Are a coach, inspirational speaker, or other topic expert?
If so, you’ve got a bit of a challenge as you try to establish your unique message with your target market.
After all, so many people out there in the expert authority industry are claiming to offer “hope,” “motivation,” and “support.”
So how are you different?
One HUGE way you can separate yourself from the pack is by becoming ultra-crystal-clear on the applied VALUE you provide to your audience.
And by “applied,” I don’t mean pie-in-the-sky, watercolor-sunset-inspirational-quotes. I mean down and dirty helpful guidance on how people can use your unique perspective on the world to improve their lives.
Let’s face it: Pithy memes are a dime a dozen (literally — you can buy pre-made quotes on dreamy backgrounds for a few bucks!).
What most coaches and influencers NEVER consider, though, is how to take your perspective and convert it to a manner that people can actually use, TODAY, to make their lives better. And that needs to go way beyond “changing your mindset,” “thinking positive,” or any other feel good/power of positive advice.
It’s the difference between posting a meme that says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” and publishing a blog post about, “3 Things to Do When It Feels Like the World’s Against You.”
It’s like getting in shape: We all know that the common wisdom is to eat less junk and exercise more. But if it were that easy, we’d all be at our fighting weights, right? So telling us, “Eat better, exercise more” is pretty much useless. What we need instead is, “3 Ways to Outsmart Your Mind When You Don’t Want to Exercise,” or “Five Sneaky Ways Sugar Gets Into Your Diet.”
One is superficial, and one is concrete advice people can use, today.
So what do you do when you fear you are too “fluffy” and you don’t provide enough concrete value for your audience?
The answer is two parts:
1. It’s okay sometimes to be “fluffy.”
2. Not all content you create should be “fluffy.”
When working with clients, I like to think about their “body of work.”
I have goals for any individual piece of content I’m working on (to inspire, to “seed” the idea for an upcoming product or course, to teach, etc.). No one piece of content can do EVERYTHING. Which is why people shouldn’t just post one blog post and call it a day.
So each piece must be valuable in and of itself… but it should also accomplish something within the larger body of work, and the body of work as a whole should provide a 360 degree picture of your value.
For instance, one blog post may be very specific about a case study or success story of one of your clients. It motivates and inspires and also demonstrates your authority — but it doesn’t necessarily show ALL of who you are or what you do.
Another piece of content — say, a Facebook Live video — shares a bit about your backstory and where you’re coming from and why you’re so passionate about your mission. It’s awesome, but it’s more about the “WHY” than the “HOW.” And that’s okay.
And a third piece of content might be very “how to, 1-2-3.” It’s not rah-rah “You can do it!” Instead, it helps people accomplish one very specific thing.
I get concerned is when the overall content is TOO skewed one way or another. Like if everything you create is a “You rock! You can do it!” cheerleader/mindset piece with no concrete info on HOW to do it.
The exact balance or recipe depends on your audience and your message.
You may be very much a high-level inspiration type rather than a tactical, “here’s how you do it” type.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t provide specifics to your audience. (And this is where I see a lot of coaches/motivational professionals fall down… It’s the biggest complaint I hear about the personal development/motivation industry, that there’s a lot of rah-rah but very little direction.)
For instance, in a “fluffier” inspiration/mindset piece, you can put in calls to action, or next steps, or something that hints at the “how.” (I think you did a good job of this in the “vision” post — asking people to answer specific questions about their vision).
As long as you continually ask yourself, “What’s next? What do I want them to do? How can they go further?” and then you convey that to your audience, you’re in good shape.
Let me know how else I can support you-
PS This blog post might help you too.