My most recent marketing experiment

My goal for this year was to get my marketing mojo back. 2021 was a rough year that took the wind out of my sails, and I had been cocooning myself a bit… including in my marketing!

Frankly, I wasn’t doing much marketing at all. Outside of sending this newsletter about once a week I wasn’t doing anything else. And when I dug into what was holding me back it became clear.

I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid that people wouldn’t “like my stuff” or that they would think that what I’m doing is stupid. That they would dogpile on me and say “Tina, you suck and no one should ever work with you!” <– yes, I get that logically these fears didn’t make sense, but fear isn’t logical… it’s emotional. And hot damn it can stop us in our tracks.

The worst part of it was that holding back isn’t like me. I’ve been in business for over 20 years now and I really do love what I do! I love to talk about it and share it. I love to write. I am good on video. I love to be a bit provocative and share things that have people say “hmmm, I hadn’t really thought of it that way before.”

Because I was holding back and not showing up, I wasn’t feeling like myself. Hence the goal of getting my mojo back.

With the support of my coaches (yes, I hired multiple coaches to help me through this…) I was able to clear the gunk holding me back and create a plan to start showing up again.

I made my first ‘businessy’ post of the year on Facebook at the end of July, and I honestly felt like I was going to barf when I clicked that Post button. All those fears reared up telling me I was going to be judged and people were going to boo me off the stage.

That didn’t happen. Instead, folks commented on and liked my post. I saw the names of folks I hadn’t connected with in a long time.

So I posted again. And again. Talking about the things that matter to me. Creating your True Work. The power of the certification and licensing model. The importance of a good framework to get yourself out of delivery. And various other things that I feel inspired to share in the moment.

Some posts get a big response. Some barely get a response at all. But I am committed to posting consistently and to keep showing up.

Because I’m being consistent people are reaching out to work with me – to create their certification programs. To develop their frameworks. To give them a loving kick in the butt to do the thing that they’ve been resisting for years. It’s happening naturally and not feeling ‘pushy or salesy’.

Then my coach challenged me to start doing reels. “Aren’t I too old for that?” I replied. Ha ha. She wasn’t going to let me off that easy. 😉

So a couple of weeks ago I started posting on Instagram and TikTok – and I already have people inquiring about working together just from these reels. People I’ve never met before.

The most surprising thing about all of this is discovering that I actually LIKE marketing. Say what? I’ve said for years that marketing is my least favorite part of business… and now I’m discovering that I enjoy it. I love writing and posting. I love seeing what resonates with people (and what doesn’t). I feel like I’m actually connected with my community again after being cocooned for so long.

I got my marketing mojo back. And it feels good. 🙂

The one sentence that will halt your growth more than anything else

This sentence holds business owners back more than anything else that I hear folks say:

“No one can do it as well as me”

Be honest… is this something that comes up for you? This belief can be a sneaky one because sometimes we don’t even realize it’s there!

When you are operating from this belief you are automatically putting a cap on your growth, as you won’t be able to grow beyond your own capacity to do all the work.

And if you are already super busy and tired…. well, you will stay stuck right where you are right now in the tug of war between “I want help to do all this work” and “no one can do it as well as me.”

When we dig a bit deeper the fear behind that sentence is:

“What if I bring someone on board and they mess it up? They drop the ball, make mistakes or my clients don’t like them as much as they like me?” ← This right here is what will stop you in your tracks.

  • This is what will stop you from creating an agency and hiring people to ‘do the work’
  • This is what will stop you from bringing associate coaches into your programs so that you aren’t carrying the weight of coaching on your own.
  • This is what will stop you from creating that certification or licensing program that you’ve been thinking about for a while.

The key to getting yourself out of delivery – and passing that work over to people you trust – is your framework.

Your Framework is the journey that you take your clients on when they hire you. The journey from why they are hiring you (their current challenges or desires) to the result that they are hiring you for.

A clear, simple and proven framework opens the door for you to start (or expand!) your agency, bring associate coaches on board or launch a certification training. Truthfully, it’s hard to do any of these things without a solid framework.

Saying no even when they want to hire you

I upset a woman I spoke with a while back who reached out to inquire about my Certification Accelerator… I told her she wasn’t ready to create a certification.

She had just started her business and a previous coach told her that she should start a certification program. She spent months working with this coach laying out a training that she wanted to turn into a certification program.

When I asked her about her experience in the area that she wanted to certify folks in her response was “I haven’t actually worked in this area before – I just thought it would make a great certification program.” Because she didn’t have experience with what she wanted to train folks, my suggestion was to hit pause on the certification and instead focus on working in this area so she could test and prove her methodology first. She was disappointed when I recommended this to her, as she wanted to jump straight into creating the certification.

She was ready to hire me and I told her no.

It is SOOOO important to know when a client is ready to work with you – and when they are NOT ready yet.

We talk about this a lot in our Certified OBM® community too. There are often business owners who show up saying “I want to hire an OBM” but once we dig into where their business is at they aren’t ready for an OBM. What they really need is a good VA or a business coach.

When we say yes to a client that really isn’t ready for us, we are setting ourselves up for failure (and unhappy clients!) We are putting ourselves in a position where we can’t do our best work, and might even feel obligated to do work that we don’t really enjoy or know how to do.

And we are setting our clients up to expect things that their business isn’t really ready for.

It’s a guarantee that things will fall apart and it’s usually not a fun experience. I’ve been there.

I get it! It’s really hard to say no when someone is saying “I want to hire you”. It’s hard to say no to the money (especially if it’s money you need!) It’s hard to say no to being wanted.

But it’s also a huge gift to say to someone “I’m not what you need right now, given what you’ve shared with me I recommend X as your next step”. Folks often don’t understand what they really need and will appreciate your honesty and guidance.

Are you clear on what needs to be true in order to do your best work with a client? What are the criteria that make them a good fit for what you offer? (or not!)

This is one of the things we are going to be working on in my upcoming Build Your Framework workshop. Your framework is the clearly laid out path for how you create results for your clients. It’s the key to getting yourself out of delivery (as per my last newsletter) and is also the key to being able to guarantee results for your clients who then become raving fans.

Getting yourself out of delivery

So here’s the thing – if you want to get yourself out of delivery you need to have a framework.

A clearly laid out path for how you create results for your clients. Your own methodology. Your process. Your “way to make it all happen.”

Without a framework one of two things will happen as you try to grow:

#1 – Delivery stays all on your shoulders. I know many a business owner who has an awesome team around them taking care of admin, tech, ops, sales, marketing and all the day-to-day running of the business BUT the delivery is still on them. They are the main ones leading their coaching groups, delivering their training or working directly with clients. If they don’t show up their clients aren’t getting full value.

#2 – You try to hire folks to “do what you do” in the business – team members for your agency or associate coaches for your programs – but it doesn’t work out. They aren’t able to deliver to your expectations OR they are delivering based on their own process & methodology (which may not match with yours!)

Your framework is the key to freedom – and a business that doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders.

It’s the key to creating a certification program. To training effective associate coaches for your programs. To building the team for your agency. Or to offering a combination of all of the above! (I had a call this week with a woman who is upleveling her agency to work with a certain type of business owner, and she is now looking to add a certification based on her framework so she has folks to refer the clients that she no longer wants to work with. )

It’s a way to have your work go beyond ‘just you’ and have it reach so many more folks than you could ever reach on your own.

It’s a beautiful expression of who you are and what you are meant to bring to the world through your work. <3

Planning for the end

Not to be morose about it… but your business will come to an end at some point. Or at the least, your role in your business will come to an end at some point.
This is inevitable but it’s not something we talk about often… and I think we are doing ourselves – and our businesses! – a disservice when we don’t talk about and consider this.
There are essentially two ways for things to come to an end:
The business could be shut down (either by choice or circumstance).
Or we look for ways for the business – and our body of work – to continue without us.
Either option can be an aligned and empowered choice when we are willing to consider all the aspects and plan ahead.
It’s easy to think “I’ll just sell my business!”… and yes, there are many things that make this an appealing option. But this is also something you have to plan for and work towards many years in advance to make it sellable. (I have a local friend who is a business broker and one of her biggest challenges is telling someone who wants to sell the business they’ve built for years that’s it’s not ready to be sold… 😬)
Or you might decide that when you are done with it you shut the business down. For some folks this might feel like a failure (because we should all be able to sell our business right?!) but I actually think it can be a beautiful thing to end a business when we plan accordingly for it. Not all businesses are meant to last forever.
We want to consider our own needs and goals in all of this. What do we want from our business – financially and otherwise – to be able to retire or move onto other things?
But there is also another aspect of this to consider – have you created something bigger than yourself that should continue beyond your working years?
I always hesitate to use the word ‘should’ but in some cases it really does apply. When you have created something that changes lives – your own framework and way of working with folks – it SHOULD continue on.
I have clients who are very purposeful about this – they KNOW that what they have created is much bigger than themselves and should live on. And part of our work together is exploring the ways to make sure that the torch can be passed onto whoever is meant to carry it next. They are many ways to do this but it does have to be planned ahead and purposeful.
What is your plan for ‘the end’? I know this is an easy thing to put off, but I encourage you to spend some time here in contemplation and consideration.
Let’s honor our businesses – and ourselves! – by planning as much for the end as we do for the upcoming quarter or year. 💜