Business, Focus Edition Find Your Brand Focus
By: Lauren Clemett • 4 years ago •
When you started your coaching business a small part of your brain was probably screaming at you from the sidelines.
Your amygdala, or fear centre, was madly trying to tell you not to do it. It was formulating questions that began eating away at your confidence…what if I can’t get clients? Do I have all the right qualifications? Can I really do what I say I can do? Am I biting off more than I can chew? How can I prove I’m good at this without any runs on the board?
Instead of listening to these warnings, you did something superhuman. You took control of your own brain and you told it to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.
You became a coach, dedicated to helping others achieve greatness. Congratulations!
Trouble is, your superhuman ability to control your own entrepreneurial brain came with some pretty strong kryptonite. It’s called ‘bright-shiny- object-itis’ and it’s the single most important factor if you want to be spectacularly successful.
When you take control of your own brain, you are more open to opportunity, constantly noticing any chance to coach that comes your way. It becomes very tempting to help every ‘Mary in the dairy’ instead of focusing on one particular aspect of coaching that you can forge a decent niche in.
What’s so wrong with trying to help everyone? Isn’t that what coaching is all about?
When you open up to opportunity and jump at every potential client, you begin to suffer from the fear of missing out. You take on anyone who shows even the remotest interest in your mentoring, regardless of whether they are the right fit for your particular style or if they can work in the way you really need them to. You sign on for contracts focusing on the money rather than the fulfilment you get from the work. Worse, you give away your time to the wrong prospects instead of concentrating on where your training will be of most benefit.
If you continue to let your opportunistic brain run your focus, over time it becomes more and more difficult to explain exactly what it is that you do and why someone should choose you. You forget why you became a coach in the first place and struggle to attract perfect clients you love to get results with.
The distraction your own entrepreneurial brain causes, matched with your natural desire to help people, increases the likelihood of you losing your focus and becoming just one of the many other coaches out there offering what seems to be the same services. And there are plenty of them.
Coaching is second only to IT as the fastest growing industry in the world and if you don’t have a point of difference, it’s going to be a hard road to success.
As a coach it’s vital that you become well known for doing one thing extremely well. To become sought after, not only based on your results, but through high quality referrals.
Word of mouth has always been the best form of marketing, especially when you sell a service like coaching, mentoring or training. It’s free, third party endorsement that creates a ripple effect for years.
So, what do you want people to say about you?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos once said that “a personal brand is what people say about you once you’ve left the room”.
When you want someone to endorse and refer you, what words do you want them to use? If you haven’t developed a focal point with your own brand, others will simply make up your message for you.
It comes down to what you want to be known for. If you haven’t decided on that yet, found your focus and defined your niche, how can you expect others to promote you?
Focus can be used as an acronym to help you stay the course – Follow One Course Until Successful.
Some coaches tend to change direction, side-stepping from one code to another, taking on anyone prepared to pay them, adding on more and more content to their programs to ensure there is something for everyone. Constantly substituting your brand, your target audience, your product or your message will erode any trust you have built up in your industry.
So how do you find your focus and become the coach of choice?
It’s more about what you don’t do, than what you do. Big retails brand Kmart recently removed 70,000 products from their shelves and David Jones’s removed 120,000. David Russo, CEO of Kmart said “We were trying to be all things to all people and we decided to focus on doing something really well instead”.
If these big boys decided to focus on what they do best (and they know something about branding) isn’t that a pretty good sign you should too?
It’s all about direction.
If you did orienteering as a kid you’ll remember having a map and a compass. On their own, these items are particularly useless. A compass simply tells you where North is and a map gives you a pretty picture of the surrounding area. Unless you put them together, you aren’t going anywhere.
I use this analogy all the time to explain the value of personal branding as a coach. The first step to focusing on what you want to become well known, well paid and wanted for. This is to find your true North.
A compass has four points, North, West, South and East. You can use these to define your single minded purpose and find your focus.
West is all about the What. What problem do you love to solve? What sort of work do you love doing? What sort of people do you love working with? What pain are these people in that you want to help them get rid of? What goals do they have that you can help them to reach? What values and motives do you share with them? What won’t you do?
East is Execution, your how. How do you most like to work? How is your coaching program designed to work best? How do you get the best results? How do you like to work with others? How many clients do you want? How you want to get paid?
South is all about the $. What you offer in value in exchange for being paid. What transformation takes place when people work with you? What do you provide above and beyond what they pay for? What do you want to be valued for most? What’s your value proposition? Is it speed, growth, wins, strength, enlightenment…?
Then we come to North. Your true North is your why. Why did you become a coach? What drives you and makes you passionate about what you do? Why do you get angry? Why is injustice going on that you’d like to put right? Why do you want to be known for being this type of coach?
Once you know your true North and you’ve set your brand direction using this compass, it’s much easier for you to put together a MAP, a Marketing Action Plan, to implement your own, highly effective marketing and promotion.
Your compass keeps you on the straight and narrow. When those bright shiny opportunities arise, instead of jumping at them, you can consider if it fits with your brand, then decide if you should do it or not.
It makes it easy to keep your marketing message clear and simple. And this is vital if you want to stand out from all the other coaches.
In the 1970’s it was estimated that the human brain was exposed to 500 branded messages a day. Today it’s closer to 5,000, that’s four every minute. You have to cut through all those to get the attention of your potential client.
That’s where a personal brand can create an instantly recognisable message your prospect needs in order to understand your purpose. The one thing you want people to say about you. What you want to be remembered for.
When you focus on what you want to be the best at, the one thing you want to be respected for, the single identifier that makes you stand out from the rest, that’s when the magic happens.
That’s when your reputation takes off and suddenly the ideal people you want to coach appear. They want exactly what you have and they don’t mind what they pay to get it. They know, like and trust you before they’ve even met you.
When you have focus you can set some extraordinary BHAGS – big hairy audacious goals for your business. You can surround yourself with associates who support your work, form allegiances where referrals flow continuously and start to fixate on very large results with a tribe of fans supporting you.
With a single minded focus, even the loftiest of goals are achievable and people begin to believe along with you.
It just makes sense doesn’t it…If you expect to guide a team of sportspeople, business owners or those who need direction in life, they are going to choose a coach who already has their own clearly defined focus, because that’s exactly what they are looking to find for themselves.
Lauren Clemett is a Personal Branding Specialist with over 25 years’ experience in brand management with leading advertising agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Clemenger BBDO and for International Corporate AXA. She owns her own agency, the Ultimate Business Propellor and consults with professional service providers who sell the invisible.
She is the best-selling author of the Selling You series of practical guidebooks to personal branding available on Amazon and regularly speaks and holds workshops for coaches, trainers and mentors.
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