In this post, I’m going to teach you how to de-suckify your value proposition so clients call or email you more often. On Noomii, this is the 250 character field that appears just under your name and credentials called your “ideal client description”. On your website, this is the main title of the home page that describes what you’re all about.
I’ve talked to hundreds of amazing coaches whose profiles do not do them justice. I read their profiles expecting a dud and when I get on the phone, I can’t help but get excited about who they are and what they do as a coach. But that’s not good enough. I want to get excited before I get on the phone and so do potential clients.
So I took it upon myself to find out what the kick-ass coaches do on their profiles. Here’s what I found out. At the top of their profiles, in the first sentence or two (i.e. in their value proposition), they:
- Connect with the pain of their ideal clients
- Hint at a desirable solution
- Offer a compelling, irresistible x-factor or hook
Let’s look at each of these elements more closely.
How to connect with the pain of your ideal clients
I resisted the notion of appealing to someone’s pain when I first got into coaching. It just didn’t feel right because coaching is about looking at the positives and making a good life great. But I quickly learned (okay, fine, maybe not so quickly) that people are more likely to whip out their credit card when the perception of what they are buying is a must-have. NOT a nice-to-have.
Think of Aspirin versus vitamins. Aspirin solves an immediate pain and needs to be consumed right away. Vitamins may mitigate pain sometime in the future but people can easily go a week or two without consuming them.
Another way to look at it is to think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The ultimate goal of coaching is to help people achieve self-actualization, the highest need on the pyramid.
But that is not why they hire a coach in the first place.
Usually they hire a coach to satisfy a need that is closer to the bottom of the pyramid. A very successful mentor coach once explained to me that people come to coaching for the surface level things such as a faster car, bigger office, thinner waist line, and what they get from coaching are the deeper level benefits such as self-confidence, emotional awareness, and meaning. So identify the surface level stuff then deliver the full depth of benefits.
Take a few seconds to imagine your ideal client.
Imagine that they have not yet hired a coach and don’t know what it’s like to experience coaching. They are deeply entrenched in the consciousness of their problem and after a restless night, you get to find out what kept them up.
What might they say?
If you don’t have an answer to this question, you need to find out. Don’t get trapped into thinking you know what keeps them up and what words they use to describe it. Ask them.
It’s critical that you connect to your ideal clients by using the language they would use. You might say they have challenges with “life balance”. They might describe it as being “stressed out”.
So find out by asking your ideal clients what keeps them up at night.
How to hint at a desirable solution
It’s not enough to say “I specialize in helping people lose weight.” So do Richard Simmons and Jenny Craig, but they have vastly different approaches to achieve the same results.
You need to at least hint at how you help your clients overcome their primary challenge.
What’s in it for them? Maybe you have a program, ebook, proprietary system, proven method, or unique approach. Those kinds of ways of packaging your service helps.
It also helps to indicate what the benefits are or what the desired outcomes are. For example, you might say something like:
- I help you go from feeling overwhelmed to loving your working environment, or
- Imagine replacing wishful thinking with powerful action
Make sure your solution is desirable to your ideal clients and solves their pain. If you work with high level executives, you probably don’t want to offer cute and fluffy coaching. If you work with stay-at-home moms, you don’t want to bore them with MBA business benefits.
It’s all about giving people what they want, expect, and are willing to pay for. So ask your ideal clients:
- What do you need to solve your problem?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would you manifest for yourself?
- What kind of solution would you be willing pay for?
How to offer a compelling, irresistible x-factor or hook
Once you are clear on the pain of your ideal clients and you know what solution they are looking for, you can start to consider how you stand out.
The profile of far too many coaches is too generic. They don’t describe a compelling value that grips people. You want to polarize people with your profile. After quickly scanning your profile, you want people to know that your service is for them or not at all for them. You want your ideal clients to come running to you and you want everyone else to think “this is not for me but my cousin Jane could benefit”.
While discovering the pain and solution that your ideal clients want requires outward focused investigation, coming up with your compelling x-factor can sometime benefit from some inward reflection and consideration.
Helping coaches differentiate, I always believe that there is a kernel of truth at the center of it all. At the core of every coach is a Wizard of Oz that is controlling everything, and we can sometimes be blind to it. Through a coach approach, we peel back the layers and understand why each coach does what they do. There, a little seed is found that can grow into a huge business opportunity in an underserved market.
In order to come up with your own compelling, irresistible x-factor, I recommend that you start by watching Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk about Starting with Why. Next, ask yourself:
- Why do I do what I do?
- Why do your ideal clients work with you?
- What do your friends and family say makes you special?
Putting it all together: The fill-in-the-blanks value proposition
Everything in this blog post can be distilled down to this simple fill-in-the-blanks exercise. As a starting point, you should be able to communicate your value proposition like this:
- I help people who are struggling with _________________
- by offering ___________________
- and my service is unlike any others because ___________________
Once you are clear on your answers, you can better write out a value proposition in the language that attracts your ideal clients.
How do they describe their challenges in life? What words do they use? What are they looking for at a conscious or maybe even a subconscious level?
Talk to them. Write to them. Speak directly to that person. That’s the tone and the voice that you want to use to describe your value proposition.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and concerns in the comments below.
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