

And do you suppose she enjoyed it? Of course not!

So she became careful. Cautious. She put up a psychological Wall so it wouldn’t happen again. The Wall protects her from being hurt by people she doesn’t know or trust.

… even people like you who sincerely want to help her.

So your messages crash into her Wall and set off alarms, followed by a set involuntary questions that start splashing through her mind:

Testimonials meet objections head-on

The whole process takes just a few seconds, and it usually ends with a final “I don’t have time for this.”

Then she’s gone.

She didn’t even give you a chance to help her become the person she could — and should — become.

 

So you really have to deal with that Wall.

… maybe scamper around it.

… or pile stuff in front and climb over it.

… or somehow blast through it.

And that’s where testimonials come in.

Testimonials are like Sledge Hammers

Testimonials smash right through her psychological Wall by answering the questions romping through her mind. Here’s what I mean…

She asks, “Why should I believe you?”

Your testimonial answers, “Because someone else who’s a lot like you had the same problems you have, and this Life Coach helped her solve them!”

She asks, “What are you selling?”

Your testimonial answers, “Results. Proven solutions to your pesky problems.”

She asks, “What’s in it for me?”

Your testimonial answers, “Success. Freedom from your aggravating, frustrating circumstances. I mean, do you really want to be like this for the rest of your life?”

She asks, “What’s this going to cost me?”

Your testimonial answers, “Do you really care? Listen, I’m offering you a way out, and you know this is what you’ve been searching for. The cost of doing nothing is so much greater.”

And the Wall crumbles.

Social Proof

But here’s the beauty of it. You didn’t have to do any work to tear down that Wall!

See that guy in the picture at the top of this page? He’s driving his testimonial into your Ideal Client’s Wall, punching through it and ripping it apart. He and his testimonial are doing all the work!

All you have to do is find the right person with the right testimonial and put them in the right place at the right time. He — and his testimonial — do all the work for you.

We call this “social proof,” and there are two parts to it.

First, it means when other people behave in a certain way in an ambiguous situation, we infer their behavior to be acceptable.

And second, social proof leads us to copy their behavior so we remain socially acceptable in that situation.

In other words, when other people do something a certain way, social proof says it’s safe for us to do it the same way.

Social Proof in Action

You experience social proof for yourself when you read online reviews before buying a product.

In fact, a 2016 consumer survey from BrightLocal tells us these two stories:

  1. 74% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
  2. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Wow. Let that sink in …

3 out of 4 people will trust you more because of the testimonial of a complete stranger!

17 out of 20 trust the word of your delighted client as much as they trust the word of their best friends!

Here, let me give you three examples of what testimonials have done for others:

  • When Express Watches updated their website by replacing a “Why buy from Express Watches?” box with a box containing customer reviews, sales increased 58%.
  • When WikiJobs added three simple testimonials to their website, conversions jumped 34%.
  • When a consumer credit counseling service added one written testimonial to their sign-up page,  conversions went up 25%. And when they changed the written testimonial to a video testimonial, conversions were 201% higher than the page with no testimonials.

Can you afford to miss out on the proven power of testimonials? They add credibility, build trust, and help overcome skepticism. They tear down Walls!

How to Get Testimonials

Okay, you’re convinced you need testimonials. Now how do you get them?

Ask for them!

It really is that simple. Make this a routine part of your coaching business.

Say to your client, “Tammy, could I send you some questions for feedback? Would you mind answering them for me?”

But notice, you’re not asking for a testimonial. You’re asking for feedback. There are two reasons for this.

First, as a professional Life Coach, you need this candid, thoughtful information from your best clients so you can learn what you’re doing right and what you can do better. Then you adjust your strategies and practices, and you’re a better coach.

And second, it’s easier for your clients to answer your simple feedback questions than to work at finding all the right words for an official, ready-for-the-world-to-see testimonial. This works best when it’s easy for your clients.

Anyway, after Tammy agrees to your request for feedback, send her a form that includes fill-in-the-blank prompts. The questions will help Tammy remember and articulate her experience with you. (If you’d like the feedback form I use, you can request it at the bottom of this post.)

Oh, and you’ll have better success if you do this while you’re still coaching Tammy. Try to ask at least 3 weeks before the end of your coaching relationship. Because at this point, you are top-of-mind for Tammy and she’s highly aware of the changes and the optimism she’s experiencing. If you wait until after you’re done coaching her, she’ll be busy with other things and may never get around to replying.

And here’s a second idea for getting testimonials. Review every email you’ve received from Tammy. Look for every statement that captures an aspect of your coaching you want to emphasize. Copy-paste those statements into a separate document.

Okay, so let’s say you’ve completed these two tasks and collected Tammy’s feedback and other thoughts from her emails. The next step is to cut and paste her comments into a testimonial … and this is by far the most important part of the process.

Because the content of your testimonials shapes the thoughts and impressions of your Ideal Client, telling her what she can expect when she hires you as her Life Coach.

So make sure you carefully choose the content of Tammy’s testimonial.

How to Craft the Best Testimonials

The best testimonials are not necessarily the most exciting, or the most entertaining, or even the most memorable.

They’re the best because they work … like a sledge hammer in the hands of our muscular and determined friend above.

In the end, both you and your Ideal Client win when your testimonials do these four things:

1. Connect with your Ideal Client

Remember, your Ideal Client doesn’t know you. So naturally, he’s suspicious. Guarded.

And yet at the same time, he’s hopeful. He’s looking for someone with answers to his tough questions, and he’s really hoping YOU are that someone.

Because he’s tired of being where he’s at, and he desperately wants to figure out how to get where he wants to be. And the sooner, the better.

So make sure your testimonial says, “I am EXACTLY the Life Coach you’re searching for. If you make a commitment to me, I’ll make a commitment to you. Together, we’ll get you out of this rut and into the life you’ve been hoping for.”

And to say all that, your testimonial must be from someone who is similar to the Ideal Client you’re trying to reach. Otherwise, why would he care?

For example, if your Ideal Client is a 20-something city dweller who wants to be a successful freelance photographer, you’ll lose him if your testimonial celebrates your ability to launch effective conflict resolution programs for corporate Human Resources departments. That’s not at all what he’s looking for in a coach.

So make sure the testimonial connects with him by invoking social proof that “someone just like me” succeeded under your coaching. This is where a credible, unbiased “someone else” answers his questions and tears down his Wall.

2. Prove your value through at least one specific benefit your Ideal Client seeks

It’s your job to know the various victories your Ideal Client is looking for. It’s your testimonial’s job to prove you can help your Ideal Client win those victories.

I wonder if you’ve heard this quote from Robert Collier, a copywriter and insightful marketer from the early-to-mid 1900s:

“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”

This is what your testimonial must do if it’s going to be effective. It must address some problem or frustration your Ideal Client is already thinking about.

But then it has to go a step further and convince your Ideal Client you can solve his problem and end his frustration.

Truth is, your best prospect is looking for proof that you can really help him. If he’s not looking for proof, he doesn’t know what he really wants. He’ll be a shallow, uncommitted client who frustrates you.

So make sure your testimonial proves something he’s looking for, like …

  • WHY your client is happy with your coaching, or
  • WHAT your client accomplished through your coaching, or
  • HOW your coaching improved your client’s life

Also, I need to emphasize the word “specific.” Vague doesn’t inspire. It means nothing to us.

So avoid testimonials like:

“Wow, you are so great and I am so happy!!”

Instead, look for statements that give your Ideal Client at least one victory he’s searching for. Here’s a good example:

“For two years, I couldn’t get any traction with my startup, but after six weeks of Jamie’s coaching, I have a business plan, funding, and unstoppable momentum.”

3. Stir Emotions that Activate Imagination

Try to craft a testimonial that helps your Ideal Client see himself living in a better future. Remember, he knows where he is, and he knows for sure he does NOT want to stay there.

And that’s exactly the type of determination that will make him an eager, cooperative client.

So choose words and phrases and sentiments that provoke hope, gratification, and deep fulfillment.

Choose words and phrases that make it easy for him to imagine himself free from today’s annoying roadblocks and living the full life he knows, deep down, is awaiting him.

In short, craft a testimonial that inspires him.

4. Project Integrity

I’ll say it again. Your Ideal Client doesn’t know you, so he’s suspicious and guarded.

In fact, he’s fully aware of the hustlers and lying jerks among us. He doesn’t want to be taken.

He wants to trust you (because, again, he’s hoping YOU can help him solve his problems), but he’s on the lookout for signs of deception … like a fake testimonial

So build valuable trust right now by making sure your testimonial is above all suspicion.

  • Do NOT change any of the words your client gave you. Your Ideal Client can tell the difference between the calculated words of a marketer and the real words of a customer.
  • Provide details like your client’s:
    • full name (Margaret Eastman, not Margaret E)
    • job title, if relevant
    • city and state
    • picture

 

Let’s get back to Tammy now…

After you’ve crafted your best testimonial from her feedback and email comments, send her another email, thanking her for replying. Tell her you created a testimonial from her comments and suggestions, and that you’d like to post it on your website if it’s okay with her.

Invite her to edit it so she’s comfortable with the testimonial. Ask her for permission to use her full name, city and state. And ask her to send a photograph, because there’s plenty of evidence that photos add credibility to a testimonial.

What to do With Testimonials

Once you have testimonials, sprinkle them throughout your website. Put one or two on your Home page. Put one or two on your About page. Put one or two on your Contact page. If you’ve got 10 or more, create a “Testimonials” page on your site.

Put those testimonials to work for you and knock down that Wall!

And listen, would you consider sharing your experience below? If you’re aware of how a specific testimonial helped influence someone to work with you, please let me and your fellow-readers know about it. It’s always encouraging to hear a success story, yes?

I hope I’ve given you information and motivation to collect and share testimonials. If you’d like, I’ll be glad to send you the one-page Client Testimonial Form template from my book. Just fill out this simple form and I’ll send it to you right now:


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

How to Create the Best Profile of Your Ideal Client

In my last post, I said you should do no marketing until you’ve created a detailed description of your ideal client. Some call this description a Buyer Persona. Others call it an Avatar. I’m calling it a 3Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client (3D PIC), where the dimensions are demographics, psychographics, and itch.

In this post, I’m giving you a proven method for creating a 3D PIC. Once you have it, you’ll know how to create the most effective, penetrating, and captivating messages that bring you more quality leads, more clients, and a bigger coaching practice. Really … this is well worth the effort.

Be Thorough

Rule #1: Don’t skimp on the details.

If your 3D PIC is going to be worth anything to your life coaching business, it has to be rich in details. Otherwise, it won’t guide you accurately, and you’ll make unnecessary missteps.

In fact, your best profile of your Ideal Client will be so vivid and insightful that you can close your eyes and imagine a spirited conversation where the two of you talk passionately about his hopes and joys and fears and frustrations, and you fill him with excitement and optimism about his future.

After all, that’s the purpose of your 3D PIC. It should guide you so you choose:

  • the most appropriate style and voice for your marketing messages
  • the most persuasive words and stories that resonate with your Ideal Client
  • the best platform for your coaching (face-to-face? over the phone? online webinars? seminars?)

In my previous post, I said the 3D PIC guides your business moves in the same way a song’s rhythm guides a dancer’s moves. If the song’s rhythm is muddled or inconsistent, the dancer won’t be certain in her moves. Her uncertainty and confusion will make her an artistic messterpiece.

And that’s not who you want to be!

Here’s the way I see it. A comprehensive 3D PIC establishes a driving rhythm for your Life Coaching business. Every time someone comes in contact with you or one of your messages, they’ll “detect” your rhythm.

Some people won’t like the rhythm. And that’s okay. You’re not trying to attract every person out there.

In fact, you want some people to not like it. Your coaching business “rhythm” acts as a filter, prequalifying people before they chew up any of your limited time and energy.

But when your Ideal Client encounters your driving rhythm, it will resonate with her immediately and strongly. She’ll know she found what she’s been looking for, and she’ll be ready to dance with you.

So let’s dig into the three dimensions …

Demographics

This is the easiest dimension to understand and document. You’re tracking data you might find on a U.S. Census report:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Number and age of children
  • Education
  • Profession / job title
  • Income
  • Housing

It’s straightforward, but it’s important. You’ll write differently to a 25-year-old college-educated single male making $90,000/year as an IT wizard than to a 60-year-old married woman who lives within 5 miles of her 4 grandchildren and volunteers at the local hospital three days a week.

Remember, YOU get to decide what type of people you want to work with. How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do for 40 hours a week?

Psychographics

With psychographics, you’re really trying to get to know your Ideal Client as well as you know your best friend.

You need to get into her schedule to know how she spends her time.

And you need to get into her mind and heart so you know why she spends her time this way.

You need to understand:

  • What does she generally think about, worry about, and get excited about?
  • What does she do for hobbies, entertainment, relaxation, and community involvement?
  • What are her concerns and frustrations, values and joys?
  • What are her deepest fears?
  • Where does she find deepest fulfillment?

It’s not enough for you to think about these questions. You have to write out your answers. And again, don’t skimp on the details.

Itch

Demographics and psychographics are like the height and width of your Ideal Client. Gotta have them.

But when you know what’s bugging her NOW … why she wants what you offer NOW … what she’s afraid she’ll miss if she doesn’t do something NOW … then your profile has its third dimension: depth.

This third dimension is itch, and you need to scratch it.

Creating a 3-Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client (3D PIC)

Ideal Client is a new photographerLet’s work through this with an example. Let’s say you’re a life coach to freelance photographers who are just starting out.

You’ll need to write descriptions of each dimension. You won’t end up with an actual picture, but you’ll have such a clear understanding of how your Ideal Client thinks, feels, and behaves, you’ll have a vivid “picture” nonetheless.

How to Collect Demographics

First, you come up with demographics that describe the type of people you want to work with. But don’t be too narrow. There have to be enough people to keep you in business.

Here’s what you decide:

Age Range: 20 – 30.

Gender: According to available data, 65% are males.

Education: Completed at least two college-level photography classes — because you want serious freelancers.

Income: At least $1,000 total from photography gigs — so you know they’ve done something with this. You don’t want to waste your time on people who have an untested dream they’ll abandon when it starts to look like work.

Home: Live in a city of at least 30,000 people.

Does this mean you’ll turn down a 40-year-old woman who lives in the country? Nope. It only means you’ll develop messages and strategies that are more likely to draw in 20-something city dwellers. Nothing against those who … umm … have more life experience (wink wink), but you happen to be more comfortable working with eager young ‘uns.

How to Collect Psychographics

Good news. You don’t have to pay a market research firm tens of thousands of dollars to create, print, mail, and then process surveys. Or organize and conduct focus groups. Or do a hundred phone interviews.

Because today, you have free access to rich sources of data and information to discover the psychographics of your Ideal Client. He’s sharing his raw, unfiltered thoughts, beliefs, and feelings with you every minute of every day through posts, comments, and reviews at:

  • Amazon
  • Blogs
  • Facebook
  • Flickr (a goldmine for freelance photographer psychographics!)
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat (another goldmine for your niche!)
  • Twitter
  • Yelp
  • YouTube

Or heck, you could even go to photography workshops and events and talk with him in person.

The point is, there’s no reason to guess here. If your niche is big enough to build a coaching business around, then you have many options for learning what motivates him so you can build a relationship with your Ideal Client.

So decide which of these sites is a place your Ideal Client hangs out. Then spend several hours on these sites and read what he’s saying. Listen closely.

  • What is he passionate about?
  • What is he worried about?
  • What does he do in his spare time?
  • What makes him happy?
  • What brings him the greatest joy?
  • What ticks him off?
  • Who does he trust?
  • What does he want out of life?

After completing your research, you written these psychographics:

Hobbies: Photography (duh)

Interests: Camera technology, lighting, lenses, reflectors, color balancing, editing software

Values: Beauty, authenticity, raw emotion, freedom

Hopes and desires: Independence/being their own boss, finding consistent gigs, making money as a secondary business and income source, making the right contacts

Sources of Frustration: The feeling that life is passing them by as they struggle to do what they really want to do, people who think phone cameras are just fine, the whole business thing (marketing, accounting, networking, pricing, negotiating, customer service, cycle of feast or famine) because they just want to shoot pictures

Sources of Fulfillment: A powerful portfolio they’re proud of, getting professional fees, shooting the pictures they want to shoot, glowing testimonials, a website worth bragging about, camaraderie with other freelancers

How to Find the Itch

Crisis. Desperation. Urgency.

These are not typically fun experiences … but they ARE wonderful motivators! They compel your Ideal Client to DO SOMETHING.

But here’s the thing. YOU know he’ll do it better, faster, and more efficiently if he gets help from you.

So at this point, your job is to explore and exploit whatever is giving him the itch to do something.

Yes, I said “exploit.”

Because if you don’t exploit your Ideal Client’s discomfort, you’re cheating him. And the rest of us, too.

Here’s what I mean. Your Ideal Client wants change, and he wants it now. He needs you to take that desire, wave it in his face, taunt him with it, and do everything else you can to shake him from his complacency.

Because if you don’t, he may never work up the courage to leave his comfort zone. And if he never leaves his comfort zone, he won’t do what he really wants to do …

… because fear holds him back. A sassy, suffocating, crippling fear.

… and he decides his current life isn’t really so bad.

… and complacency takes root and bears the rotting fruits of inaction, frustration, and regret.

And THAT is why it’s so important for you to exploit his itch. To push him to scratch it.

Because all of us lose when one of us fails to reach his full potential.

You’ll exploit his itch later when you develop your marketing materials and have coaching sessions. For now, though, you need to explore his crisis. Explore it deeply now so you can exploit it fully later.

So ask: Why would your Ideal Client consider working with a life coach right now?

For our freelance photographer example, we conclude our Ideal Client is at a point in life where he desperately wants this freelance thing.

He’s been shooting photos for more than five years. He’s bought several cameras and a series of stronger and stronger lenses. He’s had a few paying gigs that whet his appetite for going into business for himself. He has thought about it and dreamed about it and talked with his best friends about it, but he just can’t get himself to go for it.

And he knows he’s not getting any younger.

He needs to try this now, before he settles into the path — no, the ditch — of least resistance that drains his passion.

He’s ripe.

And he’s ready to dive in.

Now.

“Your Ideal Client wants change, and he wants it now. He needs you to take that desire, wave it in his face, taunt him with it, and do everything else you can to shake him from his complacency. Because if you don’t, he may never work up the courage to leave his comfort zone. And if he never leaves his comfort zone, he won’t do what he really wants to do.”

Are YOU Ready to Dive In?

The goal of your 3D PIC is to describe your Ideal Client so vividly, you can picture her standing in front of you when you create your marketing materials and write your blog posts.

And then — well, when you know her that deeply, you’ll know which messages will resonate with her … pierce her contentment … awaken her dreams … ignite her imagination … and mobilize her hopes, her passion, and her dormant determination so she’d feel she’d be betraying her true self if she didn’t take the plunge, right now!

Okay, it’s time for you to see how this works. I’d like you to take 10 minutes — right now — and learn something new about your Ideal Client.

To do this, go to one of your groups on LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever. Find a topic of interest to your Ideal Client. Don’t bother reading the post. Read the comments made by your Ideal Clients.

But don’t just read them. Analyze them. What do they tell you about the person behind the comment?

And here’s the important part. Share your insight in the Leave a Comment box below. Because if you’re forced to write it down, you’ll think more deeply about it and have a clearer picture and better retention of what you just learned.

10 minutes. It’ll be worth it. You’ll prove for yourself the value of a vivid, 3-Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client.

I hope I’ve given you information and motivation to develop your best 3D PIC. If you’d like, I’ll be glad to send you the one-page form I use when I create my 3D PICs. Just fill out this simple form and I’ll send it to you right now. It even includes an example to give you hints.


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

Absolutely NO MORE MARKETING Until You Do This One Thing

I teach piano lessons. Most of my students are children. The funniest had to be Simon.

Every student makes mistakes. Most of them stop, fix their mistake, then go on. But not Simon.

He’d stop playing, sigh, then quickly move his hands left and right in opposite directions across the keyboard while wiggling his little fingers and whispering, “erase, erase, erase.”

Funny kid, that Simon.

And a good kid, too. Respectful … kind … inquisitive.

But after five months, I couldn’t overcome his short attention span. He’d spend half the lesson looking at, talking about, and touching the things in my living room. I didn’t want his parents spending their money on this, so … no more lessons for Simon 🙁

Now, teaching piano lessons is not my primary business. But if it was, I’d do a few things differently to ensure a profitable and enjoyable business.

For starters, I’d only teach advanced students who are ready to learn the difficult techniques demanded by Chopin etudes, Beethoven sonatas, and Bach fugues. I’d want students who insist beautiful sounds come from those 88 keys. I get more enjoyment and fulfillment watching these serious students conquer the challenging repertoire and become expert music makers. They win, I win.

In business lingo, I’d call this advanced student my Ideal Client.

Do You Know What Your Ideal Client Looks Like?

Have you ever written a thorough description of your Ideal Client? By “Ideal Client,” I mean the type of person you want to work with. The person who’s at the point in life where they know they need someone like you to help them over the hump and into the life they so desperately want to live. The person who will benefit the most from what you offer. The person who will pay your professional rates.

Some call this description a Buyer Persona. Others call it an Avatar. I’m calling it a 3Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client (3D PIC), where the dimensions are demographics, psychographics, and itch. Doesn’t matter what you call it, so long as you have it and understand its leverage for your business.

For example, let’s say you’re a life coach for single moms who want to earn a college degree. Everything you do and say should attract, connect with, and serve those single moms.

If you don’t know much about the ambitious single mom, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll create a free offer she doesn’t care about, you’ll bore her with irrelevant blog posts, and your coaching sessions will leave her hope buried under memories of past failures.

But if you know her deeply — know her age and education and work experience and family situation … her hobbies and values and joys and frustrations … her perceived shortcomings you can help with — well, now you’re ready to speak into her life.

Your free offer will be one of the puzzle pieces she was missing, your blog titles will raise her eyebrows, your content will spark her hope and imagination, and your initial coaching session will make her believe you know exactly how to take her where she desperately wants to be!

I’ll explain how to create a powerful 3D PIC in my next post. For now, I want to emphasize how important it is for you to have one. In fact, I’m convinced you shouldn’t do any marketing or write any blog posts until you create a vivid, 3-Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client.

I’ll explain why in a minute. But first, a brief tangent…

Rhythm: A Strong, Regular, Repeated Pattern of Movement or Sound

Rhythm is vital to all dance music. It draws the dancer into the song. It tells the dancers whether they should do the Cha Cha, Fox Trot, Mambo, Rumba, Tango, Swing, or Hustle. It’s difficult to dance to a song correctly if there isn’t a constant rhythm pushing it along.

Can you imagine trying to dance to a waltz that switches to a disco beat every seventh measure?

 

Dancers enjoy changes to melody, harmony, instrumentation, chord progressions, and even tempo. That kind of variety is good.

But mess with the rhythm, and dancers don’t know what to do. They’re confused and frustrated. They can’t dance with any confidence when the rhythmic pattern is unpredictable.

Just as musical rhythm tells dancers what moves to make, a vivid 3-Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client tells YOU what moves to make. And each of those moves advances the relationship you’re building with your Ideal Client.

 

That’s good stuff right there.

Let’s dig into this …

When Your Life Coaching Business is Rooted in a Strong Rhythm

Based on what I and others have experienced, here’s the difference a vivid 3D PIC makes.

  When you have no 3D PIC … When you have a vivid 3D PIC …
Confidence You’re never really sure what to blog about or how to structure your initial coaching session because you don’t know exactly who it’s for. You guess and hope and put it out there. You know how to reach the specific people you want as clients. No hesitation or second-guessing. You know these people deeply, and your marketing materials select them out of the crowd and draw them to you.
Rhythm Your free offer and emails and blog posts lack cohesiveness. They all seem to be going their own direction. Your clients are not quite getting it … because you are not quite getting them. Your business activities have structure. Consistency. Interdependency. You know exactly which moves to make to create effective interactions with your Ideal Client. He’s in a perpetual state of enthusiastic anticipation. Pretty sweet, huh?
Effectiveness Some of your marketing efforts miss the mark. You’ll end up wasting time, but you won’t know what’s wrong. Every blog headline and email and coaching session resonates with and speaks directly to your Ideal Client.
Attraction Your marketing messages attract different types of people. Some will not be your Ideal Client. You and they waste time and energy figuring out you’re not a great fit. Your marketing messages reach deep into your Ideal Client. She recognizes YOU are the coach she’s looking for, while other people weed themselves out so you don’t waste any time with them … time you need for your Ideal Clients.
Targeting You’re frustrated with efforts to capture the attention of your Ideal Client, because you don’t really know what he’s looking for. You know who you want to work with … and who you don’t want to work with. This makes it easier to develop messages and tools that target your Ideal Client and leave other people for other coaches.
Expectations Your Ideal Client learns you have no pertinent, insightful messages just for her, because you don’t really know her deep beliefs, feelings, and desires. Your prospects and clients know they always get something valuable from you. They’re eager to read your emails, listen to your podcasts, and attend your coaching sessions.
Actualization You attract a mix of clients, which means you aren’t working solely with the people you are uniquely gifted to serve. Your effectiveness is diluted. You work with people you are meant to work with. You reach your full potential as a coach without the distractions and frustrations you’d experience if you coached non-Ideal Clients.
Messaging Your Ideal Client doesn’t realize you’re trying to reach out to him. Your messages don’t quite hit home. You create messages that resonate with your Ideal Client. Every interaction is a meaningful interaction.
Articulation You struggle to find words and images that will be meaningful to your Ideal Client. Your uncertainty is noticeable. You know which words excite and inspire your Ideal Client. You also know (and avoid) the words that annoy, provoke, and scare her off.
Preparation You waste time doing unnecessary research. Your first coaching session is filled with “getting to know you” and “how can I help you” conversations as you try to discover which messages will be most effective. You know which books to read, which blogs to follow, which journals to study, and which associations to join, which means you’ll be well-prepared to help your Ideal Client. Your first coaching session goes deep because you already know what brought this person to you.

Do you see how this can work? Your 3D PIC is like a rhythm that defines and propels your entire life coaching business.

If you can thoroughly describe the type of person you want to work with, you have a guide – a map – for preparing and presenting every aspect of your business:

  • business card design
  • free offer
  • headlines
  • blog posts
  • emails
  • website design
  • website content
  • telephone calls
  • coaching sessions
  • podcasts
  • webinars
  • workshops

“You shouldn’t do any marketing or write any blog posts until you create a vivid, 3-Dimensional Profile of your Ideal Client.”

Focus

There are a lot of Simons out there. Nice people. Thoughtful people. Good people who are good friends and bring joy to other people.

But good people are not necessarily ideal clients. And if you want the most enjoyment and fulfillment from your life coaching business, you’ll need to know how to attract and captivate the people who are right for you.

The best way to attract them is to give them compelling messages they want and need to hear.

The best way to know which messages they need to hear is to know them. Deeply.

And that’s why I believe you shouldn’t do any marketing or write any blog posts until you have a vivid, 3D PIC. Everybody wins when you focus on the the people you are uniquely gifted to serve: Your Ideal Client.

Oh, and if you’ve already created a 3D PIC, buyer persona, avatar, or some other detailed description of your ideal client, would you take a minute and share a comment below of the impact it makes in your business? I’m sure your story will encourage other coaches to make this a priority.

The world becomes a better place as more of us figure out who we’re here to serve, and then serve with passion!


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, gives you top tips and tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

Make a Personal Connection with Hundreds of People – Without Spending Hours Writing Emails

As a coach, you want to meet personally with everyone who expresses an interest in your services. You want them to get to know you and your style. When they’re ready to start a coaching program with you, you want them to be eager to reach out and contact you.

Email is the perfect tool for you to start that connection. It’s easy to send, it doesn’t require getting past a ‘gatekeeper’ (like voicemail), and people regularly check their email.

But, there’s only one of you and many potential clients. You may have dozens or hundreds of people coming to your site every day. If half of them join your list by signing up for a free class, asking for your checklist, or buying one of your books, within a week you’ll have too many people to contact personally. You’d have no time to coach!

Everyone who joins your email list may one day be interested in your coaching services. When that day comes, you’ll want to be at the front of their mind. How do you do this?

That’s where autoresponders come in.

A Simple Follow-up System That Keeps Them Coming Back for More

“Autoresponder” is a marketing term that simply refers to a set of follow-up emails that get sent automatically after a potential customer has taken action on your website.

Have you ever signed up for a free trial for your business, like accounting software? You probably received an email shortly after signing up. It might have asked you to confirm your request or explained how to sign up for your free trial. That was most likely an autoresponder.

You may have heard about autoresponders and not known it. Sometimes they’re called ‘welcome sequences’, ‘on-boarding sequences’, ‘email follow up sequences’ or something similar.

The point of the autoresponder series, or any email follow-up, is to get the potential client to know, like and trust you. You further the relationship by telling them a bit about yourself and demonstrating your authority by providing them with valuable information they can use.

Email follow-up does exactly what you would do if you could talk to each potential client face-to-face, or send each email individually.

Understanding how Autoresponders Engage Your Prospects

Autoresponders can have many goals. They can sell your product… They can welcome new visitors to your site… They can inform your readers of a new service…

But, most importantly, autoresponders are automated.

You create them once. And then send them again and again.

Say someone visits your website. They enter their email address to download a free report, sign up for your newsletter, or buy your book. This is called a trigger action.

It’s named this because it triggers a sequence of automatic emails that thank them for their action and invites them to take further action, such as call for a free coaching consultation.

You decide how much time is between each message. Do you want people to receive something the next day? 3 days later? 5 days later?

Whatever time frame you decide, the next email in the autoresponder sequence automatically goes out. And then it repeats. And repeats. Until every email in the sequence has been sent.

The best part? Once you create the autoresponders and decide the time frame to send them, you never do anything else.

Everything is automated based on the actions of your potential customers.

You can welcome someone to your list, tell them about your background, ask them about themselves, direct them to a specific sign-up page on your website, or have them sign up for a consultation without ever writing a new email.

But what should you include in an autoresponder? Here’s a breakdown of the most common sequence.

Email #1: The Welcome Follow-up

You can create an autoresponder for any type of trigger action. The most common, and easiest to start, is the welcome follow-up.

First, you want to say thank you for taking action (buying your book, signing up for your newsletter, questionnaire, blog feed, etc.) This message welcomes your prospective client to your world, and prepares them to receive more information from you via email.

Email #2: Start a Relationship

After you’ve welcomed them, you want to start to get to know them and vice versa. The next emails are a get-to-know-you exercise.

Ask them a few questions about themselves. What are they interested in? What do they want from a coach? What are they looking to improve? Invite them to answer these questions by replying to your email. Not everyone will respond, but it’s important they have the option to go further with you.

You want to be personal and real with them. Let them know about how you got into coaching. Tell them a funny story about your childhood or a funny video you saw on YouTube, as long as it’s relevant to your message.

In short, you want to build their trust in you.

Emails #3-5: Guide Them to the Next Step

After you’ve sent 2-5 emails introducing your style and background to your readers, you want to take the next step.

What do you want them to do next? Are they ready to become a client? Will they need more information from you? Is there an introductory product you want them to try?

After those first few messages, the next set of emails should direct them to a distinct call to action. Ask them to read your latest blog post if you want them to get more information.  Or introduce a product and why you think it will help them. Or direct them to sign up to speak with you.

Each of these is a call to action. You can use autoresponders to deepen the relationship with your prospects. Drive traffic back to a specific page on your site with a link in the email. This could be a blog post where they gain valuable information, a landing page for a special discount, or any page that will help them in their journey to finding a coach they can trust.

Create Time to Help More People

These are all emails you’d send to people who are interested in your services anyway. But with an autoresponder in place, you write it once. You can send the same message to 10…1,000…40,000 people, years after you wrote it.

Imagine how much time you’d save and how many more lives you could change just by automating this small part of your business.

This is only one part of our system that helps you save time, get more clients, and provide a better experience for those clients.

So I have a question for you. Have you ever been on the receiving end of an autoresponder series? If so, did it work? What I mean is, did it help you know, like, and trust the sender of those emails? Did you engage with them? Did you buy from them? Please, share your experience in the “Leave a Comment” box below.


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, guides you through how to use autoresponders and other tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.

How to Create Better Blog Titles that Attract Your Ideal Client

So frustrating. You move really helpful information from your brain to your blog, then wait for comments to roll in so you can interact with your readers.

But the only thing rolling in is … tumbleweed.

It’s like you just posted to Death Valley.

Aargh. Soooo frustrating.

Here, think of it like this. When you invite visitors to your home, you want it to be easy for them, right?

You don’t hide your door behind towering shrubs. You don’t put it 10 feet up and make guests climb a ladder to reach it. You don’t block it with rusty prison bars.

No. If you want your visitors to feel welcome and come in for what you hope is a mutually beneficial, relationship-building encounter, you do everything you can to make them feel at home … so they don’t wander off to hang out with somebody else.

A clean sidewalk leads to your front door so it’s easy to find. Landscaping is not overgrown or laced with thorny vegetation. Your porch is swept, your door is clean, and you might even have a “Welcome to Our Home” sign next to your front door.

And that’s essentially the role of your blog title. It invites and prepares your Ideal Client to engage with you through your blog post. If you really want him to receive something useful from you, you remove all obstacles and pave the way so he opens the door to your ideas and energy.

Let’s do this the easy way

My goal for this post is to give coaches a manageable set of guidelines for writing good blog titles. I want you to:

  • write blog titles that attract your Ideal Client and persuade her to read your blog
  • spend less time writing blog titles and more time coaching
  • never again write a blog title that suggests your post is going to be dull, irrelevant, or not worth anyone’s time

Keep in mind, this is about writing good titles quickly, rather than perfect titles slowly. You can easily spend 20 hours studying articles, books, and posts that teach you how to write the best blog titles. And another 20 hours practicing and refining your skill.

You’ll learn a lot, and you will write better blog titles. But at what cost to your coaching business?

Instead, I want to give you a few high-value tips. This is the 20% of effort that will get you 80% of the effectiveness. I don’t believe that extra 20% will be worth the time and energy it will drain from you.

So here we go. Just the essentials…

An 8 Point-Checklist for Better Blog Titles

Try to get a “yes” to each of the following 8 points in your blog titles. 8 yeses is great and certainly your target, but 6 or 7 will work just fine. 2 or 3 is not going to get many visitors into your blog post, no matter how good it is. In order of importance:

  1. Does it get the attention of your Ideal Client with a topic about which he’s interested in learning more?

“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”                 – copywriter Robert Collier

If the goal of your blog is to help your Ideal Client, then you have to cover topics he’s interested in learning more about, rather than topics you think he should want to be interested in. Then mention that topic in the blog title.

But don’t try to get their attention by being clever or tricky with the title. It isn’t worth the risk. Too many people will miss your cleverness and go read something else.

  1. Does it offer or imply a benefit to your Ideal Client?

Your Ideal Client comes to your blog title with a subconscious question running through her mind: “What’s in it for me?” Don’t leave any doubt. Tell her what she’ll gain by reading your post. Better relationships? Improved Health? Deeper peace?  Tell her.

  1. Does it trigger an emotion?

A rugby scrum is out of place in an art museum. A poetry reading is out of place on a roller coaster. And a dry, academic lecture is out of place in a coach’s blog. Give people what they came for. More people will read a blog whose title pricks them with awe, joy, nostalgia, purpose, love, grief, frustration, exasperation, or anxiety. Deliver an emotion in the headline or risk losing your audience.

  1. Does it use one of these proven formats?

– Ask “How to”
– Include a number, either as a statistic (62% of men ____) or a list (7 Ways to ____)
– Ask a question

This post has a “how to” title. You’re reading it. It works. Countless blog posts, articles, and ebooks provide statistics and science to support these three formats. Here’s one of them.

  1. Does it trigger curiosity?

Professor George Loewenstein from Carnegie Mellon University gave us the term “curiosity gap.” It’s the difference between what we know and what we want to know. It has a pulling force like magnetism.

And that’s why curiosity titles work. Most of us thirst for more knowledge. We don’t like unsolved mysteries. We want to understand. To fill in the blanks. Learning something we are curious about gives us pleasure.

  1. Does it include a word your Ideal Client uses in his everyday conversation?

Put one of his profession’s buzzwords in your blog title. You’ll catch his attention as he realizes you’re speaking his language.

  1. Are the words something someone would type into a search engine?

Help your Ideal Client find your blog post by making your title a phrase she might type into a search engine. I knew you were more likely to search for “how to create better blog titles” than “how to avoid blog titles that are DOA.” Even if I like the second one better, the search engines don’t.

  1. Are there 6 to 10 words and no more than 70 characters?

Anything after 70 characters will get lopped off in Google search results, like this:
Create Better Blog Titles that Attract Your Ideal Client: An 8-P …

There you have it. Eight goals for every blog title you write. Each one gives your reader one more reason to click through your title and read your post. Each one helps you build a relationship with your Ideal Client.

Here are the 8 points in a concise checklist format for easy reference. Run each of your blog titles against this list before posting. You’ll nudge more of your Ideal Clients to read your posts.

[ ] Does it get the attention of your Ideal Client with a topic about which they’re interested in learning more?
[ ] Does it offer or imply a benefit for your Ideal Client?
[ ] Does it trigger an emotion?
[ ] Does it use one of these proven formats?
– Ask “How to”
– Include a number, either as a statistic or a list
– Ask a question
[ ] Does it invoke curiosity?
[ ] Does it include a word your Ideal Clients use in everyday conversation?
[ ] Are the words something someone would type into a search engine?
[ ] Are there 6 to 10 words and no more than 70 characters?

A Favor?

One last thing. Would you do me a favor and answer these two questions in the “Leave a Comment” box below?

  1. What’s one of the most memorable blog titles you’ve ever seen?
  2. Was it effective in getting you to read the blog post?

I’m always learning, and I’d love to hear your experience with blog titles.

One Very Cool Bonus!

Have some fun with your headline. Paste it into the Headline Analyzer and shoot for a score of 70 or higher.


Are you ready to take the next step? Our book, 7 Steps to a Potent, Profitable Web Presence for Your Life Coaching Business, guides you through how to write powerful headlines and other tools to create a profitable coaching business. Or you can contact us to start crafting your strategy for a more successful coaching business. We’re excited to help you help more people, starting today.