How to Build Your Coaching Empire with Troy Howard
I have been blessed over the past 18 years to speak on the stages of some of the top business coaches. I have watched them grow their client base from a handful of customers to hundreds, from small monthly fees to annual memberships as high as $100,000. Even though these business coaches all work in different industries with different programs there is one marketing strategy that all of them have used to accelerate their business. What would you guess it is?
For most people, they would answer word of mouth or referrals. That’s a good answer and would apply to most coaching businesses, but there is a fatal flaw in referrals which can limit growth. The flaw is that a referral is usually a one-to-one conversation. You spend all of this time and energy creating success for your client and if you’re lucky they share that experience with only one person. If you’re really lucky they might share it with two or three people, but when your client stops sharing their experience the referrals end.
How do we take the power of referrals from one-to-one to one-to-many? How do we bring it to the masses? That is what we call social proof and the best coaches in the world leverage the power of it to attract new clients daily because when you capture it once you can share it a million times.
The most common forms of social proof are expert or industry proof, celebrity endorsement and user social proof in the form of testimonials and reviews. As business coaches are you utilizing this marketing strategy? Are you capturing the success stories of your clients and using them in all of your marketing?
The most powerful form of social proof is testimonials and reviews. First, 88% of people believe a review is as good as a personal recommendation from a family member or a friend. They want to hear what your clients are saying about you and they want to see your clients’ results. In fact, 70% of them will not only check your website and social media for social proof, they will actually research you online to see what third party sites are saying about you. That is why it is so important to make sure that you have social proof and positive reviews on third party sites.
Second, when potential clients see your social proof they will begin to trust you. Trust is one of the key components in a coaching relationship. If your potential client does not trust you then they will never enroll in your program. That is why building trust through social proof and the success of your existing clients is crucial.
Finally, nine out of ten people said they would spend more money for a superior experience or result. Are you seeing the pattern here? Social proof is nearly as good as a personal recommendation from a friend. It builds trust with the potential client convincing them they will have a superior experience or result by using you which means they will pay more for it. That is why social proof generates not only more clients but higher paying clients as well.
So, how do you capture more social proof from your clients? First and foremost, frame the relationship with the expectation that when you deliver what you promise, you would like to capture their results as part of your social proof. What does that mean? You must prime your client in the beginning that you want to capture their results. What you’re doing is setting the expectation of what they’re going to get, and setting that expectation of what they’re going to do for you in return. By doing this they will be excited to give the social proof at the end when you deliver what you promised.
I cannot say this enough: If you don’t talk about capturing social proof from your clients in the beginning then they may not feel the commitment to give it to you after you deliver the results. I want you to think about doing it daily because if you’re touching two or three clients a day, why wouldn’t you ask to capture their recent success stories? It holds you accountable for your work and creates the most powerful marketing you can gather.
How should you ask your clients to share their results? The best way is to do it in person. That’s going to get you the most convincing social proof. Being present with the person will create more excitement and emotion. If you cannot do it in person than you should call the client and ask for them to do it right away and send it to you. Calling them will create that connection with them again and will help motivate them to do it for you.
There are several mediums you can use to capture more social proof. One way is to get a written testimonial or review. This is a good way to do it but make sure that you get a picture from them as well so that you can give a face to the written review. The more personal you can make it the more believable it will be.
The very best thing you can do is get a video from your clients. Google didn’t spend over a billion dollars on YouTube because they thought it was cool; they did it because they knew video was one of the most powerful forms of communication on the internet. Video is the fastest way to connect with a person and create an emotion in them. Just imagine how powerful and convincing a video review from your best client would be in getting potential clients to sign up for your program?
The top coaches in the world have not only mastered the capture of social proof, they have perfected the dissemination of it through all of their marketing. In my next article I will share how to use social proof in all of your marketing from email to print to online. So get out there and start capturing your social proof today!
About Troy Howard
Troy Howard’s passion for combining technology and marketing has been a driving force in his life, leading him from selling yellow page ads to an executive of a publicly traded company, and ultimately an entrepreneur and champion of small businesses. Troy’s current project and passion will be another industry disruptor in online reviews. He recently launched SoTellUs, the world’s only review platform that let’s businesses instantly collect video, audio and written reviews from their customers using an app on a smartphone or tablet.
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