Technical marketing is where your language, campaigns, mailings, website, etc… are structured around what should come first, second and so on. It’s a standard, a norm, a blueprint.
Most of us (me included) follow the pattern because we know someone before us tested this and found that the numbers add up and it’s the most effective way to go. If you’re anything like me, you know that you’re not the best at analyzing these things, so it’s best to rely on someone else’s work.
What if that technical structure isn’t YOUR most effective structure?
The coaching industry is filled with coaches who struggle to get clients. I truly believe that a big part of the problem is technical marketing. Most coaches are creative. We love to help people and are driven by relationship and/or inspired ideas. This is how we show up during coaching sessions, group programs and speaking engagements.
Technical marketing is great for understanding what people need in order to buy from you, but there comes a point where it defines who you are as a coach. This is where we have the opportunity to change the face of coaching.
Every bit of marketing for coaching is “the face” of coaching. Over the last 10+ years I’ve watched the industry go from no one knowing what a coach is to most people having heard of a coach but not really understanding what that means.
Right now, I’m seeing a lot of social media blowback about the industry saying that coaches are taking money and not getting results “for” their clients. The coaching industry is not trusted withing a large part of the population. I’ve even had clients who’ve said to me “You’ve restored my faith in coaching.” Before me, they didn’t trust it. I had to earn that trust and it took a lot of time.
These complaints clearly come from people who don’t know what true coaching is about.
What they know is what they see in marketing.
What they see is technical marketing that lacks the depth a coach brings to the relationship.
What they see is a coach trying to be a good marketer.
What they NEED is an experience of the coach.
What if we ditched the structure and focused on BEing?
Who are you being in your marketing? Are you being the coach or the marketer?
I’ve been working on this myself. The more I own who I am as a coach in the work I do with my clients, the more I’ve had to own who I am as a coach in my marketing. Let me tell you, I’ve studied a lot of marketing and that isn’t easy. Day by day, I’m changing it up and it’s paying off.
I’m constantly challenging my clients to stop marketing and start being who they are (a coach) in their marketing. The more they own it, the easier, more authentic and more attractive their marketing gets. Relationships form faster and easier. The right clients are contacting them. Best of all they spend less time marketing and more time coaching. I’m challenging you, as a coach, to step up and step out of the norm. Be a coach!
I challenge you to join me. Do you accept the #BeACoach challenge?
You know the lyric “Rainy days and mondays always get me down.” While those two things rarely get me down, what DOES get me down is Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). You’ve probably heard of this syndrome, but do you really know what it means?
Have you ever had a colleague who was working on a marketing project and added something new to it? Their language may be something like “I just heard of this really great new way to boost my results, so I’m adding it into my upcoming campaign.” This is the first symptom of SOS.
When I was doing Virtual Assistant work, a lot of my clients were going through website updates. As the person who was in charge of implementing the changes, I was happy to do whatever my clients asked. So, I’d get started. A week into the project, I’d get an e-mail about some website they found with information on how to make their website more effective and they would ask me to add that in. Another week into the project, they’d hear from a marketing guru that we need to change the orientation of a picture and I needed to change it. Then two weeks later, there would be a rewrite on the text, because a new concept about how to write copy came out. And this would happen throughout a project.
Here’s another example that seems extreme, but I see it frequently. A coach is in the first year of their business and they want to learn everything they can about marketing. They read some books, take some teleclasses, talk to some people who have been there and hire someone to help them get everything done.
All of this sounds smart doesn’t it? Yes, it’s smart to research and add in things that will be more effective. However, there’s a piece all these people missed that puts them in the Shiny Object Syndrome category. WHY? When I asked for a reason to make changes or why they hired someone to help them, the answer was “Because they said so.”
Shiny Object Syndrome is when you end up spending more time, energy and money because you kept looking for the next shiny object.
Each change I made as a VA cost my client money, because it meant more time on the project. If you try several different new things in a marketing campaign, you won’t know which one worked. If you’re constantly spending energy looking for something new, you’re not spending as much energy on the things that are already in place (and possibly working for you).
What drives me most crazy is that so many people are adding tons of things to their to-do list that might not even be something THEY, specifically, need to do. If you are walking around looking for the next great shiny thing to do in your marketing, that is the first symptom. Don’t let it get out of hand. Ask why YOU should do it? Make sure it’s a fit for you, your vision, your values and your focus before you commit to anything.
We all mess up. As coaches, we know that nobody is perfect. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. It’s how we deal with them and clean up our messes that matters.
Same applies to marketing. Things happen. Balls get dropped. We forget. We offend people. Anything can happen and we instantly have a mess that needs cleaning up. How do you recover and minimize the damage? Honest transparency.
Now, I know we talk about transparency in marketing a lot. I encourage you to think of transparency as honesty. When something goes wrong, don’t try to “spin” it. Tell the truth. Tell the story. Share what you learned. Share what you would’ve liked to have happened. Let people know what you intend to do in the future. If you’re not sure you can follow through on it, be honest about that…”I’m not sure if I can do this, but my hope is to…”
The best way to win back lost trust is to be completely honest and be you. People have a great capacity to forgive. It’s much easier to get there when they are given the truth and a candid apology.
No one is perfect. You don’t have to be perfect. All you have to do is be honest and transparent.
This article is part of a series about how to use coaching concepts you already know to make marketing easier. If you are interested in having the full collection of articles, you can download “The Coaches’ Guide to Easier Marketing” at http://www.coachesmarketingsource.com.
I’ve been having some back issues and my shoulder has flared up from an accident 3 years ago. So, I’m in Physical Therapy to get some relief and hopefully fix these problems. (PLEASE do NOT send me your recommendations on how to fix my problem. That’s not why I’m writing this.)
The nature of Physical Therapy is to keep you working and strengthening muscles so they can go back to their normal functions without pain. In order to accomplish this, it means you have to constantly work hard at sessions. Just at the point where I think I’ve almost (not yet, but almost) mastered an exercise, they change it up on me. Say what?!!! I never really get to a place of “I can do this!” My Therapist wouldn’t be doing his job if I did.
On one hand, I know this is going to pay off. On the other hand, I really wish I could get a feeling of some success. It can be frustrating!
As I was driving home on a day where they switched it up on me (again!), I was thinking about this phenomenon and how it relates to marketing. Oh yes, it relates to marketing. Of course, in my brain EVERYTHING relates to marketing. Ha!
So, what do Physical Therapy and marketing have in common? It’s that frustrating feeling of never really reaching that level of success and sustainability that you want. Here are some examples that I’m sure you’ve experienced:
- Just as you get the hang of a marketing strategy a new, better one, comes along and you have to start all over.
- Just as you get used to one technology, your business has grown and now you have to upgrade to a newer technology.
- Just as you think you’ve learned what you need to know about marketing, you find a hole in your knowledge and have to go learn more.
- A marketing strategy worked well and you got results, but the next time it didn’t fly.
- You get all excited because you’re trying something new and then it falls flat.
We’ve all been there. Marketing is an experiment, so we end up constantly testing and adjusting which can be very frustrating. It can really feel like nothing works, at times. Even though we know that’s not 100% true.
If you’re feeling this frustration then it’s time for a reframe. Just as in life, everything in marketing is a choice. You don’t have to take on the latest, greatest strategy. You could choose to stick to what you know works. You don’t have to manage new technologies, you can choose to hire someone to help (if you’re growing then you can afford it!). You get to choose whether you try something a second time. You get to choose marketing activities that are fun. You get to choose who you learn from and whether you want to learn something new.
I’ve actually reframed my definition of success at Physical Therapy. Instead of making success “I can do this!,” I’ve reframed it to be “They’re changing it up, I’m doing great!”. I’ve been going about three sessions with all my exercises before they change them up. My goal is to get them to change it after only two sessions.
What’s your new goal? How will you reframe frustrating, constantly changing marketing? Make a new choice, today.
How many times have you heard someone say you need a squeeze page for your freebie or newsletter? Have you heard that a squeeze page gets results and will increase your registrations? Me too. I’m getting tired of people promoting the squeeze page without giving any sort of definition as to what a “squeeze” page really is and some guidelines as to how to make them effective. So, I’m putting them out there myself and including the trust-building techniques that I know to be most effective here. Yes, I’m aware that many marketing gurus will disagree with it too. If squeeze pages are effective, imagine how much more effective they’ll be once you add in some trust-building elements!
First, I want to share a story. If you have internet savvy clients who see squeeze pages frequently, then read carefully…they’re likely to react the same way I do.
I was walking along on my internet journey one day and was spending some time in one of my favorite online spaces; Facebook. I was catching up with some friends and one of those ads in the right-hand column caught my eye. Now, I’m not typically a sucker for such tactics, I know what those ads are and I know they all want me to buy something. However, I found the title and topic concept interesting so I couldn’t resist. It was the ONE this month that tickled my fancy. I was actually fascinated enough clicked through to see what was on the other side. When I got to the page, there was the same title I saw in the Ad, with the same logo…great! Consistency. Love it! The only other thing on the page was a subscription form and a note asking me to register. Um, what exactly am I registering for? All I had was a concept. No clue what they were offering. Usually those ads come from someone I know, but there was nothing identifying WHO was offering this subscription either. My spam alarm was going off like crazy!! No thanks! Click! I was outta there in less than 15 seconds. Not good for their stats.
Would your spam alarm have gone off on a page with a logo you’d never seen before and a subscription form asking you to register with NO other information? I’m guessing you’re savvy enough to click away too. Hmm…I wonder how many others did just that.
Okay, okay, so I’m skeptical and don’t freely give away my e-mail address just to find out what’s behind the squeeze page. Okay, not everyone is as skeptical as I am. Maybe they aren’t skeptical enough to click away, but I’m betting they have a little inkling that something feels fishy. I’ll bet that little feeling is in their brains while they decide whether to move forward with the person offering this new concept. I’ll also bet that little nagging feeling will keep them from purchasing anything or (at the bare minimum) will hold them off a lot longer than it would if they hadn’t experienced that squeeze page.
In this day and age of internet marketing, potential clients are getting smarter. Many have actually heard about squeeze pages or have seen them a hundred times. You can’t just throw up a page and ask people to provide their name and e-mail anymore. People are wise. They already get enough things in their inbox they don’t want. So, why should they give their address out to anyone else?
5 Simple ways to avoid looking like a spammer!
As a coach, it’s important that you build trust right away from the very first contact. Breeding an air of trust (vs. a concern of spam) will grow your business. So, here are some tips to keep you on the right track when creating a squeeze page.
- Put a link back to your main website SOMEWHERE on the page. Even if it’s just tiny little letters linked at the bottom of the page. Make sure it opens in a new window when they click through. This will give them the option to learn more about you before they register.
- Use similar branding. Even if you have a whole new brand for this particular venture, create branding that matches your main brand. Use the same colors and/or graphics but change the text. Use the same font and font colors on your squeeze page as you do on your main website. If you have a branded form that you use regularly on your website, use a form that looks similar.
- Add SOME text to the page. At least give them a reason to register, besides finding out what’s on the other side. Give them at least one way their lives will be different if they register. Or give them a few benefits to explain why they should give you their name and e-mail address. At a bare minimum tell them what they are signing up for. Is it a report? A tele-seminar? A list to get more information? Why should they give you their address when they have way to many people they’ve already given it out to?This is a squeeze page, so you can be short. The very definition of a squeeze page is short. It’s not the sales page…it’s the teaser. So tease, but do it with invitation and information.
- Add your picture. If you are coach, a picture says 1000 words. If you are a known coach, put your name with it. By all means, this is an easy way to get people to be willing to give you their name and e-mail address. If they already know you, then it’s an easy decision. If you look friendly, it’s an easy decision as well. Make it easy on them, show them who they get to know by providing their information.
- Provide a disclaimer. No matter where your form is…if this is true…add a little sentence at the bottom that assures your subscribers you will not share or sell their information without their explicit permission. This is HUGE! Especially since people keep getting subscribed to lists automatically these days. Assuring them that they will only be subscribed to your information is a great way to ease their fears.
Follow these simple rules and you will immediately instill trust in your subscribers and potential clients. This will speed up their purchase process and get people more interested in what you have to offer. As I find myself saying more and more…It’s simple. You just have to know where to look. So now you know where to look on your squeeze pages.
What are your thoughts on the art of creating a squeeze page? Do you or will you be using these concepts?