Well hello all of you business and life coaches, today’s post is just for you if you’ve ever been a ‘reluctant’ or ‘resistant’ content creator.
Here’s the thing, it’s not because you don’t want to share your knowledge and build trust with your audience. Of course not! It’s maybe due to a lack of inspiration, right?
Let’s look at how Sheila solved this problem of ‘inspiration’ to create content, so you can do the same for your future clients, customers, and students.
My friend, “Sheila”, is a successful financial advisor who faithfully blogs and shares each post with her email list every month. I asked her how she finds inspiration for her blog posts.
Why ask about inspiration? The reason is that so many business and life coaches have these questions on their minds…
- I don’t know what to write or blog about.
- What can I say in an email, or blog, that’ll grab my clients’ attention?
- I’ve run out of ideas for topics to blog about.
- My blog posts are getting crickets, anyway.
- Remind me, why do I have to blog?
- Social media’s so big. Can’t I just post on Facebook and call it a day?
Maybe you’ve said a few of these yourself? The truth is, as a business or life coach, you want to build the know, like, and trust factor with potential clients, before they even meet you.
If so, keep reading. I promise you’ll find some tips to help you through this what-do-I-write-about dilemma.
Back to Sheila. For her it works best if she writes the post soon after she’s come across an enticing topic or client question. Here’s a brief email conversation we had on writing / blogging for your list:
Cynthia: Which recent blog did you love writing?
Sheila: I love writing on topics that I am really interested in. Recently, I had a friend tell me that he considers good “life insurance” to be taking special trips and vacations with his friends…and it got me thinking more deeply about the idea of “life insurance” in its many forms. So, I wrote an article that will come out in early July called …. What Are You Waiting For – The Life Insurance that Doesn’t Come from a Policy
Often times, my inspiration comes from stories from my own clients, friends, or family. Or, sometimes it comes from a blog or podcast that I read. I keep a list of topics that I think would be interesting to write on, and then review that list when the time comes to write an article.
Cynthia: How did you get inspired to write this post?
Sheila: I enjoy writing, but I’m most inspired to write something soon after something in my life piques my interest….and I have the headspace (a calm 2-hour block on an afternoon to dig into it). Sometimes I will search up similar articles on the subject and that inspires me. Of course, I try to match up my interests with topics that clients have brought up in discussions.
Now that we know how inspiration works for Sheila, let’s explore some ways it can work for you, shall we?
7 Ways Blogging Helps You Connect with Your Perfect Clients
You won’t be surprised; I recommend your starting point for a new blog is choosing a topic that truly inspires you. Don’t forget, you’re creating marketing content for one purposeful reason: so you can reach more of the clients who are struggling with the problem to solve and want to hire you. Because that’s what business and life coaches do, isn’t it? You help people get unstuck and solve tiny problems—even before you meet them.You create marketing content for one purposeful reason: so you can reach clients who are struggling with the problems you solve and who want to hire you. Click To Tweet
Way #1) By finding a point of client-focused inspiration.
When coming up with content topics, your point of inspiration must also be a topic that’s urgent to your ideal clients.
This can be something that’s made you excited in your client work. Think over recent conversations, an idea or new problem someone shared with you. Maybe a client asked a question—and it’s a question you’ve heard 100 times. Being of service, you want to share the answer, in writing, once and for all. Or a business friend asked you to explain something that you’re an expert in.
Recall recent client conversations, find a point of confusion for your audience and make sure it sparks excitement for you. Inspiration’s an insight, or an aha moment that pulls at you. It makes you feel like you have to drop everything so you can share your explanation of this nagging issue that’s (apparently) driving other folks crazy.
When you feel compelled to clarify the problem, misconception, or point of frustration amongst your audience—that’s your inspiration.
Here’s why inspiration is so incredibly important; you’re going to reach a point in creating and writing when you’ll hit a roadblock. Or you’ll get tangled up with pesky techy problems while you’re editing and setting up your blog post.
Has this ever happened to you?
- Your internet connection hiccups before you’ve saved the last 40 minutes of writing…
- Your site goes wonky, when you’re just about done formatting the post with photos, etc.
- A client calls with an urgent (or purely ordinary) concern
- Your child’s school calls
- Your puppy wants to go potty
And, if you’re like me, you may ask yourself, “Am I sure this post even matters?”
The good news, if you have a source of inspiration it’s going to keep you going until you’ve completed your creation because you’re thinking about the people who it’s going to uplift, lighten their day, show them baby steps toward a solution. Or you’ll help potential clients clear the fog about this particular persistent problem. Won’t that feel great?
Here’s how this works for me. Lately, I’ve spoken with business and life coaches who are restarting a business, diving back into their businesses, or getting serious about accelerating growth. They’ve asked familiar questions that I hadn’t heard lately. For example, how do I get in the groove of creating content, or, how do I come up with something to blog about?
So, I realized that while blogging’s been around since (at least) 2006, it wouldn’t hurt to have a thoughtful recap checklist of the foundational pieces that we must do / create for blogs, so we can better reach more of the clients we want.
Hence, I’m writing this post. After all, you’re looking to provide maximum value to the folks you want to serve, right? Yes, you want to connect with your dream clients! That’s why you’ll need to tap into your source of inspiration.
Back to finding inspiration, don’t overlook those basic, pesky questions that plague your dream clients, even if you’re tired of talking about those same old issues. Don’t forget, as a business or life coach, you’re an expert in your space. Your clients are not.
Master tip: Keep a notebook, moleskin, folder on your PC, Google doc, or Evernote file of topics that inspire you, so when it’s time to create content, you have scads of ideas to choose from.
Way #2) By reviewing their story, so you can tap into your ideal clients’ mindset.
Here’s the thing, you have limited time to spend creating content, so you want to strive to speak directly to your unique clients. Make this your blogging goal: create by writing the exact conversation you’d have if your client was sitting across the table from you.
Like I’ve said, speaking directly, empathetically, and specifically is what you do in your work as a coach—whether you’re a business or a life coach. You have the advantage here; this is how you speak normally. All you have to do now, is get down on paper (your blog) one of the many conversations you have with potential clients! By doing a quick review of the description you’ve written for this particular client type, you’ll tap into precisely where they are on their journey.
- Where are they today on the timeline of solving the problems you help them solve?
- Are they beginners, so you’re sharing getting-started advice?
- Maybe they’re further along and you’re giving them advanced instructions?
- Is this a resource post with lots of example and links for future reference?
- Have you identified a new problem that you’ve just learned potential clients are running into?
Way #3) Deepen potential client relationships by asking blog readers to take the next step with you.
Why make this decision before writing your blog post? Because too often, especially as women who are business and life coaches, we skip this step entirely. Your thinking goes like this, “I just want to help my audience.” I hear you!
However, in order to connect with more of your favorite clients, you must do this:
You must be clear on exactly what step (action) you’d like your reader to do after they finish reading your content.
Your call-to-action (CTA) might be to:
- Join your email list
- Click to read another article / blog post
- Comment on your blog
- Check out your program, services, or digital course page
- Click to your Amazon Author page so they can buy your book
By choosing your CTA before you begin writing, you’ll mold your content so that it helps your reader to become enthusiastic about taking the call-to-action you’re suggesting.
Where I disagree with other experts…
Some marketing folks will suggest that you invite blog readers to join you on social media, but I disagree.
Here’s why: you worked your fingers off to get readers to your website blog, didn’t you? You created your website, poured your heart and soul into the content, showed up and shared on social media. That’s why, after all that hard work, it’s crucial that you keep potential clients on your website. Encourage blog readers to extend your relationship by learning about your programs and subscribing to your email list.
Master tip: Keep a ‘swipe’ file of CTAs that you like from others’ content. Adapt them to your own style.
Now, if you’re like some talented women, you’ll be able to start typing and end up with a beautifully written post.
For many of us, it’s easy to get off on a tangent once we start typing. I know that’s the case for me. Keep in mind, this isn’t an elaborate outline you’d need for an academic paper. It’s simply a few bullets so that you know the important points you’re going to cover. That way, with an outline you can keep yourself on track and be sure you’re explaining the problem and solution thoroughly.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I am a long-form content writer. The truth is, it’s a habit from my undergrad days as an English lit major. Do you remember blue books? Anyway, the more blue books I filled, the better grades I earned on midterms and finals.
During my corporate career, senior executives wanted long-ish letters, PowerPoints, and white papers. Luckily, my ability to write long-form content came in handy.
Here’s another good reason for you to do a quick outline, the Google-gods consider blog posts of 300 words or less, as so-called “thin” content. Meaning the search engine bots won’t consider your website to be as credible with too many super-short posts. My recommendation is to write blog posts that are at least 800-1200 words long.
In fact, online marketing expert Neil Patel recommends that your blog posts be about 1800 to 2000 words. Another plus if you start with an outline, you’ll easily cover the complete story you want to share with future clients.
And yes, the quality of the information you’re sharing is more important than the length, but I know you. You’re a dedicated business or life coach. You positively love serving clients and you’re always going to give your audience super-great content that supports and empowers them to take baby-steps toward resolving big problems!
It’s totally up to you, but shoot for 1200 words at least. That’s the sweet spot for a post that engages your readers.
Sure, some posts can be longer, some shorter. But make sure that you at least meet the 600-word minimum. You see, that way the search engines will (over time) give your website and blog the credibility and authority you and your work deserve.
Writing, typing—as quickly as you can without thinking about the perfectly-edited blog post—is challenging. After spending years blogging and 23 months writing my book, I still can’t resist editing the first draft like a madwoman.
There’s a reason authors call it the ‘sloppy first draft’.
I finally got better at just getting-words-out-on-paper when I was at the tail end of the 23 months it took me to write my book.
Here’s a partial list of what’s worked for me, at varying times. One of these techniques may work for you.
My recommendation: begin your draft by handwriting it. Do you write content by hand first? Here’s my reason, I find that words flow more easily from my head to the paper via writing versus typing; especially emotional concepts or experiences.
Imagine your dream client is sitting across the table from you. What would you say to them, after they’ve asked you a question about a big issue? Envision the conversation; write that.
Don’t laugh at this one, close your eyes while typing. Yes, your typing will be messy but that’s why we have spell check. Your thoughts, experiences, and lessons flow more smoothly without the distraction of how it looks on the screen.
Another method for blocking out distractions, put a scarf over your computer screen so you can focus on what you want to share and not how perfect it’s typed.
Dictate your draft. Not to get all techy on you, but if you use a Mac, you can simply “start dictation” and talk into your computer. I use it on Word for Mac, and it’s super cool.
What to do if you’re hopelessly stuck with “blogger’s block”? Call a friend and rant for a few minutes.
Blogging is massively similar to book writing; it’s all about getting-stuff-you-want-to-share out of your head and onto paper.
Honestly, I learned how valuable the ‘rant’ was when doing my book.
For days, I was unable to craft a story in Chapter 6 for my final draft. It was a strong recommendation from my editor, and one of my last tasks to finish the book. I became so frustrated one morning, coffee wasn’t working. Scrolling through Instagram wasn’t working… so I got up and found my husband, Jim. He was diligently trying to complete his work for the day, and I said, “Got a minute?”.
Then, I carefully and rationally explained to Jim the 27 reasons why I didn’t actually need to write a book after all. Even though I was in month 22 of book creation, I was dead serious.
After attempting to convince Jim, who listened patiently, I did this:
I stomped back to my computer, covered the screen with a scarf, and began to type out the story of “Emma”.
Here’s the killer, writing Emma’s story took me less than an hour. Then, I finished the book a few days later and sent it off to the copyeditor.
Next time, if you’re totally stuck and can’t write a word, try taking the time to rant and rave with a family member or friend, walk the dog, go for a run, or whatever feels like blowing off steam for you. I promise you; it works.
Way #6) Choose 1-3 images that reflect you and your clients.
Promise me you will never, never, ever publish a blog post without at least one meaningful image! Why? Because in today’s content-saturated world, you want to break up your content with images, quotes, or charts. Graphics let your readers’ eyes rest. As a business or life coach, everything you do must deeply connect with your clients. So it follows, your images are an extension of your message and your brand.
For my posts, I follow the rule of at least one image for each 600 to 700 words. So, if my post is 2,000 words long, it’ll have three images.
You may be wondering, where do you go for images? There are several resources list if you want free images. Be sure to read each site’s rules, follow them about how to use photos, and give credit to the photographer if it’s requested. My hands down, favorite free image site is Unsplash.
This article has a list of 10 free photo sites; though be careful to read their terms in case they‘ve changed.
Here’s a site offering female-focused images. I haven’t used this one yet because I just now found them and wanted to share them with you anyway.
What I do: Most of my images are purchased from Adobe stock or free from Unsplash.
Master tip: Here’s how I save time, because scrolling through screens of images can be a true time-suck: while watching old-school TV or streaming on Netflix, I scroll. I save free previews of photos I like. Later, if I still love them, I’ll buy them. It’s my ultimate form of multi-tasking.
Way #7) Be focused. Write for one ideal client at a time.
Now, as a business and life coach, one of your biggest roles is to help your clients focus, right? You help clients drill down to solve one problem at a time. Or to channel their energies to work toward one desired dream until it’s accomplished. When it comes to blogging to connect with your dream clients, you must do the same. It seems only fair, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking, you have at least two client types that you could blog for at once.
Here’s why: your message may become muddled if you try to “talk” / write to multiple clients at once. You can find more on this topic here.
Ask yourself, will a broad, wide-ranging message or brief, laser-focused lesson serve your audience better?
Here’s what I want to leave you with, as a business or life coach, you’re aware that your know-like-trust level with website visitors is huge. In order to increase your trust currency with potential clients, you must share your own unique views, expertise, and experiences with your online content.
I know what you’re thinking, “But I make my contacts at live events, zoom events, and via referrals. It’s the main way I bring in clients.” Great! And yet, you still want a treasure trove of your ideas, knowledge, and tidbits of what you teach clients, published online. That way, your expertise is findable when someone searches your name.
The truth is, you want to have multiple ways to follow up and make additional contacts (touch points) with potential clients. Once you’re publishing on your blog regularly, you always have a valuable link to your posts, podcasts, or videos that you can email or text to a prospect after meeting them. Or, after someone sends you a referral.
You simply must prioritize growing your email list also. You’ve heard this a thousand times but here goes, with constant changes in algorithms and rules on social media only a tiny number of followers ever see your posts unless you buy ads. As a result, you absolutely 100% need your own space, your own ‘home base’ online.
Your website or blog is where your people (future clients) can find you, learn about your expertise, sample the solid advice you share, and easily connect when they want to learn more about how you can help them.
Do this, find your own unique sources of inspiration for the knowledge you want to share online. Make it easy for potential clients to discover you via your website. That way, you can increase your credibility.
Don’t let blogger’s block, or lack of being organized when setting up marketing content you want to share, keep you from demonstrating your expertise on your ‘owned’ website. Figure out what works for you and make writing / blogging / videoing a priority for growing your business.
Your dream clients are out there flailing. They’re barely keeping their heads above water. They need you. Make it easy for your future paying clients to find you.
I’m counting on you to step up and share your ideas with the world!
Want ideas for creating content your clients are interested in?
Imagine using a proven process to identify topics your best clients truly care about. How great would it be to feel confident when creating content that engages your future clients?
That’s exactly what my step-by-step Cheat Sheet, 5 Essential Steps to Know Your Dream Clients helps you to do. Click here to get the complimentary cheat sheet because you deserve to bring in all of the dream clients you want! You’ll also get updates to my blog with lessons, insights, and tips. You can unsubscribe anytime.
Blue Book Image credit: Polina Godz
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Image credit: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash