News Post

Copy for coaches: writing sales copy when you're just getting started

Brand Position

If you’ve been on the internet this decade, I don’t have to tell you that the coaching industry is booming. There isn’t a topic under the sun that doesn’t have at least a handful of online coaches eager to guide you on your journey of learning a new skillset.  Whether it’s business strategies, fitness, or even mental and spiritual health, the possibilities seem to be endless.

There are a lot of really talented professionals out there who have valuable information and experience they are willing to share with the world.  Maybe you are considering joining their ranks, or maybe you are beginning the process but are having difficulty promoting your services.

I feel your pain.  It can be overwhelming, especially when you’re new to the game and all your competitors seem to have millions of followers and thousands of testimonials making amazing claims.

In fact, this is where many of my clients seem to get stuck.  As a copywriting and brand strategist, clients often come to me for help writing website copy and lead pages.

Today, I was reminded of how real the struggle can be during a Facebook live Q&A I was listening to. This particular member had no testimonials, and no metrics on which to make promises on, so she felt stuck when it came to writing her sales page copy.  It’s a common issue for coaches starting up.  They want to appear already hugely successful and established, but dislike the idea of being dishonest, or making unfounded claims or promises.

So, what’s the solution?

I’m going to let you in on a little copywriting secret of mine.  You ready? People choose your product and services over others because they TRUST you.  How do you gain their trust?

1.      You offer one heck of a “satisfaction guarantee”, coupled with success stats and client testimonials

2.      You connect with them on a deeper level and so they know you understand their struggles and have found a solution to the exact obstacles they are facing.  

For those of you starting out, strategy 1 is not really an option for you, but option 2 is just as, if not more successful when applied correctly.  Here’s the gist of how you do it:

1.      Choose a header that highlights an Outcome

This is not the same as making a bold and specific promise that you cannot validate yet.  As you grow in your industry, then you can absolutely get specific with headers like, “Finally, a guaranteed way to double your client list within 90 days”.  For now, you want to walk the fine line of building intrigue without being too vague or too specific.  “I know why you don’t have enough clients, and I can help”.  Or “Do you struggle every month to find clients? Here’s why...”

2.      Identify with your readers

Open your copy by identifying with your audience and letting them know you understand what they are struggling with by describing their challenges in great detail.  Ray Edwards articulates one of the greatest copywriting truths in his book “Copy that Sells” (thanks for keeping the lights on).  In his book, Ray talks about how impactful it is to accurately describe your client’s pain.  If the reader feels you really understand what it is they are struggling with, then they will also feel you will do a better job of solving the problem because of your heightened insight.


3.      Take them on your journey

Since you don’t have testimonials to support your brand, you must explain how you know your services work.  Nothing accomplishes this better than a story.  Whether it’s results you received for yourself, or the method you used to create a solution based on a problem you observed, a story is an unparalleled strategy to connect with your reader and create a buy in for your process.

There are two things you must remember to include in your journey

1.      The big unveiling:  That “aha” moment when you figured out what no one else has been able to figure out.

2.      Why you were so motivated to solve this problem? What potential misfortunes befall those who never solve this problem?


4.       Introduce the Product

This is where a lot of coaches get stuck.  They view their services as a nebulous entity that cannot be properly articulated on paper.  If you can’t articulate what you do on paper, then you are not ready to open up shop.  Your services are your product and if you intend to build your brand you must have a clear and consistent idea of how you solve someone’s problem. There are two basic pieces to this:

1.      The overall description:  This is where you take really give the reader a feel for what they can expect when they work with you.  Be sure to describe your services in great detail.  What makes your coaching style stand out against all the rest?  What do you focus on that most coaches overlook?

2.      Deliverables:  When writing this section, ask yourself, “what are the features of my services?” “What does everyone get no matter what?” What tools and resources do you offer to support your clients? It could be workbooks, recipe books, or even support groups.  As you move into your description of deliverables, be sure to highlight your most valuable features by describing benefits, rather than just listing them.  For example, if all of your clients gain access to a six month mastermind, describe what that could mean for them and why your mastermind is such an asset.

5.      The Promise

Here is where it gets a bit tricky.  Typically, this is the section of a sales letter that lists all the testimonials and proofs for a company, but when you’re just getting started, you want to swap this out for a promise since you don’t have testimonials just yet.  In this section, take this time to really delve into the Outcomes you hinted at in the header.  Use hypothetical situations that your services are designed to solve.

“Let XYZ put you back in the driver’s seat of your own business. My  structured and efficient method for lead generation and conversion are the solution to countless hours of haphazard sales tactics yielding poor results.  You’ll never again have to worry that...”

6.      Closing the Sale

This is the point at which you disclose the investment cost, reiterate the features and bonuses, and make the all-important ask to buy.

As you ask them to make a decision, remind them of what life could look like if they say yes to this opportunity, and also the consequences of not taking you up on this offer.

I often end with an inspiration quote and one last “buy now” link right at the end.

And there you have it.  A sales letter for coaches just getting started.  Remember, “It’s not how big you are, but how big you play”.