Archive for July, 2008

How To Describe Coaching To Potential Clients

Monday, July 21st, 2008
 

Are you having a hard time explaining what coaching is to potential clients? Many of my clients ask me how I describe what coaching to my own potential clients and connections. Every few weeks I have a client, who is a coach, ask me how I deal with explaining what coaching is to someone who I want to become a client.

Well, first of all, I do not explain what coaching is to my potential clients. And I don’t recommend that you do that either. It will take a lot of time, your potential clients will get confused, and most importantly of all, they are not interested in coaching.

Your potential clients are interested in what’s in it for them, in what you can do for them. They are interested in results they will achieve when working with you.

For example, at networking events, I tell people I network with that I help business owners get more clients for their business. This is short, very much to the point and makes the person interested right away. This is because I just told them how they can benefit from working with me.

Notice, I didn’t start explaining what coaching is, how it works, etc. What I want the person to remember is how they will benefit from working with me. That’s it.

Take the focus away from yourself and tell your potential customers who you work with and how you can help them. For example, if you are a parenting coach, people you are networking with would much rather hear that you “help parents get along with their teenagers” than hear a long explanation of what parent coaching involves.

Having a clear message about what you do that you can deliver to potential customers is going to make a huge difference to your business. When your potential clients hear about benefits they can get from working with you, they stop and listen. And if they like what they hear, they hire you.

My How To Create A Marketing Message That Will Get You Clients Audio Recording gives you the step-by-step process for creating a marketing message for your business. You can get it at http://www.marketingsalad.com/marketing-message.html

Biana Babinsky

How To Write Landing Pages For Products

Thursday, July 17th, 2008
 

Have you seen those one-page web sites that are created with one purpose - to sell a product to a particular audience? Typically they are long sales pages discussing just one particular product.

I am sure you have seen these one-page web sites offering free reports or other free products in exchange for your e-mail address. But how do you create a page like that to see a for-fee product? In order to do this successfully, your web site should have a good sales letter that can sell your product to your target audience.

You can hire someone else to write you sales copy, but I strongly recommend to my clients to learn how to write your own sales letters. This way you will be able to tweak your sales letter and write sales letters for your future products.

Here are some tips for you for creating landing pages for your products:

- Before Writing Your Web Copy, Do Research To Understand Your Target Market. Since the goal of your sales copy is to get your customers to buy your product, you need to spend some time understanding the needs of your target market.

Use the information in your sales copy by showing your potential buyers how your product is going to give them what they need.

- In Your Sales Copy, Concentrate On Your Customers’ Benefits. Your customers want to know how your product will benefit them. Use your copy to communicate the benefits to your potential customers. This is one of the best ways to turn potential customers into actual customers.

- Make Your Sales Copy Easy To Read. Write in short paragraphs and separate your paragraphs with plenty of white space.

- Make Good Use Of Headlines. Not everyone is going to read everything you have written in your sales copy. The majority of readers just skim sales letters. However, more people are going to read your headlines, as opposed to text, because they are written in bigger font.

- Test! Test! Test! Don’t just use the first sales copy you create. You should constantly test your sales copy in order to find the elements that helps you convert more visitors into buyers.

Biana Babinsky

How To Promote Coaching Groups

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
 

I received this question from a coach recently:

“I am a career coach and have been coaching one-on-one for the past few years. I decided to start creating group programs and a few months ago I offered a Coaching Group option to my newsletter subscribers. Basically, I envisioned it as a group of 5-10 people who would get together on the call twice a month and ask me questions about their careers. I promoted this a lot - through a networking group, my newsletter, web site, seminar sites - but could not get a single participant. What am I doing wrong? How can I get people to sign up for my coaching group?”

Biana’s Answer: What strikes me from your description is that you are just offering a Career Coaching Group. That is not enough for me to make a decision if I need your group and if it would work for me.

Is the group for people in their 20’s, just starting their first jobs? Is it for people in middle management trying to move up? Or is it for people trying to switch jobs? Or maybe it’s for people who are unemployed and need help landing a job asap?

As you can see, there isn’t much information about who exactly you are doing this group coaching for, so your potential customers are not sure if it’s for them. And if they are not sure, they will not sign up.

So how can you create a better group coaching offer? Don’t just call it a coaching group, name it something meaningful, name it something that will communicate value and give people an idea about who it’s for, so that they can self-select either in or out.

So do not call it a coaching group. Instead, create a very specific program for your target market that helps your target market solve one of the problems that they are experiencing. To get the most people register for your group you will need to offer them something they really want. For example, if your target market are college students looking for their first job, how about a program on landing a great job right out of college.

The next things you want to do is to create a compelling sales letter for your program. And then you need to create a good marketing plan to market the program.

You need to give your target market enough information about your program, so that they can say: “This sounds like a program that will help me solve the problem that I am experiencing. I really need the solution and this program offers it to me!”

Once you get your target market to think this way, you will get many members for your group!

Are You Overwhelmed With Social Networking?

Monday, July 14th, 2008
 

If you are overwhelmed with social networking, you are not alone. Every day on my Facebook account I have new friends requests, dozens of invitations to applications, lots of new events to review and much more. And then, there are messages. Messages from people I am connected with, messages from groups I am a member of, messages that people leave on my Wall….

And this is just Facebook. If you, like me, networking through other web sites and groups in addition to Facebook, you know that there will be messages, invitations and requests from those groups as well. Lately, it seems that it is a full time job to just maintain a few social networking accounts and keep in touch with people we meet through those sites.

As business owners, though, we have other things to do as well. We have our clients to take care of, we have classes to teach, new products to create and new strategies to design. So how do you keep up with your social networking AND still have time left over for your other business activities?

I do that by:

1. Targeting My Social Networking. I have created my social networking plan and because of it I know exactly who I want to meet and who I want to network with. Because I am targeting my networking, I only spend time on targeted networking.

2. Setting Time Limits On Social Networking. Social networking can be fun and you can spend a lot of time doing it. But if you spend all of your time on social networking, who is going to work with your clients and who is going to create your products?

I spend some time on social networking and then I spend time on my clients and my marketing activities.

3. Prioritizing. I simply do not have the time to participate in all the networking groups I would like to participate in. Instead, I use my time to prioritize the social networking that I do and spend time networking in places where I can meet the people that I want to meet.

I have spoken about social networking and lack of time with my friend and time management expert, Julie Bestry. Julies has taught me about time management and she has a lot of ideas on how to minimize the time you spend on social networking, while maximizing your results. I invited Julie to do a teleseminar with me called Time Management Secrets For Social Networkers: Get Better Results In Less Time.

Julie says that if you’re suffering from Social Network Fatigue, spending hours on end posting to networking forums and your connections’ Facebook wall, twittering and following other’s tweets but not reaping the financial rewards or truly positioning yourself as an expert, there’s a better path for you. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about all this - register to join us at http://www.marketingsalad.com/vf/zjt

Biana Babinsky

How To Get FREE Web Site Traffic By Blogging

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
 

After I published FREE Web Site Traffic Series Part 1: Article Marketing, I have gotten emails from some of you asking for more information on driving traffic. Today I am discussing how to use your blog to get more free web site traffic:

- Use Search Engine Optimization To Drive Traffic To Your Blog. Search engines bring a lot of very targeted traffic to my blog posts, so I always recommend using search engines to drive more free traffic to a blog.

Search engine optimization for your blog consists of three important parts: doing keyword research, using the keywords in your blog post and getting links to your blog.

First, you need to find keywords that your target market uses when searching for materials on the same topic as your upcoming blog post. You do not need too many keywords for one blog post.

Next, you need to use a few of the best keywords that you find in your blog post.

And to get better search engine rankings you need to have links leading to your blog. You can do that by exchanging links with other bloggers, listing your blog in blog directories, etc.

- Make Each Blog Post’s File Name Descriptive. Different blogging software behaves differently, but some will call your blog posts 2.html, 3.html, 4.html, etc. As you can see, that is not very descriptive and not particularly helpful to either people or search engines. When you create a post called How Coaching Helps Business Owners, calling it how-coaching-helps-business-owners.html is a much better title than 5.html.

Make sure that your blogging software creates descriptive file names for your blog posts; it is better both for human readers and search engine spiders and doing this will help you get more traffic to your blog.

- Get Links To Your Blog. More quality links means more more traffic, it’s that simple. Work on getting quality links pointing to your blog.

- Get Your Blog Listed In Blog Directories. Blog directories are a great source of getting links to your blog. Sometimes blog directories will give you a unidirectional (they link to you, but you don’t link back to them) link, other times they would exchange links with you.

- Use Article Marketing To Get Traffic To Your Blog. As I mentioned in the FREE Web Site Traffic Series Part 1: Article Marketing post, article marketing is a great way to drive more free traffic. And you can use article marketing to drive traffic to your blog by using your article’s Resource Box to link back to your blog.

I share my system for using my blog to get free traffic and clients in my How To Make Thousands Of Dollars With Your Blog Home Study Guide that you can see at http://www.avocadoconsulting.com/rlinks/zbt

More articles on getting free traffic:

- FREE Web Site Traffic Series Part 1: Article Marketing

Biana Babinsky

From Hobby To Business

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
 

I was asked on one of the calls I did recently about what steps I would recommend to take for a coach who wants to take their coaching from a part-time hobby to a full time profitable coaching business.

It takes time to re-adjust and what you need to re-adjust the most is your way of thinking about what you do. When you have a hobby, your priority may not be making money. When you run a business, your priority is to have a profitable business that brings in income.

You also need to re-adjust the way you think about marketing. Marketing is the cornerstone of your business and helps you bring in clients. If you are not marketing your business you will not be able to have a successful business, it’s that simple.

Here are some marketing tips to help you take your coaching from a hobby to a successful coaching business:

- The very first thing to do is to decide on a good target market for your business. Before you can bring in clients consistently, you need to decide on WHO these clients are. After all, if you do not know who your clients are, how are you going to bring them to your business?

Make a decision about who your target market is. Knowing your target market will help you make other decisions and will help you simplify your marketing. And we all want to simplify our marketing :)

- Decide on marketing techniques you’d like to use to market your coaching business. It is great if you want to use blogging, and social networking, and article marketing, and public speaking, and e-mail marketing to promote your business. However, don’t start using them all at once!

The best way to market your business is to pick one technique, master it, start using it on a regular basis and then move on to the next one.

And remember, you don’t have to use every marketing technique you have heard about. For example, I have clients who enjoy public speaking, who speak often and for whom public speaking is one of the most effective techniques for getting clients.

On the other hand, I have a client who says that she would never ever do public speaking, it’s just not for her. Her favorite marketing technique is blogging, she is good at it and she uses her blog to generate interest in her business.

Pick the techniques that you enjoy applying and you will be more successful with them.

- Have a marketing plan! Create a plan for bringing in more clients, marketing your business, etc. You are much more likely to take action if you create a plan and put it on paper.

Members of my online business mentoring program have access to thousands of dollars worth of resources on creating a marketing plan, picking a profitable target market and using online marketing techniques to promote their business. Get immediate access to all these resources by joining us at http://www.MarketingSalad.com

Biana Babinsky

Is Social Media A Fad?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
 

One of the most popular questions I have been receiving this year from clients, colleagues and online friends (some of whom I met on social networks) has been Is Social Media A Fad?

I even had a discussion on this same subject at a non-business event a few months ago. One of the participants found out what I did for a living and we had a great discussion of social media, how it affects the way we do business and if it is here to stay.

As someone who has participated in social media and social networking online for the past fifteen years and recently taught a social networking teleseminar, I know that social media is not a fad. However, I can see why this question keeps coming up over and over again. Social media and social web sites have become the “it” things on line in the past 6-8 months, just like blogging did a few years ago. And because of their “it” status there have been many articles in mainstream publications about social media and how business owners use it for business development.

As a result of those articles, many people who have never used social media before decide to give social media a try. But since they are new to the social media scene, they are not sure how long social networking is going to stay around for. They do not want to spend their time on something that may just be a fad, so they are looking to make sure that social media and networking are here to stay.

And from what I have seen in my many years online, I can tell you that social media is here to stay. Social networking started as soon as people started using the Internet. I remember communicating on Bulletin Boards, then through mailing lists, then message boards. I started using social networking as soon as I got online. The very first social networking medium that I ran was a message board.

Since then I have joined and left countless mailing lists, message boards and social networking sites. While the media that I use changes with time (new networking sites, new mailing lists, etc), social networking stays. While we might not use the same social networking websites five or ten years from now, we will still be using social networking. Just like I used it fifteen years ago. And this is why social networking is not a fad and is here to stay.

More social networking articles:

- Getting Results From Social Media Sites

- What To Do With Your Social Networking Traffic

Biana Babinsky

P.S. What do you think? How do you use social networking?