Asking the experts: the power of words for coaches (Bee Stevenson)

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Bee, you are a copywriter and work with coaches on a regular basis. What is their main question or struggle?

As a copywriter, coaches typically approach me to help them make sense of their website copy. Oftentimes, I find coaches struggle with making it abundantly clear who they’re there to serve and why. It makes sense though, right?! Coaches tackle so many challenges and guide their clients towards a wide variety of solutions. When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see how the heart of their message gets lost along the way. It’s my job, as a professional wordsmith, to take their copy back to basics and ensure that it expresses who they are, whom they help, why and how.

I also often find that coaches forget to let their driving force sit front and centre, whether that’s their passion for helping clients to recognize that they're a whole and capable human being or their view that beginning a coaching journey is something to be celebrated, so that’s something I also help to develop.

I see that, just as with other professions there is this tendency to use a lot of jargon/ coach language. While this is maybe not the best way to reach potential clients, because it is not ‘their’ language. Do you recognize this?

When we’re used to expressing ourselves in a certain way in our professional lives, we often forget that we can sometimes sound like we’re speaking in tongues to those outside of our industry. Whilst I don’t try and erase the language entirely, as I think it’s okay in small amounts as long as it is clearly defined, I do try and relay ideas in a way that prospective clients would both understand and respect. For instance, I once worked with a wonderful coach who was using the word ‘fabulous’ to describe the way clients would feel once working with her. I pointed out, however, that it wasn’t perhaps the word that prospective clients would resonant with the most. They might instead be looking to feel ‘resilient’ or ‘empowered’.

Language wields power and that’s something that I try and teach every single coach that I work with.

And for coaches who are not yet ready to hire someone like you yet (which I would recommend to do actually J) Do you have advise / question they can ask themselves when they want to write about who they are and what they offer?

Firstly, some copywriters, like myself, offer more affordable ‘hand-holding’ options like Zoom calls and such where you can walk through the process together guided by their expertise. So, definitely enquire if you’re perhaps not able to invest entirely in the services of a copywriter but still want to be privy to their knowledge. Secondly, I think it’s important to remember the basics - as referenced earlier. Who are you? How did your personal journey influence your coaching journey? What values have permeated both your personal and professional lives? Who do you help? How do you help them? Why? What are you most passionate about with relation to coaching? Helping clients to recognise that we’re able to make a ‘fresh start’ at any time of life? Helping clients to recognise that they're deserving of time spent focused on themselves and their development? You cannot write website copy for your coaching biz without knowing these things. Spend time thinking about them.

Do you have any tips how to establish yourself as an expert in your field as a coach?

'The content you create for your website and various social media platforms is extremely important to consider as it’s here where you’re able to best demonstrate your value to your potential client.

Coaching is very much led by human emotions and experiences so your potential clients may well look beyond your accreditations and training in order to determine whether or not you’re the right coach for them. Your content thus needs to do two things in order to establish you as an expert: share knowledge and share experience. Both are just as important as the other. Every time you lift the lid on small ways your clients can begin to look inwards or share stories about your own shared history of the various challenges that life throws at us, you’re re-affirming that you know your stuff and have the tools needed to guide them forward. It’s not about quantity, however.

You could publish a post per day but if it’s not well-considered it’s going to do you a disservice. What do your clients need to know? How can you demonstrate that you’re the coach for them? Take time to measure what it is you’re trying to say and be sure to format your content in such a way that makes it easy for your clients to process.

Subheadings, jargon-free copy and links to relevant articles that support your philosophy are all important things to consider!

Don’t over-think it. If you have expertise in your field, it should naturally radiate through every observation, every piece of advice and every little word you say without you even realizing!'

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