Step 1 – Identify Your Target Audience
Whenever you are writing online sales copy, you should picture your dream client in your mind and address them directly:
- What challenges do they face?
- Which needs do they want to be met?
- What are their desires?
- Which problems would they like to solve?
- Which obstacles do they need to overcome?
- Which fears need to be calmed?
- What personal goals are they trying to reach?
Develop your dream client with all their challenges, needs and desires. You can even give them a fictive name (e.g. Tom or Jane) and – in your mind – address each piece of sales copy to this buying persona. “Dear Tom, dear Jane…” This will help you focus on your target group while writing.
Step 2 – Build Your Sales Copy Frame
The most effective online sales copy focuses on how your clients can benefit from the coaching services you offer. This is easier said than done since you won’t be persuasive enough if only listing the main benefits.
Where many coaches and consultants go wrong with online sales copy is allowing their list of services or a couple of bullet points to speak for themselves. But if clients have not met you in person yet and also haven’t used other coaching or consulting services before, they don’t have a frame of reference to evaluate what you offer.
And far too often coaches and consultants only focus on their own achievements to describe themselves or to prove to potential clients that they are “worthy” of being contacted, e.g. by listing all their coaching certificates, consultancy awards, the high number of coaching hours they have provided so far, or the many milestones of their professional career before starting out as a consultant.
But when writing effective online sales copy, you will need to show clearly how your coaching or consulting will improve your clients’ lives or businesses in a tangible way. How will they be enriched? How will they benefit? How will they be able to accomplish what they want? And especially how will they feel once they have accomplished it? You will need to reach them on an emotional level and tap into their desire to bring about change. This means hitting pain points, picturing a future career or business success, or calling out new qualities that will make things easier to achieve.
Your online sales copy is the vehicle for helping potential clients actually see the benefits they can enjoy by investing their money in what you’re offering. So present your coaching or consulting services in such an attractive light, that the reader of your copy finds it more and more difficult to say “no” to it.
Write down how your future clients can benefit from your services, how your coaching/consulting will improve their lives/businesses and how this will make them feel. These text elements build the frame of your sales copy and will be used many times in different variations.
Step 3 – Develop A Core Message
In step 3 you will need to narrow everything down to develop a core message.
Identify one specific pain point or one specific desire that your target audience has and say how your coaching/consulting will benefit them. They might have more pain points or desires, but to develop a core message you will need to focus on only one. That way you don’t overwhelm your audience with too many different choices.
Bring out a clear message about how your services can help when dealing with a specific pain point or trying to fulfil a specific desire.
By the way, when working with an automated sales system to acquire clients online, you can set up several funnels, each of them focusing on one specific pain point or desire and one specific coaching benefit. That way each funnel is bringing out a single clear message. A website can have 3-5 pages for individual services where you focus on one core message per page. The same applies to mailings or similar, only send one core message per email.
Step 4 – Define The Traffic Temperature
Yes, you should always address your target audience. But you also need to consider at what stage of their personal journey people may come across your coaching or consulting offer in a specific piece of sales copy. This is called the “online traffic temperature”.
Cold traffic consists of people that do not know you yet. They are not aware of how your coaching or consulting could help them. They might not even be fully aware of the problem they are dealing with in their lives or businesses.
Warm traffic are people that know you a little already, maybe they follow you on social media or have been on your website before. They are aware of their problem or desire and do believe that your coaching or consulting would be beneficial. They might have just begun to trust you.
Hot traffic are potential clients that know you well already. They are very aware of their problem or desire, and want to get the problem solved or their needs met as soon as possible. They strongly believe your coaching or consulting will benefit them. They also like and trust you.
Of course, it’s almost self-explanatory that converting hot traffic to paying clients is much easier than converting cold traffic.
Every reader of your online sales copy is somewhere along a sliding scale of traffic temperature, from the coldest to the hottest. Effective online sales copy is “warming them up” or pushing them bit by bit up the scale. The “warmer” you can make your traffic, the more likely they will become a lead, and ultimately your paying client.
When writing a specific piece of sales copy, decide what “temperature” your traffic is most likely going to have and adjust your copy accordingly. If you are writing for cold traffic, you will need to specify the pain point or desire more and show why and how coaching or consulting can help. With warm traffic, you can talk about the benefits sooner. And for hot traffic, you can cut to the chase straight away and offer a specific product or service, maybe at a special price, as part of a new promotion etc.
Step 5 – Map Out Your Client’s Journey
You are now writing the body text surrounding your core message. In many cases, this could be your client’s journey through your coaching or consulting programme.
Potential clients should start picturing themselves while you are explaining what your coaching/consulting can do for them and how they will reach the desired outcome. Let your readers imagine what being coached/consulted feels like. Show them how they will change from fear to confidence or from mental pain to comfort or from slow sales to triple profits.
Never forget: People buy the benefits, not the coaching/consulting methods. What is coaching or consulting doing for them? How will they feel after they have achieved a goal or successfully mastered a challenge or period of change? Your services are an investment for your clients, so do show them the Return of Investment.
Write a paragraph on each point you would like to make. Don’t worry about the right order yet. After you have written several paragraphs, choose the most significant ones and bring them into a logical sequence.
And one more tip: We have already said that online sales copy should always focus more on the potential client than on you as a coach. So instead of writing “I have helped thousands of clients to gain confidence and overcome challenges at work. And this is how I do it” use the word “you” as often as you possibly can: “After the first couple of coaching sessions, you will have gained new confidence to overcome challenges at work. And this is how you will achieve this.”
When writing online sales copy, look for “I”, “me”, “my” in your sentences, then rephrase to use the words “you” and “your” more often. Make sure that you are not talking about yourself or your approaches too much.
Step 6 – Tell Your Story
This being said, there should always be a section where you actually do talk about yourself, but you will do it consciously. When offering to coach or consult, you are not only selling the coaching or consulting as a stand-alone product but also yourself as the coach or consultant. This works best when telling a bit of your personal story to help people connect to you.
Ideally, you can tell them that you have been in their shoes already and that you can feel their pains or desires. In that case, follow the so-called “feel-felt-found” structure, telling them that you know how they feel because you felt the same way until you found the solution which is … and that’s what your coaching/consulting is all about.
So again, you do talk about yourself here but only to make a personal connection. Don’t try to impress with your achievements but show future clients that you deeply care about them and why.
Using a narrative or storytelling can yield fantastic results when writing online sales copy for coaching and consulting services. Tell in a conversational writing style an anecdote that describes your personal experiences, your weaknesses, your failures and subsequent successes. Let your audience experience why and how you became a coach/consultant in this specific field. Let them know what led you to create your services in the first place. Here you can write with passion! Present yourself as someone they would love to meet, someone they can trust and believe in.
Alternatively, you can use case studies of existing clients to tell memorable stories of attractive characters your target audience can identify with and follow. Show how others achieved the results your potential clients are hoping for.
Step 7 – Overcome Your Client’s Objections
Despite your best effort to write engaging and persuasive online sales copy, people – and most of all cold and lukewarm traffic – will always object to your offer straight away. They will easily find reasons not to buy something, e.g. they may think that coaching never works or is just not for them.
When writing online sales copy, you will need to overcome your clients’ objections one by one. Remember that your goal is to make it impossible for people to say “no” to what you offer.
Try to anticipate potential objections to your specific consulting or coaching offer and overcome them, e.g. by writing about a client who thought that consulting is too expensive and would never work for his business, but then – thanks to someone recommending you – got in touch and found your budget-friendly starter package most beneficial. He is now …
Also, try to work around any subconscious objections. You need to reassure potential clients more than once that your coaching or consulting will have a much more positive effect than they can imagine right now.
Step 8 – Refine Your Writing
Too many consultants and coaches tend to write copy that is inscrutable for the uninformed reader. Readability of your online sales copy comes down to relatable language:
- Short sentences are much easier to read and understand than long ones.
- Get to the point. Make sure that what you want to say in your head is clearly written down.
- Repetition is allowed to make sure your core message is understood.
- Use lots of strong verbs and adjectives to vividly illustrate benefits.
- Use bullet points when you want your readers to get the most information in the shortest possible reading time. Again, bullets in online sales copy are not about listing dry facts, but pointing out desired results and benefits.
- Don’t worry about starting a sentence with “And” or “But”. You may even use one-word sentences. “Happy. Confident. Successful. Coaching is for you!” Many rules that you have learned in school need to be thrown overboard when writing online sales copy.
- One more tip: Be sure that you know the style of language (the words and phrases) that your ideal client uses. If you are not sure, try to find blogs, platforms and forums that your ideal clients frequent and take a look at how they phrase and express their pains, wishes and desires.
Go through your text and refine your writing. The best way to test the readability of your writing is by reading it out loud to yourself. Give yourself a speech. If you get through it smoothly and it sounds easy-going, conversational and has got a nice rhythm to it, then it is just right.
Step 9 – Bring In The Call-To-Actions
In every piece of online sales copy, there should be several Call-to-Action (CTA) elements that stand out. For example, place a couple of buttons so that people can contact you to schedule a free call etc. Tell your potential clients exactly what you want them to do: “Book now!” or “Schedule a free call!”
Look at your sales copy and encourage your readers to use your Call-to-Action elements. You can use wordings like:
I invite you to …
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Just hit ”Reply” and I’ll email you …
Why not give me a call and find out more …
Don’t hesitate! Act now!
Don’t miss out!
Don’t risk losing your …
Take this important first step …
Rather than simply reading about it, why don’t you click on the contact button and …
Don’t delay! If you are thinking, “Maybe I should,“ please do!
Don’t get left behind, call now to …
Step 10 – Write A Catchy Headline
Finally, when you know for sure how your sales copy looks like, it is time to face the last big challenge: finding a catchy headline.
The headline is the most important part of your online sales copy. Its main job is to grab people’s attention! A good way to do this is to either arouse curiosity or to offer a benefit or both. A simple example would be “How coaching boosts your confidence at work” or “Face your boss with more confidence”
What is the core message you want to communicate? Remember to focus on just one thing and clearly address your target audience.
Put their fears, problems, or desired outcome into attractive words. Claim in a catchy way how potential clients will benefit from your specific coaching or consulting services. Target your prospects emotionally.
If you sit in front of your computer and can’t think of anything, try this:
Complete the following sentence by referring to your core message:
Coaching/Consulting helps my clients because …
Coaching helps my clients because they learn to overcome fears when talking to their boss.
Now eliminate the first part of the sentence including “they”:
Learn to overcome fears when talking to their boss.
Change “their” to “your”:
Learn to overcome fears when talking to your boss
This is your headline.
Or shorter: Overcome fears when talking to your boss
Below your headline, you can place a subhead or teaser text to bring in some more core information. E.g. Develop … and … without …