7 Reasons Why Your Clients Aren't "Getting It" When you Talk and Write About What You DoMar 03, 2021
One of the biggest challenges that both new and seasoned consultants and coaches face is finding the words to describe what they do.
They go to networking events and try to explain that they are a consultant or coach but instead of getting head nods and curiosity...
...they experience the angst of the blank stares.
They try to sit down and write copy for their website or marketing or a simple blog post and they face writer's block so intense that it's a miracle that more computers of consultants and coaches aren't flung against the wall.
Related Article: "How to Find the Exact Words That Attract Your Ideal Clients"
If writing is a struggle for you, don't worry. You are not alone.
For many consultants and coaches, it is a big challenge for at least 7 reasons.
1. We have no idea who our business serves.
One of the biggest mistakes that almost all consultants and coaches make is thinking that they serve anybody who could use some consulting or coaching.
Truth is - you don't serve everybody. Nor should you.
There is an ideal client that you love working with, with the problem you love solving who also loves you. And will gladly pay you.
When you try to talk to everybody, you talk to nobody and you'll wind up trying to sell your methodologies to anyone who will buy them and truth is - no one wants your methodology. They want your results.
Your clients do not care AT ALL about your process and will never buy that from you. They want your partnership and how working with you will convert their challenges (as they define them) into value.
Without knowing who your business serves, you won't be able to write good copy or even have effective marketing strategies. It's like saying that you want to be an expert fisherman but you don't care what type of fish you catch. Without knowing the fish, you won't know what body of water to go to, what bait and pole to use and how to best catch the fish. And you'll be hungry.
Related Tutorial Video: "How to Clarify Your Ideal Consulting & Coaching Client"
2. When we focus on describing what we do, we're speaking our own language but not our client's language.
There are so many things that we're experts in and so many processes and methodologies we use to create results for our clients.
But the truth is - our industry shop talk isn't their industry shop talk. They don't share your vocabulary.
So unless you're cool with your words coming across as Charlie Brown's teacher (wa wa wa wa wah...) - you need to figure out how to meet your client's at their point of departure and speak their language...not yours!
You may feel that your industry-speak makes you come across as smart but what it does is it makes your clients feel dumb. And a client who feels dumb isn't likely to hang around your website or continue chatting with you for long.
3. We also try to sell our clients on a transformation that they may not be looking for or write copy that reflects what happens AFTER we work with our clients rather than where they are at BEFORE we work with them.
For example, many consultants are motivated to create healthy work environments where everyone can be authentic and do work that they love. Which is great. But it's not the problem that gets executives looking for a consultant unless they are so far gone and the toxic work environment is leading to other results that the executives don't like such as turnover, poor repute in the community, etc. These are the problems that they would hire you to help them solve and if you want to have copy that connects to them, it begins with identifying what your clients are pain about and speaking to that pain.
When I first started my consulting business my value proposition was "I ignite leadership and organizational potential" which made sense to me. But not to Google. And not to the people who referred me to others.
What my clients were in pain about were silos and conflicts between executives. When I would engage my clients in my value proposition by saying, "So you know when a company is growing from one size to the next and the wheels start falling off and everyone is finger-pointing at one another..." all the sudden the blank stares turned into enthusiastic head nods and expressions of, "OMIGOSH! YES!"
And Google also liked my article and video on silo-busting and rewarded me with organic search to my website. Pretty cool, huh?
Coaches are notorious for trying to sell their clients on the end state by using esoteric phrases like "getting into your authentic power" when their clients ultimately just want to land their dream job, find love, etc.
4. As former leaders, we are trained to speak corporate. Which is NEVER engaging.
Sure, we got credibility when we put together a "deck to present optimal approaches to enable teams to synergize and innovate in order to take the business to the next level" which can work when you're a corporate citizen but is death to marketing copy.
Instead of this gobblygook - try this sentence out "let me show you how everybody can work together to get better results."
OR "Stop the fighting between teams - there is a better way to grow the business!"
See the difference?
5. As head people, we often get stuck in our heads.
You know what I'm talking about.
I always find it interesting when I chat with my clients about their website copy and what happens to their amazing words when they try to type it up. All the slang and straight talk are replaced with long, rambling sentences. Why?
Because they overthink. And edit while they write.
Try handwriting your ideas in a journal. Or do what works great with my clients - we record our sessions where we're brainstorming copy where they can be more in the flow and get them transcribed. There's some serious copy gold in those conversations!
6. Suffer from the "I should already know how to do this" myth
Just because you know how to put a resume together or create executive presentations doesn't mean that you know how to write copy and content. Why?
Because it's a brand new skill!
Great copy is the opposite of so many things we learned in school.
Sure you don't want typos (which I struggle with - no judging me!) But good grammar isn't always necessary.
You split up sentences to encourage readability.
Questions in the middle of a thought? Sure thing when it comes to writing copy.
And for me...
...ellipses are my best writing friends.
Love them...because they help me think like a poet when I write.
My client Jay explained this challenge best when he said, "You know, my Dad taught me from a young age to never take credit for what I did and I know this is why I can't get any website copy done!"
What I told him was this - when you share about what you can do to help someone else, it's never about you. It's about proactively advocating what you know is in your client's best interest and giving them confidence that you know exactly how to help them.
It's like if your client is hanging off a cliff and about to fall if they keep trying to solve their problems the way that they have. And then you come along with a rope that they can easily grab a hold of that will get them out of harm's way. Would you be shy about saying to your client, "Listen! I got a rope! I know how to help you!"?
Of course you wouldn't.
Why it is different when your client is struggling with a job they hate, getting passed over for promotions, in a relationship that is toxic, not making any money in their business, overwhelmed by fear, or just not happy WHEN YOU HAVE THE VERY SOLUTION THEY NEED?
You are a consultant or coach because you want to help others solve their big transformational problems that you are uniquely qualified to solve. It's not about being shameless in your self-promotion when you share that you have the very answer they seek. It's shameless in your service!
Related Article: "How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome"
You got this!
And if you need more personalized support and guidance to get the words flowing about the remarkable value that ONLY YOU can create, we got you. Nothing makes my team and I happier when we can help our clients express copy clearly and confidently and get their clients to say, "Where have you been? I need you!"
About Me: I'm Betsy Jordyn and my business development firm builds strong and powerful brands for remarkable consultants and coaches and their unique strengths. Simply put we design consulting and coaching practices that position you as a thought leader and sought-after expert by helping you find the words to describe the value of what you do and use them on your website and in your marketing. Check out our roadmap to mentoring and website design programs at https://www.betsyjordyn.com/services.
Schedule a consult call to talk about creating your brand messaging and positioning and online platform: https://www.betsyjordyn.com/schedule.
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