Narrow Your Focus To Succeed Online

Narrow Your Focus To Succeed Online

This article first appeared in the February 2016 issue of Coaching Life Magazine or read on Huffington Post here

As a coach with an internet connection, it’s impossible to miss the potential opportunity of utilising the web to expand your practice.  And as a successful offline coach it can be challenging to step into the online world without some preparation.


You can reach an entire world with your work, from the comfort of your home.  Suddenly the pushy marketing tactics are replaced with writing, blogging and social media which appeals to the more introverted of us – or does it?

It’s a bit like stepping from the local pond into the ocean – and whilst it is absolutely possible to take your practice global overnight, (in fact you should expect that), global does not necessarily mean full.

If you:

  • are thinking about taking your coaching practice online,
  • or have already embarked on your online adventure without the results that you had dreamed of,
  • or are feeling truly overwhelmed with the amount of information being thrust at you to be an online success, then read on.

You see the truth is that if you take your offline message online, the very message that has served you so well in your offline practice, it is likely to be lost in the noise online very quickly.


So how do you stand out above the noise?
Let me share a story from my pre-coaching life to help explain.  For many years I was a radio frequency engineer, and my job was to design cellular phone networks.

The trouble with radio waves is that they are quite difficult to control and tend to cause interference with each other.  And with the proliferation of mobile phones in today’s society, the likelihood of getting a clear phone call without some clever engineering is near impossible.

Every phone in a network is creating its own interference, or noise.

It’s a bit like being in a room full of people chattering, how will you be heard clearly above the noise?

The way that it is achieved for modern communication is by giving each phonecall a unique code, so that when you initiate a phonecall the network gives you and the other party a special code that raises your call above that noise floor so that you can be heard without any interference.  It’s a bit like being given your very own microphone in that busy room so that you can be heard by just the people that you want to speak to.

What has that got to do with taking your coaching practice online?

Everything as it happens.

You see the internet is full of your ideal clients, but it is also full of your less-than-ideal clients as well, and you don’t want to waste your precious time and energy reaching everyone and then having to filter from there.  (Besides, if you do try to appeal to everyone, you are very likely going to end up getting lost in the noise of everyone else.)

One of the joys of the internet is that it really does demonstrate how there is enough for everyone, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. It can be hard to find the people that you are meant to serve online. The vastness of the internet can result in a whole heap of frustration, self-doubt and information overload.


What is it that connects you to your perfect clients?

You may have heard of the term ‘niche marketing‘ before, and this is certainly the first stage to consider.

Your niche is the group of people who benefit from your work most, and who you enjoy working with.  It’s the first stage of specialisation.  Eg life coach, business coach, health coach, sports coach, relationship coach etc

And it is this specialisation that is going to be your friend as you embark on your online adventure. I know that the temptation is to cast your net wide in the hope of attracting potential clients. But remember, everyone is talking at the same time and creating all that interfering noise, so the more specialised you become, the more unique the code.

Let’s talk about that for a minute.



The more effectively that you can cut through the noise and speak specifically to the people that you do your best work with, the more that they are going to ‘hear’ you above all the other information on the internet.

Remember, they are in information overload too, and want to find someone who can demonstrate a deep understanding of the problem that they are experiencing.

How many of those people do you need to find to fill your practice?

Regardless of your answer to that question, it is a lot less than are online looking for you.  I am certain of that.

The next stage in your specialisation process is to identify who you are a life coach, business coach, health coach, sports coach, relationship coach for.

This is where I often see people miss a trick.  They tell me that they are a life coach for introverts, or a business coach for startups, a health coach for women entrepreneurs, a sports coach for runners, a relationship coach for couples….

But that’s where they stop, and to be fair, in an offline practice, this can be enough in some markets.  But it is not enough for an online coach to stand out above the noise.

The trick that they are missing is that the great likelihood is that within that group of introverts, women, startups or couples there are clients who are not a perfect fit.

Those clients who are not coachable, or not ready for coaching.

Those clients who are not a good match for your style.


This is where it begins to get interesting.  Now we are no longer just talking about niche marketing, we are talking about Positioning.

And it is positioning which is going to make your online marketing so much easier.

And what is it exactly?…

Let’s imagine that you have found your niche, and let’s imagine your niche as a multi-storey building. Each floor is jam-packed with people who fall into your target market and they are potentially perfect clients for you.  Each floor of the building houses people who all have something else in common though, and it is different for each floor.

Let me explain using price as an example.

The lower floors of the building are full of people who are in your target market, they love what you do and they want to work with you.  They can, or are willing, to pay you a small amount for your help.

The middle floors of the building are full of people who are in your target market, they love what you do and they want to work with you.  They can, or are willing, to pay a bit more to get your help to solve their problem a bit faster.

And the top floors of the building are full of people who are in your target market, they love what you do and want to work with you.  They can, or are willing, to pay whatever it takes to get you to help them with their problem.

Whilst each floor is made up of similar people, the unique ‘code’ for each will be a bit different.  There is no right or wrong floor to choose, but the message that you send has to be specific for the people on that floor to be heard above the noise.

Another way to look at it is that if you are planning to use the internet to introduce products (lower floors), online group coaching (mid-range floors) and attract 1:1 coaching clients (top floors), then you are actually looking at three different types of clients (although some will transition through all your offerings.)  And so your message should be tailored specifically to who you want to attract to each offering.

A rule of thumb I generally employ for my clients who are embarking on this journey is that if you already have a large following of your target market online then you can afford to work in the lower floors to have a more wide-reaching impact, but if you are just starting out online and have a small following, start with the floors at the top.  It makes more efficient use of your time online and has the greatest payback.


Mindset & Message Mastery will provide you with the tools to understand what is getting in your way, on your way to success. It will help you connect the dots to Confidence, Clarity and, most importantly, Clients.

How To Get Speaking Opportunities With A Small List

How To Get Speaking Opportunities With A Small List

Recently I have been engaged as a guest expert speaker on 3 upcoming Telesummits. Historically, these slots were reserved for those who commanded large email lists, and if you know me at all, you will know that I actively keep my list small.

With just a few tweaks on how you approach the organisers of these events, you can score speaker opportunities that are a win-win.

Here’s how:



And if you want to grab a copy of the Worksheet that Lorraine refers to in the video, you can grab it right here!

Why Your Clients Get Cold Feet

Why Your Clients Get Cold Feet

Do you ever have a great idea, then get cold feet and talk yourself out of it?

I bet you have at least once. And do you know what? Your clients do too. Have you ever had a great conversation with a potential client and you get off the call or out of the meeting feeling that it’s a sure thing, but somehow it all goes cold?

What happens is that you help them to see the possibilities and how they could do that thing that they have always talked about, but never gotten round to. You help them to see that YES this is it! Then you make a plan to reconnect, sort out the paperwork and payment, but in that space between deciding and doing they talk themselves out of it.

And your natural reaction is to think it is something that you have done to turn them off. Maybe your prices are too high, so you think about dropping them. Maybe you haven’t offered enough, so you add more to your offer. Maybe you just think that they’ve seen through you, and you begin to doubt yourself.

But what’s really happening isn’t about you at all! It’s all about them.

You see our primal need to survive keeps us in our comfort zone, and that is the same for our clients too. So even if you have helped them to see the possibilities, the pull of the safe place can be so strong that they talk themselves out of the work with you.

What’s going on for them is very similar to what’s going on for you. They might feel that they are the one person you cannot help. Or that they are not worthy of the investment in themselves.

Once you realise that it’s not about you, you can begin to see ways to help your potential client take the steps they need to, without being salesy or pushy.

Here are some tips to get your potential clients past that cold feet barrier:

  1. Structure your offer so they can get started straightaway
  2. Take payment or a substantial deposit at the time of agreement
  3. Recognise that they are experiencing a shift and help them through it gently
  4. Remember that you are enough, and it’s about them not you

What are your challenges around getting clients to commit? Leave me a comment and I’ll respond.

How Do I Work Out Who My Dream Client Is?

How Do I Work Out Who My Dream Client Is?

Everyone keeps asking me who my dream or ideal client is, but I don’t know! I just want to do my thing.

This is probably the second most common challenge that my clients come up against; the first being the temptation to appeal to a wide market.

Identifying your dream client is an invaluable piece of work though, and it forms a substantial part of the work that I do with my own dream clients. Once you understand who your dream client is, everything becomes so much easier.

If you are struggling with this and still have a wide target market, then read this post first.

6 Reasons To

There’s more to identifying your dream client than the market you will find them. Your dream client has some very special traits that you need to narrow down.

Let’s look at client attraction a different way. Have you ever hired a resource for your business, or in a past career? Well a dream client is a very necessary resource for your business. You need clients to make your business successful; dream clients are the SMART way to make your business successful.

When you are hiring a resource for your business, you stack them up against a few key things:

  1. Skills and expertise
  2. Qualifications
  3. Experience
  4. Values
  5. Whether or not they’d be a ‘good fit’

And given that clients are a resource for our business, why wouldn’t we do the same?

For example, number 1 on the list, Skills and expertise.

Are your dream clients just starting out in the journey you can help them on and need a lot of hand-holding, or have they got some experience in your field and you can start your work with them on a deeper level, or bigger scale?

Similarly, what qualifications do they need to have to work with you? This might not be formal qualifications, but perhaps they need to complete steps 1 and 2 of your program before they can enrol into your high end coaching or consulting. How do you pre-qualify them?

Next up, experience. What experiences do your dream clients have in common? What common problem or pain points do they experience?

Values are hugely important to being able to work together. What is most important to you? Is that what’s most important to them? If you don’t share some common values, then it could be tough to work together.

And that is why I say that enrolling dream clients is the SMART way to build a successful business, because working with less-than-perfect clients is a real energy drain. So surely you would want to work with people who energised you to go on and attract more dream clients?

Finally, identify those traits that would make them a ‘good fit’ for your business. If you’re all about having fun, and they are more serious in their outlook, you might not be a good fit. Similarly, if you like to work at a fast pace, those who work slower or are less action-oriented than you might not be such a good fit to work together.

Filling your coaching or consulting practice with dream clients puts the lifestyle back into your lifestyle business.

Mindset & Message Mastery will provide you with the tools to understand what is getting in your way, on your way to success. It will help you connect the dots to Confidence, Clarity and, most importantly, Clients.


How To Shine Without Shouting

How To Shine Without Shouting

I’ve begun to notice a pattern on my Facebook page. The posts that get the greatest engagement are those that tackle the topic of not competing, but being so true to your own unique genius and offering that the need to compete is removed.

flowers do not compete

I know that it is something that I am deeply passionate about, and it appears that it is something that is capturing others’ interest too.

I am the least competitive person that you could probably meet; that doesn’t mean I am not ambitious, I am. But I am not ambitious at the expense of others, which is my definition of competition.

You see I don’t believe in competing in your market, I believe you are truly unique and can therefore make your own market, in conjunction with other people who do similar work, and or serve the same people.

I have built my career around not standing out, always in the background trying to make others better, bigger and more successful. And I tried to do that when I went into business too and you know what? It failed. And failed, and failed. And every time I tried to do something smart to get round putting myself out there, I didn’t get the results I wanted.

And that’s because there is no getting around it. You do need to put yourself out there if you want to help more people and have a greater impact with your work.

But you don’t have to feel like you are shouting ‘Look at me! Look at me!

When I started my first business I went on a course to learn the basics of how to set up in business, and all the nuts and bolts of running it and making it a success. There was a huge focus on that training on my competition.

Who was my competition? What were they offering? How much were they charging? How could I stand apart? What was my USP?

So here I was, fresh out of coaching school, having never run a business, full of hope and excitement, but now I am being told to focus on all these people who have more experience than me, are being positioned as being ‘better’ than me (well they had to be, they were already doing what I hadn’t started doing yet). What that type of teaching is really saying is ‘stay small, be like everyone else, hustle and compete’. To me that is a total turn off, and I actually found the whole thing not helpful at all, but incredibly intimidating.

canstockphoto8061517I work with a coach in the US who could be considered my competition as we work in similar fields, but rather than try and outdo each other, we work TOGETHER for the collective success of our clients and practices. That is what I wish for you.

You may find yourself in the company of others who are representing a similar field or modality as you – and your instinct may be one of fear around that.

I remember signing up for a high end group program a while back and I was doing a wee bit of Facebook stalking as new members were added to the group – as you do! At that time I was exploring offering values based communications training to businesses in New Zealand. And here was a lady who popped up as having joined the group who was not only offering communications based training and coaching to businesses in New Zealand, but was also originally from Scotland as well! My reaction was one of utter deflation, possibly bordering on depression! She’s doing exactly what I’m doing! She’s my competition!
I thought I had created a safe place to get my ‘edge’ and here is my competition learning all the same tricks as me. How can this possibly end well?

Well, I’ll tell you how it ended. That lady is one of my closest colleagues and I refer clients to her as often as I can! We are friends and we work to help each others’ success collectively. We complement each other, we don’t compete. We don’t have to.

And if you were to speak to her, she’d tell you she had all the same fears that I did until she got to know me too!

My genius is seeing the powerful impact your work has for your dream clients, and putting that into a relatable message that will have them knocking down your door to work with you. I take the building blocks of what you do and help you communicate it in a way that is greater than the sum of its parts.

You have a deep, powerful genius too – and that is what holds the key to shining without shouting.

If you notice people around you that are in a similar market to you, your very first challenge is to reach out to them, because I guarantee you, you will find something that you can help each other with for your COLLECTIVE SUCCESS.
Next, spend time really working out what it is that makes you different – not how you can undercut on pricing or bulk up your offer with loads of bonuses – what makes YOU different? Your blend of experience and skills is unique to you, and it is a perfect match for your perfect clients. Once you are aware of what it is that makes you perfect for them, you can craft an amazingly authentic message that is like flame to a moth for your perfect clients.

If you are not driven by competition, (and I recognise that many people thrive in a competitive environment, I’m just not one of them, and from the response to my posts, it appears I am not alone) then I guarantee once you find that unique message, you will not longer feel the energy drain of competition but rather actively help your colleagues to their success, which in turn will feed yours.

Still not convinced? Give me 30 mins and I’ll show you your unique genius in a way you’ve not seen it before!

Book your complimentary strategy session here

5 Steps To Writing Killer Copy

5 Steps To Writing Killer Copy

In this day and age of so much of our marketing being done online via websites and blogs it’s important to make your copy and communications stand out in a way that your target audience really understands.

The great news is that, although you might not think of yourself as a writer, you have everything you need to be able to write killer copy for your website, sales pages, blogs and more.

You just need to know how to present what you already know!

Here are 5 simple steps to writing your own killer copy.

  1. The Meaning Of Communication Is The Response You Get

It’s important to understand this principle. If you are not getting the desired response from your marketing efforts, you may need to tweak your message. Follow the next 4 steps and see if you see an uptake in your results. It is your responsibility to be understood, not the responsibility of the reader to understand.


Simple, clear, easily understood.

  1. The Inverted Pyramid

The inverted pyramid is the most common method for writing stories and this is also the common way of writing news. It refers to the level of importance of the difference pieces of your copy.

  • Top priority is your attention grabbing headline
  • Next is the most newsworthy information eg Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
  • Now you tell your audience other important details
  • And then you record other general or background supporting information.

It’s the same for any communication. Make it easy for your reader to find the information that they are most interested in, then give them the details later on in the piece. With each level get deeper into the details, or provide supporting information related to the headline and most newsworthy info.

Inverted PYRAMID

  1. Know Your Audience

I think that this is the most important part of this whole topic. The more you understand your audience, the more you can tailor your message to appeal to them. A few guiding questions to ask that you can apply to any of your comms:

  • Keep It Short – Share only what people need to know; if they want more, they can ask you or you can direct them to where they can get more.
  • What do they need to know? This is not an opportunity to look smart, it’s about sharing and serving your audience with something useful and accessible.
  • Who needs to know this? What will happen if I don’t share this information? What will happen if I do?
  • Make every single word count. Don’t be overly verbose for the sake of it and avoid jargon wherever possible.


  1. Keep It Simple

Remember if you can’t explain it to a 6 year old then you don’t understand it yourself. I see a lot of communication that people use as an opportunity to show how smart they are. That makes the writer feel great, but potentially alienates their audience which is not what your aim is.

To stand out, you need to be understood straightaway.


  1. Call To Action

Do you want your readers to act on the information that you have shared? If so, tell them! They can’t read your mind. Tell them what they need to do, why they need to do it and by when.


In review:

  1. It’s your responsibility to be understood, not the reader’s responsibility to understand
  2. The Inverted Pyramid – put the most important information at the top
  3. Know your audience
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Call to action

And that’s 5 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Killer Copy.

If you want to know more about writing for your dream clients so that they come running apply for a Breakout & Breakthrough Strategy Session here. I only open up a few of these sessions each month and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so ACT NOW! (see what I did there? 😉 )