Assessments are a wonderful tool to help you:

• Increase traffic to your website
• Turn cold prospects into warm prospects
• Illustrate the potential benefits of your services
• Provide something of value at no charge (an effective “spiritual marketing” technique)
• Show prospects the specific areas and ways in which coaching can benefit them
• Build your credibility
• Improve the quality of your coaching when you use them in your coaching
• Show clients exactly how much your coaching is helping them by using assessments before and after
• Generate new referrals

The Problems with Assessments

Assessments are wonderful but there are some problems.

They are often very expensive to buy and administer. Many assessments are overly complicated, academic, and lengthy, which turns prospects off.

Other assessments have the opposite problem: They are too brief or they are unsophisticated, like a quiz you would see in a magazine.

Assessments will not provide you with any of the benefits described above if they are not of highest quality and caliber.

Fortunately there are some solutions.

You could buy ready-made, high-quality assessments, like those written by Milana Leshinsky and Lorina Kase at

Or you can create your own.

If you want to create your own, here are the ten steps to creating an excellent assessment:

1. Research your topic.

Think about your areas of expertise and how they may apply to different assessments. Do not try to write an assessment on an area that is not within your expertise, it will be like false advertising and you will reduce your credibility.

2. Be sure that there is a market interest your assessment.

Look up key words on sites like to see what people are searching for.

3. Tailor the topic for your prospects and clients.

The more relevant your topic for the people who come to your website and your current clients, the better. Think about who you want to target to turn from a prospect to a client. More focused assessments work better than broad ones.

4. Brainstorm. Creatively brainstorm all of the potential topics to include in your assessment.

Do not censor yourself, just write down whatever you think is relevant.

5. Use References.

Now, get input from the leading researchers and writers in your field. Gather a few key books and make sure that you are including all the topics these experts think are important.

6. Decide on a Length.

Think about how many questions you will need to cover all the key points. In statistics, this is called the "power analysis." Think about how long it will need to be to have “power” without being too lengthy.

7. Decide on a Format.

The most common format is a "Likert Scale." These types of questions have a statement and then the person selects an answer on a scale such as 0-4 or 0-5 based on how much that statement is true for them. You can look at other high-quality assessments to use their format as a template.

8. Write the Questions.

Remember that the copy writing is crucial. The questions need to be emotionally-engaging, comprehensive, in language understood by your target audience, and concisely written.

9. Review the Questions.

This step is very important. Go over the questions and then write down what important questions you left out the first time. If you want to keep your assessment to 25 questions, for example, then go over your questions to see what is redundant or not necessary and substitute with one of the new questions you generated.

10.Write the Scoring Key.

The scoring key is possibly the most important part of the assessment. Without it, the questions would be meaningless. If someone spends their valuable time answering all your questions and then gets a contrite or unhelpful answer, they will be dissatisfied and annoyed.

Be sure that your scoring key gives them the information they need to know, including what they can begin to do to change (such as coaching) if that is relevant.

You can also have a professional writer write your assessment based on your document, e-book, or fill-in forms.

Author's Bio: 

Kathy Sparks, Professional Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager, has partnered with clients nationwide in a multitude of professions and is a past editor and contributor for "The Virtual Advantage, " an online newsletter for VAs and their clients. Publications include, "Internet Business Management, How to Find and Work with a Virtual Assistant," found at, "The Virtual Assistant: A Guide to Creating, Filling & Sustaining Your Virtual Assistant Practice," Visit: Your Virtual Resource