How to Stand Out With the Story You’re Telling & Attract Your Ideal Clients (Part 5 of 5 The Art of Business for Coaches Blog Series)

Stand out with the story you’re telling

Have you ever heard someone’s story and you felt like you totally related to them? You were inspired and also they were real and human.

You may have bought something because you felt they were like you and would understand you.

This is the power of storytelling and what helps us to connect more deeply before we decide if we will join their tribe.

I’m thrilled to be doing this 5-part blog series all about Breaking the Rules: The Art of Business for Coaches to help you see what’s really needed to happen, from my perspective, before spending money on a logo, website, tagline… before you really know who it is you are here to coach. These posts are here to give you a new view on business and real steps you can take to dig deep to find your way that is unique to you.

This is the fifth post in our 5-part series. If you missed the last post, head over here to check it out. To start at the very beginning of this series click here.

How your story will evolve over time as a coach.

Today, I’m pulling back the curtain to share a SECRET I’ve held onto for many years. This is an important part of my story. Not owning this part of my story taught me a HUGE lesson and also it’s how I missed out on thousands of dollars as a coach.

Learning how to use your story to stand out, and attract your ideal client, is what has helped me change careers from fashion to yoga, yoga to coaching and to become a sought out expert and coach.

My BIG secret… Deep breath. When I started coaching back in 2009, I left the “business coaching” to other coaches because I was a life coach who helped my clients with all things related to inner game.

I helped them upgrade their mindset, self-care practices and improve their relationships. Some clients changed careers and moved to new cities, even countries. Ultimately, helping them heal their past stories, so they could be happier in all areas of their life.

While I was doing this I began to have a ton of prospective new clients who wanted straight up business coaching from me. I told myself this is not what I do.  During a Clarity Session with a potential new client, I’d tell them I don’t do that kind of coaching and I’d send them to other coaches.

The truth is, at the time, I did not feel I had the chops to help people with their businesses. I was not confident because I was not making 6-figures and didn’t think this was a strength of mine. Talk about a blind spot, a huge blind spot.

After one particular Clarity Session, I specifically told the person I was not doing business coaching, and I immediately got a phone call from my friend, who’s also a coach, who also sent me this person because she thought I’d be perfect to help her with her business.

She came down on me hard and questioned me big time. She was curious to know what was going on and why I was saying no to doing business coaching. She said to me, “Girl, we always talk shop. You eat, sleep and breathe business. It’s something you love and are good at, this is why I’m sending people your way. What’s your deal?”

Talk about a ton of bricks falling on me… I was speechless.

When I reflected on what she said, I totally saw why I was not a business coach. I was defining what it was to be a business coach by what others were doing. Hello wake up call!

I was totally leaving out this part of my story, even though anyone who was paying attention would see, this was a BIG part of my story. I was interviewed about business all the time, but I was not talking about it on my blog or owning it as something I had to offer others.

The thing is… I LOVE BUSINESS, the Art of business, and I totally geek out about it and always have. I have worked for myself as an entrepreneur since the 90’s so what’s the real reason here I asked myself.

Reflecting back I see that this was a limiting belief filled with more fear than truth.

My story is evolving, as is yours, and by the end of this post I’m hoping you’ll begin to see how you can stand out with your story..

Marketing is really all about telling your story and doing it in your own unique way. Click to tweet…

YOU get to be the inspiration by telling your story.

You get to be the expert, the one to lead the movement you are meant to lead. By being you, doing you, you get to attract those who can relate to you and want to work with you. We go even deeper into this process in The Art of Becoming a Coach Training Program.

Telling your story is an ART, not a science. What you believe and stand for, your coaching philosophy, comes from your life experience. Click to tweet…

How Your Unique Story Helps You Stand Out & Attract Your Ideal Clients

Where you grew up, the religion you were raised with, if you were adopted or an only child, if your parents got divorced, if you failed or did really well in school… this is all part of your unique story.

Remember, you are not your story, it’s your story coupled with what you’ve learned that makes you an expert.  As a life coach, your life experience matters.

Tell the part of your story that relates to whatever you are coaching about. This is how you can position yourself, as the go to person, for that specific niche. People hire a coach for things they are stuck on, if you share that you’ve been there, they will choose you to help them overcome their hurdles because you will be able to relate with where they are at.

Start with Your Story Timeline

You are the detective, or the journalist, that gets to pluck out what matters on your journey that got you where you are today. Grab paper, open a google doc or whatever you like to use to get information down, then list out the experiences that have molded you to who you are.

Keep in mind, this is a rough outline to see what you will share and what you won’t.

Go back to see what you remember from your childhood, what you learned from the moments and how it has influenced you today. It’s important to know you don’t have to have a hard life to attract your tribe, share the story of success and how you got there in a way that feels authentic to you.

Go deep, but not too deep, have fun and keep yourself in present time, this is not about going down a rabbit hole. Remember, you’re looking objectively at the story to see what makes you stand out. You will also be teaching from your own life experiences and what you’ve learned, which will help you see yourself as the expert you already are.

You might need to go back into your childhood, but maybe you won’t because you’re coaching people to have a healthy divorce, so in that case you’d tell a story about how you moved through the challenge of a divorce with dignity. Then you check in to see how divorce showed up in your life and your point of view or philosophy is revealed. Read more about this in this post.

What you believe comes from what you learned through your experience. Your failures make you the expert because you found your way to where you are today. Click to tweet…

Your Timeline:
What you believe in.
What you stand for.
Who you are here to help.
Your brand and the story it tells = marketing.
Telling your story on social media (living it)

Example: I was the first born of 10.
My parents were hard working and I had to raise all my siblings.
We had to be resourceful and I learned to think fast on my feet.
I did not have much of a childhood, which makes me really responsible today.
I had to learn to play, be less serious and have fun to release my inner child.

Can you see how this story is relatable? The key when doing this exercise it to get it all down then go back to find the Sticky Words, as I call it, which will be coming next.

To see how I used this exercise please check out my about page. To hear how I tell my story check out this interview for The Unmistakable Creative.

You’ll see and hear how I share parts of my story and how it shows what I overcame, what I learned and where I am today. Our story makes us human and we connect to one another through story.

When you know your story, you’ll tell it again and again until you feel sick of it. You get to see the story as a story to inspire and share your message.

You have your timeline, well done!

Now, let’s find the Sticky Words!

As a former publicist for Prada, Ralph Lauren, Ford Models and owner of my own PR company, I learned a bit about buzz words and their power. Some words are more sticky than others. These words stick in our minds and tend to pigeonhole someone to have a certain identity. I call these words, Sticky Words.

Let’s play to see if you can see what sticky words you know about those you are inspired by.

Grab a piece of paper and pen and write down what you know about the following people, what sticks out (pun intended) and is part of what they are known for. See what the sticky words are.

  1. Oprah Winfrey
  2. Mother Theresa
  3. Martin Luther King
  4. Richard Branson
  5. Arianna Huffington
  6. Angelina Jolie
  7. Tony Robbins

If these people are not on your radar then think about anyone you admire or find inspiring and list out what you know about them. You may even know about people you don’t like that you read in trashy gossip magazines.

Pretty interesting, right?

OK, go back to your timeline and look at the words that stick out.

Think of the words you use to define you, what others consider when talking about you and what you see is your identity.

Now, circle the words that stand out, the ones you have a connection to, and what supports your story as an expert, coach or mentor. You may see there is a connection to what you’ve experienced and the people who show up to ask you for help. This is where you can look at your research and connect these two parts together.

Here’s my example from my short timeline with my sticky words: I was adopted, stole food to eat, moved to NYC to work in fashion, worked at Prada, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, living symptom-meditation free, moved from NYC to LA to become a yoga teacher and now am a coach.

For years I was known as the “yoga girl” and could not shake it. Still, to this day, I bump into people and they say I took your yoga class or I have a friend who was diagnosed with MS and I share with them your story. Pretty interesting right?

Over time you’ll see what words stick and which one’s don’t, as well as, what you want to keep close to your heart and what you want to share with the world.

Are you seeing how this all comes together? Now you have your sticky words.

The story you’re telling attracts your ideal clients..

And is your marketing and your brand.

When you read my about page, or hear an interview with me, you’ll hear a variation of my story that works for whatever outlet I’m being interviewed by. Sharing my story is what attracts my ideal clients and tribe.

I’ve had many clients who are adopted, parents were divorced, had a rough childhood, are into yoga, meditation, want to move from one state to another, change careers to work for themselves and want to be a coach.

To see how powerful this really is, go back to see who it is that is attracted to you. It can be friends, colleagues or clients. What do you have in common with them? What is it you do, that they do? What do they like, that you have in common? This helps to define your tribe, your niche, and your ideal client.

What you help them with will come from what you’ve overcome, learned or became an expert at.

The way you live your life tells a story.

What story are you telling on social media, in conversation and by example? People are always paying attention, so you want to know whatever you put out there is your brand, when you are a coach. What you talk about, photograph, share and so on attracts your ideal client.

What story is your Facebook timeline telling? Who is following you and what would your ideal client see that would attract them to you?

Whether it’s a personal page, or a business page you’re telling a story. And your ideal clients are out there on Facebook, so you want to be mindful of what you share and the story you are telling.

I’ve had many clients find me via social media because of what I shared. I’m telling a story and so is everyone else…

Now you, sweet soul, what story are you telling?

Tell me in the comments below the story you’re telling, that helps you stand out and attract your ideal clients.  If you have a website, please share the link to your about page or bio.

AND… If you’re not sure if a part of your story is necessary to tell, then ask away – I’ll be monitoring the comments personally. I’m here to support you.

And finally, here are the winners:

30 Min 1:1 Breakthrough Business Soul Session ($500 value)

Nikki

15 Interviews from Breakthrough to Coaching Experience 2015 ($1500)

Nicole

FitFabMargo

Roxy Poole

(*To claim your gift please email info@hillaryrubin.com and put in the subject line: I’m a winner!)

Your Angel of Fire,

hillarysig

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Comments

  1. It’s funny, my story seems like such a mish-mash of disparate bits and pieces that I struggle to see the connections.

    But the Universe is definitely sending me the message at the moment, through you and others, that my story is important, so I’m going to sit down and go through the exercise in your post and see what comes out!

    And this is part of my story on one of my “about” pages, although I don’t feel like this is something I want to turn into a business at this stage http://www.eatingvibrantly.com/about/

    Thank you 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for my prize – I’ll email you shortly 😀

    • You are so welcome Nikki! I get it seems to look like a mish-mash and this is normal. You get to lay it out, step back and see the story you’re telling. Enjoy the process and I’m looking forward to checking out your about page. Good job!

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