Reprinted with the author’s permission from Writing on the Web.
How do you sell something that people don’t know they want or need? Or, maybe they know they need it, but don’t want to admit it? And how do you do that through your online content? What you write on your site has to be compelling.
As I was reviewing two clients’ online content marketing this week, I was struck by how few professionals have well-written content that engages readers.
These two sites were both from successful business coaches. Part of the problems coach websites have is that they are selling services that aren’t clearly defined.
Most people know when they need a dentist: they’ve got a tooth ache. With a back ache, they may search for a doctor, a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or a massage therapist. They may not know which is best so your online site has to do some convincing and comparing.
But what if Joe Schmoe is a budding entrepreneur with ADD and procrastination problems and an online business that’s starting to take off? He needs help, but doesn’t know who to turn to. Does he need a business coach, a psychologist, a personal assistant, a mastermind group, or internet marketing training?
Let’s say you’re a professional coach with experience that matches Joe’s needs. Your online content has to convince Joe that he needs you first and foremost. You have to grab his attention by speaking to his most pressing and compelling desires.
Joe wants to be more effective in his work and in his life. He’s tired of doing the same things over and over and not getting anywhere fast enough. He wants what others seem to have: success and peace of mind.
Yet many of the coach websites and blogs I review talk about themselves:
“We provide top-shelf strengths-based coaching and consulting to entrepreneurs.”
“Visit our Leadership Coaching page to learn more about how coaching helps leaders maximize potential for themselves and their team.”
“Visit our page to find out how we can help you create a more productive organization.”
Compare those bland statements with this:
“After a bout with cancer four and half years ago, John saw his recovery as a second chance at success, and he was determined to make it happen. After Coach X’s assessment testing, John knew he had found the right business coach.”
““Coach X is there to make me better at work. He’s not a psychologist. He’s courteous and friendly, but he’s demanding because he wants me to grow in value to my company.’”
One is personal: it talks about a real person and what he reports. The other site is vague and non-personal. It doesn’t draw you in to want to know more.
I think too few professionals do a good job of using client stories and case studies to show what they do and what kind of results they get. What do you think?
Patsi Krakoff has a doctorate in psychology. Find out more about her writing services at her award-winning content marketing blog, www.writingontheweb.com, and read her free e-Book Content Marketing with Blogs.