6 Story Prompts for Coaches

If you’re writing a coaching book aimed to promote your services as a coach and establish yourself as an expert, you need to include stories. Any kind of book needs stories in order to feel entertaining, personal, and impactful – and that’s definitely what you want if you intend to make a good impression on your reader!

But what kind of stories should you include in a coaching book? It’s tempting just to run through all of your coaching programs, putting what you would normally teach your clients down on the paper without any extra fluff. But the truth is that stories like these aren’t just meaningless fluff.

They will help your reader understand your instructions and exercises, make your tips more memorable and therefore actionable, and allow the reader to identify more with you as the author – which makes for a better conversion rate from readers to clients.

Here are six story prompts that will allow you to do all that – and more – in a successful and not at all stressful way.

1. Examples of case studies that turned out successful

If you’ve worked with people who turned out well after going through your exercises, it’s time to shout about it! Readers will identify more with real life examples, see that success is possible after doing the work, and gain a deeper understanding of how to use your exercises.

Follow this structure: first, tell the reader how your client was struggling before; explain what they did under your coaching; and finally, show how their lives improved once they had successfully completed the exercises you assigned.

Making it a whole story like this takes your readers on that journey with you, and shows them hope for the outcome they might see.

2. Case study examples of clients who struggled or failed

There may have been cases when your work didn’t help someone the way you thought it would. If this has happened, there was probably an explanation that you found out about later: they were not following the exercises fully, they had misunderstood an instruction, or they had other circumstances going on in their lives that meant you actually needed a different approach.

Sharing this shows that you are a real person who can own up to their mistakes: this makes the reader more likely to trust you. You will also effectively be troubleshooting the reader’s efforts, helping them to understand where they might have been going wrong.

3. Your personal struggles and achievements

Nothing makes a book more valuable to a reader than feeling a personal connection with the author. Most coaches have gone through the thing they’re trying to coach others through – it’s the motivation for working in this sphere in the first place.

If you’re a sobriety coach, talk about your struggles and times you fell off the wagon. If you’re a career coach, talk about feeling stuck in your job and what made you find your calling. If you’re a writing coach – like me – you could talk about books that didn’t do as well as you thought, or about how you made it to a bestseller.

You have to put yourself into the book – otherwise, it could have been written by any faceless person out there, and that doesn’t foster a deep enough connection to grow your client list.

4. Stories about famous people or brands

When something hits the news and we read about it, we become familiar with a story – and when you can give context to that story, telling how it fits into your practices and what you would have done to avoid it or how it was achieved, readers can get a deeper understanding.

It’s also social proof – they will see that what you’re talking about works on a demonstrable level. So, whether you’re sharing how a company’s public failure was down to lack of leadership coaching or praising the efforts made by a celebrity who clearly had diversity training, connect it back to your work and teachings.

5. Stories about the reader’s future

The reader needs to see that you understand them and their current situation. Feeling seen and heard is important.

But what comes next?

Tell your reader where they can be after reading your book. Putting this right in the first chapter and again at the end of the book can be very powerful, but you don’t have to hold back in the middle, either. Remind them of the road they are on and where it will take them. Give them hope to keep going when it gets hard.

6. Stories from a parent or close family member

Finally, if you can bring it home, you’ll be creating a deeper connection with the reader and gaining their trust, which is a fantastic way to win them over. Won-over readers become clients, 5-star reviewers, and evangelisers who tell all their friends about your book.

Tell a story from your past – a parent is ideal, because this speaks to where you came from. A sibling would be the next best thing, or any other close family member you can think of. A child or a spouse also work fantastically. Open the door and let the reader in on a glimpse of your background. You’ll be telling them how much this work means to you, how close it is to your heart, and how much you trust them – to be able to talk about your own family with them. They’ll trust you back.

If these tips help you to think up great stories but you struggle to get them down on the page, get in touch. I have both coaching and ghostwriting services that may help you out. Let’s get your book written together!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.