You want your coaching practice to stand out from the competition, and you know you need a great branding message. But you’re stuck. Maybe you feel like inspiration is a ship that sailed off and left you on the dock with your luggage.
If that’s you, keep reading. I’m going to share with you one of my favorite step-by-step systems for creating an irresistible brand for my coaching clients – and you can do it in less than 1 day.
But first, let’s look at the power of branding and how having a great branding message can boost your coaching practice. (Just in case you’re not convinced that you NEED a brand.)
Without a brand – without setting yourself apart from every other business coach, health coach, or life coach out there – your service becomes just another commodity. In other words, nothing special – forgettable. A brand helps other people see you as someone who can transform lives, rather than as someone who performs a certain function.
For example, when I first created my brand and launched my new website a few years ago, by business exploded. Lead generation increased 400%. I got three times as many requests for interviews and presentations. And I suddenly had a list of ideal clients waiting to get on my calendar.
OK, so you’re convinced you need a brand. But you’re stuck because you can’t seem to create anything exciting that resonates with who you are and what you do. No problem.
Here’s my 4 step process to get instant inspiration to create an irresistible brand that will attract clients to you.
Step 1 – What’s Your Transformation?
(Time: 2 hours or less)
You want a brand that is authentic for YOU – for who you are and what you do. You can’t just copy someone else’s branding and expect it to work.
Start by writing a list of what results clients get when working with you. Don’t worry about using fancy words or compelling phrases for now. Focus on the biggest results clients will get – results that are important to them.
Next, write down words and phrases that describe who you are as an individual. Are you funny, wild and crazy, dependable, full of energy, always smiling, restless, adventurous? Do you have a dry sense of humor, do you feel mischievous, or do you love to break the status quo?
Step 2 – Finding Inspiration
(Time: 1 to 6 hours)
When you feel like you have no inspiration or great ideas, it’s time to find some. Here’s how to do that. Look for other people’s branding – words you like that catch your attention.
You want to create a list of 25 to 100 different ideas, depending on how many you need to find what you are looking for. For your branding message, you are looking for words and phrases that you can use for any of the following:
- as a title for yourself
- for your website and/or company name
- as a tag line in your marketing
- as titles for your offers and programs
You aren’t going to duplicate anyone else’s brand because that would be illegal. But you can use the great branding you find to springboard ideas for your own brand creation.
Here’s where to look for your research:
- Watch TV commercials. You can find the best ones online by searching for “best TV commercials for 2001” or whatever year or topic you want to find. Make a list of the slogans and phrases that captivate you, even if it has nothing to do with your service. If you remember the Wendy’s commercial and liked “Where’s the beef?”, then write that on your list.
- Visit Amazon.com and look at book titles on your topic and on related topics. I get fantastic inspiration from these and so do my clients. Write down any titles and subtitles that you like and that grab your attention.
- Search online. Type keywords related to your topic in a search engine and see what comes up. Look to see what other people are using for titles and phrases. Write down any that grab your attention. Also, pay attention to the ad titles because someone is paying money to list these, e.g., they believe those are profitable phrases and titles.
- Other: song titles, album titles, movie titles, books, slogans from memory. The list is endless.
Tip: You can save time by keeping your list in a word processing document, instead of handwriting it on a notepad. Just copy any text you see online and paste it on your list. This will also allow you to easily move, highlight, and rearrange the items on the list later as you sort through them.
Note, I listed the time for this section as 1 to 6 hours because a lot depends on:
- luck – finding what you want right away.
- focus – the more you get sidetracked watching commercials or reading other people’s websites, the longer it will take.
So remember, stay focused on the task and don’t let all those commercials and ads waste your time. I’ve gotten really good at knowing where to look, what to look for, and focusing on what I need. So I can get this done in about an hour or two.
Step 3 – Create a Brand You Love
(Time: up to 6 hours)
Now for the fun part – the creation process!
First, review the list from Step 1 so you are very familiar with it. You want to feel like you know what’s on that list backwards and forwards.
Next, start going through the list you created from Step 2. As you go through the words and phrases, start playing with alternate versions that can apply to what you do. Think about combining words and phrases from different sources that go well together.
Here’s an example of how this can work…
Let’s say that you’re a copywriter. And one of the characteristics about you personally is that you consider yourself to be a wild and crazy person. You’re the kind of person everyone wants at their party because you bring fun with you.
You look at your list and see two ideas you wrote down from memory: “Born to be Wild” (a song title) and “Wild and Crazy Guy” (Steve Martin album title). You might try a branding message like “Wild and Crazy Copywriting”. It specifies what you do and what sets you apart. You’re a different kind of copywriter. And I think maverick companies would be attracted to that.
Your branding does not have to be a totally unique idea to work. But it does need to be compelling, attractive, and a great reflection of you and your services. This is one area where a lot of coaches get stuck. They think if a brand isn’t completely unique, they can’t use it. But if you look around at marketing, you’ll see that isn’t the case.
Some examples of successful branding that I’ve encountered that are not unique, include:
- “Branding with the Stars”. It’s a play off of “Dancing with the Stars”.
- “The Dog Whisperer” was a variation on “The Horse Whisperer”.
- “Tongue Fu: the art of verbal self-defense” is a variation of Kung Fu.
- Or how about these cookbook titles: Great Eggspectations, A Grill’s Best Friend, King of the Grill, Boy Meets Grill, and Let the Flames Begin
Start making a list of all the phrases you can think of. Don’t edit! This is a time to be creative and generate ideas, not discard ideas. Once your list is finished, then you can go through and edit out anything you don’t want to keep.
Narrow your list to 5 or so branding messages that you think are the best. Then go to step 4 to make it irresistible.
Step 4 – Make It Irresistible
Once you have a few ideas for branding that you really like, it’s time to make certain it’s irresistible. That means we want to make sure it will be attractive to your ideal client and draw them to you. Here’s how.
List your five or so top branding messages. Then choose five to ten people who are ideal clients and ask their opinion on which one they like best and why. These may be people that you’ve worked with in the past. Or they might be people you haven’t yet worked with, but you know they would be an ideal client for you.
It’s important that the people you get feedback from are ideal clients (or prospects) for your coaching business because their opinion is the only opinion that matters. You also want to find out why they like or dislike any of the choices.
Tip: Ask them if they’d like to make another suggestion for your list. Some of the best titles and tag lines can come from ideas your clients give you.
From their responses, you’ll be able to confidently choose a great brand for your health coaching practice.
If you’ve been struggling with your branding, try the above exercise so you can get the inspiration you need to create an irresistible brand.
And remember, your branding isn’t set in stone. It can be changed in the future. In fact, many coaches I know do tweak or change their brand about every 2 years. It’s better to create a brand that you can start using now, than it is to wait for the perfect branding idea to come along. Don’t lose clients and business as a result of waiting.
Branding doesn’t have to be hard. And it can be done in as little as a day using the process above. I’ve used this with many of my private VIP clients, and I know it can work for you, too.
Best wishes on creating your irresistible brand.