Become Their Expert
Now we’re getting into body of your web copy. This is where you start to build a relationship with your readers, to help them see why YOU are uniquely qualified to serve them.
You do that by talking about what your clients need, in terms of how you can help.
First, you educate them on what might be causing their problems or keeping them stuck so that they know what they need to focus on, and then you offer the solution on a silver platter.
Here’s an example for relationship coaches: maybe their clients’ main obstacle is that they haven‘t identified what they are looking for.
They haven‘t identified what they truly want or need in a relationship or what they expect from their potential mate, so they end up just stumbling around blind and latching onto whatever partner comes along. And then they end up wasting a lot of time and energy on people who aren‘t the right fit for them because they just really don‘t know what they are looking for.
By highlighting these challenges, you let them know that there is a reason behind their struggles. First of all, this method takes away some of their fear and frustration that their lack of a partner is all about them, that they are hopeless, that nothing is ever going to change, it‘s never going to get better.
You’re telling them there’s a reason they haven’t gotten the results they long for, that it’s not their fault. And, more powerfully, that you can help them move past the challenges to find relief.
In doing this, you are giving your website visitors hope. You are giving them a solution, in the form of your products and services, and that’s a really powerful thing. And so then your website copy also gets them primed and ready for that solution.
So that‘s the first step: educating readers on what‘s causing their problems and keeping them stuck.
The second step is to position yourself as the expert who can help them get results.
But, you may be wondering now, how exactly to go about establishing yourself as an expert? Let’s dive into that.
Let Your “Brag Flag” Fly
I have three assignments to help you identify why you are the obvious choice to help your clients. (If that feels uncomfortable to read or think about, then you really need this chapter.)
Assignment #1: List your accomplishments.
First and foremost, I want you to think about what makes you an expert. Yes, I know this can be hard for many of us, to let our “brag flag” fly, so to speak. But it’s important to get real, first with yourself, about all the ways you are awesome, and all the ways you are the ideal person to help your website visitors.
Begin by making a list of the results you’ve accomplished in your own life, especially as it pertains to your area of expertise. (Heck, feel free to expand to ALL your accomplishments. Talk about a confidence boost when you’re feeling down and out!)
If you’re a health coach, for example, maybe you lost 30 pounds in 6 months and, perhaps more importantly, learned how to keep it off.
Relationship coach? Maybe you had a miserable dating experience for a few years and then stumbled onto a proven dating system and used that to find your Mr. Right and have now been married happily for X number of years.
Or maybe, on the flip side, you learned how to stop trying so hard and just have fun with dating, and as such have been having a grand time meeting new people, being wooed by interesting people of the opposite sex, etc. Whatever YOUR end results are, and whatever you want to help your clients achieve, think about the strides you’ve made in your own life.
So that’s assignment #1: make a list of ALL accomplishments, no matter how big or small you think they are.
Assignment #2: Think about the challenges you faced along the way.
Maybe some of these challenges even kept you stuck or hindered your progress. For instance, when I was first starting in my business, I had $10,000 of credit available to me. But I also had no income coming in, so I was terrified to use that money for anything other than food and other necessities, in case I wasn’t able to bring in the money I needed to survive.
So instead of investing this credit line in my business to help me learn HOW to make money to pay for my general living expenses, I struggled along trying to figure it out myself, slowly falling into a state of panic as my available credit line dwindled and my debt climbed, while I still felt helpless to actually attract clients in to help me pay the bills.
Eventually, the credit ran out and I STILL wasn’t earning enough to pay the bills. I had to figure out how to market myself on my own, all on a now-forced shoestring budget and with the added stress of bill collectors hounding me daily to make the credit card payment I couldn’t afford. All while I simultaneously tried to figure out how to buy food and pay the electric bill.
If I could go back in time, I would have used that credit line to invest in my business right away and learn from people who’d been there, done that, and who could help me shortcut my path instead of struggling for years on end. And so I tell people this in some of my marketing in an attempt to save them that struggle. To open their eyes to other possibilities, so they can learn from my school of hard knocks.
So I ask you this: What challenges have you faced? What led you to your current destination? How did YOU get past the struggles?
List the top challenges you’ve overcome in your own journey.
Assignment #3: Think back on how you’ve helped others.
This may be paying clients in your business or other people you’ve helped unofficially if you’re just starting out. Think about the results they’ve gotten. Where were they when they started? Where were they after working with you?
Now, this may be as simple as noting that they were lost and overwhelmed in a sea of disorganization before they started working with you, and now that everything has a rightful place in their office, they’re getting so much more work done, since they’re not wasting hours of time each week hunting down paperwork. It doesn’t have to be about some dramatic transformation, like taking someone from homeless to millionaire status.
That being said, whenever possible, you do want to get specifics. You may not have them now, but a tip for future reference: when someone compliments your work, ask if you can use their comment as a testimonial. And then ask for more detail. Find out exactly how your work helped them. See if they can get as specific as possible. With people like biz coaches, this can be easy, such as finding out how many new clients they got. Or how much money they made.
Other times, the transformation may be more difficult to recognize. But sometimes they just don’t see it on the surface and have to dig for it. For the VA or organization coach, you might do some digging and find out that your clients now end each week with their to-do list done and are able to relax over the weekend, essentially gaining them two full days each week of free time with friends/family or doing things they love. That’s pretty powerful stuff. You’re talking about helping them gain eight days each month of TIME, our most precious asset. By the end of the year, that’s 96 extra days that they would have previously worked away had it not been for your support. Ninety-six days’ worth of relaxing, of bonding with loved ones, of enjoying the life they’ve worked so hard to build. That’s impactful.
In the relationship coach example, maybe in your work as a relationship coach, you‘ve helped dozens or however many clients find nice, stable, healthy relationships.
Maybe you have a success rate of connecting singles with their ideal mates within 12 months or less. You may not even think you have a specific track record until you sit down and look for common ground, so I encourage you to do that. (Not sure how? Start by looking through emails from past/current clients to look for celebrations they may have sent. If all else fails, go directly to the source and ask your clients how you helped them. One non-pushy way is to tell them that you’re always looking to improve the client experience and would appreciate their feedback. Then send them a list of questions or direct them to a form on your website that collects feedback. An example can be found at http://www.writeassociate.com/leave-feedback.)
This step is important because you may be sitting on a really powerful marketing tool and not even know it. Imagine the power to be able to say, “I have helped XX women to meet their ideal mates within 12 months, and I can help you do the same.”
Not only will this boost your confidence, but it will also go a long way toward alleviating client hesitation while providing social proof. They instantly think, “Well, if s/he helped so many others get the result I want, s/he can help me too!”
If, in this relationship coach example, people have been alone and lonely for months or years on end, they‘ve likely been in the dating scene and are sick of it. Or perhaps are coming out of a bad relationship and too scared to dive in. That message of hope, of offering them a way out, of relieving their fears, can be quite appealing.
A Formula for Identifying the Transformation Your Work Provides
Here’s a simple formula to help you get to the root of the transformations your work offers.
Ask your clients to fill in these blanks:
Before working with (your company name), I felt ___(i.e. lost, confused, hopeless, etc.)___. After working with (your company name), I now feel ____(i.e. excited, motivated, productive, etc.)____.
That often helps people to dig deep and think about exactly what has changed, because they may not be aware of those transformations themselves. Along those lines, if you have any testimonials or case studies, use them as much as you can in your website copy.
Once you have your information gathered, write a paragraph(s) highlighting your story, your experiences, and why you are the obvious choice. Try to make it as real and relatable as possible, but keep it short and to the point. You can elaborate on your about page and really dive deep into your personal story there. For your home page, it’s better to keep things short and sweet.
Here’s an example of a story that might follow a bullet list of pain points:
“Did you find yourself saying yes to the statements above? I get it. A few years back, I went from being a fun-loving, vibrant outdoor enthusiast to virtual recluse imprisoned in my own home, nearly overnight. The combination of overwhelming stress from a new job, exhaustion from chronic fatigue syndrome, and the extreme discomfort of multiple chemical sensitivity left me physically debilitated, and no one could help me – not any of the doctors, chiropractors, herbalists, or other specialists I sought out in sheer desperation just to get my life back.”
This paragraph does several things:
1) Lets readers see the human side of the business (enhancing the crucial know, like and trust factor).
2) Helps them see that you understand their struggles (and are therefore likely to help them overcome those challenges).
3) Highlights the other solutions that were tried and failed (doctors, chiropractors, etc.)…which readers may have tried or been thinking about trying (and may now think twice about).
4) Identifies the struggles they may be experiencing (which in turn reinforces their need for help).
So, first, identify your track record, and then make sure you let people know about it. Marketing is not the time to be shy, to hide your light under a bushel. Marketing is a time to shine. To let the world know the gifts you have to offer.
Put the Pieces in Place:
- Identify what is causing your clients’ challenges or keeping them stuck.
- List your accomplishments.
- Think about the challenges you (or your clients) faced along the way to recovery.
- Think back on how you’ve helped others.
- Write a paragraph or two sharing the highlights of your story.