Have you ever felt like a coach, in a river of coaches, swimming out into a sea of even more coaches?
You know… a coach who’s coaching a coach…who’s coaching another coach…who’s probably coaching another coach…and all of the sudden it’s like, “man! there are coaches everywhere!”
If you’ve ever had that thought, or if you relate as you hear me paint that picture for you, it’s probably easy to feel like what you’re offering isn’t unique.
And, on the surface, it might not be.
For instance, if I Google “relationship coach” right now, I see 13 million results.
WOW. A lot of coaches indeed.
So, if you’re a relationship coach and you’re swimming in a sea of 13 million relationship coaches, how the heck do you stand out?
Now, we could go into a whole conversation about creating a unique, branded system or “hyper-niching” yourself so that you’re not just a relationship coach, but someone who helps newly divorced, single moms attract the love of their lives.
And don’t get me wrong…I’m all for it!
But there’s something even more important, simpler, and immediate than hyper-niching or creating a unique branded system.
You have to give yourself full permission to express your vulnerability.
In your practice, your social media, your enrollment conversations, your live speaking events, your webinars…everywhere.
And when I say vulnerability, I don’t mean weakness, deep dark secrets, or your underdog success story….
I mean letting people see who you really and truly are. I mean pulling back the curtain. Sharing your ‘behind the scenes’ truth instead of your super-polished sizzle reel.
I can speak about this from experience. I started my first business when I was pretty young. In fact, I was so young that I had a lot of fear about being too young to be taken seriously. So, I worked very hard to be super serious and hoped that would help me establish some credibility.
In fact, I used to refer to myself as “Professor Dallas” when it came to the work I did with actors. And I worked so hard to be Professor Dallas! I spent a ton of extra time making sure that I sounded very professional in the content I put out into the world.
And don’t get me wrong, it served me. Well… to an extent.
Sure, I attracted a lot of clients, I launched a lot of programs, I wrote an award-winning book, blah, blah, blah.
But there was something missing. It was my voice.
It was only when I started sharing the “behind the scenes” and giving myself permission to share personal stories when I taught, posted embarrassing or awkward photos online, and write in the way that I talk — you know, instead of in meticulously proper English — that I noticed a huge shift in my business.
For instance, I just posted a blooper reel on my social media where I am anything but a Professor! I’m simply myself. And what I’ve learned is, in moments like these, when I give myself permission to be “behind-the-scenes-Dallas,” that I am not only considered credible, but I’m considered trustworthy.
It’s when I started opening myself up to show the REAL me, not just “Professor Dallas,” that my reputation began to transform. Suddenly, I wasn’t only considered someone who knows her stuff, but I was considered someone who has your back.
And I’d have to say that’s true. I do feel that way about my clients.
So, if you feel like your business isn’t unique, that’s a lie. Because YOU are unique.
When you let your voice and personality come through and you share your real self, that’s how you’ll stand apart from the sea of 13 million relationship coaches.
Let’s put this in action:
One of my clients, who I’ll call Stacy, was dragging her feet on blogging consistently, getting any type of content out into the world, and was feeling great frustration on how her social media wasn’t converting or listing engagement.
And when we looked at it, it was no surprise to me!
She was aiming for perfection rather than self-expression.
So, I gave her a challenge.
Sure, there are tons of very successful coaches out there with very polished vlogs, and that’s what works for them. But Stacy, like you, is different. So instead of comparing her vlogs with what she’s seeing on the internet, I had her focus on what makes her unique.
Stacy lives in the moment, she always acts on her impulses, is free-spirited, and very fun loving.
So her vlog (and I’m so happy to report that she’s been keeping it up for eight weeks straight now) is shot on her iPhone, selfie style.
Sometimes it’s in traffic on the 405 freeway, or getting herself ready in the bathroom, or right after a coaching session where she wants to share the breakthrough of a client.
And you know what? It’s exquisite.
Because every one of her posts makes me feel like it’s a peek into who she is and into her life. I feel like I’m on a journey with her and it’s inspiring, fun, eye-opening, and totally reflects the experience of working with Stacy.
So, I want to give YOU permission to set yourself apart from the crowd by really letting the REAL YOU out.
Because it’s not about being credible; it’s about being trusted.
Catherine Radbill says
Fantastic advice, Dallas. We all feel pressure to ‘show our best side.’ Thanks for helping me understand that clients may actually WANT to see the unpolished Catherine. Heck, maybe I should change my name to Kate! Sounds less buttoned-down.
You’re always an inspiration. Thanks!