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Let’s get into how to talk about what you do, and especially, how to make talking about what you do much more easeful. There are so many different ways that someone might talk about life coaching — not to mention the fact that many people don’t understand what life coaching is — so where do you begin?
And of course, it’s not just a question of how to talk about what you do when you meet someone at a party. It’s also: how do I talk about what I do on my sales pages? How do I talk about what I do when I’m talking to a prospective client? How do I talk about it in such a way that I don’t feel like I’m pushing or convincing? How do I talk about what I do in a way that feels authentic and honoring and resonant and all of those things?
First thing: really make sure you’re conscious of not trying to get it all to be “perfect.” One of the things that I often hear trainees in the Courageous Living Coach Certification getting stuck around is, “I’m kind of a coach who does this…and I’m kind of a coach who does this other thing… Should I be in a niche? Should I not? I don’t know. I feel like I could make more money if I’m in a niche, but then I feel like it’s not authentic for me to be in a niche…”
And, those are examples of trying to get it perfect.
My advice is that you make a commitment that you are not going to do this thing where you’re back and forth, back and forth, back and forth with how you describe yourself. Instead? Just pick something, and go with it. People rewrite their bio’s online all the time. Like, there are interviews floating out there where I describe myself in a certain way, or I give the interviewer my, you know, my bio and they read the bio. I hear that bio now, and I would never describe myself that way with that bio now, but it was where I was at at the time. So you’ve got to be where you’re at. You’ll get tripped up if you’re constantly avoiding choosing something, because you’re trying to get it right.
Second: release attachment to writing a bio that will “get the sale.” Release the sales approach of “ABC,” Always Be Closing. That’s like a sales and marketing type lingo. I don’t do that. I’s slickster. You don’t need to always be trying to get the sale or trying to like find out what people’s objections are so you can somehow surmount those objections. Instead, really listen to people with empathy.
Third: use normal everyday language, and stop using language people don’t really use in everyday life. For instance, stop trying to get people to be their “sparkliest feminine essence.” That’s not how real people talk in real life.
Instead, use the words your clients use and describe the scenarios your clients describe. So if you want to invite people onto an “authentic journey,” or to try to help people to “love themselves fully,” make sure you think about what that *actually* looks like.
What is someone doing differently in her life if they are authentic, or fully loving themselves? When she loves herself? Is she communicating better? Is she making more time for the things that are important to her? Does she feel less stressed?
Explain results in normal everyday language. I’ve never hired an accountant because they were going to “optimize my financial self-esteem to align with my feminine essence.” I have definitely hired accountants though, because they were going to help me to “see what was happening with my money so I could take control of it and spend in alignment with my values.” Talk about things in more everyday language.
When you talk about what it is you do, you talk about it from the perspective of problems your clients face and solutions that your clients desire. Don’t spend all of your time trying to get into what life coaching is and what it isn’t, how it’s different than therapy, how consulting, coaching, and counseling all fall into these specific different domains, and here’s where they’re similar. That’s just not going to actually help someone to get an idea of what you do for them, as a coach.
To break down the “real” language behind problems your clients face and solutions they desire: consider a past client. What did she say she wanted when she first came to work with you? Did she say “I’m feeling really overwhelmed and the stress has started to get to me?” Or, did she say “My marriage has really hit a standstill and I don’t know how to fix it, and I don’t know what to do”? Did she say “I have these big dreams and I will start making progress toward them, but then I bail on myself?” Make sure you’re really capturing what clients are saying — not your interpretations of what they are saying.
In essence, write down the three problems your clients face, write it down the way they said it to you when they first started working with you. Do not write it down from the perspective of all your knowledge as a coach about their problem. Write it down from the place of what the client is experiencing and what they are saying to you. Then use those words — not the client’s identifying details, but the general descriptions of problems faced and solutions desired — to figure out how to talk about what you do. Use everyday language.
Do the same thing with solutions desired. Talk about the things you help clients with in simple, every day language. Think about how they describe their desired solutions and wants and needs.
Clients essentially say to us: “Here are the reasons I’m coming to coaching. I have these problems and I desire these solutions.” Pay attention to what you like to coach around and speak to the problems people face and solutions they desire.
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