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Embracing The Shadow Side Of Marketing3 Min Read

Embracing the Shadow Side of Marketing3 min read


Have you ever felt you had “everything together” in your marketing, but you still weren’t getting the results you wanted – meetings with qualified prospects that turned into new paying clients?

This was the case for my client, H.C.K., a brilliant Irish Leadership Consultant who lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Her issue was simple: “All this marketing stuff is just not me. I’m not the kind of person who ever asks for the business. I just show up and hopefully, people learn about what I do.”

You couldn’t fault her for not getting out there. She was past president of Rotary International in Berlin and had managed to secure some very lucrative contracts over the years with major European clients. Everyone loved and respected her.

But she needed a new message, website, and marketing plan.

With my coaching, she completed all of these with great speed and success and discovered a hidden talent for writing compelling materials and learning the ins-and-outs of the “Middleton Style” of marketing.

And although she was feeling more clarity and confidence in her marketing efforts, she still tended to hold back, playing “Ms. Perfect” before connecting with the prospects who could hire her.

Last week in our Zoom Video marketing coaching session I saw a new person on the other side of the screen.

She was excited, energized and proud of her accomplishments. She had contacted a number of past clients, made appointments with a few and secured a new contract with another.

I was wondering what had caused this sudden turnaround. 

“Robert, I’ve been listening to several of the Expert Interviews in the More Clients Club and came across one that spoke to me powerfully. It was Five Questions That Make All the Difference” with John Scherer.

“What this interview pointed out to me,” she said, “is that I had been denying the shadow part of myself. As John said in the interview, the shadow side can be represented by someone you don’t like, or even hate. He said that if you squeeze everything that’s bad out of that person you’re left with some qualities, skills or attributes that can be very useful to you.”

“Yes,” I said, “You can even learn something from people who are ultra proactive in their marketing and seem to hype everything. You can strip out the sleaziness and keep the part that is simply reaching out and communicating value. And you can stretch a little, reach out in your marketing and ask for appointments. Is that really so terrible?”

“No it’s not and that’s what I’m discovering,” H. replied, and continued.

“With that insight, everything changed for me. I am now fearless, confident and have finally really grasped how to dance with myself and my shadow. In fact, Ms. Perfect is now working for Ms. Shadow who is very clear about what needs to happen! I’ve had so much resistance in my head… in my stomach… fear of what people might think… how they might react… and in the end, Ms. Shadow said: What the heck! Just get the job done! Nobody is going to think anything!”

This description of H’s transformation really doesn’t do justice to what she had learned and realized. But she had discovered something I wish all my readers and clients could:

You won’t have the success you truly deserve if you suppress the parts in yourself that you don’t like. In fact, tapping into these parts of yourself, often judged as negative, can be the key to getting past your avoidance and fears.

H. is now well on her way to getting in front of a lot of excellent prospects and turning them into great clients.

Cheers, Robert


If you want to become a more successful marketer of your professional services, Action Plan Marketing provides a comprehensive resource called the More Clients Club.

The Club is a collection of online marketing courses and tutorials, expert interviews, and resources – with hands-on, step-by-step strategies and guidance on how to attract more of your ideal clients.

In addition, the Club includes the twice-monthly live Marketing Action Program via Zoom videoconference to keep your marketing on track and accountable.

And access to all of this is only $9 per month.



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