How to Become a Business Coach

Marketing Terms Business Coaches Should Avoid

By on October 1, 2017

I know instantly whether a potential copywriting client and I are simpatico just by the marketing terms he or she uses.

For instance, when I hear a client use words like “response” …”conversion” … “click-through rates” … “break-even” … “results” …”leads” … “sales” … “selling” … “offer” … “closing” … “call to action” … or “profits” …

… I know we pray from the same hymnal of direct response.

It’s only when clients use other marketing words that my radar signals we might not be a good fit.

In the business coaching industry, the same principle applies. There are concepts and marketing terms business coaches should simply avoid.

For instance, it was trendy for a time to say that marketing is having “conversations” and not selling.

When I wrote about conversations in this e-newsletter, subscriber WM replied:

“I am a salesman. At the end of the month, my sales manager asks me how much I sold. If I was to reply, ‘I didn’t sell anything, but I had a lot of conversations’ — I’d be out on the street.”

As a business coach, this is even more true. In most cases, you’re a solopreneur. If you don’t sell, you don’t eat.

I’m not saying conversations are not a valid part of the sales and marketing process.

But marketers who focus on “conversation” sometimes do so to avoid revealing that they do not know how to sell.

"I am a salesman. At the end of the month, my sales manager asks me how much I sold. If I was to reply, 'I didn't sell anything, but I had a lot of conversations' -- I'd be out on the street."

Other Marketing Terms Business Coaches Should Think Twice About

“Branding” always makes me a bit wary. Yes, it’s also a valid and often important part of marketing.

But in marketing speak, it’s often code for, “We just position our product in the marketplace but don’t know how to sell.”

And “brand awareness” is sometimes code for, “I talk about awareness because it can’t really be measured and therefore I am shielded from having to produce a result that can be measured, which would reveal whether my ad is working and profitable.”

For many years, “content” didn’t sit well with me, as I thought it devalued and positioned writing as a commodity — just as calling a writer a “wordsmith” did back in the day.

But content has become an accepted term, and I am good with it now.

Same with “content marketing,” which we used to call “getting more leads and sales by giving away free information.”

The title “content marketing strategist” though is a bit overblown to me, as many (not all) people who call themselves that essentially just write online articles for clients.

“Impressions” is another term I shy away from. I am not trying to impress anyone. I am trying to sell them a product or service.

“Likes,” “followers,” and “connections” in social media. Well, they are valid and measurable, and have some value.

But they are nothing to get excited about, if they are not driving traffic, converting, and filling up your funnel with hot business coaching leads or bank account with money from new client contracts.

Any particular marketing terms you like or don’t like? And do you agree or disagree with my assessment of marketing lingo here?

P.S. For an up-to-date glossary of marketing terms, see my book Marketing Dictionary for the 21st Century, published by Motivational Press. Or check out Eric’s great resource on taking your business coaching practice to the next level, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.

Secrets of a Business Coaching Rockstar - Free Download!

Bob Bly

About Bob Bly

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant with 3 decades of experience in business-to-business and direct response marketing. He can be found at http://bly.com.

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