Tell your clients what coaching is

Define your coaching services

When I first began offering coaching to writer clients, I had copy on my website that said something like, “I offer coaching services for all aspects of writing and publishing.” If a potential client got in touch to ask me what coaching was, I would say something like, “Anything that is outside of a typical edit on a manuscript.”

Hardly anyone ever hired me to coach them.

I thought that “I can help you solve most writing- and publishing-related problems!” was a great marketing strategy. It wasn’t. It didn’t help potential clients visualize why they would ever need coaching.

define your services when coaching writers

How to market yourself when coaching writers

Then I started listing specific things I could do:

  • I can provide feedback on query letters based on my experience as a literary agent and an EIC
  • I can show you how to solve plot or characterization problems in the novel you’re writing now
  • I can help you get unstuck when you can’t seem to figure out what happens next
  • I can interpret rejection letters so that you can understand where your ms is not hitting the mark with agents
  • I can review your revision chapter-by-chapter to make sure you’re staying on the right track

Once I started doing this, people hired me! They could see themselves needing the services I was offering. They also began to ask specific questions like, “I can’t figure out how to write a good synopsis. Can you help?” It wasn’t on my list but, yes, I could help. (And then I’d add it to the list.)

Defining exactly what you can do for a potential client should be the first step in your marketing plan.

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