One Book Every Life Coach Should Read (and it’s not on coaching)

If you want to succeed at marketing yourself online you will have to be able to write.

With online marketing there’s no other option.

If you cannot write, unless you have tens of thousands to invest in bringing in professional marketers, you’re dead in the water.

I’m not necessarily saying you need to be a literary genius, because I’m certainly no Shakespeare and I’m not even talking about William, but his merchant brother, Gilbert.

But you need to be able to communicate and to tell stories to people who are your potential clients.

We are storytelling creatures.

Stories move us, inspire us, motivate us, engage us and allow us to connect.

We were telling stories to each other on cave walls even before we could talk. It’s hardwired.

If I said here are 5 reasons you should sign up for the Coach the Life Coach client acquisition course and then proceeded to drop in 5 bullet points with facts and figures, that may work, but it probably wouldn’t.

However, if I tell you a story about my early years as a coach and how I seriously struggled because I had no access to the information I needed. 

And then I went on to tell you how I pushed through and turned my company that was previously heading out of business into a profitable sustainable coaching practice, that is far more likely to resonate with you.

We think we make decisions based upon facts.

We don’t.

For the most part we make decisions based upon emotions and then justify after the event with facts and that is where storytelling comes in – we appeal to people’s emotions.

You may be getting anxious reading this because you think you cannot write.

But you can.

You have plenty of stories locked inside your head just waiting for an opportunity to be let free on an appreciative audience.

Writing, especially storytelling, is a skill and like most skills it can be learned.

learning to write

I Sucked At Writing

If you were to go back and look at blog posts I was publishing over a decade ago you would probably think, ‘yeh I can see why he took so long succeeding, he sucked at writing!

My early stuff was horrible, but that was in many respects because I was writing for Google (SEO) not clients and I was lazy and sloppy with my editing.

I had numerous blog posts go viral three of which had over half a million page views. That’s pretty impressive, right?

Well yes and know.

The stats looked nice, but all of the posts were list posts of motivational quotes. Not one brought me a client.

I soon noticed that the articles I wrote that were based in stories got a fraction of the views, but the engagement was far higher.

Nobody wants to hire a Life Coach just because they can compile a list of 20 motivational quotes.

But they may want to hire a coach who can tell them a story of how he was in a job he hated and stressed senseless, but managed to find a way out, especially if that’s what they are looking to do.

If you haven’t written much since school then you’re going to be rusty and you will have to publish content that isn’t as good as you would like.

But you will get better if you have the nerve to hit publish for a blog post, or send in an email.

You really learn when you see your stuff ‘out there’ and also get feedback.

There’s something much different about seeing your material when it’s in the public domain rather than just in a word document.

I’m not sure how many times I was told my editing was horrible and how many people offered to proofread my posts before I took notice, but it was way too many.

Similarly, I did nothing proactive to improve my writing. I was reading book after book on coaching, psychology and marketing and nothing on writing.

That doesn’t make much sense when you think how important writing is to me as a coach.

telling secret

The Storyteller’s Secret – The One Every Life Coach Should Read

Over the last 8 or 9 years I have read a fair few books on this topic, but none as good as ‘The Storyteller’s Secret’ by Carmine Gallo that I read just recently.

How good is this book when it comes to advice on telling stories? So good that I’m going to ask all students on the next Coach the Life Coach course to read it.

What Gallo does brilliantly is collate some of the most memorable storytelling throughout history and dump them all in one place.

You may have heard about how Steve Jobs crushed his presentation for the first iPhone by telling the audience he had three new launches to talk about, when he only had one.

Equally, you may well know how an interview with Bill Gates went viral just because the Microsoft founder drank a glass of water.

And you could have heard about how Starbuck’s CEO, Howard Shultz, exploded a company based on the back of a very short story that wasn’t even about coffee, but an experience.

However, I doubt you will know that one of the greatest orators of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill, spent hours simplifying his speeches and removing as many words with too many syllables as possible.

Or that Churchill’s first attempt at public speaking was an unmitigated disaster.

Or even that probably one of the most well known televangelists in the world, Joel Osteen used to be a nervous bumbling wreck before and during sermons.

And you may not know why the last two sets of examples I gave were both in sets of three.

But all of that is revealed in ‘The Storyteller’s Secret’.

Gallo’s book is a treasure chest of ideas for blog posts, giving presentations, telling stories to help clients and even writing copy for a website.

He demonstrates time and time again the unequivocal power of storytelling with, not surprisingly, dozens of compelling stories of his own.

If you ‘get’ what I’m saying about why it’s so important for you to become the best storyteller you can be, then you should go and buy it now.

You can thank me later.

The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. As such if you click through and buy the book I could earn as much as 50 cents. If my greed appalls you, and you don’t want me to get rich, but you’d still like the book, click here.