How to attract more clients and make more sales by (strategically) sharing your expertise
If you have a coaching, consulting or wellness business – or if you offer a service based on your expertise – one of the best things you can do to market yourself is to share your expertise.
Sharing your wisdom gets you in front of potential clients, increases your credibility and takes people one step closer to working with you.
Our simple marketing strategy runs along 2 rails:
- Building relationships with people
- Sharing your expertise
Today, we’re going to talk about the second rail: sharing your expertise. (Rather watch this on video? Here you go: EP 73 – sharing your expertise)
You can do this online through content marketing which includes things like:
- Writing: blogging, articles, PDFs, white papers, reports…even a book!
- Speaking on video: broadcasting live, delivering webinars, recording and publishing videos
- Recording audio: podcasting
- Creating images: infographics, image quotes, slides
You can also share your expertise in-person by delivering presentations, teaching workshops or using your 2-minute networking introduction as a teaching opportunity.
Where sharing your expertise fits in the journey from “never heard of you before” to paying client
This diagram outlines our marketing system. The pink parts are what we’re talking about today.
There are 3 things that YOU do:
- Get in front of new people
- Educate and build know, like and trust
- Have a sales conversation
And there are 2 places where your future clients can engage with you by “raising their hands” to show that they are interested.
- They can “opt-in” to get information from you (sign up for your email list or join your FB community)
- They can book into your calendar to have a conversation with you
Content marketing is at its most powerful in the middle section.
How content marketing can do a lot of the work of building a relationship without you needing to be there!
“All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.” ~ Bob Burg
“Things don’t have to be equal.” ~ Patty’s addendum
Over time, you build up a library – a body of work – that people can dive into to find out more about who you are, what you offer and how you can help them.
IF you do it well, here’s how content marketing builds know, like and trust:
Know: if you share it on social media or “boost” it with an ad, it lets people know you exist. The more often you show up, the more people feel like they know you.
Like: it shows your personality, values, point of view (as long as you use your own voice!)
Trust: positions you as an expert who can help your future client solve a problem or get a result
The key to effective content marketing is to share your expertise:
Are you making these mistakes? Things that kinda sorta look like content marketing (but really aren’t)
Content marketing is NOT:
Advertising. If you write an article or blog post that is a “teaser” or a list of reasons why someone should “buy your thing” – it’s an advertisement, not content. If you trick people into reading or clicking by promising an answer in the title or headline, then “answering” with a sales pitch, you can end up creating dislike and mistrust! (There’s a place for advertising, but it’s not here!)
Photos of your lunch or your pets. These things can be fine for showing a human side to you or creating a closer connection, but they don’t lead to business. Add them if you’d like, but don’t “count” them as marketing!
Sharing stuff from other people without adding anything to it. Curating content from others and sharing it with your audience can be a great way to provide value while doing less work! Just make sure you add your 2 cents to it so that you get some promotional value from it.
A simple, 3-step content marketing plan
A good, solid content marketing plan has these 3 components:
Long form content. A meaty article or juicy video with lots of good stuff in it. Weekly is ideal if you can make it work with your schedule. You can publish these to your blog, on social media – or on someone else’s blog or publication.
Consistency is important, so pick something that works for YOU.
Georgee and I broadcast a 1-hour video every Wednesday. It’s mostly teaching mixed in with some observations and commentary. We chose this method because it’s fun and easy for us.
Shorter posts. Quotes from you. Snippets of content from your longer articles or videos. Short tips or pieces of advice. You can post these frequently on social media (or get a robot or assistant to do it for you.)
Opt-in gift. This is a substantial piece of content that you give away in exchange for an email address or as a gift when someone joins your online community (eg: a Facebook group).
Ours is a 2-hour training that outlines our entire marketing system: How to sell coaching and consulting services without cold calling, complicated tech or pushy sales tactics
One piece of no-good rotten advice you can safely ignore
If you write a long article or record a long video, chances are, someone will be sure to advise you:
“No one’s gonna read (or watch) all that”
They may even throw in the goldfish “fact”
“People have the attention span of a goldfish.”
Here’s the actual truth:
“People don’t watch or read content that bores them. You can’t BORE people into buying from you.” ~ paraphrasing David Ogilvy
A quick guide to de-borifying your content:
- Talk about your audience’s problems and desires (future clients will NOT be bored by this…even if you are!)
- Write/speak like a human (don’t try to sound “professional” – this tends to add yawn-inducing jargon and multisyllabic, yet meaningless words)
FYI – those “goldfish” people ALSO binge-watch Netflix. (Because it’s not boring!)
Nervous about sharing your wisdom? This tip will change everything!
You’re not writing for “people” or for “everyone” – and you sure as hell aren’t writing for your critics, that 8th grade English teacher who gave you an “F” on your paper or your competitors.
You have one audience for your wisdom and one audience only: your future clients.
And here’s what we know about them: they want to hear from you (including your offers!)
Picture your future clients when you write or speak.
They need and want your help. They’re looking for you. They’re going to be glad they found you. They’re going to buy from you and become one of your awesome clients that you so enjoy working with.
As a super nifty byproduct of doing this, you’ll also attract some supporters who will send you positive notes, share your stuff or send you referrals – and some “lurkers” who receive tremendous value from your content, but don’t ever reveal themselves.
(I think this is the best thing about content marketing: it turns your marketing into a way of adding positive value to the world and making a difference in people’s lives!)
These people won’t ever buy from you – however – they won’t mind a bit when you make offers. (They’ll WANT you succeed so that you can keep producing awesome content for them!)
When you truly take this advice in, you’ll discover:
Why unsubscribes and unfollows are awesome! (And “vanity metrics” are expensive.)
I think of my unsubscribers as lost.
They’re looking for their advisor, the one that best fits what they need and want – and it’s not us!
They are someone else’s clients!
We’re not in the business of convincing and converting and persuading – our goal is “fit” – so when someone decides to leave our circle, it’s a good thing.
I’m happy that they’re closer to finding their way.
Because they’re not our people – our messages would not be helpful and welcome. They may even perceive us as pesky or annoying.
We don’t want to inflict that on anyone – and we don’t want to dial down what we say (or how we say it) to try to make it more palatable for people who aren’t a good fit.
That serves no one!
When you get completely focused on serving your future clients, you can let go of the quest for more likes, more subscribers, more followers, more connections.
We see a lot of people wasting time and money pursuing these “vanity metrics” – participating in “like ladders” or paying for “views” or buying followers – in order to look more popular.
Unless you’re a professional “influencer” – there’s no solid business case for amassing a large group of people who are uninterested in ever supporting or buying from you.
As I learned from George Kao, non-audience “likes” can drive up your advertising costs and disengaged email list subscribers lower the click and open rates on your emails.
It’s far better to have a list of 100 future clients than a list of 10,000 uninterested strangers (even if the latter is more impressive to some people!)
How to write content that your future clients will actually read (or watch)
The “sweet spot” for content creation lies in the overlap between your expertise and the problems/desires of your future client.
When you talk about their problems or desires, you attract their attention and let them know that your content is relevant to their interests.
Once you’ve established that, you can explain and educate – showing them what they really need to get where they want to go.
The biggest mistake we experts make is talking about our expertise without considering our future clients. Our stuff is awesome! We want to share it!
And future clients don’t care unless we make it relevant to them.
Imagine your future client asking you: “what’s in it for me?” Then tell them!
The second biggest mistake is withholding the valuable information. This results in “click bait” articles that promise the goods and deliver insubstantial fluff. It’s also the strategy behind most webinars and “sell from the stage” presentations that promise amazing insights and deliver an infomercial.
How to structure your content so that it gets attention instead of crickets
Good content follows the ABCs of copywriting:
- Attention-grabbing headline or title: talk about your future clients’ problems or desires
- Body content with benefits: share your expertise while linking it back to what’s in it for them
- Call to action at the end: what should they do next?
For content marketing, the most important part is the title or headline. If it doesn’t attract their attention and interest, they won’t read it (or even notice it!)
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
~ David Ogilvy
But Patty….if I give away my best stuff, what’s left to buy?
This article (and everything else that Georgee and I teach) is directed towards coaches, consultants, wellness practitioners and other service-providers who work with clients directly or sell courses that include access to them.
If the service you sell includes implementation, coaching and accountability, feedback, advice, collaboration, community, done-for-you or done-with-you work – then you can give information away freely.
When you share your expertise, you’re showing your future clients that you can help them and that you know your stuff. Information alone will never replace the work they do with YOU.
“If more information was the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” ~ Derek Sivers
No matter how much “information” you share, it won’t be enough for your future clients. They’ll still need your help and support.
But sharing that information will go a long way towards building the know, like and trust they’ll need before they hire you.