Your Elevator Speech

When someone asks you “What do you do?,” how do you respond?

The question comes up frequently for coaches – from potential clients, peers and friends alike. It represents an opportunity to increase your exposure and make a connection that’s meaningful for your business. Since networking is a core part of so many coaches’ marketing strategies, it’s critical you’re ready to answer confidently and concisely.

Building An Elevator Speech

Whether you call it an “elevator speech” or a “30-second intro,” what you’re looking to create is a short statement that describes the who, what and why of your work with your clients.

Ask yourself the questions below, exploring each one until you can distill your answer down to a single word or short phrase:

  1. Who do I work with? Who is in your niche (and who’s not)?
  2. Why do clients hire me? What critical issues do your clients face? Do certain issues come up over and over? What do they have in common?
  3. What do I help my clients do which helps them address these issues?

Now form this information into a single statement which will serve as the foundation of your elevator speech. Start with the format below:

“I work with <Answer #1> who struggle with <Answer #2>, and would like to <Answer #3>.”

Refining Your Elevator Speech

Try this out on several people and get feedback on how it lands. Ask people to listen as if they were your ideal client and have them give you feedback from this perspective. Tweak as necessary.

Then get yourself in front of a mirror and practice until it’s second-nature. The key to it sounding natural is being very familiar with the content. Once you are, you can tailor it to the situation. For example, if you need a slightly more substantial version, just expand each of the three ideas to a couple of sentences.

Once you’ve got it down, you’re ready to dive into any conversation (whether or not you’re in an elevator!). Go confidently to your next networking event – it’s teeming with prospects and contacts eager to hear how you’re just the resource they’ve been looking for!

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Your Marketing Funnel, Tier 5: The Big-Ticket Item

This is the final installment in our five-part series, “Your Marketing Funnel,” designed to help coaches think strategically about the products and services they offer, as well as how to market them.

  • Part 1 discussed giving potential clients a no-cost “free taste”
  • Part 2 dealt with a modestly-priced offering ($5 – $30)
  • Part 3 covered low-risk, high-value information products ($30 – $75)
  • Part 4 introduced group coaching programs ($75 – $150)

In this issue, we introduce the big-ticket item: one-on-one coaching ($150+).

For many coaches, this is the top tier of their marketing efforts. It’s worth noting, though, that some coaches actually have a sixth tier – premium services ($1000+) like on-location VIP retreats, bootcamps, and personalized on-call-for-a-project arrangements. Pricing for these offerings can vary tremendously, but for the more successful programs, the cost reflects the significant hands-on, individual attention a participant will receive from the coach.

Creating Your Coaching Program

If you’ve guided your prospect with “calls to action” at each tier, they may already be ready to “take the plunge” by the the time they get to this uppermost “store shelf.” And prospects who’ve come this far with you are typically core members of your target audience. In other words, this is the perfect opportunity to create your ideal client’s ideal coaching program.

At this stage, your soon-to-be client wants more than periodic assistance; they want your full-fledged support and attention. Because of this, you have a rare opportunity to create programs that are customized to each particular individual – with all the bells and whistles you can imagine.

As you think about what to include in this program, envision what you would want if you were in your prospect’s shoes. For example, ask yourself:

  • What would make the coaching program feel exclusive and individualized?
  • What would make you feel like the program was completely customized to your needs?
  • What could a coach do to convey that they’d invested significant time and effort to create an individualized program perfectly suited to you?

Remember: the power of a customized program stems from the significant investment that goes into it – by coach and client. This is one of the reasons a good one is worth every penny.

A client’s willingness to invest at this level is evidence they’ll “do what it takes” to make their vision a reality. And what an honor when they choose you to help manifest their dream!

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Your Marketing Funnel, Tier 4: The Bigger-Ticket Item

This is the fourth installment in our five-part series, “Your Marketing Funnel,” designed to help coaches think strategically about the products and services they offer, as well as how to market them.

  • Part 1 discussed giving potential clients a no-cost “free taste”
  • Part 2 dealt with a modestly-priced offering ($5 – $30)
  • Part 3 covered low-risk, high-value information products ($30 – $75)

In this issue, we introduce the bigger-ticket item: a service offering that features direct contact with you, priced in the $75 – $150 range.

What Makes a Good Bigger-Ticket Item?

At each “touch” between you and a potential client (that is, a positive experience of you, your products, or your services), your “know, like and trust” factor increases. And if you’ve been diligent about consistently providing both value and calls-to-action along the way, many of your fans may now be ready to invest in a bigger-ticket item such as group coaching.

Designing Your Program

Creating a group coaching program need not be complicated. At a high-level, there are three steps in the process:

  1. Choose a “hot topic” – focus your program on topics that matter to your audience and showcase your expertise
  2. Divide your material into segments – these clusters of material will become the individual class sessions (you’ll probably end up with five or six – more on this below)
  3. Select a format – this could be an in-person event, a teleclass (via phone or skype) or a webinar (using a conference bridge that allows you to display slides to participants)

Building Your “Lesson Plan”

Once you’ve determined what your program will cover and how you’d like to deliver it, it’s time to map out the individual sessions. As you create your agenda, estimate how long you think each segment or topic will take. As you plan, keep an eye on the total length of the session – most tend to be in the 75 – 90 min. range.

Here’s an example to get you started:

Time Activity
5-10 min Intro (first meeting) OR

Debrief Homework from previous meeting (subsequent meetings)
10 min Instruction / Lecture
15 min Demo Coaching / Role-Modeling Exercise
15 min Pairs Work (or one participant coaches a volunteer while other participants observe)
15 min Pairs Debrief (or you lead debrief discussion)
10 min Synthesis – recap insights and explore “takeaways”
5 min Assign Homework

Ready to Get Started?

Why not try your hand at creating a group coaching program? Using the structure above, you’ll find that designing your program is a snap – just fill in the sample plan above with your own content. Repeat the exercise for the remaining sessions, and you’re well on your way toward your group coaching program going public!

Keep an eye out soon for the fifth and final installment, the big-ticket item!

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Your Marketing Funnel, Tier 3: The Little-Ticket Item

This is the third installment in our five-part series, “Your Marketing Funnel,” designed to help coaches think strategically about the products and services they offer, as well as how to market them.

  • In Part 1, we discussed giving potential clients a no-cost “free taste”
  • Part 2 dealt with a modestly-priced offerings ($5 – $30)

In this issue, we introduce the little-ticket item – an information product priced between $30 – $75.

What kind of product makes a good little-ticket item?

Just like the no-cost and low-cost items we discussed previously, any topic that keeps your target market up at night is a great basis for your product. And don’t forget that previously-recorded workshops or seminars can be repurposed to create these products with relatively little effort.

Examples of items in this category could include:

  • an hour-long pre-recorded teleseminar, in which you address questions gathered from your mailing list
  • a video interview with a thought-leader in your target market (or other guest “celebrity”), sharing his or her expertise with your potential clients
  • a short eCourse on a “hot-button” topic for your target market, including brief “how-to” suggestions, delivered weekly by an email autoresponder

Don’t forget to leverage past work…

When I tell coaches about the little-ticket item, some worry that creating these products will require too much effort to be worthwhile investments (after all, you only have so much time, right?). The key is taking advantage of work you’ve already done. For example:

  • Turn a workshop video into a download or DVD
  • Edit recorded audio from a teleseminar into a download or CD
  • Expand on a set of blog posts (or a whitepaper you wrote as a free info-product), to create a subscription eCourse

The goal of this tier is to give your potential client a more in-depth look at you and your expertise, without the investment it would take to hire you directly. With just a little effort, you can turn your archived recordings or free info-products into valuable little ticket items to flesh out your “store shelves.”

That’s it for this installment. Next up is Part 4: the bigger-ticket item.

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Your Marketing Funnel, Tier 2: A Toe in the Water

This is the second installment in our five-part series, “Your Marketing Funnel,” designed to help coaches think strategically about the products and services they offer, as well as how to market them.

In Part 1, we discussed a no-cost item, which gives a prospect a “free taste” of you and your services.

This month, we focus on the “Toe in the Water:” a modestly-priced offering that gives new customers another window into your expertise, as well as the quality of your products and services.

Why Do I Need a Low-Cost Option?

Even after a “free taste,” prospects may still be shy about investing for the first time. But if they have a good experience, they’re apt to invest more substantially down the road.

The Toe in the Water is all about making it easy to make this first purchase. Ideally, the price should be:

  • low enough to eliminate buyer’s remorse and
  • high enough to reassure the buyer it’s valuable

Most marketers agree that the sweet-spot is between $5 and $30, depending on your target market.

What Kind of Product Should I Offer?

This is the place to showcase your expertise more extensively. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Publish an eBook based on material you’ve already written that addresses your target audience’s core concerns
  • Note what themes crop up most frequently in your client sessions; write a chapter about each to form an eBook
  • Create a workbook that simulates the coaching process for a specific issue

Get Started Today

When sitting down to create this kind of product, you might be surprised how much of the work you’ve already done. Once finished, there’s an added bonus: you’re ready to launch a passive revenue stream.

Seize this chance to show your prospects how much they could benefit from hiring you and help them build enthusiasm for becoming your client one day. In the meantime, you can look forward to Part 3 of this series, The Little-Ticket Item, coming your way in our next installment!

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Your Marketing Funnel, Tier 1: The Free Taste

Starting with this issue, we’re launching a 5-part “mini-series” to help you build a marketing funnel. We’ll help you stock your “store shelves” so that potential clients learn about each product or service you offer right when they need it, and right when they’re willing to make the required investment.

In this issue, we start at the beginning of your prospect’s journey, when they first become aware of you, your products and your services.

About The Free Taste

Special Report, Pink Spoon, Free Taste – what do these terms have in common? They’re all names for the ways coaches introduce themselves to their target audience for the first time.

The idea is simple:

  • your potential client gets a free taste of what you offer to clients
  • you get permission to forge an ongoing relationship (for example, through your mailing list, Facebook page or Twitter feed)

Building Your Taste Around Your Target Audience’s Key Issues

But what kind of gift should you offer? The good news is, it doesn’t matter – a whitepaper, “top-ten” list, or recording can all work equally well. What’s important is that it addresses your target audience’s pain points and establishes you as a key resource to help them navigate these waters.

If you don’t know what your target audience struggles with, ask! And if you don’t already have a mailing list, find online groups your potential customers frequent (for example, on LinkedIn) and post a short survey, with the promise you’ll share results with anyone who participates.

Then, expand this information into a “one-pager,” an audio recording or short video. Include a few informative tips that show your expertise in these areas. No matter what the format, your gift positions you as the expert they need to call next.

Include One Simple Call-to-Action In Your Taste

When your potential customer gets to the end of your free taste, they might want to continue the dialogue right away – don’t make them wait until they get a promo from your mailing list. Just include a resource box at the bottom of the document (or this same information, at the end of a recording).

One Final Tip

Whatever flavor taste you offer, make sure the information you provide is first rate. While you needn’t “give away the store,” don’t fear giving away a PART of it, to show how valuable the rest is. Remember: if your “free taste” isn’t compelling, your prospect’s first taste may be their last.

A free gift is a great way to grow your following and help build your reputation as an expert. Once you complete this important step, your marketing plan is off to the races!

In the meantime, feel free to move on to Tier 2: A Toe In The Water.

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Snag Your Logo

Don’t have a logo? Or are you overdue for a new one? If you’re just getting started (or looking to refresh your business’ image), you don’t have to spend a fortune on a graphic designer.

Here are 6 places you can find a contract designer who will deliver the goods quickly and affordably*:

  1. oDesk.com
  2. MyLogoMyPrice.com
  3. LogoMaker.com
  4. LogoTournament.com
  5. Fiverr.com
  6. eLance.com

When you hire a designer, whether for $5 or $500, it’s helpful to do some “due diligence.” For example:

  • Before you contact anyone, build one list of questions you plan to ask each designer you interview
  • Look through their portfolio before you sign on the dotted line
  • Keep good records about what you’ve paid and what deliverables you expect in return – including copies of all contracts

Finally, resist the urge to pick a designer solely by price. Remember that you sometimes get what you pay for.

You don’t have to wait until you’re ready to build full-blown website to create this basic piece of branding. Simply adding a logo to your email signature is a great way to boost your professional image, and it doesn’t have to break the bank!

*While we’ve not personally used the services listed above (and are in no way affiliated with any of them), our clients have had positive experiences with each.

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How Coaching Works

Ever have trouble explaining what coaching is or how it works? Check out this entertaining short for a new take on these questions.

Next time a prospect needs some visual reinforcement to better understand the coaching process, just send them a link!

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