Are you getting the right people booking discovery calls with you? Or do you sometimes find people are asking you about services you don’t offer? You might be wondering what’s going on. After all, you’ve written who you help in your LinkedIn bio, and you’ve got it clearly on your homepage. In this article I’m talking about how people know if your service is for them – or not.
The problem with being helpful
We love being helpful, don’t we? We just can’t stop ourselves. And when someone asks a question about something that we know about we dive straight in on that comment thread, or join the conversation. Then you sit at your desk wondering what to write about, and think, ‘I know, there was that really good conversation, I could share my tips around that’.
Now usually, that’s not a bad strategy. Someone has asked a question about something you absolutely know about, and it’s easy content to create.
However, before you start typing (or recording) it’s important to ask yourself this question: was that conversation about something you want to be found for?
Or in your rush to be helpful and get those lovely endorphins from knowing you’ve benefited another human, have you put out a message about something you don’t actually do?
Creating helpful content is good. In fact, Google has said it wants you to do exactly that. But you need to make sure you are putting the right messages out into the universe. If you write about skiing when you love sitting by the pool reading books, don’t be upset if people talk to you about slaloming.
Tell people clearly that you are talking them
It’s easy to talk generally to people. Hopefully, you’re writing ‘you’ in your content. But who is ‘you’? How do you differentiate who they are so they know you are talking to them? Drop in phrases which give context. For example, I work with coaches and consultants who sell services to other businesses so I talk about offers, companies, proposals, and discovery calls.
If you read that last line and thought, ‘that’s me!’ Great! But you might have read it and thought, oh, I’m not one of those people. That’s good too! It means you’ll get value from reading this article and then if you need 1:1 support you’ll look for someone who does cater for you.
Use your ideal client’s language
How do your clients talk about themselves? What job title do they use? How would they describe their work? When you are writing, use that language. It shows people you are talking to them and that you know their world. You understand them.
When you’re looking for someone to work with, you want that to be as easy as possible. They can immediately see you as a partner who understands the environment you’re working in. You know what different people do, and how to navigate your way around their business.
Be really specific about who your offer is for
‘Will this work for me?’ Is a question I often ask myself when reading a sales page. I’m fairly sure it’s a question you have in the back of your mind whenever an offer lands in your inbox, or shows up on social media and you click through.
‘This sounds great! But…’ You want to know if this is a thing for someone like you.
How can you help people who are looking at your sales pages or social media posts and wondering at the same time know whether to sign up or not?
“I’m looking for x people who a, b, c and want to p, q, r to take part in my … programme. You will…”
You can also have a subheading on your sales page which says: “Who this is for.” Or, “This is for you if…” And then you can list a few key signals that enable your prospective client to judge whether they fit the criteria.
For instance, how long someone has been in business for, or what their position is within a business. Perhaps you want people who have hit a particular milestone, or are wanting to do so, like being recently promoted, or achieving a revenue goal in their business.
How are they feeling?
We tend to think of sales as a logical process but it isn’t at all. We buy emotionally and then retrofit a logical reason for the purchase afterwards. Tap into your ideal client’s feelings. Are they frustrated? Are they ambitious? Do they wish someone would listen to them? Are they scared?
And how do they want to feel? If you waved a magic wand for them, what would happen? Talk about the hopes and dreams of your ideal client because this is the transformation you seek to make.
If someone is reading your blog post and thinking, ‘that’s not what I want for my life’ then they are not your ideal client and they will move on. But the people you serve will read it and think you have read their minds. You get them. You are going to help them.
If you’re not sure what your ideal client’s hopes and dreams are, then identify some people you think would be a good fit for your service. Then ask them if they will have a call with you so you can do some market research. Ask them about where they are now and where they want to get to. Then use those words and phrases on your sales page and write about those issues on your blog.
Put people off directly
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of ways to indicate to someone that they are in the right place and subtly show others that they are in the wrong place. But what if you want to actively tell some people to stop reading?
You can provide the yin to your yang. If you have written, “this is for you if..” you could also have a list saying “this is not for you if”.
We had a chat about this in Rachel’s Writing Club recently and we all agreed we don’t like passive aggressive messages which effectively tell us that if we don’t buy we’re ruining our lives forever, or we’re stupid, or we obviously don’t want to grow our businesses.
You don’t want to make your prospective client feel small.
However, you may have good reason for saying to someone that this isn’t for them. For example, if they are time poor, a self-study course requiring them to commit 5 hours a week probably isn’t going to work for them. Likewise, if you work in an area where someone needs to have achieved a particular level of knowledge or experience to work with you, you need to tell them that so they can come back when they are ready (or direct them to another way you can help them meet that requirement).
You can gently rebuff the wrong people in a helpful way. No-one wants to invest in something and then find it isn’t for them.
If you don’t want to directly put people off, you could say, “Want to be sure this is for you? Let’s have a chat.” Alternatively, you could have an application form and then give discovery calls or next steps to the people who meet your requirements.
Get the clients you want
I always say that if you don’t tell people, they will never know. When you talk to your ideal clients in their language, about what is happening in their life, and about what they want to achieve then you will attract those people because they are actively looking for you. They are searching the internet for solutions. They will read social media posts which chime with their outlook. They will ask their friends who helped them with what you do.
Call out to the people you want to work with.
If you are a coach or consultant who provides services to other businesses and you would like help with writing then let’s have a chat. I run Rachel’s Writing Club, offer 1:1 programmes, and write website copy, including sales pages.