Conversational Marketing is a term I’ve coined to describe a more human way of growing your business – one that’s especially needed right now (not to mention perfect if you’re a coach, healer or some other relationship focused professional).
Many business owners feel increasingly frustrated and downright disheartened because marketing advice makes them feel like they’re having to put on a mask and pretend to be something they’re not.
And I’ve got to confess – I did it myself for the first couple of years in my own business. My first website was modeled on all the sites I saw from other coaches- complete with motivational messages and images of women jumping with joy in cornfields (seriously, those corn fields must be crowded).
I promise I’m not judging anyone here. I get it – and I did it too. We follow what we see others doing. We model what we think we need to do to replicate the success we see others having. And if you’ve never run a successful coaching business before (and who has when they’re just out of coach school?), we’re going to model what we see those who are successful doing.
For many coaches, that means having glamorous headshots taken, talking about ‘hustling‘ and living your best life and making squillions while working from the beach.
The problems with this are two-fold:
Firstly, when we adopt this approach to marketing, it feels disconnected from and at odds with the coaching work we do. How can we be committed to truthful, open-hearted conversations as part of our profession when the methods we use to sell that profession aren’t?
Secondly, there’s a lack of authenticity that as humans we can spot a mile away. When potential customers see us indulging in those inauthentic (if well intentioned) marketing techniques, they’re turned off by them. I think this is especially true when it comes to something like coaching – after all, it’s a professional relationship where the client is connecting – and hiring, us. If something feels at odds with the image we’re projecting, it’s a massive turn-off to those potential clients.
So what’s the solution?
Conversational Marketing is rooted in the skills and approaches we already have as coaches – a human desire to listen deeply and connect fully with another in service to them. And it’s, therefore, an approach that feels natural and authentic to us. And guess what? this approach is WAY more effective at making those deep and trusting connections that coaching is based on.
What is it really?
Conversational marketing is a mindset and an aligned strategic approach.
The mindset part happened accidentally for me – I reached an ‘I can’t do this anymore’ moment in my marketing, where I felt shallow and tedious and just urgh when I was putting out listicles and using phrases like ‘crushing it’ which I would never in a million years use in ‘real life’ (I’m a 45 year old woman from the north of England – I never say ‘crushing it’. Ever. )
But I had been caught up in the ‘this is what I’m supposed to do, so I guess I should just get on with it’ approach to marketing, which in all honesty, I approached with the same enthusiasm I approach going for a smear test- a necessary, and not very pleasant, part of being a grown-up woman.
I hit a wall that had letters writ 10 foot high saying: This isn’t you.
Past that wall, could not get. So I stopped.
I stopped trying to make it happen in this way that was making me want to cry. I stopped putting my faith in something that in my very bones I knew wasn’t good for me, my business or the world.
I stopped trying to do all the things and focused in on what I was good at and what I enjoyed: Having conversations.
I built all of my marketing around that really simple, elemental concept. My podcast is a conversation. My webinars and online classes are conversations. The same with my weekly love letter and my Facebook Group. My core intention with all of them is to create a personal interaction. I show up honestly, and talk, write and interact as if we’re having an intimate, personable, and honest conversation.
I regularly open my calendar for no sell office hours calls – where I focus on helping, connecting and giving people a taste of how I can help them. I even launched my business this way AND teach a free course on how you can do it too.
Conversational Marketing Makes Building Your Business So Much More…Human
Ever since I fully embraced this approach, magical things have happened in my business. I’ve had more clients who are a better (read: wonderful) fit, more income, fun, creativity – and a hell of a lot more ease.
Sometimes we overcomplicate business building – internet shiny objects will do that to a woman.
But if we go back to our core – back to the basic tenets of our profession then it all becomes much clearer: Start with the end in mind.
Coaching is a conversation. Marketing is a conversation.
Instead of thinking about complex email funnel, multiple channels, social media strategies and analytics – focus on how you can turn everything you do into a genuine, from the heart conversation.
Weekly email blasts transform and become love letters. Podcasts become relaxed chats. Webinars are gatherings of friends (or at least potential friends). The pressure is taken off and I can own MY expertise, style, and badassery in a way that’s genuine and in a way that connects.
This is what I teach my clients to do – and it works. Last week one of my Supernova Collective clients offered a limited number of free one on one chats – and got 17 takers in a matter of hours – 17 potential clients and 17 people who get to taste her particular style of brilliance. As I write this she’s completed the first 2 of those calls and potentially picked up new paying client. She’s not even launched her new website yet.
If you want to see how this works in action and understand how you can allow conversational marketing to transform your business, check out my Supernova Collective program and book a free chat with me. No pressure. No spin. Just connection and honest conversation about your next steps to building a business that feels good, is sustainable and thrives.