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REALL Marketing for Coaches

Posted by Julia Stewart

Well, our Confab meeting with guest mentor coach, Barbra Sundquist, on "Do Coaches Need to Get Real?", was very high energy! There are a lot of smart coaches on the calls and they're not shy about sharing. Barbra didn't get to talk as much as we expected, but gracious as she is, she recognized that it was a great call, anyway!

Several callers mentioned my recent post, "No Wonder Clients Aren't Buying", so the call became a discussion on marketing; what works, what doesn't, and what's just plain repugnant. I'm getting lots of feedback on that post and on the Confab meeting. We've really struck a nerve in the coaching community!

Originally, Barbra and I expected to talk about whether coaches need to get more realistic about building their practices, but Barbra had an insight during the call: Maybe coaches need to get more real, as inauthentic, especially in the area of marketing.

This is hardly new news, but apparently it's something we need to get focused on, because coaches have had it with the current marketing paradigm that's dominating the coaching world. 

Put people before results. That's a phrase I learned at Coach U, when I was studying there. It seemed kind of obvious to me, at the time. I had already used it to build a successful personal training business. But after all the training I've had in marketing, I think it's time to return to basics.

I was fired up after the Confab, but had to drive into Manhattan right after. While I was driving and thinking about the conversation, I made an acronym for REALL out of words I heard used in the Confab:

Respect, as in "always put respect for the people you're marketing to ahead of the results you want to achieve". If you stick to this, success may not come to you instantly, but you'll be building trust in the world and that can only lead to good things.

Ethics, as in "be impeccable with your integrity". Respectful words aren't enough; they must be followed by equally respectful behavior, if you want to be highly trusted in the world.

Authenticity, as in, "Communicate who you really are, not who you think they'll buy." That goes for what you offer, too. This requires a willingness to look deep within to know yourself fully, plus the courage to be vulnerable.

Love, if you love what you do and you love your clients, it'll show, and that's very attractive! One of the best compliments I ever got was when I led a Springboard to Coaching live event in Philadelphia. One of the participants came up to me after the first day and said, "It's obvious that you love what you do and it loves you back." And then she said, "I think I might want to coach with you!" It meant a lot to me, because it was my first live event and I was a little scared, but I had reminded myself that if I loved the audience, they would love me back, and now I knew that I had succeeded!

Oh, and I added one more "L" for "Leverage Everything"! This is an approach to business, but even more so to life, that I've been working with for a while. It's a come-from that will teach you to recognize perfection in all situations, because you'll learn to see the opportunities that arise when life seems anything but perfect!

If you approach marketing from the values of Respect, Ethics, Authenticity and Love, and then watch what shows up in your life -plus remember to leverage everything - I don't think it will be possible you to not be successful!

And it has the added value of not being icky!

I'm thinking about using this idea for the next Confab on June 7th. Let me know if you'd like that.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005

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