Why I Started Developing Visual Frameworks For Coaches 

The Story Behind Sparkle Frameworks

On one particularly grey February morning, as I gathered my mastermind clients together for our regular call, I saw yet another message saying they didn’t have time to look at the training but had come along anyway to “listen in”. 

I could see that they were frustrated with the lack of action they had taken in the last month. This was showing in their ongoing struggle to create the business they dreamt off when they started out. 

Every single person in the room knew what their expertise was, but struggled to share their value with the wider world. As introverted coaches, they found they were stuck in their heads instead of being able to share what they wanted to say. 

I read the room and decided to scrap the traditional coaching session I had planned. Instead I got them to do a practical exercise which would move them forward: a visual image workshop.

visual framework in schoolbook

Right back to my school days, I have always been a creative designer. I would often be found drawing in my school books during lessons. But they weren’t doodles. I would draw out the information the teachers were sharing.

In History I’d create a simple cartoon timeline of events that I can still ‘see’ over 40 years on, even though the book itself has long since been recycled. 

Without knowing what I was doing at the time, I was creating diagrams and frameworks, visually showing what the teacher was saying.

I was naturally connecting relevant points, showing timelines and adding icons and images to reduce the words on the page.

These visual frameworks helped me not only memorise my lessons but recall the information well in exams. 

I went on to study multiple elements of design, all the time looking at patterns and how to increase communication. In an ever more crowded and noisy digital world, communicating your value and bringing in strategic messaging alongside visuals is paramount.

Over the last 20 years, while running my coaching business, I have attended many entrepreneur-focused conferences with keynotes by top industry names sharing their methods. 

During the speeches, many shared a visual framework on screen. But all too often this was more akin to an infographic. It would just display what their business did.

This simple framework does have its place but as I watched and listened, I knew they could be doing something much more powerful.

To move the listener into action, they needed to go beyond a simple infographic.

Static frameworks often miss the core marketing concept of connection

influence visual framework

A Sparkle Framework is a visual business tool designed for clarity, connection and engagement.

It enables you to focus on how prospects are feeling, what emotions are embedded in the different areas the expert serves, and the impact of the parts in the person’s life. 

Sparkle Frameworks® Power Triangle
Frameworks at their best combine a brand's visuals, voice and vision that move the audience into action. - Susanna Reay

As I worked through different frameworks with clients, the more it became clear to me the power they had in speeding up understanding, connection and ultimately bringing new clients into your world. They enable people to get your value, fast. 

There are multiple research studies that show the power of visuals for recognition and recall, so it makes sense to utilise these in our business marketing. 

The beauty of bringing information into a visual is that it brings people together on a level playing field - it is something everyone can understand and do, everyone can create this for their business too. They just need to be shown how.

And so on that cold grey day, I went through one of my Sparkle Frameworks with my mastermind clients. We built it up for each of their businesses, step by step. And suddenly they saw their expertise come to life. The day wasn’t grey any more!

They had got out their coloured pens, given feelings to the descriptions of ideal clients in their heads, and created colourful visuals they could share with their clients that same day.

At the end of the session everyone was gushing with enthusiasm and energy despite having started the call feeling drained and sleepy. Sparklers had been set off in their minds. 

And that’s when I realised, people need to know how to do this.

They need to be able to add colour and depth of understanding to their business, whether they are talking about it at a networking event, are on stage, presenting a webinar, or writing a sales page. 

I’ve now developed over 25 Sparkle Frameworks for clients to utilise in their business as clarity tools as well as externally in their marketing as they connect and engage new clients.

If this is something that you’d like in your business, take a look at the Sparkle Frameworks® Starter Kit, which will get you thinking about frameworks for you business in under 60 minutes.

November 16, 2022

Susanna Reay is a multi award-winning coach, writer, and speaker who’s been bringing clarity, focus and structure into small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups for over 20 years. Susanna brings a unique perspective informed by her training in design and business strategy, her life-long interest in psychology and strengths as an introverted online business builder. Her book, courses and mentoring have been the catalyst for growth for clients who’ve integrated Sparkle Frameworks® into their business. She helps the unseen be seen, heard and respected. Susanna is based in Europe, serving a global audience from her English home.

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