In the first two articles in this series, we revealed the two biggest mistakes that most life coaches make, and how to avoid them!
- The #1 biggest mistake is to coach everyone. Instead, you need to identify a coaching niche that allows you to offer your unique gifts and targets a narrow market (not general).
- The #2 biggest mistake is to sell “coaching”. Instead, you need to focus your marketing on the RESULTS that you offer your clients and create a signature coaching package that packages your gift and is designed to get your clients the results you promise.
So, now it’s time to complete this enlightening series by unveiling the third detrimental mistake.
#3 Biggest Mistake Most Life Coaches Make is Believing That Passion Is Enough
Yes—by all means, you want to select a coaching niche you’re passionate about. However, passion is not enough to create a successful coaching business. You may be passionate about helping women during their mid-life transitions, or perhaps you are a successful entrepreneur and you want to help other entrepreneurs through start-up. That’s great, but if the niche you’re trying to attract is too big and hard to reach—such as “midlife women” or “entrepreneurs”— you’ll be spending all of your time trying to market “coaching services” with very little results. (see Mistake #2) Even more importantly, passion is not enough to get you through the inevitable challenges that await you as a life coach. Passion isn’t enough to get you clients. You need to learn proven marketing tools and strategies. You need to run this like a business, not hobby.
The following 3 mistakes are what happens when a coach relies on passion alone to grow their business:
- They try random marketing strategies, like shooting darts in the dark, and hope they work
- They create a website and business cards and think that’s enough
- They do nothing
Why do they do this? Because they believe that if they follow their passion the money will come. They tell themselves, “it will work out if it’s meant to be.” But this isn’t true. It will work out if you channel that passion toward a clearly defined goal, using proven strategies, which, of course, you have to be willing to learn.
I want to make sure you don’t become another coach who gets get stuck being a best-kept secret, playing it small when you could be making a real difference in the lives of those who need you. That’s why I want to share this powerful secret—that passion does not market your coaching for you. But, simply doing marketing doesn’t sell your coaching either. The truth is that NO market strategies work without having a magnet message.
Most “gurus” say that in order to market your coaching you need a blog, logo, website, email campaign, marketing system, social media followers, Facebook ads and more and more time consuming (and expensive) things. It’s enough to make you want to hide in a cave.
So, here’s the good news. That couldn’t be further from the truth…
You don’t need any of these marketing methods to get started. Look, there’s nothing wrong with all those things, they are great and they work. But, here’s the deal. None of that matters if you don’t first have this one thing.
You have to develop your “magnet message” because it’s what is going to attract clients to you. You can’t have a coaching business without clients! So, what makes your marketing message magnetic?
a) You know your tribe of ideal clients: your TRIBE is your ideal clients—they’re the people who already want what you have to offer
b) You focus on the results you can offer them: your coaching meets their needs (if it doesn’t, see last month’s article where I discussed creating a coaching package).
c) You tell it to them in their language: direct your marketing copy DIRECTLY to these specific people by speaking their language!
A magnet message is the answer you give to the following question:
What do you do?
If you’re like most coaches, you struggle to explain what you do. You’re probably doing your best to tell people what you do and they’re either not getting it or they’re not interested. The problem is probably that you’re making this one critical mistake…
You’re focusing on you and what YOU do. “Hello, my name is Sally and I’m a life coach. I offer 3-month coaching packages and (dot, dot, dot)”
Me, me, me. The problem is they don’t care about you or even what you do. They care about themselves and their problems and whether or not you can help get them RESULTS.
Plus, you’re potential clients aren’t interested in boring titles and processes either. They don’t care HOW you help them or what it’s called, they only care that you can get them results.
They don’t care about the vehicle you use (coaching), they care that you can get them where they want to go (the results).
And in many cases, you probably never even give your spiel because you don’t feel confident in it. It’s like you know you can make a huge difference in people’s lives but it’s so hard to explain it without feeling like a fool or, worse, feeling salesy.
So many coaches feel this way and so they hide. They hide behind their fears by making getting clients more complicated than it needs to be. They hide behind the belief that they first need to become experts at social media and build fancy websites. They think they need more social proof or fancy credentials. And the sad truth is that they never really put themselves out there, which is unfortunate because they could really help people positively transform their lives.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had the experience of either trying to explain what you do, and failing, or you have avoided having to do it altogether.
And it’s a shame.
I believe strongly that if you can transform an area of someone’s life, it is your moral obligation to tell them.
And, you should tell them in a way that they “get it”, they get excited about it, and they agree to work with you so you can help them change their lives.
And that’s why in this article I’m going to help you finally determine exactly how to explain what you do in a way that your ideal clients truly “get it” right away! You’ll know how to tell them how you can help them without just focusing on yourself, feeling awkward, or sounding salesy. You’ll feel clear and confident and the potential client will feel interested and comfortable with you.
If you don’t get past this one giant hurdle and determine exactly how to explain what you do, you’ll continue to not enroll the number of coaching clients you need and people will continue to miss out on the difference you could be making in their lives.
Creating Your Magnet Message and Unlocking the Effectiveness of Your Marketing:
Step 1: GET TO KNOW YOUR TRIBE
Sit down and really ask yourself who your ideal clients are—their traits, demographics, interests, and most importantly, their needs. Then, ask yourself how THEY would describe the problem that they have—the one that you can solve with your coaching. Do a little research and find your ideal clients commenting on Facebook posts, blogs, or in forums. Or, get a shortcut and check out the terminology that the ABSOLUTE BEST coaches in your niche are using on their websites.
Step 2: SPEAK YOUR TRIBE’S LANGUAGE
Once you know the words that they use to talk about what they need, you can speak their language in your marketing. This is powerful because when your marketing copy shows them that you understand their pain, and have a solution for it, they’ll “get it” instantly!
Step 3: DETERMINE YOUR VALUE
What problem are you solving for your clients? What is the result you are offering (that you determined in with the previous article.) Once you know the outcome your ideal clients is looking for, you need to identify why it matters to them—what’s the value it offers? I don’t mean the price, I mean the worth.
Here’s a short activity:
- Imagine you could offer someone a shortcut to solve the problem your coaching solves. How much would that be worth to them? How much money, time, stress, or pain would it save them?
- What powerful transformations will help in their life because of the results they will get through your coaching?
- What painful experiences will they have if they remain where they are now and never take this step and solve their problem?
After you’ve brainstormed these questions, make a list of benefits or outcomes your clients will experience when they work with you.
Step 4: WRITE YOUR MAGNET MESSAGE
So, now you know who your tribe is, you the language they use to talk about their needs, and you understand the value they see in the results you can offer. The next step is to put this together into a magnet message, or elevator pitch.
So, what exactly is an elevator pitch?
You walk into an elevator and your perfect potential client walks in. You’re heading up to floor 10. Now is your chance to introduce yourself. Ready… go! That’s where the name came from… the idea that introducing yourself and your business should not take you longer than it would to ride in an elevator—so 30 to 60 seconds. But don’t worry if you don’t regularly find yourself in elevators. That’s not the point! You never know who you might run into at a cocktail party, or the movie theater, or grocery store…or any other number of places.
An elevator pitch (or speech) is a quick persuasive speech that is used to create interest in your coaching. They highlight who you are, what you do, and instills curiosity so they want to hear more.
The truth is that most people have a hard time answering, “what do you do?” Sometimes it feels impossible to sum up what we do and why it matters. Plus, because most people don’t take the time to identify a scripted elevator speech, what they say ends up being boring and leading to a kind “that’s nice.”
Being able to introduce yourself and quickly express what you can do for people is a vital skill as a life coach. Once you develop your elevator pitch, you’re going to use it, or variations of it, everywhere you go and in all of your marketing materials.
Below is a simple template activity that will give you a good structure to your elevator pitch. What makes it a “magnet message” is not the structure you use, but the fact that your elevator pitch is targeted directly to your tribe of ideal clients, it speaks their language, and it focuses on the results you offer.
Elevator Pitch Template
I + action verb (help, guide, teach, provide, present, aid, assist, support, give, evaluate, assess)
+ negative emotions being experienced (frustrated, overwhelmed, clueless, demanding, frightened, desperate, struggling, angry, concerned, worried)
+ ideal client description (dog lovers, young adults, chronic pain sufferers, overweight wo/men, homeowners, business owners, brides-to-be, new mothers)
+ “who want to…” (what they want – increase their profits, find the relief they need, become fit and healthy)
+ solution (discover a process, learn a fast and easy way, create the perfect solution, uncover the best method, determine the number one reason, realize the best course of action, find the dramatic solution, position themselves, place themselves first, find out everything they need to know)
+ benefits – “so that they can…” (list 3 benefits – live a pain free life, build the business of their dreams, feel they’re getting the most value for the money they pay, receive the highest value, obtain the best guarantee, receive award-winning service, receive the highest level of expertise at the lowest possible price).
There are many other ways to write an elevator pitch, so download the free guide at http://www.transformation-academy.com/elevatorpitch/
So, I hope you can see that when it comes down to it:
Marketing is really about communicating the RIGHT message to the RIGHT audience.
Share your passion… but share it though a magnet message! If you do, you’ll unlock the success of ANY form of marketing you choose.
Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit www.transformation-academy.com.