What is the biggest struggle you have with marketing your professional services?
Is it your marketing message, creating your services/programs, clearly communicating your value, getting in front of prospective clients, the selling process, or something else?
We all have different challenges, but I believe that the technical challenges of marketing are far outweighed by the internal challenges that often stop us cold.
I’m currently reading an excellent coaching book called “Laser-Focused Coaching” by Marion Franklin where she discusses the most common “themes” in coaching.
Themes are patterns of thought, feeling, and belief that tend to hold us back, sidetrack us, or even make us give up.
The first message of the book became clear quite quickly. “Anything and everything can stop us!”
It’s not how things are that stop us, however, but how things seem to us that stop us.
We feel ambivalent about connecting with prospects, not because it’s actually hard, but because we believe we may be rejected.
We feel alienated or disconnected from others, so it feels very challenging to communicate with those we don’t know.
And because we take it personally when someone doesn’t respond to our message favorably, it seems as if we are a failure.
So, how do you deal with all that stuff? After all, it seems so real, doesn’t it?
Well, you might think of it this way:
Stage 1. I believe people won’t be interested in what I’m offering, so I spend forever fine-tuning my program and avoid putting it out there until it is perfect.
I’m in the place where Insecurity meets perfectionism.
Stage 2. Ask yourself: Do I really know nobody will be interested? No, that’s just based on some old fear. And do I know that if I perfect my offering that it will be accepted? You have no idea, do you?
Now I’m in the place of not knowing, where a new reality is possible.
Stage 3. So what I might try instead is to put out what I have to a limited number of people and see if I can generate some interest. And then I can fine-tune things over time until I start to get results.
Now I’m in a place of exploration and discovery.
If you are stuck in Stage 1, and want to get to Stage 3, you need to go through the reality check of Stage 2. Pretty simple, right?
Stage 2 is called coaching. Sometimes you can work through this yourself, but you are usually so identified with Stage 1 that you can’t even imagine Stage 3!
Stage 2 (coaching, inquiry, transformation), is the bridge from struggle to ease, from stuck to unstuck. To think we can easily get from Stage 1 to Stage 3 without some kind of bridge is delusional.
Time to get real. Find that bridge.