Whenever I talk to coaches or consultants, whether it’s at conferences, meet-ups or online, I always hear some version of the same complaint that goes something like
” I know I’m the best in the world at this, people love my content but it doesn’t seem to be selling.”
When I was a dating coach back in the mid aughts I had a similar problem.
But within a few years I was able to become the # 1 ranked dating coach by TSB magazine two years in a row and built a high 6 figure coaching business.
How did I do this?
I created content that sold.
In 2015 when I started my own content creation business I did the same thing, starting with this video:
It’s not enough to just SAY you are the best at something.
It’s not even enough to have testimonials that back up your claims.
To really sell, your content has to clearly demonstrate that you have a specific effective solution to their problem and that you might just have the solution to all of their problems.
Coaching and consulting require a different kind of selling because you are generally not the prospects first exposure to a subject.
To use myself for an example by the time I signed up to take a Mystery Method seminar in 2004 I had already read multiple Ebooks on dating and approaching women, listened to audio interviews and spent a lot of time practicing. I chose Mystery for coaching because A. I was 20 years old and didn’t realize he was ridiculous. B. His advice had worked the best when I tried things out in the real world.
This is a pretty similar experience to most coaching or consulting clients.
They are somewhat educated about the subject they are considering coaching in, they may have even done some experimenting with the information that is available online but they’ve either hit a sticking point they can’t seem to figure out on their own, or they have seen some progress but really want to speed that up.
So you can’t just create content that tries to sell, you also need to create these 3 different types of content
3 Types of NON-SELLING content coaches and consultants should be providing their audience:
- Bonding. When it comes to coaching people often don’t choose the best coach but the one they like the most. Bonding content seeks to connect with your audience and form bonds through commonalities. Examples include Dan kennedy talking about his back pain, writing blog posts about pop culture things you enjoy like music or tv shows or railing against a common enemy.
- Inspiring. Inspirational content is extremely important for coaching and consulting. Your prospects want to believe in you, your process, and the end results you can create for them.
- Teaching. As a coach or consultant one of your main goals is to teach prospects about your area of expertise. This also serves to demonstrate your authority over the subject matter you teach.
Now compared to those 3 types of content, Selling Content is different because its:
- Shorter. Content that sells is going to be more to the point than other types of content you create. You’ll want to demonstrate some value then get to the pitch.
- More persuasive. Content that sells is less interested in educating and more interested in persuading. As an example look at this blog post from Tucker Max’s Book in a Box company. In it Tucker spends several thousand words convincing the reader of the value of ghostwriting services while also showing why using his company is the best choice. Great example of longform content that sells.
- Has a clear CTA. Content that sells has a clear call to action. This call to action may not be directly asking for the order or sending to a sales page but there is a clear action designed to start the sales process whether it’s signing up for a launch list or scheduling a free “Strategy Session. “
- Has a more defined audience. Content that sells is not speaking to everybody on your list or every person who might possibly have a problem with dating or productivity. Instead content that seeks to sell is speaking to a specific audience with a specific problem and a specific time frame for solving that problem.
Ok now that you have an idea of what the different types of content are and what makes content that sells different let’s look at some elements to sprinkle into your content to make it sell:
- Seeding. One of the easiest ways to turn teaching content into selling content is to seed the sale. Seedin simply means to mention that you are going to try to sell them something. For example you could seed by explaining a technique then saying “Thats just one of the 11 techniques I teach in my course on…”
- Social Proof. People want to believe that your coaching will work for them but they need to see that it worked for other people “just like them” that’s where social proof or student success stories come in. You’ll want to pepper in 1-2 pieces of social proof into every piece of selling content you produce.
- Statistics/Data. One of the best ways to convince people is through statistics and data. Adding statistics to your selling content provides context and allows you to reframe the way your audience thinks about a specific problem.
- Audience Definition. In your selling content you want to clearly define who this content is for and who it is NOT for. Ironically telling someone that they are not your target audience makes them more likely to buy.
- A clear, specific and emotional problem. You have to drill down to one specific, clear and emotional problem that your content is going to solve for them. You want to state this problem clearly and dig into the emotions of it. Think about what emotions your clients express to you. What frustrates them? what makes them want to quit?
- Throws stones at a clear enemy. One of the most important details of creating content that sells is letting the audience know that whatever problem they are experiencing it’s not their fault. There is a clear and specific enemy who is responsible for all of their pain, torment, and frustration. In your selling content you want to define that enemy whether it’s other better looking guys, unskilled personal trainers or the mainstream media.
- 1 KILLER technique or tactic. Content that sells has to make you nod your head and think ” I could see how that works.” The easiest way to do that is with one killer tactic or technique. In my friend Bobby Rio’s Course “Unlock” he used a technique called The Scrambler to entice his audience into downloading a PDF that sold the course.
- Shows what to do but not how to do it. One of the secrets of writing content that sells is that you want to give your best stuff away for free. You want to show them your systems, steps, or processes in full for free. Why would you want to do that? Because for most people when you show them a complex system or method their first thought is not going to be “Great! I can now do this on my own!” It’s going to be “Wow that seems like a lot of work. I wonder if there’s a shortcut.” Your coaching or consulting is that shortcut. If you keep your process or system hidden it is likely to be less impressive when it is finally revealed.
- Has urgency. When it comes to selling coaching and consulting you need to find an audience that is right and ready to make a change. Your content has to convey the urgency of what could happen if they don’t make a change right now. You also want to explain what could happen a month, year or 5 years from now if they don’t make a change. Don’t be afraid to invoke a little fear of missing out or FOMO.
- Controversy. One of the best ways to sell something is to make it controversial. Go against the traditional wisdom, attack accepted thought leaders and generally call out bullshit in your selling content. Peter Thiel Billionaire and super villian extraordinaire asks everyone who applies for a job at his companies to convince him of a controversial idea that no one believes in.
- Use metaphor and subconscious selling. One of the problems with selling content is that it expects the reader or watcher to take in a lot of information without getting confused. An easy way around that cognitive confusion is to paint a picture with words using a metaphor. Check out Anne Miller’s AWESOME infographic on metaphor selling here
- Contains trigger words. Last but certainly not least you want to include some trigger words that YOUR AUDIENCE responds to. If you’re not sure what your audience’s trigger words are that’s a clear sign you need to do some more research on your market and figure out how they express their fears, concerns and problems in their own words. In addition you’ll want to include some Words that sell like those featured on this list by Hubspot.
Ok I know that was a lot of information so let’s quickly re-cap so you can get the most out of this post and start creating some content that sells.
We started off by talking about how most coaches have a problem; They are great at what they teach but their content isn’t selling!
Then I shared how I went from an unknown to the # 1 dating coach as ranked by TSB mag in just a few short years by creating content that sells!
Next we looked at the 3 types of non sales content:
- Bonding Content
- Inspirational Content
- Teaching Content
Then we looked at some of the ways selling content is different, and finally we went through 10 elements to include in content to make it sell.
That’s gonna wrap it up as always feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.