Especially when you’re starting out or in the process of upgrading your business website, the copy on your webpages may seem more important than your other communication.
Now before I launch into why these 3 under-rated pieces of copy will make a difference to your business: a little confession — these pieces aren’t technically ‘copy.’
Strictly speaking, ‘copy’ is an advertising and marketing term that refers to promotional writing designed to persuade someone to buy or influence beliefs that will prime a person to buy. And when it comes to your coaching business, your website copy must compel readers to connect with you, get on your mailing list and ultimately hire you as their coach.
But website copy is not the only copy you should consider when wanting to build a successful coaching business.
My philosophy is that every piece of your communication should be treated as a promotional tool – because it is.
That’s why it’s so important you see every piece of writing (outside of your journal), as having the power to build trust and credibility.
Here are 3 underrated pieces of copy that are absolutely essential to nail if you want to build a solid reputation as a coach.
Email Confirmation Letter
Your new client should receive an email confirmation letter within minutes of transferring money to you.
Even if you’ve already outlined the process of working with you on your website, you need a well-crafted email that contains three things:
- Genuine thanks and excitement that they’ve taken the step to work with you.
- A brief step-by-step description of how your process works. (Yes, even if this is on your website or you’ve spoken about it already.)
- One simple call-to-action that has them take the next step. (This could be filling out your questionnaire or simply marking your first session in their diary).
The intention of this piece is for your client to feel safe with you and reassured that they’ve made the right decision in choosing you as their coach. This email confirmation is a key part of handling the inevitable buyer’s remorse or doubt.
Whenever we make a significant purchase, no matter how excited we are or how amazing whatever we purchased is (and that includes coaching with you!), there is a degree of wondering if we’ve made the right decision. To build a successful coaching business you need to be proactive when it comes to buyer’s remorse. Every opportunity to turn doubt into trust must be taken.
Thank You Letter
We don’t think of a ‘thank you letter’ as ‘copy’, but we should. A thoughtful, well-crafted thank you letter sent to a client who has completed a coaching series with you (whether via email or handwritten and sent via a dove) communicates genuine care for their development as well as your professionalism.
Ideally you want clients to recommend you to their friends and associates without the slightest hesitation. A personal thank you letter that wraps up your time working together is an absolute essential piece of communication. It is one that I believe should be part of your must-have copy kit.
In my ideal world, we’d all be sending and receiving hand-written letters every single day. But at the very least sending a beautifully written thank you note to your coaching clients positions you favorably. (As an aside, I don’t offer a handwritten letter service yet, but if that piques your interest and your handwriting isn’t lovely, I’d be happy to write one on your behalf!)
Client Feedback Request
It’s no secret that building a successful coaching business requires building social proof. We all value testimonials because other people raving about you is understandably more effective than…. you raving about you.
What scares most coaches starting out is the prospect of *actually asking* for testimonials. So don’t ask for a testimonial. Ask for feedback instead.
Crafting a client feedback request that doesn’t feel like an arduous feedback form to your time-poor clients is key to building a successful coaching business. This is because you need social proof and people will only give it to you when it’s not hard for them. That’s why I see the client feedback email as a must-have piece of copy.
Even though I’m not a coach, as a copywriter I’ve observed what works for me as well as for my clients who are coaches. After observation and experimentation, I believe eliciting feedback effectively comes down to these three elements.
- Fewer questions = thoughtful answers
- Make it casual
- Timing is everything
I love writing and even I don’t like filling out surveys or lengthy forms. So keep your feedback form simple. When I first started out I developed six feedback questions for my clients. Now I have just three. The number doesn’t actually matter. What’s more important is that each question elicits an open, rather than closed response. Posing fewer questions means your client doesn’t feel daunted by the prospect of giving feedback.
By adopting a ‘no pressure’ stance, one that a) conveys how much you’ve loved working with your client and b) invites their thoughts on your service, you client is more likely to respond on the spot. While some people prefer to think through their responses (and that’s ok), ideally you want giving feedback to feel like a no-brainer so your client provides it sooner rather than later. If the request feels too heavy or even desperate, your client will feel pressured and may avoid it.
If you get the timing right, you may not even need to send your official client feedback request to elicit that blow-your-mind testimonial. You can still send your client feedback request later, but pay attention to the gushing odes of praise that arrive in your inbox. Whenever I get one of those spontaneous love notes (side note: mine always contain swear words!) – I know that all I have to do is re-jig it into a testimonial and get my client’s permission to publish it on my Praise Page. I used to think I was somehow not allowed to do this, like I had to be very official with getting feedback. But how easy and fun for both you and your client to take their spontaneous praise and turn it into a testimonial – no further work required.
So when you’re upgrading your copy – or considering hiring a professional copywriter to write copy for you – remember to think beyond your website copy.
Every piece of communication is a promotional tool, Make sure all your words – from those on your website to your client thank you notes – are doing you justice.
Kate Erlenbusch is a writer, teacher and the force behind Word Love, a digital copywriting service and virtual playspace for creatives, coaches and big-hearted business owners who want to sell and serve with soul. When Kate’s not searching for the right words she’s searching for her car keys, or the meaning of last night’s dream. Download Kate’s free eBook 7 Cheeky Secrets of Writing that Sells & Serves at wordlovebykate.com.