Are a coach, inspirational speaker, or other topic expert?
If so, you’ve got a bit of a challenge as you try to establish your unique message with your target market.
After all, so many people out there in the expert authority industry are claiming to offer “hope,” “motivation,” and “support.”
So how are you different?
One HUGE way you can separate yourself from the pack is by becoming ultra-crystal-clear on the applied VALUE you provide to your audience.
And by “applied,” I don’t mean pie-in-the-sky, watercolor-sunset-inspirational-quotes. I mean down and dirty helpful guidance on how people can use your unique perspective on the world to improve their lives.
Let’s face it: Pithy memes are a dime a dozen (literally — you can buy pre-made quotes on dreamy backgrounds for a few bucks!).
What most coaches and influencers NEVER consider, though, is how to take your perspective and convert it to a manner that people can actually use, TODAY, to make their lives better. And that needs to go way beyond “changing your mindset,” “thinking positive,” or any other feel good/power of positive advice.
It’s the difference between posting a meme that says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” and publishing a blog post about, “3 Things to Do When It Feels Like the World’s Against You.”
It’s like getting in shape: We all know that the common wisdom is to eat less junk and exercise more. But if it were that easy, we’d all be at our fighting weights, right? So telling us, “Eat better, exercise more” is pretty much useless. What we need instead is, “3 Ways to Outsmart Your Mind When You Don’t Want to Exercise,” or “Five Sneaky Ways Sugar Gets Into Your Diet.”
One is superficial, and one is concrete advice people can use, today.
So what do you do when you fear you are too “fluffy” and you don’t provide enough concrete value for your audience?
The answer is two parts:
1. It’s okay sometimes to be “fluffy.”
2. Not all content you create should be “fluffy.”
When working with clients, I like to think about their “body of work.”
I have goals for any individual piece of content I’m working on (to inspire, to “seed” the idea for an upcoming product or course, to teach, etc.). No one piece of content can do EVERYTHING. Which is why people shouldn’t just post one blog post and call it a day.
So each piece must be valuable in and of itself… but it should also accomplish something within the larger body of work, and the body of work as a whole should provide a 360 degree picture of your value.
For instance, one blog post may be very specific about a case study or success story of one of your clients. It motivates and inspires and also demonstrates your authority — but it doesn’t necessarily show ALL of who you are or what you do.
Another piece of content — say, a Facebook Live video — shares a bit about your backstory and where you’re coming from and why you’re so passionate about your mission. It’s awesome, but it’s more about the “WHY” than the “HOW.” And that’s okay.
And a third piece of content might be very “how to, 1-2-3.” It’s not rah-rah “You can do it!” Instead, it helps people accomplish one very specific thing.
I get concerned is when the overall content is TOO skewed one way or another. Like if everything you create is a “You rock! You can do it!” cheerleader/mindset piece with no concrete info on HOW to do it.
The exact balance or recipe depends on your audience and your message.
You may be very much a high-level inspiration type rather than a tactical, “here’s how you do it” type.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t provide specifics to your audience. (And this is where I see a lot of coaches/motivational professionals fall down… It’s the biggest complaint I hear about the personal development/motivation industry, that there’s a lot of rah-rah but very little direction.)
For instance, in a “fluffier” inspiration/mindset piece, you can put in calls to action, or next steps, or something that hints at the “how.” (I think you did a good job of this in the “vision” post — asking people to answer specific questions about their vision).
As long as you continually ask yourself, “What’s next? What do I want them to do? How can they go further?” and then you convey that to your audience, you’re in good shape.
Let me know how else I can support you-
PS This blog post might help you too.
You can’t get people to buy if they don’t read your offer.
You can’t get people to read your offer if they don’t open your emails.
So… if you’re a marketer, you’ve got to have great subject lines or your audience won’t open up.
I have 10 tips for making your emails much more clickable and it’s all about your email subject line.
1. Remember you’re entering a day in progress. As I go through my inbox, I see emails from my dad sending me a photo, my kid’s school, client work updates, and marketing emails. Everyone’s email is like that. You can’t assume that your audience is waiting for an email from you. You are disrupting them in what you want to be a good way.
2. Focus on your recipient. How do you disrupt your audience’s schedule in a good way? Make your emails about them. You have to focus on the recipient. What’s in it for them? It’s not about what you want to say. Think about the value you’re providing for them. Are you educating, entertaining, or informing them?
3. Incite curiosity, not confusion. There is a difference between inciting curiosity and being confusing. Inciting curiosity means hinting at some sort of value whether it’s letting them in on the latest gossip or sharing information. Email subjects like, “The #1 Tip to …” are better than subject lines that consist of random words that don’t make sense coming out of nowhere. If you aren’t careful, your email can end up looking like spam, so focus on creating curiosity.
4. Don’t rely on tricks. You can trick people only once. If you’re in the marketing or business space, you might have seen emails that say “I’ve Got Money For You” or “I Tried to Send Money to Your Account”. Then you open it and see that it’s spam. You can trick people into opening your email once, but once you’ve done that you’ve blown your credibility. Let’s not rely on tricks, let’s rely on old-fashioned value. Be upfront and have a lot of integrity when you’re communicating.
5. Always provide value. If you have a compelling offer and you convey that in a clear manner focused on your reader, people are going to want to open your email. Don’t focus on tricks, hacks, and persuasion techniques. Just provide value and focus so much on that.
6. Respect your reader. Don’t play tricks on them, don’t talk down to them, just straight up talk value and people will like it. It’s a conversation. You don’t want to be the one who’s always selling. You don’t want to be the person who is constantly talking in a conversation and stops anyone from getting a word in and you don’t want to do that with email either. Make sure to respect your reader.
7. Don’t write to a mass. Don’t treat every recipient of your email equally. Because they all joined at different times, they might have no idea what you’re talking about when you mention an event from one month ago. You aren’t talking to a mass of people, you’re talking to individuals. Your audience joined at different times for different reasons and they’re all coming from different places, so treat them as individuals.
8. Opt for clarity over cleverness. I love cleverness and wordplay, but if it just confuses people, it’s not worth it. I’d much rather see a direct email offering 50% off or a new schedule than some tricky thing that doesn’t make sense. Be careful when you’re trying to get your audience’s attention so that you don’t lose them with cleverness.
9. Don’t assume anything. Don’t assume your email list opened your last email, knows who you are, or purchased your product. I get emails all the time that I don’t remember signing up for. It can look like spam, especially if you’re treating your email list like they should know who you are. Assume nothing and educate them.
10. Catch Attention Authentically. Don’t go out of your way with 47 emojis or crazy language in your subject line. Just be authentic. Your audience wants to engage with people who are real, so be yourself in a clear and compelling way.
P.S. Get this list in a handy PDF format here!
Before you record a video…
…Send an email…
…Write a blog post…
You need to ask yourself ONE question:
As a result of reading this email, what do I want my audience to do?
As a result of watching this Facebook live, what do I want my viewers to do?
There should be one primary action or piece of knowledge that you want to pass on.
So many people sit down to write and they’re so consumed with, “Okay, how I’m going to get them to open this email… and how I’m going to catch their attention… and how am I going to make sure they click here and do this or that…?”
They’re looking for tricks and little ninja hacks to get people into the email, to suck them in and be entertaining.
Then, as a result, they completely lose the clarity of the email.
They get so wrapped up in the hoopla that they don’t get their message across! The reader ends up lost, confused, or asking, “So what?”
Before I produce anything, whether it’s for a client or for myself, I ask, “What is it that I want to convey to them? What is the message I want them to take away? What is the action I want them to take?”
If you let that be your guiding principle for everything you do, it’s going to do a couple of things:
First and foremost, it’s going to ensure that you have a clear call to action. You should not be communicating with your audience just to say hi, like “Hey, what’s going on?”
That’s wasting people’s time.
You need to have a reason to be connecting with them, and that reason is the primary message you want to convey to them and the primary action you want them to take.
Start with that action in mind and then move on from there.
Maybe again it’s to click on a link so they can subscribe to your email list (which is what I want you to do after you get through reading this post! Go right here and put in your email so I can communicate with you more directly).
Maybe it’s to go to a sales page.
Maybe it’s to know that the time of a class has changed.
Maybe it’s to know that there are options for them to work with you beyond the ones they’re already using.
There are a million things you might want to convey, and that you COULD convey, but you need to have one primary one and stick to it like glue. Make that your front and center and have it in mind before you sit down to produce any content.
When you do that, the reader or viewer or audience member knows the next step to take.
Don’t get so tied up in the wrapping that you lose sight of what’s inside the box that they’re going to unwrap. Keep the main thing, the main thing — and then work outward from there.
Once you have the main idea down, you can look at the rest of your communication. You can look at your subject line and see how you’re going to incite curiosity. You can look at your opening and say, “Okay, what’s the question I want to ask them to draw them in? What’s an image I can use for this ad or blog post? What’s a compelling opening?”
All that other stuff has its place, but it comes from that core of the message you want to pass on, the core of that action you want them to take, the core of the knowledge you want to impart to them.
Start with that.
Forget about the tricks. Forget about the ninja hacks. Forget about influence and persuasion. Just share your message clearly and you’re going to be 80% of the way there and head and shoulders over 80% of the audience.
Remember: Simplicity Sells!
P.S. My number one thing I would like you to do today is to subscribe. You’ll get tons of glitter, margarita recipes, and ways to make your communication convert like a boss.