This week I had the chance to speak to a relationship coach who was having a hard time attracting clients. I knew that she deeply wants to help women and is passionate about her work, but couldn’t figure out why it was so hard for her. However, I could tell from her Instagram, Facebook and blog that she wasn’t clearly speaking to her target market and was in fact speaking to three different audiences at once.
When we spoke I asked what she perceived her challenge to be, and she said that it was “truly connecting” with clients so she can bring in more of them. (Good. She was at least clear about where she was stuck). But I suspected there was something deeper holding her back from clarity.
I asked what she had done to try and solve that problem and listened as she described what she was up to:
- She collaborated with other entrepreneurs with similar markets.
- She’s a video contributor to a website for women seeking relationships.
- She shares in two active Facebook groups what she does.
- She shares what she’s up to via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram regularly.
- She created a Meetup group for single women seeking healthy relationships.
- She shared what she’s doing with friends and family.
- She has an opt-in on her blog and she’ll periodically do social media posts to grow her list.
- She’s done press releases for things she’s up to but gets no response.
That’s an impressive list, but when I asked her how it all turned out, her results were most often that no one showed up or signed up for her free stuff nor to work with her privately. And that’s when her problem started to present itself: while these are all great things to get clients, they aren’t the work you need to do to get clear about your message and market. You have to know your message and market first before these strategies can begin to work for you.
Out of curiosity I asked how she learned to do all of those things. She told me she had a business mentor, was on multiple other people’s blogs to learn how to convert traffic and was modeling what she saw successful people do. That’s when I knew what her problem was: She was getting too much information from too many sources for it to be implemented effectively.
I told her having too many places you take information from is the equivalent of having too many cooks in your business’s kitchen. You’re doing a ton of work to get ahead, but none of it adds up because you’ve got yet another “great idea” you need to implement. So, instead of momentum building up, your money/time is flowing out of your business instead.
When it comes to marketing and branding your business so the right clients are attracted to you, there’s a certain order to do things so you don’t waste your time and money. Instead of doing the right things in the right order she was too busy trying to "keep up" and stay engaged with everyone because she might miss something that could change everything in her business. However, being so “engaged” was actually creating an environment of distraction and disengagement for her.
So, to get fully engaged I told her to unsubscribe from everything. Disengage from the noise and get expert guidance from one person who has been where she wants to go then take that guidance 100 percent. Be all in. Do every step in the order she was told to do it.
The most important step to start with in her case was to get clear about who she served then to speak to that type of person on her website and no one else. Then all of the strategies she had attempted might actually convert for her.
I’ve suffered from this same setback of information overload myself, and when I finally realized my issue and boiled it down to one cook, it ended the comparison cul-de-sac I was stuck in whenever I looked at someone else’s success. It also put an end to the perfection paralysis that stopped me from getting things done. My productivity shot way up. Shortly after that I became crystal clear about my message (because it wasn’t overshadowed by everyone else’s thoughts). I also cleared up who that message was for (because I stopped thinking I needed to please everybody to get ahead.)
If you feel like you have too many cooks in your kitchen take a moment now to unsubscribe from all newsletter lists designed to grow your business except for one (or at least filter them so they are not taking up so much of your attention). Set up 10 minutes to do it now. You will thank yourself later.
Kristen Domingue is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.