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DIY Marketing: Lead in Your Business

Posted by Laura Gmeinder | December 18, 2017 | Comments (2)

As a coach, your success is proportionate to how you do what you do. Clients want to work with someone they like and trust.

In a crowded marketplace, leveraging your unique competitive advantage to reach your desired clients can be a challenge. Take Sarah, a coach struggling to build a sustainable business, for example. In her assessment, her approach is so unique that it has to be experienced. It’s something that can’t be put into words—which is why,  she confessed to me, that she had taken down her website.

“So,” I challenged, “if you aren’t putting yourself out in the world, how are the people that need you most going to find you?”

Silence.

I can relate. My coaching business started as a side gig. I didn’t know what I wanted for the long term and didn’t want my employer to find out in the meantime. So, I didn’t market. And looking back, the fear of my employer finding out and the fallout that might ensue was an excuse. As long as I told myself that story, I didn’t have to face the fact that I was unsure of myself and my offerings—that I wasn’t ready to lead in my business. It was a hard truth to face: My fear of being visible was stronger than my desire to help my potential clients. Ouch!

Four years later when I left the corporate world and received my last paycheck, the realization hit me: I didn’t have the luxury of hiding behind my fear. I no longer had a safety net. Either I needed to step into the spotlight that scared me—ready or not—or fail in my business. My fear of failing was a powerful motivator. And how would I find success? Inviting people to get to know me and my story, who I am and what I had to offer.

If you are hiding in plain sight, you may be sabotaging your success.

So how do you harness your inner leader to establish yourself as an expert? Here are five proven strategies to DIY your marketing:

Heart and Hustle

A heart and hustle mindset entails doing what it takes to grow your business. It’s a willingness to say yes from the heart, a place of service, when fear holds you back. If you think about helping and providing value, it’s easier to “promote” yourself. Say yes to the strategies that light you up and align with the business you are building, then be unattached to the result.

Grow Through Giving

Relationship-building is the new black. What can you do to provide value? For example, have you ever nominated someone in your network for an award? When you shine the light on others, the light reflects back on you. Or maybe you read an article that would make great content for a coach who has a different niche. Send it over to add value and continue to build the relationship. Most likely you will be on their radar the next time they want to make a referral.

Lean into What You Do Best

If you study top coaches, most are thriving because of the diversity of services and products they offer. What do you do best? Do you excel as a writer? Create a freebie guide to grow your email list. Don’t like Facebook Live videos? Don’t do them. There are unlimited ways to promote your business, choose a few that you enjoy and be consistent!

Collaborate Your Way to Success

Collaboration can be a win-win if you partner with someone who complements your skill sets and business model. Your business bestie can introduce you to their network (and vice versa), bring a wealth of knowledge, share the risk and celebrate success (champagne optional).

Step into the Spotlight

It is hard to shout about your own successes, but that’s all the more reason to do it—to remind yourself of the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone. Have you considered applying for an award? (Or maybe you have someone in your network who would be willing to nominate you?) For example, I self-nominated for a “40 Under 40” award. Not only did I gain exposure as a thought leader, they gave me headshots, and I was invited to a VIP networking event. I also parlayed the opportunity into media coverage for my business. As Andy Warhol predicted, we all get our 15 minutes of fame, but few of us are willing to take them, leaving  more opportunities for those willing to take the risk.

Are you waiting to be discovered or willing to do what it takes to shine the light on your expertise? People are waiting to learn more; you are exactly what someone needs. And you alone are responsible for your success. If needed, consider this your permission to shine.

laura gmender headshot june 2018

Laura Gmeinder

Laura Gmeinder is a passion igniter; she’s a highly sought-after certified laser coach and motivational speaker. Her passion lies at the intersection of leadership development, mindset and business strategy. She champions women to take themselves—and their business to the next level. Laura was honored as a BRAVA Magazine 2018 Woman to Watch in part for her work on the short documentary “If You Don’t, Who Will?” she is co-producing, which focuses on why we don’t have more women leaders—and what we can do about it.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (2)

  1. yann.lellouche@gmail.com says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you Laura (and you published it on my Birthday)

  2. So glad you enjoyed it Yann! Thanks for the feedback. Happy belated birthday!

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