I'd like to share with you 4 phrases that you should avoid in your marketing materials:
1. Integrity. Anytime a coach tells me he has integrity, or that integrity sets him apart, or that integrity is a core value, I roll my eyes. You don't tell people you have integrity. You show it.
Here is a quick example: I know a coach who somehow got approved by a well-known firm to teach a set of principles about integrity and leadership, one of which is that one's promise is pretty much sacred. His website goes on and on about how important integrity is to him. Well, on doing some due diligence on this coach, I discovered that he has stiffed at least two people for thousands of dollars he promised to pay them. How's that for integrity?
2. Partnership. Avoid telling people you want to be their partner until you have established your value and built serious trust. Most businesspeople flinch when someone from a professional services firm wants to become partners. They know that partner really means: "Get out your wallet. I want you to hire me on a long-term basis and pay top dollar."
3. Trusted Advisor. You earn the right to be a client's trusted advisor. This is not a service that you promote on your website or in your brochure.
4. Coach. I know that this will confuse and even insult many coaches. Why shouldn't you use this word, especially if you are a coach? Of course you can use it, but do it the right way. "Coach" has some very negative connotations in business, like it or not. Many executives still perceive coaching to be an expensive waste of time. Many business owners have met lightweight business coaches from franchises, and have soured on the term. It is much stronger to focus in your marketing on the problems you address and the value you provide. Then talk about coaching as one way you deliver results. Ideally you also get results in other ways, too: training, facilitation, seminars, writing, and more. Sell solutions and value first, your unique achievements and approach second, and coaching third.