I confess, although I totally believe and teach clients about personal branding and self-marketing, as a coach with 16 years’ experience of running my business I have days when I question if I’m visible enough or am I articulating clearly enough what I stand for.
Most of my friends, ex-colleagues, acquaintances are on Linked In and I would be lying if I said I’ve never give a single thought to who will come across my post and comments. The majority of my personal network are generation X ‘lurkers’, and it’s usually over a coffee or catch up I get the twinkle eyed comment that they’ve noticed I’m online quite a bit.
When I first jumped online properly i.e. all feet in I remember agonising for hours about their invisible presence but today I don’t give it a second thought and instead encourage my lovely lurker friends to come out of their caves and engage.
Very few of us are completely Teflon to the opinion of others, we should be but as humans we are wired to crave acceptance and wanting to fit into our communities. Therefore, not surprising deliberately sticking out and being different doesn’t feel easy.
This week when once again one of my brilliant clients who has a fantastic niche and a unique fabulous offering emailed me to say she felt she was drowning in the competitive tsunami of social media and struggling to see how she can possibly be visible in a very noisy space.
How to stand out?
I was reminded of one my favourite marketing books ‘This is Marketing’ by Seth Godin. Especially the chapter on ‘Trust and Tension Create Forward Motion’. It’s all about how you can with integrity change the conversation around your area of expertise. What will you say or do to give the market a jolt?
From my own experience the coaching landscape has changed considerably over the last decade. In the last few years I’ve become very clear that I just wanted to work with accredited coaches. A qualification doesn’t make someone an expert but it does show a level of commitment to the profession.
Coaches that have invested in a deeper learning experience with a responsibility for their own development. Some of who are now working with ‘C’ level executives and senior leadership also committed to their growth to create resilient and compassionate work places. There were many reasons behind this but primarily I know who I serve the best.
If you want to build a successful coaching business a critical starting point is understanding what’s really driving your personal story and what will help your clients to buy into you. Your personal story doesn’t just have to be one of drama and heartache. One client as a child had a passion for board games and now her executive coaching workshops have a ‘game’ element. This golden thread gives her personal brand that extra punch.
People buy into how you make them feel. If you could have lunch with Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey. Who would you choose? I’m guessing once you’ve weighed up the pros and cons your choice will be driven by a feeling. In the same way be mindful of how you make people feel consciously and unconsciously. Take my archetype quiz to discover how you make people feel at your best.