Episode 47: Visibility Strategies to Grow Your Business

Strategies and steps you can take to connect with your ideal client in a way that feels good and supports your business while increasing your visibility.

47: Visibility Strategies to Grow Your Business

"How do I find more clients?" That is absolutely the number one question I get from coaches and it makes sense. You're confident and ready to get out there and serve your people but it can be difficult and intimidating to think about putting yourself out there.

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Show Notes

“How do I find more clients?”

That is absolutely the number one question I get from coaches and it makes sense. You're confident and ready to get out there and serve your people but it can be difficult and intimidating to think about putting yourself out there.

We want to make sure that it's as easy as possible for people to find you and to hear about the work that you are doing so today I'm walking you through some suggestions for connecting with your ideal client in a way that supports you and your business.

When you increase your visibility, you'll naturally attract and connect with the people you want to serve. I suspect this episode is going to create some aha moments for you and serve you powerfully as build your business and reach with your ideal clients.

Topics covered

  • Thinking about how clients can find out about you
  • Why it's time to move from surviving to thriving
  • How I reframe my internal messaging around increased visibility
  • Managing your inner critic and imposter syndrome
  • Getting clear on your two audiences
  • How to develop intentional strategies for each of your audiences
  • Enlisting the support you need

Resources mentioned

Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!

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Well, hey there, my friend, welcome to the Coach with Clarity podcast. I'm your host, Lee Chaix McDonough, and I'm so excited that you are here spending your time with me, as we answer one of the most common questions I get from coaches, and that is, how do I find more clients? That is absolutely the number one question I get. And that makes sense, because many of the coaches I work with, feel very confident in their skills, and they have the desire to get out there and serve their people, but to do that, you actually have to be able to find clients. And that can feel difficult and intimidating for a lot of reasons, and we're going to go into some of those reasons today. And then I am going to walk you through some suggestions on steps you can take to connect with your ideal client in a way that feels good, and supports your business.

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So if you are a longtime listener of the Coach with Clarity podcast, first allow me to thank you for being a listener, I am so grateful to you, and so honored to be in your ears every week. And if you are a brand new listener to the podcast, then welcome, I am equally as excited to have you here, and you picked a fantastic week to start listening because I suspect this episode is going to create some ‘aha’ moments for you and really serve you powerfully as you get about the business of building your business and connecting with your ideal clients. So I'm very excited to dive into this question of, how do I find more clients? And the first thing I'm going to do is flip that question around a bit. I actually think a stronger question than how do I find more clients is, how do my clients find me? Or, how can my ideal clients, my future clients, find me because the thing is, if your ideal clients don't know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them, then it's going to be very difficult to gain traction in your business to see the growth that I know you want, and most importantly, to connect with and serve those clients in a way you feel called to do so. So we need to make sure that we are creating structures and systems in your business that help your ideal clients find you. We want to make sure that it's as easy as possible for people to find you and to hear about the work that you are doing, and I will walk you through some strategies today to help you do so but really what it comes down to is building your visibility. And that's why I titled today's episode, Visibility Strategies to Grow Your Business, because when we heighten your visibility, when you become more seen, then you are naturally going to attract and connect with the people you want to serve. 
So let me check in with you for a second, when I said the word visibility, and specifically when I said we're going to help you get seen by your people, what came up for you? What thoughts, what emotions, what sensations, what memories came up for you, when I talked about being seen, and putting yourself out there? For some of you out there, your thought may have been, “yes, finally, let's do this, I'm ready”, but I'm willing to bet that for many of you, if not most of you, the thought of increasing your visibility and being seen might also bring a sense of nervousness, even anxiety or discomfort. There are a lot of people out there who do not necessarily feel comfortable with the spotlight on them. And so when we're talking about visibility and being seen, that can feel really scary. So if the idea of getting more visible in your business and for your people makes you want to hide, believe me, I feel you and you are not alone in that.
I suspect many of us feel a little queasy when it comes to increasing our visibility because that means being seen, and our minds are used to interpreting being seen as a threat. So stay with me here. I know I've talked about this on past episodes, and I have definitely covered it in my book, ACT on Your Business, but I view the mind as essentially being our internal safety monitor. Its job is to keep us safe. It evaluates all sorts of external and internal stimuli and tries to figure out whether it is safe, whether we can be present with it, or whether it's dangerous and we need to call on our fight, flight, or freeze approach. So the mind is constantly evaluating everything around us through that lens, and it's designed to do that. That's why our species has been around for millennia and it's because of our tendency towards safety that we have survived. But the issue for most of us is that we are in a place where we are safe, and we are surviving, and so now we are being called to thrive and to grow. And that growth often means going outside of our comfort zone, doing things that entail a little bit of risk. And of course, anytime we talk about risk, we're talking about danger, and that doesn't feel safe. And so our mind is going to kick in with all sorts of messages, trying to hold us back and keep us safe. So what I want you to remember is that when you have any sort of feelings of anxiety or fear, or discomfort around becoming more visible, it's not a bad thing. It's actually a sign that your mind is doing its job, and it's doing its job very well. So it's normal and even expected to have those fears come up, but now that we are aware of that, we are in the position where we can acknowledge and thank our minds for doing its job, and then we can move into the critical thinking component of assessing whether this is helping us or whether it's holding us back. Because absolutely, there are times where we probably shouldn't put ourselves out there, we should be cautious before we make the leap. But there are also times where in order to grow, and in order to connect with other people, we have to be willing to take that intentional calculated risk. And so in those moments when the mind is saying, “don't put yourself out there, don't post on Facebook, don't start a Facebook group, don't do that podcast”, we need to stop and evaluate whether that message is going to serve us in the long run. And if it's not, then we are tasked with creating a new message that will support us as we take those steps to connect with other people to grow our businesses, and most importantly, to live out our lives in a way that connects with our values. And this is something that I myself have struggled with and continue to face day after day, month after month, in my own business. 
As I was thinking about my intentions for 2021, I knew that I wanted to focus on my own visibility this year, that I wanted to grow this podcast and to grow the Coach with Clarity Membership and my certification program, and really get it out in front of even more people. And naturally, as I started thinking about that, my mind started generating all sorts of fears. I was bombarding myself with messages of, “if you put yourself out there, people are gonna judge you”, “if you create new Instagram posts around what you believe about coaching and how you work with your clients, you can expect people to troll you and to fill your feed with all sorts of judgments and criticisms, so why don't you just go ahead and back off from that?”, you know, “just go ahead, you don't want to rock the boat, you don't want to have to deal with angry people, so just keep yourself quiet”. Literally, these were the messages that I found myself facing as I thought about building my visibility plan for 2021. And so that old message is very much around the fear of being judged, and that people might judge me or say harsh things about me. And so I can look at that message, and I can understand where it's coming from and why it's happening. I can even thank my mind for trying to protect me, and I can recognize that a fear of being judged by others is going to limit me at a time where I am looking to grow. And so my task then becomes to replace that old message of, “people might judge me”, with a new message and that for me, that message is, that my voice matters. And more importantly, my message can serve and help other people so that if I don't share it, if I quiet myself because of fear of judgment, then I am not serving the people I most want to connect with. And so that is how I'm rewriting my internal messages. And let me tell you, it is work. It is daily work, because those fears will creep up, and so you have to anchor yourself in what you believe and what matters most to you and create a new message around that. So understand that even though I'm creating a podcast episode all about this today. It's not because I'm an expert or that I've done it all and checked all the boxes. This is very much work that I, myself am still doing too. And so if I can share my experiences with you and some of the strategies that have helped me, if that supports you, then we all win. 
Now, another thing that comes up for me and I know comes up for many of you based on the conversations that we've had in my Instagram DMs and in Facebook groups, imposter syndrome is a real thing that many of us deal with. And that's why I'm so excited that in about three weeks, I will be sharing an interview I conducted with my friend and colleague, Melody Wilding, who is an expert in imposter syndrome. In fact, she has a book coming out in a few months called Trust Yourself, and she really tackles imposter syndrome head on in that book. So we will be discussing this in greater depth in just a few weeks. So definitely, if you're not already subscribed to the podcast, go ahead and hit subscribe now so that you can be sure that interview shows up in your feed in the next few weeks. But for today, I just want to remind you that yes, imposter syndrome is another mindset block that can show up and keep us from sharing our message, it can keep us from building our visibility. And I don't know about you, but something that I struggle with is the idea that someone might find out the truth about me. That I'm going to be found out or that I'll be thought of as a fraud. It's a huge barrier for a lot of talented and powerful coaches, myself included, this idea that if we put ourselves out there, that not only are we going to be judged, but on some level, people are going to find out that maybe we don't really know what we're doing, or we're all talk. And that's so hard because when we contrast that message with reality, the reality is we absolutely know what we're doing. We are legitimate, and we are out there serving other people. But yet imposter syndrome would have us doubt ourselves and doubt whether what we're doing is right, true, and just. I jokingly refer to my inner critic who pops up with all of the imposter syndrome messages as Fred the Fraud. Fred the Fraud is that message in my head, causing me to doubt myself, question myself. And some days It feels like he has a megaphone, because his voice is the only one that I hear. And so what I've done is reframed how I view his existence. And specifically, I've noticed that when Fred the Fraud pops up, and when he is at his loudest, it's typically right when I am about to take a big, bold step in my business, which makes sense, right? If the mind wants us to stay safe, it's not going to want us taking bold steps and it's going to use everything in its arsenal to keep us safe, and so Fred the Fraud is one of my mind's most powerful weapons. And so now whenever he comes up, I view it as a sign that I'm actually about to do something pretty big, and that I'm probably on the right track. I've also had to reframe how I view imposter syndrome and this idea that I'm going to be found out, that someone might think that I'm copying or plagiarizing or taking the work of other people. That's a big one for me. I don't know if anyone else out there struggles with that but I do worry, even in creating this podcast that as I'm sharing information and material, someone might accuse me of stealing it from someone else. That's just one of my internal fears that I'm going to share with you all. And the way that I am working on reframing that fear is to really step into the fact that one of my strengths is synthesis, that I am able to take different ideas and different information and bring it together and make connections between those ideas in a way that is unique to me, and that is part of my gift. So that yes, I can create my own ideas but I can also synthesize the ideas that are in the general public or that I've read and I can share them with my clients, and with my members, and with you as a podcast listener in a way that maybe will serve you in a different way than anyone has done it before. And that has value, my voice has value, and so does yours. So I'm sharing this with you so that if you have struggled with any sort of messages around imposter syndrome or feeling like a fraud or being scared to put yourself out there, there's a reason for it, and there are ways through it. So we're going to talk about this much much more with Melody in just a few weeks, so definitely tune in to that episode, but I do want to remind you that this type of mindset work is not a one and done task. As we grow, we are going to face new challenges. and new opportunities, where we can really put these mindset shifts to the test. So that when we reframe these messages, we're going to have the opportunity to apply them. So that's why I think it's important that we do this type of internal work and then we pair it with external strategies so that when we're talking about visibility, we need to look at both the internal work and the external work that we need to do. 
So we've talked about some of the internal work what with all the mindset blocks, and reframing some of the messages that our mind may give us. Now, I want to talk about some external strategies to help you build your visibility and grow your business. So the first thing I want to mention, when we are thinking about visibility, we're thinking about our audience, right? Who we're talking to, who we want to get in front of. And I want to remind you that you actually have two audiences, you have your ideal client, the person that you most want to serve, and you have people who can refer your ideal client to you. So really, regardless of what type of business you're running, who you most want to coach, when it comes down to it, we really do have two audiences, the client we want to serve, and the people who can help connect us with and refer us to that client. So that's why when we're talking about visibility strategies, we need to be really clear about which audience we are addressing, because the messaging and the positioning that you have may differ based on whether you're speaking directly to your ideal client, or whether you're speaking to people who might connect you with that client. So as an example, in my own business, with Coach with Clarity, my ideal client, it's a coach, it's a new coach, an aspiring coach, or a veteran coach. But I do my best work supporting coaches who want to build their businesses, grow their impact, and really serve their clients powerfully. So I'm very clear on who that ideal client is, and that's one of my audiences. But when I think about who can connect me with those coaches, that's my referral audience. And so that primarily consists of other people, other professionals who support coaches. So for example, I'm thinking about web designers, graphic designers, branding experts, copywriters, all of these professionals whose work supports coaches, so that if I can connect with them as an audience, then they may be able to refer me to coaches they work with who would benefit from mentorship, community training, all of the things offered within Coach with Clarity. So I'm very clear about the fact that I have two audiences, I have the coaches that I want to work with, and I have fellow colleagues and professionals who work with those coaches. I think I could even expand that second audience really to include just about anyone who knows or works with someone who's interested in coaching, but for 2021, I'm really going to focus on the professionals who support coaches, so whether it's copywriters, designers, and etc. So I encourage you to think about your two audiences as well, who is your ideal client? That's audience number one, and audience number two, who are the people who can connect you with that ideal client? Once you are clear on those two audiences, the next step is to consider which visibility strategy will work best for a given audience. We want to be really intentional about how we connect with each audience, and when we're thinking about strategy, we want to make sure the tactics and the choices we're making connect back to that specific audience. So for example, my ideal client – coaches – this podcast is one of the primary strategies I use to build my visibility, because every episode is designed with that coach, with you, in mind, and I'm always asking myself, how can I best serve that coach through the podcast? And how can I serve them so powerfully that they will be able to create change in their business and in their life, just by listening to this podcast, and then they'll want to connect with me and maybe go even deeper? So this podcast is my primary visibility strategy for connecting with my ideal client. Now, it's not my only strategy, I am also active on social media. If you're following me on Instagram over @CoachwithClarity, you know that I post regularly and I share stories and that is one way that I can connect with people. Another visibility strategy for me was to start a Facebook group, and back in August of 2018, I started the group From Therapy to Coaching over on Facebook, and that is targeted for mental health providers and healthcare providers who want to leverage their existing experience training and wisdom into a coaching career. And over the last two and a half years that group has grown to, I think we're at, about 4,000 people now. And that's also another way that I can connect with my ideal client, I can talk about the work that I do and position myself as an expert. So for me, I do have several visibility strategies aimed at my ideal client, but really, for 2021, the one that I am focusing on is this podcast. And as much as I love this podcast, and I stand behind it, I also recognize that it may not be the best strategy to connect with my second audience. Because I don't know if copywriters and website designers and branding experts are necessarily going to be interested in listening to a weekly podcast about coaching. I mean, maybe they are, hopefully, they are, but I also want to make sure that I am putting myself out there in a way that is going to connect more easily with them. So maybe that looks like guest appearances on podcasts that target graphic designers or copywriters. Maybe it looks like being active in more general entrepreneurship Facebook groups where I know they are. It may also look like some one on one work, so coffee chats, and zoom calls. And it's also looked like being a part of multidisciplinary masterminds or programs so that I am connecting with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, attorneys and accountants, and yes, copywriters, and web designers and all sorts of kind of service-driven, service-oriented professionals, because that's where that second audience is, they are investing in their own education and professional development. And so when I can go to where they are, and invest in my own education and development while connecting with them, then it's a win-win. 
So I want you thinking about intentional strategies you can use for each one of your audiences, but with that in mind, I'm going to offer a caveat. And this is kind of the next step, which is not to try and do all the things. I know that just now I've listed off several different strategies, right, we've got podcasting, both as a host and as guest appearances, we've got social media, we've got Facebook groups, we've got coffee chats, we've got webinars and workshops, and all sorts of things I haven't even talked about yet. And I know that it can feel really overwhelming and that you might feel like you have to do all the things, I'm here to tell you that you don't. And in fact, you shouldn't because when we try to do all of the things, we dilute our resources and our energy, and we're not able to focus on the things that will create the most growth in our business. So when I am providing you with suggestions, it's not because I expect for you to do them all but I do encourage you to find the strategies that will work best for you, and really go all in on them. And my main suggestion is to start with to one strategy that focuses on your ideal client audience, and a second strategy that focuses on your referral audience. And you'll want to test these things out, you know, you'll want to see what works, what needs refinement, what might not be the best approach for you. So at the beginning, it's okay if you want to try a few things but I am going to suggest that you really give it 60 to 90 days to see how a particular strategy works out because it will take time to build that visibility. If you're active in Facebook groups, it's going to take some time for people to know who you are and see you as an expert. If you are pitching yourself on podcasts, it's going to take time to connect with podcast hosts and book those interviews. So give yourself some time, I really recommend 90 days if you can, testing out a strategy, evaluating it, tweaking it, before you hop into something new. So don't feel like you have to do all the things – you don't and in fact, I'm going to recommend that you start with two strategies, one towards your ideal client, one towards your referral sources, and give it time to see how those strategies work out. 
The other thing to remember is that as you grow, it is okay to ask for help, and there are people who can help you grow your visibility. This podcast is an excellent example. So I am responsible for creating all of the content that I share with you. In this episode, I'm responsible for recording it. I'm literally sitting in my home office right now, with my MacBook in front of me connected to my microphone. So I'm creating this episode, and then as soon as I stop recording, I get to send it to my team of people who make it sound beautiful, and who create the graphics for it, and so I have enlisted support in getting the message out. And let me tell you, I cannot thank them enough. Brittany Felix of Podcasting for Coaches and her team, including Alex, thank you so much for making me sound so good every week. I'm really grateful. And I'm also grateful to my social media manager Keegan Jennings of Collab House, oh my gosh, if you need support with your social media definitely give Keegan a call. And my VA Robyn Blanton of Kismet Virtual Services, she creates all of the graphics and audiograms that go with this podcast, and I'm so grateful to her as well. So Brittany and Alex and Keegan and Robyn, they helped me tremendously with this podcast. And so as you grow in your business, you don't have to do it on your own. There are elements that you can outsource and get help with so that you can continue focusing on your zone of genius. And for me, that is creating the content for this podcast. So you don't have to do all the things and you don't have to do it alone. Now, when I started out five years ago, I was pretty much a one-woman show, and so I recognize that some of you may be at that point in your businesses as well, where you're not at a point where you can outsource a lot to other people. And that's okay, that's actually right where most of us need to be at the very beginning because there's value in learning how to do something before you delegate it to someone else. So just understand that as your visibility grows, and as your business grows, your revenue will grow as well, and then you will be at a point where you can enlist the support of other professionals to help you continue building your visibility. 
Okay, so we've talked about knowing your two audiences, thinking about which strategy will be best suited for each audience, not feeling like you have to do all of the things, and enlisting support where you can. I also want you to remember that part of building your visibility means going to where your audiences already are. And, you know, I made this mistake when I was a young coach, and I hear other coaches making it too, where I really believed that if I built my website and had a Facebook page, and I was on LinkedIn, that that was going to be enough, that that was what would allow people to come to me. And what I found is that while yes, it's always great to have that virtual real estate, what matters more is the outreach. In going to where your audience already is, and connecting with them there, because to ask them to come to you, especially before they know really who you are and what you're about, that's a big ask, and most people are not going to do that. That's why we need to go to where our people are, and start to connect with them there because that's where we warm up the relationship. That's where we make the connection, and then they will know who we are, what we stand for, and the work that we do. And then they're going to come back to our website or our Facebook page to learn more about us. So whether you're first starting out, or you're re-engaging with your audience, don't expect them to come to you. Ask yourself where they are hanging out, what they're already doing, what podcasts they're listening to, or blogs, they're reading, what yoga studio in town they're going to, or who they're connected with. You want to make sure that you are meeting them where they are, and then serving them so powerfully there that they are going to want to come back and find out more about you. And that's where then you can really look at what would it look like for us to work together in a coaching relationship. So here's one area where social media is really helpful. Whether you're engaged in Facebook groups, or you're on Instagram Stories or creating Reels or if you're on Clubhouse, these are great ways to show up and serve your audience. I happen to know that my ideal client, well my ideal client loves podcasts, so that's why I've created this podcast, that's why I do a lot of podcasts interviews. And this is me going to where they already are and making it easy for them to connect with me. So that's another thing I want you to consider is, where are your audiences already hanging out and how can you engage with them there? Because that is where we start building visibility. 
Then finally, I want to remind you, that part of being visible is making the offer. You are creating these new connections for a reason, you want to work with this particular client, or you want this person to refer you to someone, and that's okay, there's nothing wrong with that, that is the basis of business building. But you can't cross your fingers and hope that your ideal client is just going to come out of the blue and ask how they can work with you, you have to make the offer, you have to let people know what you have available and what it looks like to work with you. And I know that for some of you, this might feel a little icky, a little scary, and there are ways to go about making the offer that don't rely on manipulation or worse intimidation, there are ways that we can naturally make the offer. So for example, here's something that I do in my Facebook group that I moderate. If someone asks a question that's really specific to them and their business, so it's not something that's generally applicable to the whole group, or if they start kind of going into material that I cover in a paid capacity, I'll respond by saying, “You are asking all of the right questions and this is something I work on with my clients, or my members, or my students. You know, we talk about (whatever the kind of higher-level concept is, so fill in the blank with that)”. In my case, it's we talk about growth strategies to build your coaching practice, and so I've linked what they want with the ideal outcome. So growing their practice, and then I'll introduce the solution, “so it sounds like this program might be right for you, would you like to learn more?”, so I validate the question, I let them know that they're on the right track, I tell them, this is exactly the kind of work I do with this population through this group so that they can achieve this result, and then I invite them to learn more. That is making the offer, and I want to encourage you to come up with your own language and your own way of doing so so that once you've made those connections with people, the next logical step is for them to work with you. 
Wow, we have taken a deep dive into visibility today, haven't we? We've talked about some of the internal blocks that come up with regard to mindset, and we've walked through some external strategies that can help you build your business by becoming more visible, I think now is the perfect time for this week's Clarity in Action Moment. So for this week's Clarity in Action Moment, I'm going to ask you to take action on some of these external strategies that we've talked about today. So I want you determining your two audiences, your ideal client, and your ideal referral source. I want you to choose one strategy for each and commit to testing it out for 90 days. I want you keeping track, too. I want you paying attention to what's working and what's not, where you're seeing a higher response, where it's crickets, because all of this is data that's going to help you refine your strategy as you go. And then as you're connecting with people and as you're seeing results, because you will, I want you to remember to make the invitation, and to invite people to connect with you on a deeper level through your services, because this is how it works. Visibility, getting yourself out there, making connections, is what will bring people into your world and into your business. And if you need support with any of those, or if you'd like support around some of those internal mindset blocks, then definitely reach out to me because this is exactly the work that we do in the Coach with Clarity Membership. You can learn more about the Membership and join at CoachwithClarity.com/membership, and I would love to partner with you to help you build your visibility, connect with your clients and build a business that connects with your values and how you want to live your life. So I can't wait to see you over in the membership. And I can't wait to connect with you again next week for another episode of the Coach with Clarity podcast. In fact, next week's episode is a another coaching call which is always a favorite, so I hope you will join me then. And until that time, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.

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