Around this time last year, I started working with a coach. I was really struggling with getting sales for my business and I knew that I needed help. When I started my own business I didn’t have any type of sales background. I could engineer the crap out of something, I could write an amazing computer program that would fit a set of objectives, but I had no idea how to sell my services.

So I hired a coach. This is a coach that has gotten a lot of success for a lot of people. He had a framework and the framework in and of itself was fantastic. It was well-researched, well-documented, and it works extremely well. So it was not the coach’s fault that it didn’t work for me, and it was not the fault of the framework that it didn’t work for me. But it also wasn’t my fault.

Ultimately what it came down to was that my personality did not fit into this framework. The specific method of selling that the coach was teaching did not fit with the brand that I wanted to build. A lot of the things that I did at that time did not feel like the right fit to me, but I was desperate to make it work so I went along with it anyway.

This is 100% on me. At any point I could have said you know what this doesn’t feel right, I don’t think this is the right method. But I didn’t. So I’m going to own it.

I’ve had about a year to digest the experience. And here’s what I realized. There were certain specific parts of this system that didn’t work for me. However, by tweaking them just a tiny bit, I was able to come up with a much better system for me. It may not work as well as the original, but when I sold using the original system, I ended up with clients that just weren’t the right fit.

Now using a slightly modified system, I’m a lot happier and it works so much better for me. But ultimately I had to figure a lot of that out on my own because the coach didn’t pivot.

Again, the framework wasn’t the problem and the coach wasn’t the problem. But that particular system didn’t fit with my personality or the brand I was building, but I didn’t know it until we were far into the process.

For the longest time, I thought there was something wrong with me because it wasn’t working. It took far longer than it should have for me to realize that I needed to shift my mindset. Once I did, everything changed.

This is something in particular that I see in the coaching industry. It seems like everybody has this one method that works. The ads will tell you that this one thing will solve all of your problems just like magic. All of a sudden you’re going to make all of your dreams come true and you’re going to hit all of your business goals much faster than anything you could have ever imagined.

Only then it doesn’t work. There are a lot of reasons why it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t mean that whatever it is the coach is teaching is awful, but there are so many different variables that go into running a business. And every business is very different. Even within the same industry, every brand is going to approach things differently. This is 100% how things should work. You need more than one flavor of ice cream. Imagine how boring it would be if everything was Vanilla all the time?

Instead, what if we modify things to make them work for the people who are using them? What if instead when we work with one-on-one people, we really dive into what they need and we make our stuff work for them?

I’m not talking about tough love here. Sometimes you need it. If somebody came to me and said that you don’t need marketing or sales in order to run a business, I would probably laugh and ask what the punchline is.

There are certain things about business that are never going to go away. However, there are always a million and one ways to get from point A to point B. We need to stop acting as if there is only one way. It’s okay to meander slightly off course every now and then.

This is one of the reasons why I love the HubSpot flywheel model. If you haven’t heard me talk about it before, essentially HubSpot says that you need to do three things in order to market your business. You need to attract people, you need to engage with people, and then you need to delight your customers.

The reason why I love this is that there are so many different ways to do each of these things. Let’s take the attraction stage.

These days, I’m seeing a lot of stuff about how video is the future. They’ll tell you that video is the only way that you’re going to be able to Market your business moving forward in 2021. Obviously, that’s not the case. Video is a fantastic way to market your business and if you can do video, you’re silly not to try it.

However, video marketing is not going to work for everyone. If you are terrified about getting up in front of a camera, you have a loud environment that’s never going to be quiet, and you just genuinely are uncomfortable and can find no way of getting comfortable that’s within your budget, then it’s not going to work. People are going to see that you are super uncomfortable, they’re going to get distracted by the loud background, and the whole thing is going to fall flat.

Facebook is a fantastic way to market your business. With so many people on it, I can guarantee that at least some of your ideal clients are on Facebook. For some people, Facebook Ads are going to work wonders. Others will naturally love organic. And another group of people will hate Facebook and therefore it’s not going to work for them.

It’s all about finding what works for you and a framework that works in conjunction with your brand and personality.

This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about creating a brand strategy. Too often, the clients that I work with have a very specific idea about the tactics that they want to use to market their business. But if you don’t have a solid brand strategy in place, it can fall flat.

If your brand strategy says that you want to come across as authentic, but you are extremely uncomfortable on video, then video marketing is never going to work for you. You’re never going to feel authentic on the video to your target audience. They’re going to see how uncomfortable you are and they’re going to wonder why.

Instead, I would rather work with a person to figure out what will work for them. Maybe they are a gifted writer. Or maybe they have one of those voices that would be fantastic for a podcast. These sound like pure marketing decisions, but in reality, it all comes down to your brand strategy.

At the end of the day, it comes down to your personality and how you want people to feel when they interact with you. Once you understand that, the rest of these decisions become a lot easier to make. I can’t help but think that if I had had a solid brand strategy before I had talked to this coach, I would have recognized that it wasn’t a good fit and I would have saved my money.

Having a brand strategy makes all the difference. If this is something you need help with, let’s get on a Marketing Clarity Call. I can’t wait to chat!

About the Author

I’m Jennifer Anastasi, an Engineer turned Brand Strategist. I empower other service-based businesses to find that clear brand and online presence using my background in tech mixed with creativity (I'm a lifelong creative after all). Unlike courses or group programs, I focus on each business as a unique entity and break down complex and intimidating concepts into easy-to-understand ideas for custom results.

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