Archive for March, 2010

Sales Jargon and Cold Information Do Not Build Trust

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Copywriting with No Comments »

mouseThe other day I stumbled onto the website of a business coach.   Two seconds after I got there, I was ready to click away.  I know I’m one of the most skeptical internet buyers out there so I’m always curious as to what makes me click away.  It keeps coming down to the same thing…marketing jargon and cold information.

Let me define what I’m talking about first.

Marketing Jargon - Pre-formed statements that supposedly get people to buy.  Things like “Sign up right now!”  “You’re going to love this.”  “You can’t live without this.”  That kind of thing.

Cold Information - Information for information sake, with no real value to offer.  These are the sites that explain exactly what you are going to get without telling you why you want it.  This feels cold.  Like there is no person behind it.  A robot could have written it.

For some people these tactics work great!  In fact, your website shouldn’t be devoid of these things.  You just need to add some of YOU into your website if you want clients to trust you enough to share their life stories with you.

Let’s go back to the website I saw the other day.  Most of the headlines were some sort of marketing jargon.  In between it was all information about building a business that I had heard 100 times before.  Now, yes, I do surf coaching websites all the time, so I’m more likely to have read it elsewhere.  At the same time, do you think your potential clients are going to go to your site without checking out others like it?  I doubt it!

Market to me without telling me your marketing. They are on your website.  They already know you are trying to sell them something.  Talk to your target market as if they are in the room with you.   Share with them that you know who they are by describing them.  What would your ideal client want to know up front?  Give them the information they need conversationally.  As if you were answering their question one-to-one….not one to masses.  That’s why it’s so important to get to know your ideal client. So, you know who they are and can speak to that.

Infuse your personality. I have editors that review my copy before I put it out on my website.  Many times they make suggestions to get rid of certain colloquialisms.  Usually, I ignore their advice because it’s MY words.  I want MY words out on that website so people can relate to me.  It’s important to use proper grammar and use correct spelling, but it’s also important to speak like you do in person.

I didn’t see a picture of the coach anywhere. In fact, there weren’t any graphics for me to connect with at all.  Just a bunch of words.  When I did finally find my way to the “about” page, I found even more information.  Information about the education of the coach.  I found information about how that coach works with their clients too.  That’s not going to cut it.  By the time I get to the end of this page I should have a sense of who this coach is and why they care about me.  Credentials, experience and the coach’s process substantiate that but if I’m going to trust you with my dreams then you have to give me a little more than that.  I want to know who you are as a person and as a coach.

Share with me. Tell me that you run marathons, enjoy time with your kids, play baseball in the summer, and go on a hiking retreat every year.  Substantiate your expertise with information about who you are and what you love.  Tell me that your mission is to help your clients find happiness in their lives, because you once weren’t happy.  Things like that will get my attention.

Your most valuable asset is not your list!  It’s YOU! Use it to your advantage.

What do you think?  What do you want to know?  Is there anything you want to change now?

American Idol: A contest in differentiation

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 | Differentiation, Trust Marketing, Uncategorized with No Comments »

idolAs some of you know, I am a singer.  As a singer, I am addicted to American Idol and watch it every year…okay, I skip the auditions and sometimes don’t tune in until the top 12.  I just can’t stand to watch people make fools of themselves and contort their voices to do things they shouldn’t even be trying to do (that’s a whole other topic though!).

I was watching American Idol a couple weeks ago and it hit me.  The entire process of American Idol is an exercise in differentiation!  If you watch the progression of each contestant through to the finale, they learn where their “place” is in the music world.  They are forced to try different genres for a reason.  It gives them the experience to find where they fit and stand out in as many places as they can.

A few will know what their differentiation is going in.  Adam Lambert was one of those people last year.  He finished 2nd, which is an honor and got him some huge exposure to producers who would’ve never seen him otherwise.  Why didn’t he finish on top?  Numbers.  There weren’t enough of “his people” in the audience to vote for him, but you can bet his albums will sell within his target market. He’s already been at the top of the charts (above Kris Allen, the winner) several times since his album came out.  He differentiated and it got him noticed by those who really want what he’s selling.

One of the things I find most interesting about the process of American Idol is that in order to find out where they fit in the music world, the contestants have to find who they are.  The ones who aren’t secure in who they are usually get voted off quickly.  So, there’s an inner knowing and confidence that’s required in order for the contestants to stand out.  It’s not just about having the best voice.  People vote for the contestants they can relate to.  Just listen to Simon.  Usually his negative comments challenge the contestant to own up to who they are.

I find the same to be true in the world of coaching.  A coach who does the work and finds out who they are, owns it, and creates differentiation based on that will find themselves with a stream of clients coming in.  Clients that are the right clients.  Their people.

Those who are unsure, hesitant, or don’t quite know who they are as a coach yet will flounder and run around in circles trying to get clients that trickle in.  In a world where there are more and more people hanging out the “coach” shingle every day, you’ve got to stand out and find something unique about what you offer.  The unique piece comes from who you are.

Oh, and by the way.  When you offer something that no one else in your field is offering, it raises the amount of trust a client is willing to give you right off the bat.

So, what can we learn from American Idol?  Own who you are and differentiate around it.  If you do, you’ll be the next Coaching Idol to take the stage.

What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you in a comment.

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Change is good when you let people know

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 | CMS News, Marketing Strategies, Trust Marketing, Uncategorized with No Comments »

Announcing changesThis post is all about me, Kristen, walking my walk, practicing what I preach and all that jazz.  You see, I’ve been doing some serious soul searching and some business development.  I’m sure you know how that can bring about some major changes.  Well it certainly has brought some major changes for me!  As a result, you might start to notice some changes on this blog.  The biggest of which will be a discussion around trust marketing (building trust with potential clients and your community).

When it comes to maintaining trust with your community, it’s important to keep them informed.  So, here I am informing my community of the changes that are taking place on this blog and in my business.

With the help of a mastermind group, I discovered that I have completely removed myself from my business and I have no focused “expertise” that I’m known for.  Hmmmmm….how can I be a consultant without an expertise? So I’ve spent the last 8 weeks learning what makes me (specifically me) special in my industry.  In the process I discovered that everything I do and have done in my business (I mean EVERYTHING) goes back to trust marketing.  All the processes I’ve set up for my team to follow, all the little details I focus on with my clients.  It all leads back to building trust with their potential clients.  It’s just something I automatically do.  Not something I was ever aware of.  Now that it’s been pointed out to me, I totally see how it’s what I’m all about.

So, I’m standing up and owning the expertise I’ve had all along.  I’m owning my differentiation and I’m standing on a platform that finally feels like I belong here.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to veer away from internet marketing tips for coaches.  In fact, the internet is a great way to build trust with your community.  So, I’m going to continue to give technical and strategical tips on internet marketing for coaches.  I’m just going to be adding in the piece about how to build trust with it.  As I go back and look at my past blog posts, all of them can be connected to building trust with potential clients…I just didn’t point out how.  Now I’ll be pointing out how.

So things around here are changing for the better.  I just wanted you to know so you aren’t surprised when the content of this blog has a new slant to it that it never had before.  I want to keep your trust.

I would love to hear your comments, thoughts and/or questions.

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert for the transformation industry

Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert for the personal transformation industry