Thursday, February 19, 2015

Build an Unforgettable Online Presence

Of course you already have a website, right?  But an unforgettable online presence requires a lot more than just a single domain with a blog and a “hire me” page.  It’s also critical to include your social circles, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and others.

A word of caution before we begin, though: social media can be a huge time suck if you let it be.  Set up some boundaries for yourself and stick to them!  It may be that you find 15 minutes a day enough time to hop on social media and interact with your market.  Or maybe you need 30 minutes.  Just make sure that however long you decide to devote to it, that you get on there and do what you need to do and not get sidetracked.
So, should you be on all the different social media sites? There isn't a correct answer for this.  It's going to depend greatly on your target market.  You have to find out where they hang out and build a presence there.

The idea behind your social presence is to engage with your market easily.  Sure, they can comment on your blog and you can respond back to them there, but it isn't a great platform to interact with them on a more personal level.  On Facebook, for example, your audience will get a glimpse into who you are as a person and learn more about you on a personal level.  This is huge because people buy from those they know, like and trust!
Here’s something you need to be cautious of, though.  If part of your coaching message is teaching your clients to have an attitude of gratitude, but every post you share is negative, that sends a mixed message to your audience.

Take a second to think about how your market will interpret the post you're getting ready to share.  That old saying "think before you speak" should be true for social media too - "think before you post!"   For example, do they really need to know that your daughters are squabbling amongst themselves and currently none of them are speaking to each other? Some things just aren't meant to be shared, especially if you're trying to build a relationship with current clients or your market of potential dream coaching clients. 
Another important part of building your online presence is “social proof.”  Aside from building that personal relationship with your audience, you're also building social proof and showing them that you are the best at what you say you can do.  Interact on these social sites, offer helpful advice to those with questions and share your message (don't forget to include your USP).  People will begin to think, “Hey, she really does know what she's talking about.  I'm interested in talking to her/finding out more about her services.”
That’s the true power of an unforgettable online presence.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Secret of the USP

A unique selling proposition, also known as USP, is that thing about you and your service(s) that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.  You may be thinking, but I just spent all this time narrowing down my specialty and figuring out who my ideal client is so why would I need to figure out a USP?
Well, let's face it - no matter how narrowed down your target market is, there's more than likely going to be someone else out there in the coaching world who also targets your market.  So now it's important to show your market what makes you stand out from the competition.  Your unique selling proposition needs to be incorporated into your marketing message because it's just one more way to ensure you're attracting the right market and landing only those dream clients you wish to work with.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to USP's is trying to keep their prices lower than others in their niche.  This isn't a good idea, though.  First, you absolutely must charge what you’re worth, and engaging in a race to the bottom of the pricing barrel will only result in lowered standards and unhappy clients.  Never use pricing as part of your USP.
Instead, because you took the time and made the effort to narrow down your ideal client, there isn't anyone who knows your target market better than you do.  Build your USP around this.  For example, you know your market's challenges, any patterns they have, and more - so build on these things and create a USP that includes those (and your solution) in some way.  It must resonate with your target audience so you attract the right client.
Finally, there’s one last thing to keep in mind when it comes to your USP.  It must answer the key question: why should someone do business with me?  To answer this, think about the benefits your services offer as well as the solutions you’ll help clients find.

Just like narrowing down your niche and ideal client, the more specific you are about your unique selling proposition, the easier it will be to market it.  And as you and your business grow, it's a good idea to reevaluate every so often to see if your USP has changed at all.  If it has, you'll need to tweak your marketing efforts in order to reflect this.