14 July 2009

How Much Do Prospective Clients Know About You?

What do you tell prospective clients about yourself? What will they know about your passion for your work, and what led you to your choice of career field? Do you generate trust and rapport with bits of your own life story?

If you are like most of my clients, you probably feel uncomfortable with those questions.

A big issue in marketing among many of my clients is how much to disclose about themselves. As counselors, coaches and NDs, we've all been taught to keep extremely tight lipped about ourselves.

That training is a huge obstacle when it comes to effectively attracting ideal clients.

There is a natural conflict between the standard ideas about no personal disclosures and the need to talk about one's personal unique selling points and compelling story in relationship-based client attraction marketing.

Successful business owners work through this uncomfortable conflict.

Strong, prohibitive indoctrination about revealing anything about yourself generates fear of judgment from peers. We're left with a serious misunderstanding of what might or might not be ethical in marketing ourselves.

most solopreneurs in the healing arts err on the side of just listing educational credentials and licenses, which often has a cold, egotistic, and distancing effect.

This is institutionalized, professional self-sabotage, similar to what doctors and lawyers faced decades ago when the AMA and ABA frowned on marketing private practices. It's a fear-based mindset that belongs to a past century, and that's out of step with today's business world.

It's a mistaken idea that marketing a self-employed business means talking about yourself. That type of self-promotion doesn't work very well.

A bit of your own life experience helps establish the know you, like you, trust you factor that is important in relationship-based client attraction marketing.


ReSet Coach said...

Hello Deah, I have to say, I really look forward to your posts. What's special about long term professional relationships is that a client can end-up feeling like a lot of his inner details have been divulged to a complete stranger, and though the coaching relationship is supposed to be unjudging, a person would wonder whether his care-giver can REALLY empathize with where he is right now, so a little bit of personal experience would really feel more human. Thank you

Coach Deah said...

Thanks for your most kind comments, Ruba. I'm a big proponent of being human with our clients, which leads me to not be so in favor of the blank slate ideal that carries over from psychotherapy to coaching in some training approaches. You make an excellent point that we can be human and real, without being judgmental.