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Warning: Your Elevator Pitch Is Costing You Clients – And How To Fix It

Modern elevators“What Do You Do?”

It’s the worst question in the world. The question that has even the most confident of coaches and consultants squirming in their seat. The question that causes you to take a deep breath and put your brain in gear to explain the value you have to offer in the best possible way, so they get it and want to hire you.

And even though you know what an elevator pitch is and even though it’s a piece of cake explaining it to some people who already “gets” you and your work and walks in your circles, nothing prepares you for having to start from scratch and relate to a person, or an audience you don’t already know.

If you’re struggling with your message and explaining to people what you do so they can’t wait to work with you, then you’re not the only one.

Defining what you do is way more difficult than doing what you do. Delivering the value to your client is easy – but being able to describe to a complete stranger what you do and how you do it, so that they are sufficiently impressed to want to hire you – that’s a whole ‘nother ball game – and there are few things you need to get straight in your head before you can do it effectively.

Hang with me, and I’ll lay these out for you, so by the end of this post you’ll know exactly what you need to say to get more clients on your books straight away.

Take Your Prospect On A Journey

Starting from cold doesn’t work.

Yet, how do you explain what you do without sounding like everyone else? Of course you want to avoid canned responses and patter. Additionally there are only so many root problems you can address in your particular niche, right?

The question of how to attract customers and get them to understand the value you have to offer them (especially if you haven’t already got a formula that works) is no easy feat. But before you get into the HOW of capturing people’s attention and converting them into clients you need to have a few basics down. These basics will then make everything that comes later: website copy, emails, lead generation copy, the about me page – so much easier.

The reason you’re struggling at the moment with your elevator pitch is because you can’t say quite how you’re any different from everyone else.

Before someone buys from you, they need to know what you stand for and what you’re going to deliver. The trouble is, if you’re promising just the simple lukewarm message as everyone else you’re not going to get very far before they move on to the next shiny object.

Your message of what you can do needs to be red hot, and hit all their hot buttons and in order to do this it needs to speak to their pain: i.e. solving their problem. In order to know this though, you need to know WHO you want to work with.

The Root of The Problem with writing elevator pitches can be summarised in

  1. Not really knowing who you want to work with, and what their biggest pain is
  2. Not Knowing what makes you stand out from everyone else doing what you do
  3. Not really knowing how to demonstrate the value you have to offer your prospects.

Now let’s talk about how to fix this.

3 Things That Have People Lining Up To Pay

People need to know what you do, who you are and what value you have to offer them. The trouble is, you need to say this in a way that is relevant and credible… because all the while your prospect is asking “what’s in it for me?”.
These three things when done right hit the psychological triggers that switch people into wanting to work with you – before you even open your mouth.

1. Your Brand

This isn’t about your logo and font type. These are components of your brand, but not the brand in itself. Your brand is the tone you use, the way you explain things, the way you make your prospects feel and the messaging you use to tell someone what you need them to know. This presupposes you know who you want to work with, and how you want to relate to them. 

As an example, let’s look at Mirasee: Danny is a business-savvy educator. He talks about “his students”, not his clients; he talks about “trainings” not presentations. He is also informal, and super-friendly.

This comes across in the tone of his emails, the way he invites people to join his classes and the way he describes what you need to do to build your business. You see, his brand seeps through everything he does, and it speaks directly to the people he wants to work with. It’s not about his logo, or colour of his business card… if he has one!

2. Your Core Client Process

Once you know who you want to work with and what pain you want to address, you need to have a framework that they can relate to so they can clearly see that you can solve their problem.

People LOVE to have a system to follow: do this, get that result. It absolves them of responsibility and gives them the confidence that you can get them where you need to be. Your core client process is the system that you use to show people where they need to go and also allows them to see how you work.

Wrapped in with this is being able to reveal a bit about who you are and your philosophies as this gives folks the comfort factor that they know how you work and they resonate with that method before they contact you.

3. Theme

Tied into both the core process and the brand you use is the theme. This is where you really separate yourself from the masses by giving people a memorable visual image about how you relate to their problem AND how you solve it.

Case Study: How Kat Lessin Helps Creatives Transition Into The World Of Entrepreneurship, Safely

Let me use Kat Lessin as an example, because the theme we came up with for her really demonstrates this point.

Kat sought me out because she needed help in getting more clients on her books. In our introductory session we hit it off… partly because we had similar favourite pass times (sitting in cafes drinking coffee, with laptop in tow!)
Anyway, during our strategy session we came up with the brand, the core client process and the theme, which we have since implemented to great success.

Kat wanted to work with creative people – particularly guys in a job who had the entrepreneurial bug and wanted to make the switch to running their own business. The big pain these folks experience is being able to make this leap when they have a family depending on them.

Having done a LOT of couples coaching, Kat wanted to target men in particular, and then either work with them on their own, or with their partner too, to help them make the transition, safely and sensibly – without putting off their dream.
Kat also has an interest in architecture, and so this was where our theme came from.

Kat’s theme, core client process and brand, all come from architectural, building principles. The process she takes her clients through in their planning session follows the same process you would use to build a building – from conceptual design (creating what you want), through to getting planning permission (from your partner, and those dependent on you), through to laying foundations, putting in structure and constructing the dream phase by phase.

These themes and process then get woven throughout all her material: her website, her lead generation tools, how she describes what she does… EVERYTHING. It makes it so much easier to have these key concepts to hang everything else off without having to worry “what do I say to get people to hire me?”

Her theme is evident throughout everything she does. Here is a snapshot of her website, with architectural images, blueprint backgrounds, and the reference to Life Architecture in the opt-in box…

katimg

How Do You Do This For Yourself?

This is all very well in principle, but how do you do this for your own elevator pitch?

Sure, you may need some help to get this just right, which is why I work with people one on one, but let’s get you started right now, so you can start to see how this works and get some results.

  1. First off, we need to brainstorm potential themes. Start by listing out all the things that appeal to you: hobbies, interests, and things you’ve done in the past.
  2. Now you need to make sure you know what your ideal clients looks like. This is the kind of person you would most like to work with… not the person you think will pay you for what you offer right not.
  3. Next figure out what their biggest problem is. It often pays off to talk directly to people who fit your perfect client criteria and find out first hand rather than trying to hallucinate what they might want.
  4. Come up with a theme that marries what you love to solving one, specific problem e.g. how to get unstuck when you’ve got too many ideas to pursue, or how to make a leap from a job to a business when you have family dependent on you.
  5. Create an article or free report that clarifies this for you, and your potential prospects – so you can build your website, offer, and strategy around it.

Let’s Get You Started Right Now

We can get you started right here, right now in the comments. Simply list out the things in your life that make you, you.

Write them in the comments below.

As an example, Kat would write: “love of architecture, working with creative people, couples coaching and photography”.

What defines you? Tell me below in the comments!

I read every comment and I’m here to help!

*For more help with your elevator pitch, check out this elevator speech template.

About Laura Leigh Clarke

Laura Leigh Clarke (@EnlightenLaura) is the unorthodox Business Coach, Recovering Quantum Physicist, Founder of ProsperityQM, Geek and a die-hard Doctor Who fan. She also helps people clear their money blocks and limiting beliefs so they can manifest the life and business they really want. Download Your Tool Kit for Making a Quantum Shift in Your Business, and watch your results explode!

53 thoughts on “Warning: Your Elevator Pitch Is Costing You Clients – And How To Fix It

  1. hi Laura

    That Kat Lessin case study is quite interesting… branding is not an option for businesses, is it?

    She uses a catchy slogan/UPS, and I recommend my students to do the same on their niche blogs (I’m into affiliate marketing and blog for a living mostly in the health industry)

    Glad I’ve read your post, and I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Hi John, you’re absolutely right. Branding, and what you are known for, is so important – both in getting people’s attention as someone who can solve their problems, but also in the more subtle psychology of how you help.

      Kat’s example is great because subtly she’s saying to creatives – yes, you have lot’s of ideas, but I’ve got the structure to help bring those ideas to fruition.

      Glad you found it useful! 🙂

  2. A smart take on one of the real tough parts about business – the “Who are you” question. It’s *SO* much harder to do this (well) for yourself than it is to advise others, isn’t it?

    But you gave us a fantastic example with Kat and what she’s done. As always, Laura… you’ve given me plenty of substance and many ideas to chew on. The wheels are turning.

    Thanks!

    • Hey – cool. Thanks Gary.

      Yes – very easy for someone else. Always tricky to do it for yourself.
      But I find that is true for most things is business. I heard somewhere that even the big gurus like Branson and Trump have business coaches – and certainly advisers. I can totally believe that. 🙂

  3. This post has some really good ideas. Mainly, if you know your market’s pain, and if they feel the pain intsenely and *know* they need help you’re half way there. And if you can demonstrate you’ve got the solution, you are 90% there.

    Kat Lessin’s blog is on the right track, but it’s hard to read. As a copywriter, I’d encourage her to change the colors to something more in keeping with the building theme and more upbeat. Always use black type on white (or near-black on off-white) on your text.

    And lose the “Welcome” message. It takes up valuable real estate without contributing. Kat’s also got some keyword opportunities she could be using.

    Finally, while the post is useful and thought-provoking the title referred to elevator speeches! I’d be curious to hear Kat’s elevator speech as the conclusion to the post.

    • Good thinking Cathy – I’ll see if I can get her to post it over here!

      Thanks for feedback on the copy. It’s work in progress, but she’s got the theme and the core client process down – which is of course reflecting well in the bottom line. 🙂

      • Cathy’s studied eye makes another good point to support the architecture of this blog post! As an editor, I saw the noun “architect” used as a verb and instead of getting out the ruler to whack some knuckles, I turned it around to that wonderful pause that happens when you notice something different. It’s all in what you do on your website to create a PAUSE for it is there that the HONESTY of what you do and who you are and what you have to offer SINKS IN to the reader’s mind. Now, I’m not advocating smashing the ‘rules’ of grammar and word use to smithereens–those rules are fragile in a dynamic environment of communication anyway–but little surprises and twists here and there certainly add an energy that is positive. Great post–great comments–great community here!

        • Hi Mary – wow – great catch! 😉

          This is the thing with copywriting… it has more to do with the subtleties of the reader psychology and communicating what you want the reader to feel, than being absolutely correct.

          I know for myself, and I’ll probably cause a ruckus saying this, but I know a lot of the email copy and written work I put out could be better in terms of editorial rules. For me though (rightly or wrongly ;)) the gauge of whether of piece of writing is effective has everything to do with how it connects with the reader emotionally, how well it prompts the desired action and consequently how well it performs in putting cash on the bottom line.

          Sure, if we broke all the rules of writing we’d lose credibility, and perhaps make it more difficult to read. I think popping the rule book aside now and embracing the fragility of the rules “in a dynamic environment of communication” as you suggest is a sensible way to go!
          Thanks for taking the time to wade in with your thoughts, Mary. Great to connect with you on here! 🙂

          • Laura,

            I’m gonna weigh in here as well cause I think I can clarify this issue with something I did years ago. I did a study of dictionaries and their approaches to the words we use every day. It is very relevant here.

            Did you know that there were two kinds of dictionaries? They are called “prescriptive” and “descriptive.”

            The first, the “prescriptive” dictionary holds that the experts, whomever they credit this ability with, are correct and that all should use their meanings.

            The second, the “descriptive” dictionary holds that the people using the language are the bosses of that language and whatever usage they make of the language is right.

            Now I personally want both. Thus, the have always loved and used “the American Heritage” dictionary which tries to fall in the middle of these two.

            That’s cause unless you communication to the person (and this is the responsibility of the communicator, primarily) then you won’t be understood. That’s a “descriptive” approach.

            But if these is zero agreement as to what the words mean, then you also won’t be understood. That’s a “prescriptive” approach.

            I like to be understood by the folks I’m speaking with. For example, speaking a foreign language to people who do know that language is not useful, be it French to English speakers or poor English to “proper English” speakers.

    • Yes, knowing your audience hot buttons is essential. But then connecting with that with more than just text is the next thing. I think the thing we forget as online marketers is that there is a lot that goes on once you start talking to the client – which is why having a process you can step them through is absolutely key. When this ties up with your theme, the results are magic.

      Thanks for wading in @.l.interpretations 🙂

  4. Ah the lovely Laura, glad you guest blogging for Danny. As always your work is superb and such a wealth of information to impart, great to read something from you again. The Kat Lessin example is a poignant reminder to remember who we are to the core, and bring forth our passion and personality – well done!
    Biggie for me is to remember what sort of people I actually want to work with too.. I tend to want to please/help everyone – so thanks again

    • Hi Jade, lovely to hear from you!

      Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂

      Ah yes, the “who we are at our core” chestnut. Couldn’t agree more. It sounds almost cliche, but unless we know that ourselves getting traction is really never going to happen. I’ve had this situation with one of my clients this month. She is absolutely rocking it all of a sudden, and the catalyst was exactly what you suggest – getting clear on who she is, and what she’s passionate about, and then not being afraid to allow this to seep through.

      And yes, not trying to appeal to everyone is key too. As long as you talk to the avatar (of your target market), you will of course attract other people to you.. but it comes from having that clear message that doesn’t try and catch all. Give me a shout if you need a steer… But sounds like you’ve got the idea 😉

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jade. Great to have you join the conversation. 🙂

  5. Laura,

    We have spoken before and you may (or may not) recall me.

    Great article. Now I know the pain of my people but how can you deal with the fact that these folks are being fed “mis-information” on a regular basis. This leads them to think things are so when honestly, they ain’t that way at all.

    • Hey Dan, of course I remember you!
      Online keyboard instructor, extraordinaire, right 😉

      Ok so there are a few things in your question.

      1. not everyone in your target audience will have been “brain washed” for want of a better word 😉
      2. (re)-education is part of marketing… and actually makes your job defining your USP that little bit easier. You can subtly say – most guys do this, but I think this is the way to go, and here’s why.
      3. If your market really doesn’t see the value you offer, and needs too much “re-education”, it may be a case of finding another group to work with. You want to go after a hungry crowd, who know’s they’re hungry and who has money to pay for what you have to feed them. If any of those (metaphoric) criteria aren’t there, you’ve got an uphill struggle on your hands.

      I hope this is helpful! I know how difficult it is to shift direction, but certainly worth evaluating whether you’re leaning your ladder against the wrong tower.

      Great to hear from you again, Dan. And as usual, great question!

      L 🙂

  6. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for a great article, it’s helped me this morning to have a couple of great breakthroughs in writing the messaging to my tribe for my home page of my soon to be new website. I am redesigning and re-launching my whole business this fall. Exciting!
    I noticed no one whose posted actually responded to your request, so I will.
    I’m passionate about helping women entrepreneurs overcome their doubts that prevent them from stepping into their full feminine power.
    I’m passionate about the western ageless wisdom, the tarot as an oracle that can reveal your soul path, and how to use the oracle to claim and walk your path.
    I’m passionate about the link between building business savvy and building spiritual power.
    I’m passionate about my work and the contribution it is making.
    I’m passionate about figuring out ways to leverage it so I can serve more people.
    I think you might be able to help me.

    Cheers
    Steve

    • Hi Steve – great to hear you had a breakthrough, and glad this information has played a small part in that.
      Ah, I love tarot. Very cool that you’re using this to help entrepreneurs. I can relate to that question of how can you serve more people when providing readings is where the breakthroughs happen . (I remember asking it during a conference myself when I started out.). The coaching model of products and group work does work for this too though. I do energy work and emotional releasing in this way, and then when someone wants more personal work move to one to one coaching… I’m sure that can work for you too.

      Thanks for wading in with your insights and sharing what is at the core of your work. I’m looking forward to being connected 🙂

  7. My business involves editing services for writers. I find many first-time writers are emotionally attached to their first draft and don’t want to spend time or money doing revisions. That’s the challenge I work with.

    My passions include being in nature , the love of trees and RVing.

  8. “… I know the pain of my people but how can you deal with the fact that these folks are being fed “mis-information” on a regular basis. This leads them to think things are so when honestly, they ain’t that way at all.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    Great question Dan!

    I run into this A LOT with my mompreneur clients who need help learning how to make money in their small solo businesses selling handcrafted items.

    They either have completely bogus information about what works or worse, they do nothing, thinking “if I build it, they will come” works online.

    I wonder too the best way to handle this. You’ve got to educate them AND give them a reason to believe you know what you’re talking about compared to everyone else.

    Online, it’s easier to “warm them up” over time if done right, but literally, in the elevator, not so much. Going from “cold” to “you are for me” takes a special kind of romance dance….

    Maybe Laura or Danny will jump in and give us their thoughts on conveying “trust me” information clearly and succintly.

    I don’t think our own business results are enough. Too much “proof” can come across as “too good to be true.” And … in the “elevator,” there’s not time and you’d sound like a pompous braggart delivering it.

    Also, identifying who you want to work with and how to recognize that person would be critical BEFORE you deliver your new killer elevator speech. Or you just might get a bunch of clients who aren’t a good fit for you. 🙂

    • D’Anne
      In my experience testimonials are are great way of laying out the “proof”. The bragging needs to come from others writing / talking about transformative ways you helped them to jump start or accelerate their business. Then you aren’t the pompous braggart at all, someone else is carrying the water the make the case for you.
      Laura,
      Great post. As always you have great insights. This week I’ve been working on next year’s Children Learning with Nature Training Institute program and marketing campaign, so this was timely as well. As an Architect I appreciated the case study on Kat’s target clients and approach.
      I agree with some of the other posts about the graphics, but the content seems to be there. If Kat is targeting creatives she may want to broaden it beyond the use of just architectural iconography and words. Painters, graphic designers, Landscape Architects, furniture designers and craftsmen might also be natural markets for her.

      • Hey Paul –

        Great to hear you’re working on your plan for next year and that this was useful. Thanks for the ideas for Kat. If she isn’t monitoring the comments I’ll be sure to pass your suggestions on for discussion.

        The thing to bear in mind is that once you open up to try and serve everyone, you tend to lose traction, at least until you have the critical mass and halo effect going on. What I’ve found is that a very targeted message is incredibly powerful – to the extent that even people outside of your target market get pulled into your orbit and find ways to include themselves. I had a client who ran networking events. She decided to test this principle and said ok, my target area is just the geographic district I live in. As soon as she did that, she filled her group – AND started attracting people from other areas who wanted a piece of the action. She turned them away, but Kat isn’t going to turn away someone just because they’re a graphic designer and not an architect… (At least I don’t think she will! lol)
        The point of this first piece is the attraction process. What you do after that is then down to your personal preference. Thanks for raising this point for discussion Paul. Certainly worth considering!

        Keep us posted with the Child Play program!
        L. 🙂

    • Hey – D’Anne – great question.
      And great to see Paul jumping in… totally agree with the idea of testimonials.

      Ok, so the point of the elevator pitch (whether it’s on or offline) isn’t to tell them everything that will eventually come to tell them. In fact, more information isn’t necessarily going to help you. Ariely has shown in a number of studies that just giving people more information will make them even more convinced of their initial opinion.

      So – the point is that the “re-education” has to be 1: piece-meal and 2: emotional. And in order to do this, you just have to make enough of an impression to make them want to know more. This is what an elevator pitch is… not a slide deck of the full proposal… just a teaser to get some one to say, “tell me more”.

      Online, this is what we do with our opt-in pages.
      Off line, you just want them to get into a conversation with you.

      So in many ways I have the feeling that your question comes from you putting too much pressure on yourself. What do you say to people at the moment? Maybe we can look at that and be of more assistance…

      And yes, off line too, you don’t just go round pitching everyone. You share the nutshell of what you do with the people who it comes up in conversation with. In terms of working with people you might find this other article I wrote useful.:
      I doubt very much if you use this process that you have any danger ending up working with someone you don’t want to.

      Circle back and let us know about how you’re approaching people now, and let’s see if we can help you with the specifics. 😉 You’ve made some very insightful and valid points D’Anne. Looking forward to connecting further! 🙂

  9. Aloha, Laura! Great article. Helping to clarify in my mind where I’m missing links in what I want to communicate. Love your suggestion in writing a paper to clarify for myself – I’m going to do this! I am from Hawaii, currently living in Japan. My theme is Live Aloha and I (am trying to) work with single women who are ready for next steps. I help them explore ways that they can have it all! I would love any insights you have on weaving my theme into my message. I pretty much have just used the theme with visuals on my website. Again, many mahalos (thanks) for a great article!

    • Aloha Lisa!
      Congratulations on finding your market and getting the visuals together. I wonder if you can be more specific in your target market though. Looking at your site (which is beautiful by the way), the people who come to work with you will be attracted by who you are. Maybe as your start working with them you’ll see other similarities between then beyond them being single and being ready for the “next step”. This will be important in honing down your avatar. Maybe refer back to my comments earlier about niche-ing down when I was talking with Paul about the lady who defined her target market quite tightly but still attracted people from outside that area… Hope this is useful. Glad the article hit the spot! 😉

  10. This is such a great article! Thanks for sharing, Laura!

    I know my target market: women ages 25-40 who are emotional eaters

    I know their main struggle: they’re sick of overeating, emotionally eating, dieting, and never losing weight. They hate their body and, oftentimes, themselves.

    I know how I’m different: I speak from personal experience as someone who has overcome anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. I healed myself through a holistic approach. And I don’t focus on diets, EVER. Nothing about what I teach is restrictive or judgmental.

    I try to convey this in my blog posts and in my informal style of writing. I am an open book to my readers and clients, as food, weight, and body image struggles are an extremely personal interview.

    Usually when I network and say that I work with emotional eaters, almost every single person I speak with says “That’s me!” or “I need to work with you!” but I often don’t hear back from them when I follow up, even when I offer a free session or ask a question prompting a response.

    I also have a 7-step process that is listed out on my FAQs, so people can get a feel for what I do, how I work, etc.

    I am wondering where I’m missing something. Or if it’s not that I’m missing something, but that I have TOO much that I’m trying to communicate.

    • Hey Shannon –

      Ok, you’re tackling an age old problem here.
      The thing is even though someone knows they have a problem, when they recognise the symptoms being described… taking the action to deal with it is something else. Emotional eating, addiction, alcoholism… emotionally they are all very difficult to confront, accept and battle against. I’m not surprised most of your prospects disappear… And it’s not your fault!

      Dealing with emotional eating means uncovering lots of uncomfortable feelings. It means feeling embarrassed that you have the problem, it means feeling ashamed when you think there is something wrong with you, and that the rest of the world is judging you. Until someone is ready to shake those feelings and come through it, the easier thing to do is get up the next morning and focus on something else – like getting the kids to school or getting in to work on time. The prospect of doing something scary like contacting a therapist and confronting the issue is probably just a bridge too far. It sounds like you know the problem inside out and have a gentle approach to the problems they face – which is great. But now you need to weave that into building a relationship before you shoot for the free session piece.

      So, your job is to bridge gap between first contact and free session, slowly slowly, galvanising them against their discomfort every step of the way. This is why an email sequence is so effective. You have the opportunity to let them dwell on an idea, and then return to it, each time getting a tiny bit more comfortable and excited about the prospect of doing something about it.

      After networking events now, rather than offering a free session straight away – start building a relationship with enthusiastic individuals. Ask if they’d like to receive your easy detox crib sheet that can get them some quick results in their energy levels. Then be in touch and ask them questions, share useful stuff with them (not necessarily all directed at their eating problem!). Get into email conversations, both on and off-list. Use a snapshot survey (http://www.firepolemarketing.com/2013/01/17/1-on-1-clients/) to position yourself as someone who cares and isn’t just pushing a “product”.

      Down the line you can automate your process, and leverage a product – but start with getting some engagement and building up the relationship so that when they can’t trust themselves to make a good decision and pick up the phone to you, they *can* lean on your faith that they can make a difference in their lives: they can free themselves from the ties of emotional eating.

      I hope this helps. Let me know how you get on. I’m at the end of an email, Shannon 🙂

      • Laura,

        You are a goddess and a genius.

        While I recognized that this is a difficult problem, I wasn’t fully acknowledging just how difficult it is for some people to start addressing their situation. I grew up a self-help junkie, so it was natural for me to see a problem and find a way to fix it.

        I will take your suggestions and start implementing. I am getting increased responses from my mailing list about how people are really enjoying articles, getting a lot of use out of them, feeling inspired, etc. Guess I just have to remember that it goes inspiration –> motivation –> action.

  11. Thank you for this article Laura.

    I think suggestion #5 is the most helpful. If I can create a worthwhile freebie, than I should never have to “umm…uhh..” again while networking.

    I’m going to get started immediately!

  12. Laura,

    Great article. I like how you articulated the key problems in three clear points. I’ve just started working on my dream. I feel as if I have my core person I want to work with (overweight men), and what their pain is (internal struggles with weight). I think my message stands apart because I address men’s internal dialog, struggle, and pain versus other weight loss blogs that focus on process, eating, exercise, etc. Those things are important, but not the focus of my message. I guess when I think about demonstrating value, I feel a little bit like I since I am just starting out, my value is a little green right now. I was thinking I needed more “street cred” by blogging longer, before really pushing my value proposition. Can a relative novice lend value that a customer might buy?

    Thanks for the post. It was great!

    • Hey Brian –

      Great question, and it sounds like you’re on the right track with your offering.

      Here’s the thing about coaching and helping people. The best way to do it is just to get out there with some knowledge and understanding, and with the best of intentions get going and help some folk. Blogging for a bit longer isn’t going to replace actually working with people. Sure, it can help you understand some of the pains, but until you tackle the problems real-time, full-contact, you’re not going to build the confidence and “street cred” you need to feel comfortable.

      It reminds me of kickboxing. I remember training for the nationals back in the day, and I was so keen I would ask my coaches and instructors about different exercises I could do between training sessions to build up the right muscles. One day one of them gave me an answer that none of the others had ever shared. He said – “the only way to really learn this kick is to do it. That way you lay in the muscle memory, you develop the right muscles and you get them twitching in the right combination. So to practice – just kick!”

      I’d say get uncomfortable and go for it. Don’t worry about trying to build up the different segments of muscle piecemeal between trainings. Just get out there and do it. Help as many people as you can, and eliminate the remaining feelings of being a little too green on the way.

      If you need to do some freebie before you feel comfortable charging, then that’s cool too. You’ve got this Brian… 🙂

      • Laura,

        I know I am posting a batch here, but I want to agree with so much of what you say! And add to it via my years of work, and confirm for readers that you “speak sooth.”

        Keyboards are another thing that is all about “muscle memory” and thus your comparison to kickboxing is right!

        I think the Internet has helped humans get lazy and cheap. Other Internet Marketers help this as well. They promise the sun, moon, and stars for no work and for free. And as a past webmaster of mine once said, “You get what you pay for.” If you pay with no effort and no money, well that is what you will get, no results.

        My students have always asked about this muscle-memory thing. It’s a “repetition” item. I always tell them the same thing – to set any number of repetitions is to say that all people are the same, all tasks are the same, etc. About the only thing that CAN be said about “repetitions” is this, “It’s going to be more than you want it to be!” That’s cause the mind is so much faster than the hands.

        • Hehe – I like it Dan. Especailly: “It’s going to be more than you want it to be!” I wish someone had told me that when I was kick boxing. It might have saved me a few bruises.;)
          Thanks for adding to the conversation 😉

    • Hey Brian!

      Love what you’re talking about and what you’re doing. It’s always lovely to see other coaches who are approaching weight-loss from a mindset perspective instead of just calories in minus calories out.

      Would love to support you in any way! Just say the word! :]

  13. Great insights, Laura. I especially appreciate the way you discuss the scope of one’s brand. When we consciously capture, analyze and integrate the various elements that compose that larger sense “brand” that people actually “experience” when they meet us, it really clarifies us for ourselves, doesn’t it! The resulting sense of clear self-awareness often telegraphs an attractive confidence that is even more powerful than the literal words of any elevator speech. Danny is a great examplar, as are you!

    • Ah thanks Phyllis. 🙂
      Yes, I remember reading some of Wally Olins’ books – and he addressed everything from internal to external communication – logos, writing style, colours of the offices, shapes of the buildings… the works.

      You’re spot on with the “experience” though – and in some ways I feel this takes the pressure off. If you just do what you do, who you are seeps through, and this is your “brand”:= what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
      What we’ve talked about above is really how to formalise it and make it more deliberate – but I totally agree with what you say – as long as you know what you stand for and who you are you’re going to telegraph this. Great to see you over here Phyllis. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  14. What things define me?
    1. Married-with-kids kind of grit.
    2. Trying hard to stay thankful, no matter what.
    3. Suffered lots of unfair treatment. Lots. And learned how to suffer it correctly.
    4. Love reaching out to others, helping those who want help enough to work for it. Totally desire helping others learn how to suffer in a way that will elevate their lives and turn troubles into gifts.
    5. Made to be a teacher. (Not the average person who stands there making a presentation while the students sit there falling asleep, but rather, someone who actually can make learning happen and comes more alive [like vitamins] while being the power source when the lightbulb comes on.)
    6. Sorry, I must say: I fear I lack the cheeriness necessary to attract the multitudes. I’m more of a comforter and guide than a cheerleader…

    So–is there any hope for me?

    • Hey Katharine – of course! 🙂

      As Phyllis and I have been discussing above, there isn’t a right or wrong person or set of traits that will result in a strong brand. Rather, it has more to do with being clear on who you are and what pain you solve and then allowing that to come through in everything you use to communicate – be that a website, an email, a conversation out networking.

      I’ve just had a look at your site. What do you offer that monetises your above qualities? Are you coaching?

      • I forget which site I listed when I commented, but I am only beginning to branch out into the online world. I originally did print, was a magazine contributor, and am aiming at several books. My sites were more like experiments, to see if folks would even follow. They’ve been helpful as a place to list many of my counseling sheets, to keep things organized and save myself from restating a lot of helps.
        Backwards, I know. It’s in total need of restructuring.
        Counseling and speaking often just land in my lap without my reaching out. Sometimes I’m a bit overwhelmed and need to begin triaging some of these dear people who are maybe slow to recover because they are not yet ready for doing the work.
        Although I’ve studied marketing for a couple of years, I am slow on the uptake about it. Fearful. Have not yet monetized anything on the blog. Usually just leave that for actual interface, not for the sites. And it’s not working well, I know. But where’s the time, amidst all these people, for correcting faulty beginnings?

        • Hey Katherine – sounds like you’re doing well if you’re inundated with speaking and counseling gigs. Raising your rates is one way to get it back under control (email me if you need some help with this – it’s an emotional game more than anything!)
          As for the marketing and internet stuff – you probably need some technical support to do everything your business needs at this point.

          What is great is that you already have traction. If you already have people who want what you have, and you’re connected with them, the monetisation phase can be straight forward – and there is nothing wrong with taking the conversation from the site to “live” as quickly as possible. That’s perfectly valid and a good idea if you have the capacity to give that level of service. You probably just need to change a few things in the conversation to get your conversions up. 🙂

  15. Thanks for a break for self analysis. What constitutes me:
    unstoppable drive for self-development (my motto: progress is my duty)
    belief in God
    willingness to test everything on myself
    leading by example
    emphasis on action not words
    perseverance
    intrinsic drive to help others

  16. I always read Michal’s posts. They are great and now I see why. Thanks, buddy!

    MY goals are:

    Believe in my worth to humanity
    I, too, have a deep-seated belief in a Creator
    I was born to teach and that’s what I do
    I am very willing to lead things as well!

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