Brian is a regular Branding & Marketing Columnist for the International Coaches Federation Blog, where this article first appeared.
With the kids back in the school and Labor Day in the rearview mirror, it’s time to buckle down, and really get serious about branding and growing your Coaching Practice over the last few months of the year.
Because make no mistake about it: What you do now will set the foundation for the results you’ll get (or won’t get) in 2016 and beyond.
So let’s take a look at a couple of branding actions you can do today, that can help finish the year up strong.
Determine Your Value Proposition
Now this can be a tricky one for some people, but really your value proposition is simply what others are buying from you. So if you’re a Life Coach, your value proposition is “peace of mind”. If you’re a Career Coach, your value proposition is “getting a promotion” or “finding a job”.
If you’re a Health Coach, your value proposition is “healthier living”, “active lifestyle” and potentially “getting out of pain”.
In a nutshell, your value proposition is what people can expect to receive – at the most basic, beneficial level – as a result of contracting your service.
Here’s the problem: Most coaches have soooo many different skills, and soooo many ways of helping potential clients, that it can be confusing for prospects to know where, and how – exactly – you can help.
And as the saying go, “A confused mind never buys!”
Which is why having a clear, concise value proposition is an absolute must for any successful brand.
“What is it people are buying from me?”
“What are the specific benefits they’ll get as a result of contracting my services?”
These are two great questions you’ll want to ask yourself to get your arms around what people are buying. (Hint: It’s not “coaching”.)
Once you’ve established the specific problem(s) people are hiring you to solve, start incorporating that information into your branding and marketing efforts going forward.
When people visit your website, do they see your value proposition to the point where there is no question what they’ll get as a result of working with you?
When you deliver presentations or workshops, do audiences have a real understanding of EXACTLY the type of services you provide and how, if they wanted, they could move forward in hiring you?
When people visit your social media accounts, are the challenges you help solve readily apparent?
If the answer isn’t “yes!” to all of these questions, then over the next few weeks I’d seriously recommend going back and spruce things up a bit, because right now your brand might not be as sharp as you’d like.
Organize Your Service Offerings
This goes hand-in-hand with having a clear value proposition, because your service offerings should be a natural extension of that brand.
In other words, if you’re a Health Coach, let’s say your value proposition is “healthier living”, “active lifestyle” and “getting out of pain”. Then your coaching services should be organized in that manner.
A lot of times I’ll see coaches talk about all the different ways they can help people and all the different things they can do together, but then leave it up to the potential client to figure out which direction to take!
Instead, you want to organize your services in a way that makes sense to a potential buyer. So continuing with that Health Coach example, your website might have the following pages: Losing weight, Get Fit! & Getting out of pain.
And on each of those pages you could have a brief description of the specific services you provide, along with a clear call to action (marketing term!) on what to do next.
You can do the same thing while networking. When people ask what you do, you’ll want to have an elevator pitch that says something along the lines of, “I help individuals and families get fit, lose weight and get out of pain.”
Short, sweet and very much in line with your overall brand.
So if the conversation continues, you can talk about three distinct service offerings in very specific terms. As an example, the “get fit” might be a small group coaching program that includes discussions around diet, exercise and nutrition, while “getting out of pain” might be a more customized 1 on 1 program.
Those are the services you provide (and they can purchase) to help deal with their situation.
And you see how they’re 100% in line with your brand, which makes you 100% easier to hire? And it all starts with your value proposition, which is simply the benefits people expect to get as a result of working with you.
So there you have it, two things you can do right now to help you finish the year strong in 2016!