Episode 10: How to Connect with Your Audience & Promote Your Services

In this week's episode, we're talking all about how to connect with your audience and promote your coaching services without coming across as sleazy, because it does not feel good when we feel like we're being pitched to or sold to in a way that doesn't honor our role in the process. Today we'll explore a better way to approach sales that feels good for both you AND your client.
Coach with Clarity Podcast Lee Chaix McDonough

10: How to Connect with Your Audience & Promote Your Services

As I'm sure you know from your own experiences, it doesn't feel good when we're being pitched to or sold to in a way that doesn't honor our role in the process. Now, to be quite honest with you, I almost called this episode, "How to Connect with Your Audience and Promote Your Coaching Services Without Being Salesy."

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Show Notes

As I’m sure you know from your own experiences, it doesn’t feel good when we’re being pitched to or sold to in a way that doesn’t honor our role in the process.

Now, to be quite honest with you, I almost called this episode, “How to Connect with Your Audience and Promote Your Coaching Services Without Being Salesy.” I decided to change the wording because, frankly, there are some coaches out there who need to be more salesy.

If you’re in business, sales is a part of what you do. That’s just how it is. You need revenue coming in to keep your business going.

So, what I want to do in this episode is explore how we can approach sales from a place of integrity so we can be salesy without being sleazy.

Topics covered

  • What is sleazy promotion?
  • My own experience with someone who tried to use aggressive and sleazy sales tactics on me
  • The key thing to remember when you’re selling your products or services
  • Why it’s important that you stay connected to your values before and during the sales process
  • An example of how I keep my values in mind while selling
  • The strategy I use and recommend for building relationships with your potential clients
  • How to get your potential clients to like you
  • How to build a bond of trust with your potential clients
  • A case study of how I’ve used this strategy to cultivate relationships with my audience

Resources mentioned

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Well, hello, my friends. Welcome to a very special episode of the Coach with Clarity podcast. Right now I am recording this as a Facebook Live for one of my Facebook groups, From Therapy to Coaching. So this is a Facebook group especially designed for therapists who are interested in exploring coaching in their businesses and their practices, and I thought it would be really helpful to go live in the group and record it as a podcast episode, because today we are going to talk all about how to connect with your audience and promote your coaching services without coming across as sleazy.

Because as I'm sure many of you have had the experience, it does not feel good when we feel like we're being pitched to or sold to in a way that doesn't honor our role in the process. I'm going to talk a little bit more about that in a second, but first, I want to tell you what I almost named this podcast and why I changed it. 

I almost called this podcast, how to connect with your audience and promote your services without being salesy. And then I thought to myself, you know what, I'm not going to do that. Because to be quite honest with you, I think maybe there are some of us out there who need to be more salesy. 

Now, let me clarify what I mean by that. If you are in business, sales is a part of what you do. You have to bring revenue in in order to sustain your business, pay yourself a salary, and pay the people who work for you. Sales is the lifeblood of any business. It's how revenue comes in. And so I think some of us approach sales as if it's something we shouldn't do or something that feels awkward or wrong, and what I want to do is look at how we can approach sales from a place of integrity, from a place of alignment with our values and a place that ultimately serves the buyers or the clients, the people we are selling to. 

So it's with that in mind that I want to embrace the word salesy, but what I want to avoid is being sleazy. And I think maybe that's what some of us think of when we hear the word salesy. We think of being really sleazy. We think of being just taken advantage of, and so I want to talk about how we can be salesy in a way that feels good and doesn't feel sleazy. 

Sleazy promotion is focused almost exclusively on the seller or on the business person. That person is going to get their needs met no matter what and their need is to get you to buy what they're selling. And so they can be really aggressive, they can use tactics that just don't feel good, and so there's little genuine connection with the client, because that's not where their priority is. Their priority is on getting what they need, which is money in their bank account and goods or services sold. 

That doesn't feel good as a potential client. We feel targeted, we feel manipulated, we feel used and we're left just with a really bad taste in our mouths about that sales experience. And I actually want you to pause for a moment and I want you to think of a time where you've been on the receiving end of this tactic. So I want you to think about the circumstances what happened. 

How did the business person or the seller approached you? What thoughts or feelings did they try to invoke in you in order to get you to buy? And then how did that entire experience make you feel? 

I just want you to kind of bring that into your consciousness right now and remember just how awful it felt when someone was selling to you in this manner. It doesn't feel good. It didn't motivate you to want to buy, I'm willing to bet. I know the times where I've been on the receiving end of that. I haven't appreciated it at all. It happens in the real world, you know, and I will say, I do think people who sell cars get a really bad rap. We talk a lot about the used car salesman who's pushing their cars on people, like, you know, not every car salesman will do that. 

But I will say, I had an experience where I was in my early 20s and I wanted to buy a car, and it was just the most aggressive salesy, well see, there I go, I use that word again. But it was just so aggressive. And it was clear that this guy had a quota he needed to meet, he saw me as an easy mark and he was going to get my sale. And he used every pressure tactic in the book to do so. And it was just awful. And I didn't buy from him. He made me feel so manipulated and gross that there was no way I was going to buy a car from him. 

So that's why I think when we're talking about salesy, what we really mean is when we're using those high pressure tactics, and when the spotlight stays focused on the seller. And as coaches and therapists, I know that that's not the approach that you want to take. You want to take an approach that feels good, where you as the coach and your client walk away feeling really good about the interaction, and that's what I want to talk about today. 

And this is the key thing: if your audience feels really good about the sales experience, then they're going to want to buy from you. So we want to keep that at the heart of what we're doing. So how do we do this? 

Well, first and foremost, before we even approach a client, there are a few things we need to do. Number one is to connect with our values. We need to make sure we are crystal clear about our business values, and our personal values too (oftentimes, they overlap), ut certainly, in this case, our business values, and we want to anchor every action we take in those business values. 

So as most of you know, my core business values are service, connection, presence, and love. Anytime I take an action in my business, I'm asking myself, how does this action align with my business values? Whether it's a Facebook Live or a podcast recording, whether it is pitching a service that I have, I want to make sure that I'm doing so an aligned way where service, connection, presence, and love are at the heart of what I'm doing. 

So that's the first step, I'm going to ask you to take, connect with your values and make sure that what you are offering to your clients is very much connected with those values. Then, make sure that the product or service that you are offering them is something that you can stand behind 100%. 

Whether it is one on one coaching or group coaching program, whether you have a course or a book, whatever it is that you are making available to the world for purchase, I want you to make sure that you believe in it 100%. It is far easier to sell something that we believe in, that we know has value and that we know will serve the people we most want to help. 

So before we even get out there and we start pitching ourselves, we need to make sure that we have a product or a service that we can stand behind 100%. and that we know once we get it into the hands of our people, it is going to improve their lives. 

Again, if we know that what we're offering has benefit, then why wouldn't we offer it to our people? Why wouldn't we want to put it out there? I know that my coaching services and my membership and all of my programs have value. They help people grow their coaching practices and become stronger, more powerful coaches. Why wouldn't I share that with them? It's something they need, it’s something they want, and I have it to give them. 

And so when I know that when I can anchor in the fact that yes, this is a good product, it's aligned with my values of service and connection and presence and love, then I can get out there and talk about it naturally and make it available from a place of ease, and it becomes more like an invitation to work with me or to connect with me and not that pushy forceful, “Buy my product, buy it now” strategy. Again, that doesn't feel good. 

So, first, I want you to anchor in your values. Second, I want to make sure that you have a product or service that you can stand behind 100% because you know, it has so much value for your people. Once you're sure about those two things, then it's time to start making connections with potential clients who would benefit from your service, from your coaching, or your product, whether it's a book or a course or a program, whatever it is, everything we're about to talk about applies. 

I strongly recommend that you approach the relationship with your potential client just as you would any other relationship in your life. Because that's the other thing here. Sales is about relationships. We are building relationships with people that we are going to work with or work for or serve in some capacity, and this is a very valuable relationship on both ends. And so it deserves to be cultivated in much the same way we would cultivate a friendship, or a relationship with a family member or with a partner or with a child. 

When we keep the relationship at the core, then we can show up and serve and provide our offer as an extension of serving. So let's talk about how you would build this relationship over time with your potential client. 

There is a strategy out there, I did not invent it, but I have definitely taken it and use it in my own business. I wrote about it in my book ACT On Your Business, and that approach is called the KLT, or the “know, like, trust” approach. So I want you to think about “know, like, trust” as the three phases of building a relationship. 

So stage one, that's the “getting to know you stage,” right? That's the know stage. It's where we're initially introduced to someone. We're just kind of establishing what this relationship looks like, and so when you meet someone new for the first time, what do you do? Well, you get to know them. You ask them questions, you find commonalities, and you take time and really invest in getting to know them as a person. 

I also think in the business setting, we can do this, we can connect with our people, we can take time to really understand where they're coming from, the concerns or challenges they're facing, the hopes they have for their business, for their life. We can connect with them on that level, and then we also have the unique opportunity to provide value to them from the very start. 

So just as they're getting to know us, they're getting to know us also in terms of what we can provide for them. This is one reason why email opt-ins are the linchpin of so many online businesses, because an email opt-in is a great way to serve someone from the get-go while building that relationship. I'm going to talk a little bit more about that when I use my own business as an example, but I want you to think about during that phase one or stage one of building the relationship, it's all about getting to know each other. And for you, as a coach, it's about providing something of value from the very beginning. 

So once we've moved out of stage one, and okay, we know each other, we're starting to build this relationship, then we move into stage two, which is where you build affinity. This is the like portion of KLT. And so this is where we want to cultivate a relationship where our clients like us, where when they think of us, they think of us in a positive way. They view us as an expert, they view us as a guide. They see us as someone approachable and that maybe they would want to work with. 

So there's a few ways that we can do that. In a business setting, I think one of the best ways to build affinity with your clients is to share your true self with them. This is where appropriate use of authenticity and vulnerability can be really helpful. And how do we do that? Well, we do that by sharing our stories. We can do that through blog posts, through podcast episodes, through Facebook Lives. But there are all sorts of ways where we can connect with our people in a genuine way, let them in behind the scenes, let them see a little bit about what it's like to live in our worlds, to run our business, and then let's also invite them to share their stories with us. 

That's so important with any relationship, we want it to be reciprocal. It can't be us, give, give giving or take, take, taking all the time. It needs to be a back and forth. 

And so as we are building affinity with our clients, we can also do that by asking them to share their stories with us. That deepens the connection, it fosters that sense of goodwill, and it's one of the best ways to build affinity to build that like factor within a relationship. 

Once you've done that, then we can move into stage three, which is where we go deeper. And this is where we build trust in a relationship. So I want you to think about the relationships in your life where you feel like there is a really high level of trust. 

How did you build that trust over time? Or how did the other person build trust in you? When I was thinking about that, when I was thinking about the relationship with my husband, or with my best friend or with my parents, there were a few things that stood out to me. 

First, each one of those people is a consistent presence in my life. They are always there, and they show up for me no matter what. I know that I can depend on them, and I know that their word is their bond. And I'm pretty sure they feel the same way about me. So being a consistent regular presence, following through on what I say I'll do or what they'll say they'll do, keeping our word, these are really important ways that we build trust, and we demonstrate this through our actions. 

So this is a very interesting thing to apply in a business setting as well. How can you be consistent, keep your word, be present, and build trust within a business relationship? Well, we can certainly do that one-on-one with individuals. We can do that through conversations. It can be conversations on the phone or video. It can even be through private messages or emails. But again, it evolves over time and we can do so by showing up, giving the other person our full attention, reflecting back that they're heard, that we see them, and just showing up.

In a business relationship, we can cultivate that sense of trust by following through on our actions, taking care of our people, continuing to show up for them. This is also an area where having your past clients speak for you can build trust. This is why so many businesses use testimonials in order to build that trust factor with their potential clients. And this is something that we can do as coaches. 

Now I recognize that for my mental health professionals out there, testimonials are a bit taboo. Most state licensing boards would not look too kindly on you providing testimonials from therapy clients. But in a coaching setting, we have more flexibility here, and it's appropriate and even beneficial to incorporate client testimonials. When I'm asking my clients for testimonials, it's typically at the end of our work together, and it's a great opportunity for them to synthesize everything that they've accomplished in our work together. So yes, they're providing me with the testimonial, but the way that I structure the process actually works like a life review for them, so that they can see just how far they've come and everything they've accomplished by working with me. So again, even the process of creating a testimonial can benefit the client and be a win win. 

But testimonials, case studies These are great ways that we can cultivate trust with a prospective client. And that's, again, it just builds into that know, like and trust factor. So KLT. I want you to be thinking about KLT when it comes to cultivating relationships with potential clients. So the first is how can I get to know them? And how can they get to know me? The second is how can we build affinity in the relationship so that we like each other? And then finally, how can we build trust in each other so that my client will want to work with me and I'll want to work with them. 

Again, it's reciprocal, it goes both ways. But I can tell you that if you do not have all three present, know, like and trust, then you will not have the ideal sales outcome that you are looking for. All three of those are necessary in building a really solid relationship with a prospective client that leads them into working with you in a paid capacity. 

The thing about KLT is that it takes time. I am talking about cultivating relationships over time. And a lot of times based on the energetic or financial investment in your product or service, that's where the fluctuation in time is going to be. 

Someone doesn't need to spend a whole lot of time with me in order to spend $27 on my Powerful Coaching Session Guide, because $27 – I don't mean to suggest it's not a lot of money, ut when you compare it to an $8500 coaching package, we're talking apples and oranges here. So they need less time with me to build that KLT factor before they feel comfortable spending $27 on a guide, versus my six month private coaching offering. If they're going to invest $8500 with me, then that's going to be a relationship that we really need to cultivate slowly and intentionally, before we both agreed to work together. 

So bringing this KLT process into it means that there will be a time investment there. And that's one thing that I think the sleazy marketing strategies that I talked about before it doesn't fully address. Because the sleazy marketer, they want to get in and get out, they want your sale now. Actually, they want your sale like yesterday, and so they're not necessarily willing to invest the time in the relationship. And so that's why I want to encourage you as you are connecting with potential clients, slow down, take your time, it will allow you to build such a strong foundation that will serve you and the client in the long run. 

In the spirit of authenticity and transparency, I'm going to use my own business as a case study of KLT and share with you how I have tried to build KLT in my own business with all of you. So first and foremost, stage one is getting to know you. So many of you learned about me through someone else. Maybe it was someone else's Facebook group, perhaps it was me on someone else's podcast, maybe you learned of me through a colleague. But most of you out there found me through someone else. 

We met when you asked to join this Facebook group, or when you listen to my podcast for the first time, or maybe when you downloaded one of my free guides. That was our initial introduction to each other. Once you came into my world and I got to be a part of yours, my goal was that you felt powerfully served by me from the very beginning. Again, that's my service value coming through. 

And so whether you're in the Facebook group or listening to the podcast or reading that guide, I want you getting to know me and I want you feeling like, “Wow, this is really good stuff, and I really appreciate everything that she's sharing with me right now.” Because at the end of the day, even if we don't move past this initial “know” stage, I want you feeling like the time we spent together was worth it. 

And as you bring people into your world, and as you build your audience, not everyone will want to go to stage two and three with you. They may stay in the “know” stage, and that's where they stay and that's okay. So if you can show up and serve them powerfully even then, well, then you are on the right track, my friend. 

That's one way that I, we kind of get to know each other is that you find me through the content that I create, and also I'm continuing to nurture that relationship through my weekly emails, through my Facebook posts, those ways where again, I'm just kind of introducing myself to you. 

Then we move into stage two. This is where we get to like each other. And so again, perhaps you're downloading all of my podcasts and listening to them. Or maybe you're scrolling through some of the videos in my facebook group. But again, you're spending time with me, you're getting to know me and like me through my content. So that's one way that I have tried to create content that serves you, but also helps connect us. Again, there's that value of mine – connection. It's through connection that we build affinity. 

I also will share a little bit about myself in social media, so on my Instagram, @coachwithclarity, and certainly on my Facebook page, and, again, I want you to feel like you're seeing the real me. This is not some carefully crafted, super cultivated look. I mean, I'm literally sitting here in my husband's dental office right now. I did shower today. But again, it's like, this is the real me. And so that again is going to promote a sense of affinity between us. 

And, I hope you'll notice that when I post something on Instagram or when I launch a podcast episode, I'm really clear that I want to hear back from you. I want to know what you're thinking what you're feeling, or what this is inspiring you to do. Again, this conversation goes both ways. And so we can build affinity in the relationship by having it be a two-way communication. 

And I can't tell you how much I love getting emails and DMs and messages from you because it's like, oh, this feels like a two-way relationship. It's not just me speaking out into the void. There are people watching this live right now or listening to this podcast episode, and we are creating a relationship and that's what I want to ground my services in. 

Then we move into stage three, which is going deeper. This is where some of you will, you've gone through the know stage, you like me, and maybe, just maybe, you might want to explore working with me in some capacity, whether it's through private coaching or whether it's through the Coach with Clarity membership. Maybe it's even just buying my $13 book on Amazon. But you're starting to think about investing not just financially but also energetically and emotionally with me as well. 

So now we've hit the trust stage, and it's all about what I can do to earn and maintain your trust. And so we can do that through having conversations with each other, either in person, which isn't happening too much right now, but certainly through video chats, through DMs and PMs. There's all sorts of ways that we can hold conversation with each other. 

I also will do this in a group setting as well. So last week, in my facebook group, I had some open calls for Q&A sessions and for Hot Seat coaching. Again, it's my way of showing up serving and supporting my people and doing so in a way that builds trust in the relationship. And then as I mentioned before, certainly I'm so proud and honored to have some of my past clients speak for me. So having testimonials on my web page, providing case studies and case examples, these are other ways that I can kind of cement the trust in the relationship that I'm building with my clients. 

So that's how I approach connecting with my audience and promoting my services in my own business. It starts with really getting to know my people, centering my work around them, and making sure that they always benefit. It's not just about me benefiting from the transaction, they need to benefit as well. 

And that's at the heart of sales, because essentially, we are exchanging money for a service or a good, and so when it's done well, both people walk away from that interaction feeling really good about it. I get to work with awesome people and get paid to do it, and my clients get to work with me and get my eyes on their business and get my feedback and get my support as they completely transform their businesses and their lives. So we all win. And that's how I want to approach sales, and that's how I want you to think about approaching sales as well. 

So this is an example of how I'm doing it with the program, but I want you to know that you can do it with individual coaching as well. And this is why I recommend cultivating the relationship before you pitch your services to someone. A lot of times people will be like, “Yeah, I'm interested in a coach, how much do you charge?” And that's where it's like, “Whoa, let's kind of slow down here. Let's first talk about what coaching is and why you're interested in coaching and if we'd even be a good fit for each other. Then, I'm happy to talk to you more about the process and what it looks like and the financial investment. We can even take some time and actually coach together to see if this is something we're both interested in.” But you can take this process and you can use it for your individual coaching as well, so that your client feels supported and served by you from the very beginning. 

So in summary, sleazy marketing, sleazy sales, sleazy promotion, puts the spotlight on the seller, and the buyer is kind of an easy mark, it's a target, and it does not feel good. And for me, it doesn't feel good as the buyer, but I don't think it would feel good as the seller as well. That's so out of alignment with how I want to operate in my business. and I know that because you're listening to this podcast, it's out of alignment for you too. 

Whereas service-based sales, which is everything that we've talked about today, service-based sales keeps the spotlight on the client, and so energetically, it feels good. The client feels good. The coach feels good. We can move forward together, knowing that it is a reciprocal relationship built on mutual trust. And that feels really, really good. 

So with every podcast episode, I provide a Clarity in Action moment, and this one is no different. So I do think it's time for our Clarity in Action moment. 

So for your Clarity in Action moment this week, I want you to outline your own KLT strategy for cultivating relationships with your potential clients. So again, it's three stages – know, like, and trust. How can you get to know your clients? How can you build affinity within the relationship so that they like you and so that you like them? And then what can you do to cultivate trust in that relationship so that they will want to take the next step and work with you. 

I've walked you through some of the ways that I build the KLT factor into my business and I would love to know ways that you will do the same for yours. 

So you can let me know over at Coach with Clarity, my Facebook group, you can also find me on Instagram @coachwithclarity/ You can email me, you can private message me, you can send me a DM, whatever works for you. But I would love to know how you are incorporating KLT in your business. 

So this has been such a great episode. I've had such a fun time going live in my Facebook group and recording this podcast episode at the same time. I can't wait to hear what you all think of it. And I hope that what we've talked about today has been helpful and will serve you in your business. Again, this is Lee Chaix McDonough and I'm reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity. 

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