In today’s case study, performance coach Amanda Walker shares her three-step testimonial advertising strategy to leverage and repurpose client results to attract more dream clients.
Amanda Walker is a coach, through and through.
She’s coached everything from a pee-wee basketball league to high-level CEOs, which is why we’re not even a little bit surprised that she’s found her calling in coaching coaches.
Amanda has built a million-dollar business, featuring her premier program, Best Damn Coach, and a successful podcast, Best Damn Coach Podcast. However, what intrigued us most about this impressive entrepreneur is she’s done all of this without spending a single dollar on marketing.
Today, Amanda reveals for us all her three-step testimonial advertising strategy that has not only scaled her business, but has helped her clients do the same!
Although Amanda’s career started in the education industry, her very first job was as a coach.
“I got hired at the age of 15 to work with inner city youth coaching basketball,” says Amanda. “That was my first moment where I got to see what it meant to help another human being elevate into their purpose.”
Amanda didn’t know it at the time, but helping people pursue their purpose was HER purpose. It just took her a little while to reach that realization. Instead, she settled on a close cousin of coaching: teaching.
“The classroom is kind of a cubicle,” she says. “You don’t leave it. There’s little interaction. And, it does get into that rat race idea.”
Nevertheless, Amanda loved teaching. She loved pouring into her students and watching them grow. But, as is the case with many of our guests, Amanda eventually reached a fork in the road.
“The real turning point for me was when I had my first child,” she explains. “All of a sudden, the relevancy and impact of your legacy is shifting. I thought my legacy was teenagers—until I had a child.”
A few months after having their second child, Amanda and her husband had settled into a hectic “routine.” She taught during the day, while her husband worked for the city’s SWAT team at night. In the midst of this season, one morning stands out for Amanda…
“I remember it was early in the morning. My toddler was the first one up, and just as I’m starting to get her geared up for the day, I hear my infant crying,” Amanda says. “I’ve got a baby on one side, a toddler on the other, and I’m racing to get myself ready for work.”
Most days, Amanda’s husband arrived home around 2 AM, but on this day he was running late. Amanda panicked.
“It’s that franticness of like, ‘Oh crap! What are we going to do if he doesn’t make it?!’”
As she threw some clothes onto her three-month postpartum body, Amanda heard the door finally open.
“We literally slapped hands, shared a little kiss, and I was off,” she shares. “I remember getting into my car and driving by this daycare and seeing these babies at 6:30 in the morning and feeling grateful that we didn’t have to do that…”
“But,” I thought, “for what purpose?”
That morning, Amanda realized that she wasn’t pursuing her authentic purpose.
“I hadn’t tapped into my full potential,” she says. “So, I came home and told my husband, ‘I’m not going to teach. I have a skill set. I know how to serve. Something will fall into place.”
And something did.
Amanda’s coaching practice started in the health and nutrition space, but she eventually discovered her ultimate passion was helping entrepreneurs like her pursue their own purpose-driven journeys.
Today, Amanda is a MASTER performance coach, teaching entrepreneurs how to reach grow their impact and profit, reach their full potential, and do what they love.
When you’re looking for a local plumber or handyman, what do you do?
“The yellow pages were like the worst-case scenario,” says Amanda. “What we first do is text our friends and family and say, ‘Do you know somebody that can help’?”
Statistics have shown time and time again that qualified leads make decisions about who they’ll hire based on word-of-mouth. We defer to the people we trust. Even if we turn to Google first, what do we search for? Reviews.
“Word-of-mouth is the fast track to trust,” says Amanda, “but we’ve gotten away from the belief that that still exists.”
We know, as consumers, that the opinions of other customers factor into our own buying decisions. But as business owners, we flock to sexy marketing tactics instead. According to Amanda, however, there’s a better way to attract qualified leads for your business.
Amanda’s three-step testimonial advertising strategy (which, by the way, took Amanda’s own career from $623 paychecks to a million-dollar coaching business) offers us an effective—not to mention affordable—alternative to flashy marketing strategies.
One of the most significant barriers to our own business growth is the one thing we have the most control over: ourselves.
Amanda has listened to clients complain about their lack of success time and time again…
It’s just my aunt opening up the email.
My last post only got two views.
It’s common to downplay these moments of early growth, but according to Amanda, that can be our downfall…
“The reason we’re not taking action has nothing to do with strategy. In the beginning, it has to do with our inability to see the evidence actually mounting for us.”
According to Amanda, the #1 reason people aren’t attracting their dream clients is that they lack belief—belief in their messaging, belief in their offers, belief in themselves.
Amanda’s own business growth depicts this reality.
“I had 0 audience when I started,” Amanda laughs. “I didn’t even know what an email list was!”
It wasn’t an impressive audience, a collection of Instagram posts, or a series of inspirational newsletters that advanced Amanda’s business. Amanda worked hard and well. She believed in her skill set—and people took notice.
“In the health and nutrition space, part of what inspires people is our ability to share our journey and our transformation,” says Amanda. “As I started transforming myself, organically conversations happened.”
Amanda says we can’t dismiss these moments of growth and success, because they matter! Even if the only clients or customers you attract in the beginning are your besties and parents, that’s still evidence of growth.
“Let’s not dismiss that they’re getting an opportunity to see you in this new light and this new role and this new identity,” says Amanda. “We all start there.”
Those wins are still wins, and they’re worth pointing out and celebrating.
“I always say I’m not a unicorn. Anybody can do it if they have belief.”
Have you ever seen a blank dartboard? I know what you’re thinking…
What are we aiming at? Where’s the target? What’s the GOAL?
“One of the biggest mistakes I see coaches make is they unconsciously have this framework and walk clients from point 1 to 2 to 3 to 4. They create a blank dartboard,” says Amanda. “It has no circles, no bullseye. We’re throwing darts, but there’s no check-in. Are we getting closer or not?”
You have to locate the bullseye before you throw the dart.
“From day one, there has to be a discussion that clearly identifies the outcomes that are desired through that coaching experience,” Amanda explains. “We want to make sure there is a bullseye, and from there we can create touch points to check in.”
Amanda says that many business owners are so caught up in their day-in and day-out tasks that they’re missing this strategic opportunity. As a coach, Amanda guides clients through a process of not only naming their goals (their bullseye), but more importantly, developing a consistent practice of collecting results.
“What I find is some practitioners are doing these things already—but are you hitting the bullseye? And then most importantly, are you creating the platform for them to share these wins?” Amanda adds.
“That’s where I see most people missing the mark. They have this magic happening, and they’re not collecting it.”
Once you’ve created opportunities to identify benchmarks and milestones, then you have to collect those results. It could be informal discussions, a form or rating scale sent to the client weekly, or a monthly Voxer check-in.
What matters is that your client has the opportunity and space to celebrate their wins.
In the words of our founder, Ellen Yin, “Celebration is a habit that needs to be practiced in order for it to be natural.”
The final step in Amanda’s testimonial advertising strategy is to repurpose client wins.
“This is where we build immediate trust, because we show evidence that we are who we say we are and we are creating the results that we’re promising,” she shares.
Amanda recognized the value of testimonial advertising in the early days of her business.
“I would have somebody come to me and say, ‘Oh, I saw so-and-so, and she told me all these amazing things that were happening for her. I would love to know more about that.’”
Amanda realized that these conversations weren’t happening because of some Instagram reel she posted or a newsletter she sent (remember, she had neither of those back in day)…
They were happening because people could clearly see she was creating results—and those results mattered.
As her business began to grow, Amanda asked herself how she could use those conversations to attract more prospective customers. She began highlighting client success stories on the Best Damn Coach podcast and sharing testimonials via email.
“What really caused me to double down on this strategy was when I would get on sales calls and people would start joining programs, they would reference specific episodes, specific posts, specific emails,” she shares.
“I realized that the power of seeing somebody else’s transformational story is what really inspires people into action.”
Amanda likens this testimonial advertising strategy to planting seeds—over and over. It takes many seeds, many touch points, to finally coax someone to work with you, but when customers see multiple examples of growth—over and over again—it says something profound about your business.
“At the end, I always say, ‘This is an example of what’s possible for you too,’” says Amanda.
And after listening to or reading success story after success story, people have good reason to believe she’s right.
We’ve touched on a lot of great advice from this master coach, but if you want to catch even more tips from Amanda Walker, listen to the full episode now!
What we DIDN’T cover in this blog post includes…
For more testimonial advertising tips from this successful CEO, scroll down and watch the full interview for yourself!