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Top 12 Secrets: How to Write a Coaching Bio that Sells Your Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching bio

For a new executive, business or life coach, writing your first coaching bio can be pretty scary, because you don't have tons of experience or credentials yet, so you don't feel powerful when talking about what you do. Even for experienced coaches, writing a coaching bio can be daunting and you may be looking for help with it. My friend and colleague, Barbra Sundquist, MMC, wrote a great post for this blog on How to Write a Coaching Bio in Twenty Minutes and it has become one of our most popular posts, because who wouldn't like to get this uncomfortable job over and done, quickly?

But what if your coaching bio could actually sell your coaching for you?

Bios are a powerful form of marketing and as you grow your business, you want to get even more power out of everything you do. In fact, it's ideal if you marketing brings you plenty of potential clients, especially if those clients are sales-ready. In other words, you don't want emails, texts, and/or phone calls from everybody on the planet, just they ones who are dying to hire you, right?

The following secrets, employed by search engine optimizers, copywriters, sales people and savvy coaches can help you attract potential coaching clients who may be ready to buy even before they talk to you – or who are ready to buy after a short conversation. You don’t need to use every secret in every bio, but great bios usually contain 3 or more of these secrets…

SECRET 1: Use the right words and phrases. The world’s greatest bio is worthless if nobody finds it, so your first job is to write for search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, because people find coaches with search engines. Search engines change their search algorithms periodically and don’t share exactly what they are, but marketers have found that certain basic SEO (search engine optimization) practices can help you get found online. For example: Use keywords (words and phrases that people search for), especially long-tail keywords (very specific phrases), in your title, first and last sentences, as well as any highlighted lines (titles and bold text) and in hyperlinked text (text that you click to get to another page). An example of a long-tail keyword might be: “Life Coach, Jane Smith, White Plains, NY”. While you wouldn’t use exactly this phrase throughout your bio, with some creativity, you can use variations on it enough to get a search engine to send a searcher who just typed, “Life Coach White Plains NY” into the search box. People tend to search for coaches in their hometowns, so you can stand out quickly by including yours. (Bonus tip: People hire coaches, not companies, so list yourself by your name, not your business name.)

SECRET 2: Tell them what they want to know. Stop thinking of your bio as a biography of you and your experience/credentials and understand the only thing potential clients really want to know about you: "Can you help me?" Mostly share details about you that they want to know, i.e. Do you understand people like me? Have you been in my shoes? Have you helped someone like me? If your bio has lots of room, or if it has a second ‘details’ page, add more details about you further down. But for a short bio, just tell people what they most want to know: “I can help you reach your goal”.

SECRET 3: Write for your ideal client. Stop writing for everybody and write for just one person, instead. How? The simplest way is to pick an existing ideal client and write just for them. Before you do, ask that client what they most wanted to know before they hired you. Then show them your bio and ask them to critique it, so it says exactly what they would want to know. Does that sounds pushy? It's not, because your best clients are grateful to you. They are also high-functioners who love to give back. Don’t hesitate to give them that opportunity. And don’t worry that you’ll be excluding potential clients who are different. Most bios fail to grab attention from anyone because they are simply too vague.

SECRET 4: Use the magic word. While we’re talking about grabbing attention, here’s the simplest way to grab your reader’s attention: Use the word, YOU. Because our brains are wired to focus attention on what is most pertinent to us, personally. When a reader sees the word, "you", in a line of text, their brain naturally pays more attention. Think about it: the word, "you", probably grabbed your attention, just now.

SECRET 5: Customize it. One bio probably isn’t enough, so think of your website as more of a hub than a store front. I’ve had clients hire me without even a phone conversation, because they found me on specialty websites and memberships that mattered to them. The fact that I was interested in what interested them was enough to for them to say, “She’s the coach for me.” Use social networks, coach directories, and special-interest memberships as an opportunity to send potential clients to a landing page on your website to sign up for your coaching – but do give them a chance to talk to you, because usually they’ll want to do that before hiring you.

SECRET 6: Create curiosity. Great copywriters say that each sentence you write has but one purpose: to make readers want to read the next sentence. There are many ways to do this: Ask questions that your potential clients need to ask themselves. Use visual imagery. Use emotional words, or high-intensity words.

SECRET 7: Create trust. Multiple bios at several locations help your clients to research you. Create a consistent image, while tailoring your bios to each site. This also helps people to find you. Add your most important credentials, if credentials would matter to your potential clients. Graduation, certification and memberships from well-known coaching schools, or associations, can give you an edge. Someone who’s reading your bio on a coach directory, for instance, probably is getting to know you for the 1st time, so share what a stranger, who is searching for a coach, would want to know. On the other hand, someone visiting your website, probably already knows a little about you, so share a bit more. (Critical tip: Lying about your qualifications and credentials creates mistrust that can destroy your business, so don't claim credentials you don't have.)

SECRET 8: Let others do the selling for you. Most of us loathe bragging about ourselves, but hiding what’s great about us is a disservice to your potential clients. So let others do the persuading. This is what today’s consumers are already comfortable with anyway: reviews, ratings and testimonials. If you have the space, include some of your best testimonials in your bio. Even if your bio has to be short, try adding a short comment from a happy client. Coach certification can also help do some of the selling for you, because it's a stamp of approval from a trusted source.

SECRET 9: Be easy to find. Not only do you want your bios to be easy to find, you want your clients to be able to find YOU. Always add your webpage and contact information to your bios. Because a link to your website is SEO gold. This is reason enough to join every directory you can. It helps search engines find you and your website, which in turn, helps potential clients find and hire you. Coaches who work from home are often conflicted about how much contact information to share online. If this is a concern, here are some possibilities: Rent a post office box for your physical address. Get a business phone number or even a toll-free number. They’re inexpensive. In addition to your web address and email, share your city, business number and PO address, but never your home address.

SECRET 10: Be easy to see. Definitely add a photo of you, if you can. Don’t use your logo, except as a secondary image. Because people hire people, not logos. The best photo is a headshot of you, smiling. You don’t have to be young and beautiful, but in most cases, looking professional works best. It’s worth getting your photo professionally done.

SECRET 11: Let them know how easy it is to work with you. Most people have never hired a coach, before. They naturally feel a little confused about how to do that. Confused people don’t buy. Spell out a couple of easy steps, such as, “If you think you’d like to coach with me, contact me by email to set up a phone conversation. In your session, we’ll talk about your goals and how you can reach them. Usually, it’s a lot of fun. If I can help you further, I’ll tell you how, but there’s no pressure.”

SECRET 12: Tell them what to do next. This is critical. Tell people specifically what to do next to get started with you. In marketing, this is called a ‘call to action’. If that feels too directive, think of it as an invitation. Depending on where your bio is located, your call to action might be to visit your website. Or it might be to fill out a short form and email you, or simply telephone or text you. Decide what mode of contact would appeal to your ideal client and don’t be afraid to make a prominent call to action. You might even want to offer something of value to them, just for getting in touch. Examples: “Email me to receive a copy of my ‘Top Ten Easy Ways to Instantly Stop Procrastinating and Get Everything Done On Time’”. Or “Call me at this number to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation and, if you decide to continue, I’ll discount $50 from your first paid session.”

Want to see this approach in action? View a few listings on our new coach directory and notice which coaches grab your attention and make it easy for you to hire them. 

Join the Find a Coach Here Directory Today

Topics: Coaching, Life Coaches, social networking, Google, Coaching Bio, SEO, FIND A COACH

Best Coaching Blogs 2013: Early Bird Entries are Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2013Each year, at about this time, people start visiting our site, looking for the Best Coaching Blogs Contest and this year is our Fifth Anniversary, so it's going to be extra special. Best Coaching Blogs is the only coaching blog contest, that we know of, which is decided by popular vote and that's hugely important.

For instance, this blog, the Coaching Blog, was named Number 3 in the Top 100 Life Coach Blogs of 2013, which is awesome. But it would be even more awesome if our readers, subscribers or fans voted it #3, because they're the folks we write it for. And that's the coolest thing about Best Coaching Blogs.

Best Coaching Blogs contestants attract more readers, subscribers, fans and even clients just by actively participating in this contest - especially the bloggers who make it into the coveted Top Ten. Either way, it's cool to be able to refer to you 'award-winning blog' ever after.

Hundreds of coaching blogs have been entered in Best Coaching Blogs over the years, so it's super cool to win it and each year, there seems to be an upset or two, with surprise winners coming from out of 'nowhere'. That makes it fun for everyone, whether you're a new coach or a big coaching organization.

So how do you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2013? This year, the contest will run a little later. Instead of running for one month in late spring or early summer, the actual contest will run in July and August this year. But you can enter as an early bird and get a head start on winning.

Click the button below and fill out the quick form to join Best Coaching Blogs 2013 for free. Then make sure you write some award-winning-worthy content between now and then. The contest tends to be won based on your most recent blog posts. Also add the contestant badges to your site and plan your social media campaigns. The bloggers who actively promote their blog entries via social media have the best chance of winning Best Coaching Blogs. Good luck!

Enter to Win Best Coaching Blogs 2013

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, coaching blog, coaching blogs, contest, Coaches, social networking, Top Life Coach Blogs

How to Kill Your Coaching Business with Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

Find us on FacebookI love social media for my coaching business.

 

I've been attracting coaching clients and students with online social tools for the past five years. Some of my favorite clients, ever, have come from web 2.0. Many of my Coach 100 students have had extraordinary success building their businesses with online tools. School of Coaching Mastery has had a strong social presence since its launch in 2007. Heck, we even have our own social networking site!

So I'm not the coach you'd expect to say that social media could kill your business. And no, I don't mean that your Facebook addiction might keep you from working on your business as you should (although it could). And I don't mean that you should be out shaking hands at live networking events instead of using online social networking (although some coaches really should be networking live instead of online).

I mean that the actual tools of social networking, if used poorly, can cost you coaching clients. And given how time consuming a good marketing plan can be to implement, tools that actually work against you can indeed kill your business.

What kinds of social networking tools could hurt a coaching business? Anything (and I mean anything) that annoys people. And let's face it, that covers a lot of territory.

Most new (and some veteran) business and life coaches have poor marketing and sales skills to begin with, so opportunities to do it poorly are abundant. But if you screw up your elevator speech at a live networking event, you only risk annoying a few people (and if you can laugh at yourself, you'll probably make a few friends, instead). But tools that allow you to contact everybody in your network in ways or at times that they don't want, can help you annoy thousands of people with one innocent little click. Ouch!

Repeat that innocent action again and again and your coaching business will be dead in the water before you know it.

Why is annoying people such a big deal when it comes to marketing your coaching business? Well, remember that cliche: 'Long after people have forgotten what you said, they'll remember how you made them feel'? You don't want to be remembered as the annoying coach.

Question: If you were looking to hire a business or life coach and you had narrowed it down to two coaches who both seemed to meet your criteria perfectly, would you hire the one who annoyed you are the one who didn't?

Sales decisions come down to subtleties. Sometimes a client doesn't even know why they chose to hire one coach over another. You don't have to annoy someone very much to tip the scales away from you.

What do you need to avoid in order to not kill your business with social networking tools? 

Well here are a few items that will help you to not annoy me. But get feedback from your own networks to find out what really bugs them.

1. Social SPAM. Any social app that's designed to spread itself automatically at the expense of annoying your network is social SPAM. The inspiration for this post is an innocuous little tool called, Boxbe, that's spreading around School of Coaching Mastery. Everytime someone I know joins it, I automatically get an invitation to join, too. I don't want to join. And I don't want to get email invitations to it several times per day. It's social SPAM and it's annoying. Plaxo is also annoying. Some poorly designed Twitter apps do this sort of thing. (And don't get me started on SpamArrest. I consider SpamArrest SPAM.)

2. Social Temptation. How often do you get invitations from Facebook or any social networking site to invite or notify everyone in your Outlook,Yahoo, Google, or other address book? How often do you do it? In my book, you get to do it once. One time. Resist the temptation to tell everybody you know about something unless they followed you or joined your group or fan page. Otherwise social temptation becomes social SPAM.

3. Social Scams.  @UnMarketing just posted a link on Twitter to this blog post about scam apps on Facebook. It's easy to get tricked by these because they look like so many other apps on Facebook. Maybe you should avoid temptation and not allow every app out there to connect to your account. (While I was researching this, I came accross Scott Stratten's - A.K.A. UnMarketing - blog post on how to lose friends and tick people off on Facebook.)

4. Social Abbrev. There's nothing wrong with LOL, WTF, Ouch! and KEWL unless you use them constantly. Remember you annoying uncle, cousin, spouse who said the same things over and over until you wanted to stuff mashed potatoes in your ears? Don't be that coach.

5. Social Games. As well as gifts, etc., ad nauseum. You can have fun at work but please stay focused so the rest of us can. Sorority Life, Mafia Games, Farmville, etc., I tolerate these from my relatives (barely), but not from you (unless you find a way to combine all three, which might be interesting). Don't you feel silly posting your latest livestock aquisition on Facebook? I don't think this would persuade even Old MacDonald to hire you to be his coach.

6. Social Pics and Tags. Not all of them. Most are great. You probably don't need me to tell you not to post the pics of you throwing up at that college binge party (the real sorority life). If not, stop reading this post and get thee to a 12-step program, fast. But consider your headshot. If you coach kids, then a shot of you with your kids is appropriate, but if you coach Fortune 100 execs, maybe not. And if somebody else posts or tags you in an unflattering shot, quietly request that they take it down. If you haven't annoyed them, they probably will. If not, be prepared for radical transparency. You have no more secrets.

7. Social Compulsion. Please don't fill people's Twitter streams with constant inane tweets. They will unfollow you. Direct messages are even worse. And you're not kidding anybody by tweeting nothing but Twitter names in the hope of getting noticed. Don't tweet or post unless you have something to say and definitely don't tweet constantly.

Well that's it for now. I could annoy you with a bunch of links to friend/join/follow us, like the 'Find us on Facebook' link above, but probably more valuable to you will be for you to get some training on how to attract clients effectively, which we do in our Coach 100 classes. They start again in February and they teach what actually works.

WARNING: You'll have less time for social networking when your coaching practice is full.

Check out coaching classes

 Check out Coach 100 classes here.

Topics: business coach, Coaching, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, Facebook, Life Coaches, twitter, social networking, marketing, web 2.0

Find a Coach 2.0

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mastery Coach Exchange

 Mastery Coach Exchange (MCX) is School of Coaching Mastery's own find-a-coach/social networking site.

MCX is designed to give professional coaches and the people who want to hire them, a chance to interact before money exchanges hands. It's also a great place for people who are thinking about becoming coaches to interact with coaches who are already doing it. In other words, MCX is an interactive coach directory. 

Many of my first clients came to me through coach directories that I participated in. The process was frustrating though, because directories are/were completely passive. All you could do was list yourself and then pray that potential clients would see your listing and call you.

Web 2.0 rewards coaches for doing what they do best: communicating and relating. Trouble is, most folks on Facebook and elsewhere are there to socialize, so you need to market delicately, if at all. Otherwise, your marketing message will be about as well received as that FBI warning on your favorite DVD. Market poorly online and you risk turning off the very people you'd like to attract.

MCX is clearly designed for professional coaches and those who want to hire them and/or learn more about them. Potential clients want to hear your marketing message. In fact, they want to get to know you. What better place than in a safe online community?

Best of all, you can add your profile to MCX for free. However, to be approved for membership, you must add a head shot of yourself, your first and last name, and at least one website or blog  address and/or social networking profile, so we can determine if you are who you say you are.

MCX is undergoing some upgrades right now to make it even more effective. Adding social share app's will help to spread your message across the web. We're also adding a monthly newsletter, to keep you updated on what's happening and you'll receive cool opportunities and discounts on School of Coaching Mastery programs.

Join

 

Join MCX Here. 

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, Free, coach, social networking, Mastery Coach Exchange, clients, web 2.0, FIND A COACH

What Do 1,000 Coaches Have in Common?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Answer: One Thousand Coaches Are All Registered for the Same Webinar Tonight, March 18th, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.

Curious? Register below...

 Compass Banner


March 18 (6pm PST) LIVE Webinar Tonight.

"Discover Your Compass" Opportunity Meeting with Compass CEO, Kim Fulcher!

Compass invitation


 

 

 

 

Click here to register: www.mylifecompass.com/juliastewart/

There has never been a better time to be a part of Compass


Come and learn how Compass is changing the world 
one woman at a time through a ground floor business opportunity.

Compass is the first company to offer powerful and affordable coaching programs and services through a network of independent representatives.

Compass combines 4 of the fastest growing, recession proof global trends:

Social Networking, Network Marketing, 
Personal Wellness/Self Improvement, 
and Professional Coaching

Don’t miss your chance to help change the world by 
building your own home-based business with Compass. 





Topics: life coach, professional coaching, become a coach, Coaches, social networking, personal development, Kim Fulcher, wellness, self improvement

New TED.com = Social Networking for Thinkers

Posted by Julia Stewart

The new Ted.com membership site launches today. Same incredible content - still for free - only now you can talk back. This brings their famous conference to your desktop/laptop/PDA in web 2.0 fashion. From their site:

"TED started out as an annual conference in Monterey devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design. The content has broadened in recent years, but this annual event is still the main engine that drives TED's success, bringing together 1000 of the world's most remarkable people. The format is fast-paced, with 50+ speakers over four days (plus short talks, performances and evening events). In 2005, an additional conference, TEDGlobal, was inaugurated. It's held every other year, in a different location, focusing on a different theme."

The conference costs thousands to attend, but you can access the same content, including the thoughts of speakers like Al Gore, Bono, Jeff Bezos, Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Ray Kurzweil, and Anna Deavere Smith - a year or two later - on the site. Which is great. And it means access to cutting edge thought - when it's fresh - takes moulah. At least the "have nots" can have it later and talk to each other about it. This community may just become the lab for tomorrow's cutting-edge thinkers.

"What began as an annual conference in Monterey has grown to a global community, several million strong, focused on exchanging and spreading ideas. Whoever you are, wherever you live, there are several ways to join the TED community ..."

Ted's the web for your head.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2007

Topics: social networking, TED

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