College coaches face an epidemic of sorts when it comes to blogging, writing and emailing.
Coming up with something interesting to say. Furthermore, there’s the challenge of writing it a way that actually connects with this generation of teenage prospect. Both are extremely challenging for today’s college recruiter, who is being asked to do more with less time and less money than ever before.
It all adds up to a big challenge for coaches. And sometimes, being "interesting" is a big challenge, especially when you have to write interesting things to the recruits that will help shape your college coaching future.
So today, I’m going to pass along some ideas on how to be "interesting" to your prospects, specifically in what you write about in letters, your emails or a blog:
- Don’t be afraid to be wrong (within reason, of course): This is part of an overall strategy of being transparent, which is essential if you are going to write a blog. Being wrong means you’re human, and that’s a quality that our research says today’s recruits are looking for in a coach. Write about something that you did wrong, or that went wrong, in your program. The honesty will be refreshing to your recruits. By the way, you can go too far in being "wrong" (if you’ve seen the movie "Borat", you know what I mean).
- Don’t be afraid to be right. Build yourself as an expert, and give away your knowledge to your prospects. We’re all drawn to people we believe can get us to where we want to be, and your prospects are no different. Write about your expertise as a coach in your sport, and use it to build your credibility as a college coach and recruiter.
- Surprise your prospects. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of "Made to Stick", say that one of the best ways to set yourself apart is to break people’s “guessing machines.” Take a surprising position, making outlandish analogy, or otherwise do the opposite of what you normally do. As long as it’s unexpected, people – including your prospects – will stop and pay attention.
- Make your prospects laugh. Coaches get so busy trying to coach and teach that they forget to entertain. As a result, large portions of your prospects might fall asleep. And what’s the best way to wake your prospects up? Humor. Successful communicators have been using it for ages, and as long as it’s appropriate for your audience, humor can wake your prospects up and get them paying attention to your recruiting message again.
- Make a prediction about the future. Every once in awhile, use your expertise to make a bizarre or risky claim about the future. If you have any authority at all, people will take notice. When experts make a surprising prediction, it gets talked about. As a coach, you aren’t looking for media attention…just for your prospect to take notice and pay attention to your message.
- Make sure you are ALWAYS telling a great story. I’ve talked about this over and over again, and use it as a foundation for creating our Total Recruiting Solution plans for our growing list of college coach clients. And you know what? Some coaches still don’t get it. Yes, stories support your points, make solid openers, and teach your prospects while entertaining them, but a good story can make you a legend in recruiting. I’m not talking about the little anecdotes that pepper the blogosphere and the occasional recruiting letter. I’m talking about the story that haunts you on your deathbed or gets told over and over again at parties. Forget about all the others. Tell me that one. As a coach, tell me great stories about you and your team and your program, and how I fit into that story as a prospect.
Being interesting isn’t easy if you’re a coach, and converting that interest to your writing is even more challenging. But for those coaches who master the art, there is almost nothing that they won’t accomplish in the competition for the best recruits.
Strive to be interesting creatively, and watch what happens to your recruiting results!
Need help with creating an interesting, effective recruiting plan? Dan Tudor is ready to personally help you. Bring Selling for Coaches to your campus for a personalized workshop for you and your staff, or ask us about becoming a TRS client. Both things are cost-effective, creative ways to significantly improve your recruiting results. Email Dan Tudor at firstname.lastname@example.org for all the details.