November 2014 - Coaching Blueprint - marketing for life coaches
9 Ways to Use Social Media For A Launch

9 Ways to Use Social Media For A Launch

 
Do you have a new product or service that you’ll be launching soon? Social media can be a very important part of helping you get the sign-ups you want. The most important thing is to have a plan, and to organize everything well in advance of the actual launch. Here’s how to use social media for a launch.
 

FIRST OF ALL, THE GROUNDWORK

Start with the end in mind by creating a social media strategy that works toward a set of clear goals. Once you’ve set clear objectives as to the number of sign-ups you want for your program, or purchases of your product, you can work back from that. Keep this goal in mind as you’re preparing your social media launch plan.

You’ll need to plan in advance, and create your social media strategy at least four weeks in advance of your actual launch date. Why? Because you’ve got a lot to put together: all marketing materials, including images, sample tweets, and posts will need to be ready to go well before your launch date.
 

9 WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR LAUNCH

  1. Create a hashtag. Come up with something brief and unique, and make sure that no one else is using this hashtag already by checking online. Run a search on Twitter to see if it’s being used, and check on Hashtags.org as well. This will make it easier for people to see the discussion around your launch, and may help spread the word by giving you extended reach.
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  3. Start a teaser campaign. As soon as you know exactly what you’ll be creating, start spreading the word online. Tweet about how excited you are about this new thing you’re planning. Post on other social networks about it. Share behind the scenes progress updates. Get people excited for what’s to come.
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  5. Set up an email list. Create a special email list and a squeeze page on your website to encourage people to sign up to be the first to hear when your new product finally launches. Share this link on all of your social profiles, and ask friends to help spread the word. This is a great way to gauge interest, and to personally reach out to people once your new product goes live.
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  7. Plan your content. All of your blog posts, podcasts, videos, and whatever other content you create in advance of and during your launch should be related to the product or service that you’ll be launching. Brainstorm as many ideas for topics as you can, and make note of them so you can create an editorial calendar around your launch.
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  9. Leverage your community. Create an affiliate program, make arrangements with joint venture partners, or simply ask for help in spreading the word. Be sure to reach out to your community and other friends in business and ask for their assistance. Hopefully you’ve been generous in helping to promote other people’s products and services before now; if not, now is the time to start.
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  11. Run contests. You can organize contests to encourage your affiliates to promote your launch, and you can run contests for people to win something that’s related to your launch. People love free stuff, and contests can be a very effective way of spreading the word about your launch, especially when the prizes are relevant to your business or your product/service.
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  13. Promote offline efforts. Use social media to amplify your offline promotion of your launch: speaking at events and networking groups, interviews, and media coverage including print, TV, and radio should all be promoted on your social media profiles.
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  15. Invest in advertising. The right kind of advertising can be very effective for driving traffic to your sales page and ultimately in getting you more sales. If you’ll be running webinars or other events to promote your launch, be sure to invest in Facebook advertising (ads created in the Ad Manager or Power Editor, not boosted posts) to encourage signups.
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  17. Celebrate signups. Share feedback online once your product/service has launched: welcome new people when they sign up, create urgency by announcing the number of available spots left in your program, and share positive messages others post about your launch.

PREPARE IN ADVANCE

Once you’ve got your social media plan for your launch, you’ll need to create a number of shareable tweets (with your launch hashtag), email and blog copy for people to paste and use, and Facebook/Google+ posts. Put together any images to promote your launch, and package this all up so that you can share it with your affiliates or joint venture partners.

You’ll also need a number of great testimonials about you and the results you’ve helped clients get. If this is a brand new product/service, you won’t have testimonials specific to this offering (unless you get beta testers), but you can definitely use general testimonials from clients.

Once you’ve got your plan together and all of your tweets and posts ready, program them all to go out in advance of your launch. You’ll have so many other things to do with your launch that you don’t want to be stressed about your social media marketing. Plan to have a VA schedule all of these posts for you, so that once you’re in the midst of your launch, all you have to do is engage with people who have commented on and shared your launch news online.
 

AFTER YOUR LAUNCH

Make notes throughout your launch of what seems to be working and what isn’t, so you can sit down and evaluate your strategy post-launch. Get clear on what you need to do more of in future launches, and what you can let go of.
 

TAKE ACTION TODAY

If you have an upcoming launch, go through these steps today and make sure to allot time in your calendar to get each of these steps done before your launch date. Good luck!
 
Holly Worton helps coaches and women in heart-centered businesses go from confusion to confidence with social media, so they can use it to build relationships online and get more clients. As a heart-centered business owner, you do amazing work, and Holly wants to help you help more people. The way to do that is through Connection, and social media is one of the best ways to connect with others and build your tribe. Sign up for her free 90-minute social media training at SociallyHolistic to start building connections online. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or Instagram.

3 Under-Rated Pieces of Copy that Make a Difference to Your Coaching Business

3 Under-Rated Pieces of Copy that Make a Difference to Your Coaching Business

 
When you think of the must-have copy for your coaching business, your mind probably envisions a snappy Bio, authentic About Page and stellar Sales Page for your signature offering.

Especially when you’re starting out or in the process of upgrading your business website, the copy on your webpages may seem more important than your other communication.

Now before I launch into why these 3 under-rated pieces of copy will make a difference to your business: a little confession — these pieces aren’t technically ‘copy.’

Strictly speaking, ‘copy’ is an advertising and marketing term that refers to promotional writing designed to persuade someone to buy or influence beliefs that will prime a person to buy. And when it comes to your coaching business, your website copy must compel readers to connect with you, get on your mailing list and ultimately hire you as their coach.

But website copy is not the only copy you should consider when wanting to build a successful coaching business.

My philosophy is that every piece of your communication should be treated as a promotional tool – because it is.

That’s why it’s so important you see every piece of writing (outside of your journal), as having the power to build trust and credibility.

Here are 3 underrated pieces of copy that are absolutely essential to nail if you want to build a solid reputation as a coach.
 

Email Confirmation Letter

Your new client should receive an email confirmation letter within minutes of transferring money to you.

Even if you’ve already outlined the process of working with you on your website, you need a well-crafted email that contains three things:

  1. Genuine thanks and excitement that they’ve taken the step to work with you.
  2. A brief step-by-step description of how your process works. (Yes, even if this is on your website or you’ve spoken about it already.)
  3. One simple call-to-action that has them take the next step. (This could be filling out your questionnaire or simply marking your first session in their diary).

The intention of this piece is for your client to feel safe with you and reassured that they’ve made the right decision in choosing you as their coach. This email confirmation is a key part of handling the inevitable buyer’s remorse or doubt.

Whenever we make a significant purchase, no matter how excited we are or how amazing whatever we purchased is (and that includes coaching with you!), there is a degree of wondering if we’ve made the right decision. To build a successful coaching business you need to be proactive when it comes to buyer’s remorse. Every opportunity to turn doubt into trust must be taken.
 

Thank You Letter

We don’t think of a ‘thank you letter’ as ‘copy’, but we should. A thoughtful, well-crafted thank you letter sent to a client who has completed a coaching series with you (whether via email or handwritten and sent via a dove) communicates genuine care for their development as well as your professionalism.

Ideally you want clients to recommend you to their friends and associates without the slightest hesitation. A personal thank you letter that wraps up your time working together is an absolute essential piece of communication. It is one that I believe should be part of your must-have copy kit.

In my ideal world, we’d all be sending and receiving hand-written letters every single day. But at the very least sending a beautifully written thank you note to your coaching clients positions you favorably. (As an aside, I don’t offer a handwritten letter service yet, but if that piques your interest and your handwriting isn’t lovely, I’d be happy to write one on your behalf!)
 

Client Feedback Request

It’s no secret that building a successful coaching business requires building social proof. We all value testimonials because other people raving about you is understandably more effective than…. you raving about you.

What scares most coaches starting out is the prospect of *actually asking* for testimonials. So don’t ask for a testimonial. Ask for feedback instead.

Crafting a client feedback request that doesn’t feel like an arduous feedback form to your time-poor clients is key to building a successful coaching business. This is because you need social proof and people will only give it to you when it’s not hard for them. That’s why I see the client feedback email as a must-have piece of copy.

Even though I’m not a coach, as a copywriter I’ve observed what works for me as well as for my clients who are coaches. After observation and experimentation, I believe eliciting feedback effectively comes down to these three elements.

  1. Fewer questions = thoughtful answers
  2. I love writing and even I don’t like filling out surveys or lengthy forms. So keep your feedback form simple. When I first started out I developed six feedback questions for my clients. Now I have just three. The number doesn’t actually matter. What’s more important is that each question elicits an open, rather than closed response. Posing fewer questions means your client doesn’t feel daunted by the prospect of giving feedback.

  3. Make it casual
  4. By adopting a ‘no pressure’ stance, one that a) conveys how much you’ve loved working with your client and b) invites their thoughts on your service, you client is more likely to respond on the spot. While some people prefer to think through their responses (and that’s ok), ideally you want giving feedback to feel like a no-brainer so your client provides it sooner rather than later. If the request feels too heavy or even desperate, your client will feel pressured and may avoid it.

  5. Timing is everything
  6. If you get the timing right, you may not even need to send your official client feedback request to elicit that blow-your-mind testimonial. You can still send your client feedback request later, but pay attention to the gushing odes of praise that arrive in your inbox. Whenever I get one of those spontaneous love notes (side note: mine always contain swear words!) – I know that all I have to do is re-jig it into a testimonial and get my client’s permission to publish it on my Praise Page. I used to think I was somehow not allowed to do this, like I had to be very official with getting feedback. But how easy and fun for both you and your client to take their spontaneous praise and turn it into a testimonial – no further work required.

So when you’re upgrading your copy – or considering hiring a professional copywriter to write copy for you – remember to think beyond your website copy.
Every piece of communication is a promotional tool, Make sure all your words – from those on your website to your client thank you notes – are doing you justice.

 
Kate Erlenbusch is a writer, teacher and the force behind Word Love, a digital copywriting service and virtual playspace for creatives, coaches and big-hearted business owners who want to sell and serve with soul. When Kate’s not searching for the right words she’s searching for her car keys, or the meaning of last night’s dream. Download Kate’s free eBook 7 Cheeky Secrets of Writing that Sells & Serves at wordlovebykate.com.

Making the Most of the (Extra) Hours in Your Week

Making the Most of the (Extra) Hours in Your Week

 

Time. How do you feel about that four letter word?

I would wager your relationship with time is a complex one.

In general most of us say on a daily basis “I just don’t have enough time” or “there isn’t enough time in the day”.

While I am not going to disagree that life is busy and the weeks slip by, I want you to take a moment to rate your relationship to the word time.

Like anything we struggle with in life, if we have a not-so positive (or damn right negative) relationship to it, it doesn’t show up in our life the way we want it.

Let’s flip it and take control of the time we have in our life.

If I asked you how many hours you had in a day I know you would be able to answer me. 24 hours. Right!

What if I asked you how many hours in a week? Before you go searching for the calculator I will tell you. 168 hours. Quite a chunk of time in fact!

Let’s break it down. Take time off for sleep and work and what do you have?

168 hours less 56 hours for sleep less 40 hours for work equals 72 hours. Alright, I hear you; work is super busy right now so even with a 50 hour work week you have over 60 hours to get things done in your life.

60 + Hours. That’s a lot.

Chores and Commuting might take time off those 60 hours. But I think you get my drift now. We do have time. It is how we choose to spend our time that matters.

Here are my suggestions on making the most of your week and those 60+hours:
 

Be clear on what your short and long term goals are.

E.g. Travel to Argentina, Train for a Triathlon, Learn to cook Thai food, Coach my son’s little league team
 

Schedule time for chores and be aware of how many hours they take away.

E.g. Grocery shopping, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, paying bills
 

Make use of the whole week

Try not to cram all your chores and downtime into the weekend. Can you do the grocery shopping on a Thursday night or vacuum the downstairs one morning before work?

Tip: Schedule something fun in the week as well. Want more one on one time with the kids? Perhaps Monday night is dinner or an activity with you and one child. Rotate each week whose night it is!
 

Be aware

Approach your week with a whole new set of clarity. Take the time to figure out how you spend your time. The article I read mentioned a-ha moment when they realized reading those free catalogs was not the best use of time!

Tip: T.V. normally is a big time sync. Have a look at your T.V watching hours and habits. A small tweak can make a big difference.
 

Make the best use of your time

Do you have a long commute or downtime between watching the kid’s sports? Listen to podcasts (my favorite as they are free) or audiobooks. That extra time used wisely can increase the amount of knowledge or relaxation you add into your week.
 

Plan something fun

Pick one activity in the weekend that has been on the “I really want to do that one day” list!
E.g. Check out the state parks hiking trails, go watch your favorite sports team in person, plan that surprise party, take a siesta!

Time doesn’t have to own you; you can prioritize how you spend your day. Taking charge of your week will add to a feeling that you are in control and show Mr or Mrs Time who is boss! Have a great 168 hours this week!
 
Liz Brazier is an internationally-based accountability coach, productivity strategist, writer, and host of the Live Your Life Now™ and Get the Right “Bleep” Done podcast. She’s dedicated her work to help entrepreneurs find more freedom, flexibility and control in their busy lives and business. How? By giving them the inspiration and tools to take action, kick busy work to the curb and help them get the RIGHT stuff done – instead of waiting for a magical ‘someday’. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Twitter or on her blog.

How to Keep Visitors on Your Website Long Enough to Fall in Love With You

How to Keep Visitors on Your Website Long Enough to Fall in Love With You

 

You’ve been working really hard to get more traffic to your website. You’ve been posting on social media, blogging regularly, sharing in Facebook groups, and the numbers do seem to be going up! But maybe that blog traffic isn’t turning into subscribers or paying clients.

Growing your business with your website isn’t just about getting people to come visit, it’s also having them stick around long enough to fall in love with you.

The reality is, not everyone will fall in love with you after reading just one blog post. So how do you get them reading more? Here are some tips:
 

Interlinking Your Content

Make sure you are constantly linking related topics within your blog posts or pages. This is great for search engine optimization, but also helps people find the topics that interest them that you have previously written about.

In each blog post you write, try to link to one or two other posts within your post where relevant. So if you’re writing a post about discovering your talents, and in one paragraph you talk about passion, if you’ve previously written about finding your passion, make sure to link to that post!
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Resource Pages

A great way to help your website visitors find the content that best relates to them is to create resources pages. These pages are simply a list of links to blog posts that fall within the same category or topic. You don’t need to put these pages in your menu bar as these are not primary pages, but they are great in your blog sidebar, on your about page or on your subscriber Thank You page.

I recommend thinking about the top 3 broad topics you write about often that interest your ideal clients. Then find your most popular blog posts (or just the work you’re most proud of) that fit into those categories and include them on these pages.

Often, new (and old) visitors will not take the time to scroll through your old blog posts waiting for something that grabs their attention. Resources pages that direct them to your best stuff on a specific topic, will make it easier on them to explore your content further instead of clicking away.
 

Related Posts

If a reader has made it all the way to the bottom of your blog post, it most likely means they enjoyed it (if they didn’t, they would have clicked away before finishing!). If they enjoyed it, they will likely want to read other posts you have written on the same topic.

This is the perfect moment to show them related blog posts and helps them explore further content. You can use a WordPress plugin like this one or you can add them manually by simply writing the blog post titles and linking to those posts.
 

Blog Post Option Form

If someone just doesn’t have to time to stick around, you still want to make sure they’ll come back again. As you probably know, the best way to do that is to get them to sign up for your email list. Just like Related Posts, putting an optin form at the bottom of your blog posts is great because they’ve just read a post that they enjoyed and are likely ready to sign up for more!

You can do this manually, but using a plugin to make it happen automatically is even better. I love Magic Action Box for WordPress.
 

TAKE ACTION:

Go spend a few minutes checking out your blog and see which (or all) of these tips you could be implementing to keep visitors on your website hangin’ out longer. Then implement!
 
Leah Kalamakis wants to live in a world where website shame doesn’t exist and anyone can find freedom in freelancing. As a web designer and freedom-seeker, she helps entrepreneurs have beautiful online homes and freelancers find freedom from soul-sucking corporate jobs.

When she’s not hanging out online, you can find her eating popcorn, riding her scooter along the French coast, or drinking wine in the sunshine.

Download her free Website Planning Toolkit or say hello on Twitter!

Why you should stop trying to be authentic

Why you should stop trying to be authentic

 

‘Authentic’ is a much misused and maligned word. There are books and endless articles, marketing courses and workshops all around how to be ‘authentic.’ It’s a word that’s become so overused that many coaches I talk to don’t even want to mention it in their messaging anymore. And it’s hardly surprising.

There are courses, articles, tutorials and retreats – all designed to help you be more ‘authentic.’ But whilst I know that at times we can all do with a bit of help peeling away the layers of societal expectations, if you need a course to tell you how to be authentic – you’re probably doing it wrong!

When it comes to trying to be authentic, I think we’re massively overcomplicating things.

In its simplest terms, Authentic just means being real, congruent and …you.

The secret therefore to authentic marketing, leadership, coaching and business is essentially this: stop trying to be something or someone else. Drop the veneer and let your personality, beliefs, values and opinions shine through.

I say this with absolutely no judgement here. I have been on those courses and read those books too. I’ve had several versions of my website and in the beginning I was the blandest of bland – safe, and vanilla and barely anything of my personality on there.

I’d come from a corporate world where individual personalities weren’t encouraged – it was about projecting the corporate brand. But as an independent, solopreneurial coach, YOU are your brand – and I promise, the more ‘you’ is projected outwards in your marketing efforts, more responses you will get from potential clients that are attracted to your brand of coaching.

I know this is scary.

Lets face it, the thing that stops so many of us from putting our real, ‘authentic’ selves out there is fear:

  • Fear of losing potential clients.
  • Fear of judgement.
  • Fear of ridicule, of being called out and criticised.
  • Fear that our family and friends will realise we were really serious when we said we were going to become life coaches.
  • Fear that our old colleagues will discover sides of us that were previously hidden behind the mask of ‘professionalism’.

Night sweating, palm tingling fear.

I get it, I really do – marketing your coaching practice relies on marketing you. It’s not like you’re selling washing powder or printer cartridges – you’re selling yourself and your skills. You’re selling your time and your own particular brand of coaching. It can, in the words of one coach I spoke to, leave you feeling ‘butt naked for the entire world to see.’

Only an out and out exhibitionist would enjoy that feeling!

But in this crowded marketplace, in this world where it can sometimes feel like every woman and her cat are calling themselves a coach, it can be hard to be heard above the noise.

And your perfect clients are waiting to find their perfect coach – you. In order to know that you are that perfect fit for them, you have to take a stand and show just who you are.
 

An Exercise To Help

You don’t need to put it ALL out there (if you wouldn’t share a piece of information about yourself with someone you’ve just met at a party then don’t share it online is always a good rule of thumb to follow!) but you do need to have enough of your personality, voice, core values and beliefs on display to let your ideal clients know that they have found someone they can relate to and trust.

Here’s a simple exercise to get you started: Choose 5 of your close friends and adoring clients (you know, the one’s who simply loved working with you and lit you up inside.)

Send them an email (or have a chat with them) and ask them the following questions:

  • What 5 adjectives sum me up?
  • What are my greatest strengths?
  • What are my quirks?
  • How would you describe me to someone else?

When you get the answers back, have a good look at your website, business card and any other aspects of your business that can roughly come under ‘branding.’
Are those strengths, adjectives and quirks reflected in them? If not, how can you start to integrate them?

For example, when I did this exercise a while ago, one of the things my friends and clients kept saying was how playful I am when I’m working. But my bland website was so bloody serious! When I started to let some of that playfulness shine through I found that creating content became a hell of a lot easier; I felt more in the ‘flow’ and was able to have a lot more fun in the process.

An added bonus was that people started resonating with me much more. They knew what they were getting. Were some people turned off by my occasional bad joke and dropping of the f-bomb? Without a doubt. But they were people who would have hated working with me anyway and wouldn’t have been a good client fit in the first place.

But those who did want to work with me were already sold on who I was – there was less time spend telling them about my background and building rapport and much more focus on them as a client and how I could help them.

The idea of ‘being authentic’ comes from a good place. But a lot of the advice out there gets it backward – it becomes about adding things – almost like putting on a ill fitting suit.

Instead, being real is about revealing parts of yourself … oh, we’re back to the naked thing!
 
Jo Casey is a trainer, coach and the creator of The Work Happy Podcast. She works with aspiring and emerging coaches to help them find more joy, confidence and impact in their work. She’s written for MindBodyGreen, Tiny Buddha, Brazen Life, Dumb Little Man and Finer Minds. You can find her at www.jocasey.com and sign up for signature programme The Map Of You where you’ll discover the meeting point between your unique strengths, passions and talents, and how you really make a difference in the world. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+