When I first started my career coaching practice – the idea of helping people find a career they loved, was exciting. However, I soon learned what was less exciting, was everything leading up to the getting a client.
From marketing my business (which is even more complicated today for coaches due to the plethora of ways to market your business and many more coaches to compete with), having sales conversations, right through to being able to respond professionally to that cringe-worthy question, “How much do you charge?”
Thankfully, this was over two decades ago, and I’ve learned a lot over the years, which I’ve continued to apply with my podcasting and business coaching clients.
However, what has remained the same over all these years is that many coaches are still struggling with the same issues I did.
Is this something you’re struggling with, too?
- How to market their coaching business?
- How to generate quality leads?
- How to get more clients?
One of the pivotal turning points in my career coaching practice (and that I continue to use in my business coaching business when working with clients on their brand, message and podcast strategy) is to make sure you have a unique and uncopyable message that positions you as an influential trusted authority – THE choice vs just A choice for your dream client.
One of the greatest challenges I find coaches experience when it comes to creating a message that’s unique and uncopyable and that will capture the attention of their ideal client so they can generate quality leads and enrol more of their dream clients is – where do they start?
In this article, I’ll share some of the key steps I took, when it came to clarifying my unique and uncopyable message, so that you can begin to craft your own.
It can take a little time to complete, but well worth the effort. And, it’s something you’ll want to continue to remain aware of from time-to-time, to ensure your message remains relevant.
Because the information you’ll uncover will provide a foundation for you to create your own unique and uncopyable message so that you become THE choice vs just A choice when your dream client is ready to move forward.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to you and your experience.
- Let the challenges you’ve overcome, lead the way
How often do we neglect our strengths and talents, because we don’t truly recognise the value they offer. After thousands of conversations with podcast guests, I’m convinced it’s because we don’t value what comes easiest to us. Even when people around us compliment and – we shrug it off “Oh, that’s nothing.”
It IS something and should never be discredited. How do you determine these strengths and talents?
Begin by doing an audit of the challenges you’ve overcome, including:
- What was a problem you faced?
- What steps did you take to handle that problem?
- What was the outcome?
By doing a personal audit on the challenges I’ve overcome, these are the insights I learned about myself. The information I uncovered is also something I continue to leverage in my business as a strength, because it’s what makes me unique, uncopyable and valuable to my ideal clients.
I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I love learning. I love starting new projects. Finding solutions to issues in an innovative way, or trying new things, especially bright shiny objects, fuels my creative fire.
The downside is – I struggle with focusing on just ONE thing. Or, when things are moving smoothly for any period of time, I get bored easily. And, when it comes to growing a coaching business, trying to build momentum in the ONE direction and become known as an Influential Trusted Authority is difficult, if I’m continuously changing the direction of my business. Or, I’m not following through on the projects I started.
That’s been one of THE major problems I’ve had to face, which then led to another problem – ‘How do I put all of that diverse experience, certifications into one succinct message that is clear, concise and doesn’t confuse my audience, or prospective clients?’
How did I address the issue? I didn’t try to change anything (which so often business coaches encourage you to do), nor did I look at these things as weaknesses, but rather strengths and I used this to my advantage.
The result in my career coaching business was that I was ahead of the industry in terms of using technology such as email and VOIP when coaching clients. Many of my colleagues were only seeing clients face-to-face. However, I was able to expand my business to working with clients, globally.
The other wonderful outcome from recognising this is that many of my dream clients are struggling with this too, So, all of the steps I’ve taken I can now share and teach my ideal clients.
OVER TO YOU: Journal each of the three questions and notice the similar strengths you use across all of the challenges you have written. What were the outcomes you secured in each of these areas? How can you leverage this to support clients?
- What were your ‘accidental’ successes?
We all have them, hidden away waiting to be recognised and woven into your unique and uncoyable story and how you can help clients.
Mine was starting Women In Leadership Podcast after my worst business failure ever. Feeling defeated and unable to create, due to burnout, I knew I needed to do something to move forward. So, I started the podcast as a way to surround myself with women who had overcome failure, so I could learn what they did.
Three episodes in, I accidently generated two 4-figure clients – from a podcast I started as a way to get over my grief and loss. I thought – if I could back-track the steps these two business-women took to go from ‘not knowing me’ to ‘I want to hire you’ what would be possible.? A book, and a program ‘Podcasting With Purpose’ later – the rest is history, as they say.
OVER TO YOU: What were your ‘accidental’ successes that addresses a key issue that other people are struggling with too?
- Who and What lights you up
I always say, your ‘purpose’ sits between what you are passion about and what peeves you off. I call this, ‘Your Inner Brilliance’.
For me – I love it when I’m able to inspire others to recognise their gifts and talents so they grow their self-confidence and self-belief, and are finally able to reach their potential.
And, there’s nothing that peeves me off more than when people are taken advantage of, or spoken down to, by anyone who is trying to hold them down. It’s my kryptonite and is what prompts me into action.
I can’t help myself, but speak out for them, OR help empower them, so they can speak up for themselves.
It’s one of the reasons I started Career Success Radio, 15 years ago, following the global financial crises and the doom and gloom MSM continued to bombard everything with from every channel. (They haven’t changed much have they over the years).
My co-host and I jumped into action to bring hope and possibility to the airwaves. We knew things were tough but NOT impossible. Job seekers needed to change their approach to finding employment as much as they needed ongoing encouragement, which is what we did with our show each week for two years.
My purpose: to inspire hope and possibility.
OVER TO YOU: Who and what lights YOU up? And who and what peeves you off? Your purpose is right there between the two.
YOUR DREAM CLIENT:
Now it’s time to get clarity on your dream client, as this clarity will help shape your message. You can’t have a compelling message that captures the attention of your dream client if you don’t know what your dream client is struggling with and the solution they’re looking for.
- Starting Point: ASK
Unsure what your dream client is struggling with? Ask them.
Here’s a snapshot of the membership questions I have people answer when they request access to my Podcasting With Purpose Community on Facebook.
Want to know how I know what the 2 most common questions coaches ask when it comes to launching a podcast? I asked them, and through asking I discovered the biggest challenge they struggle with is ‘how to get started?’ followed closely with ‘what technology/microphone do I need?’
Don’t assume anything – ask.
- Look and Listen out for the Language they use
Like many other coaches, you may have a long list of modalities and techniques in your toolkit that you can tap into to support clients transform their lives. In fact, your experience, the challenges you’ve overcome, along with your rich toolkit of modalities would ensure you’re the BEST coach to support them achieve their goals. Exciting, right?
What’s NOT exciting is how you may be speaking about how you can support them, especially if you’re speaking about the modality and technique.
For example, you may be trained in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming and one of your areas of specialty is helping middle-aged women, who are struggling with insomnia.
So, you add yourself to a Health & Wellness Online Directory – under the category of NLP Health & Wellness Coach. You write some articles about how powerful the modality of NLP is when it comes to insomnia, including specific techniques. And, you create some a few popular inspirational ‘quote’ graphics, which you share across your social media platforms, hoping your ideal client will find them and want to find out more about how you can support them.
The problem is, your ideal client may be searching the Health & Wellness Online Directory – but she is looking for articles on ‘Overcoming Insomnia’ and for Wellness Practitioners who are trusted authorities in that area. She’s not searching for NLP-trained practitioners – in fact she has no idea what NLP is, nor does she really care. She just wants to get a good night’s sleep without the use of medication.
The language you’ve used in your article, explaining the techniques are confusing and she’s already overwhelmed and on edge, because of her lack of sleep.
Not sure about the language she uses to describe her situation? Hint: Ask, and then listen to what she has to say and be prepared to write down the key phrases and words she uses.
Similarly, if you find online communities of where people – in this case middle-aged women who are struggling with insomnia, the comments and conversations on these forums are priceless, with your goal to find out how they describe their challenge, including the negative impact it’s having on their lives, as well as the desired outcome and how they will finally feel once that goal has been achieved.
OVER TO YOU: Find your ideal clients and ask them if you can spend 10-15 minutes as part of a research project you’re working on. (This is something I recommend all of my clients do as part of identifying their Lucrative Niche – I call it ‘Informational Interviews’ and is something I used to encourage jobseekers do as well.) Have some 2 or 3 open-ended questions and be prepared to take lots of notes.
- What’s their greatest motivator to YES and NO
Not only is it important to identify the language your dream client is using to describe his/her challenge and desired outcome is, you’ll also want to identify their greatest motivator to get them to a YES, as well as their biggest objection that’ll prevent them to getting to a YES and ensure you weave and address this into your message.
For instance, my dream client is a specialist in her area of expertise because of his/her experience, qualifications and journey/challenges overcome. However, despite this vast knowledge and experience he/she still ‘feels like the world’s best kept secret’ and he/she is both frustrated and uncertain why what they’re doing has just not worked. Especially when other people with less experience seem so much further ahead in their visibility and influence in the industry. Secretly, this frustrates them too.
Two of the greatest objections for my dream client, is (a) ‘I’ve tried everything – nothing has worked’, and (b) ‘the market is crowded – it’s almost impossible to stand out.’
OVER TO YOU: As part of the research, you do about your dream client, spend time looking out for what their greatest motivator to a YES is, as well as their biggest objection is, and ensure you weave them both into your message.
How did you go? Book in for a 15-minute Authority Audit today to find out how best to leverage this information, as well as what you need to focus on to help you go from invisible to Influential Trusted Authority – THE choice vs just A choice with your dream client. Click here to book.