PERSONAL BRANDING FOR COACHES: MOTIVATION, VALUES, INTENTIONS
Further to my recent post [‘Business Start-up for coaches: Labels; Niche; Style'], I’ve been reflecting on how coaches establish their personal brand. New coaches can get hung up on the trappings of branding, such as business name, logo, strap line and so on. These are important, yet superficial. What’s more important is the experience your prospects and clients have when engaging with you. In my view, the key to creating a brand that is truly personal is to get really clear on: your motivation; your values; and your intentions for your clients.
If you think you are a self-employed coach primarily to earn money, look deeper: there are easier ways to earn a living. A good question to ask yourself is, ‘How does being self-employed serve my Life Purpose?’ For the first 5 years, I set myself targets for how much I needed to earn in order to be ‘successful’. Eventually I realised that these criteria were simply not important to me – no wonder they didn’t feel right and I didn’t achieve them. My motivation for being self-employed as a business mentor and coach is that it allows me to be fully myself and do things my way. For example, I still do voluntary work as a business mentor in my area and I always have some clients who are unable to pay however I choose to work with them because they are the right clients for me; they energise me and make me a better coach. Heck, I’ve even started writing poetry this year and using it in my coaching simply because it’s me being me – quirky or what? It’s my experience that the more real I am, the more fulfilled I am and the more I earn.
Your values drive much of your attitudes, behaviour and responses however they are often unconscious. They permeate and govern every aspect of your business: how you show up, how you react to setbacks and how you respond to opportunities. Understanding your values is very insightful and helps you to choose what’s best for you. When we honour our values, we are powerful and more likely to find our flow. Every time I take part in a values exercise, I learn more about myself. My values, at least those I’ve identified to date, are: learning, healing, spirituality, giving, independence, Grace, vitality, connectedness and inner harmony. These are not the values I aspire to, they are the things that are genuinely important to me. This awareness empowers me to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with confidence as I navigate my coaching journey.
We somehow know when someone has our best interests at heart, which builds trust – a vital ingredient for coaching. Whatever your intentions for your client, they need to be unswervingly positive. Clarifying your intentions brings positive energy to your coaching and helps you serve your clients to the best of your ability because you understand what you want for them. Initially I thought my intention was to really understand my client. This evolved into holding space for the client. Ultimately, I’ve realised that my intention for all my clients is to help them develop self-acceptance, self-approval and in due course self-love. This is based on my belief that we need to love ourselves in order to become our best selves and help others – how can we give what we don’t have? When I’m dissatisfied with a coaching session I’ve given, what usually turns up in my reflective evaluation is that my intention has been distorted by some short-term objective, for example to get a good recording of a coaching session for credentialing purposes.
It can take years to get clear on why you are a self-employed coach, your values and your intentions for your clients. This clarity is worth the effort: it empowers you to show up fully as yourself in all aspects of your business. Like your DNA, this will guide the development of your personal brand if you allow it to. No matter how quirky you are, embracing your uniqueness will help you stand out and attract the right clients while diverting those who aren’t right for you. It’s easier too because you’re not trying to be anyone or anything else. Here are my tips for developing a personal brand, which is the essence of you.
1. Ask yourself, ‘How does being self-employed serve my Life Purpose?’ Understanding your motivation for being a self-employed coach gives you permission to be more you; and the real you is the best brand ambassador your could ever wish for.
2. Take every opportunity to identify your values. The more you understand your values, the more empowered you are to navigate the coaching journey in the way that is right for you.
3. Reflect on your intentions for your clients before and after every coaching session. Notice how your intentions change over time as you become more self-aware and grow into your coaching practice. This will help you to give your best coaching every time.
Did I mention my poetry? This is the second poem I wrote, which feels appropriate to share for this topic:
What does it mean to be, not do?
How can you finally be more you?
How do you find a life that you love?
How do you find a way to choose?
Questions, questions, is where it starts,
Questions to open up your heart,
Open your heart and let light in,
This is how your journey begins.
Is it so simple, simply to be?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Take your time to know yourself,
Listen and feel for your inner voice.
The road may be long and tough,
Yet this is a journey to love,
Love for yourself, love for others,
This is what really matters.
What’s the secret, how do you start,
To find a way to open your heart?
Sit still and simply be you,
See what comes up and embrace it in full.
This is your way, your truth, your light,
It comes from within, no need to fight.
Yes, courage is needed to face your fears,
And facing them brings a power to heal.
So, let go of others’ voices,
Simply be you,
It’s your life,
Who are you?
I hope this helps you to develop your personal brand 😊
Ross Nichols 2018
In : Business
Tags: "personal brand" coaching mentoring