Whats Your Story……

….. and why it’s one of your most powerful client-generating tools?

So you’ve got your certificates nicely framed and hung in your clean and perfectly organised new coaching practice. No doubt you’ve honed the perfect business plan, identified the specific problem(s) you are going to solve for your clients and the tools with which you’ll do that… Perhaps you’ve even chosen a ‘niche’ to help communicate your marketing message to the masses.

What now? Well, in my experience many NLP Coaches (and others of entrepreneurial spirit) will invest in a swish new website, spend weeks perfecting their social media profiles and perhaps even order themselves thousands of fancy leaflets to hand out.

Then with all this in place, they can sit back and relish in the fact that they’ve really made it, right?

‘But where are all your clients, and why would they choose you anyway?!’ I ask.

I joke about all this, because it’s a journey I’ve been through since setting up my own practice in 2008, and one that so many well-intentioned coaches and change-experts also seem to endure. Some make it through to enjoy abundant success in their work, and others fall by the wayside, often with their pockets a few thousand pounds lighter.

Don’t get me wrong – having the right qualifications, a solid business plan, a broad internet presence and then identifying how you can solve problems for your clients are all very important pieces in the business and marketing framework.  AND I want to tell you that you have something even more powerful at your disposal that costs nothing, and serves as a powerful vehicle for communicating the value you bring to others through your NLP Coaching services: that is your story.

Since the dawn of humanity we have communicated in story. We’ve used it to share ideas and information relevant to our survival; to pass down community values and moral frameworks; and to share key spiritual insights and teachings. Today we have books, internet and NLP training courses for these things.

Yet the profound power of story remains. The power to draw a person in, to help them see things from new and exciting perspectives and to resonate with the messages and hope we wish them to embrace – and most importantly to remember this information. (Check out the ‘memory palace technique’). Story is programmed into our very DNA, for all these reasons.

As qualified NLP Coaches and Practitioners we already know the benefits of story in the context of metaphor and therapeutic change… And what is showing a potential client that they can trust us, know us and believe in us, but an extension of that therapeutic change process? Communicating that we have not only the practical skills, but the real world learning and experience to validate our marketing message.

“What do I have to offer? My life has been pretty uneventful, dare I say ‘easy’“ I hear!

That really doesn’t matter. I guarantee that when you genuinely reflect upon it, when you sit down and mind-map it out – there will be some powerful learning you have gained, some great challenge you have overcome in your relationships, career, finances, or general life situation. One that you can tell a story about, and share with the world. Let them know that you found a way to overcome!

Take your prospective clients on a journey through your life and learning. Show them not just what you can do to help them, but how you came to understand these things, and why they can trust you’re the person for the job. Show your vulnerabilities and let them identify with you on a deeply personal level – I promise you, they’ll appreciate your authenticity. Be honest about your story, and make it relevant to the work you’re doing… give your work meaning.

On top of this, I encourage you to emphasise the stories of your most successful clients (with their permission, of course). Prospective clients will always identify with some aspect of the stories you share, and (because of the way human beings are programmed), begin to imagine what it’d be like for them to enjoy the same results through your magical coaching programmes!

In this age of information overload, marketing has become far too impersonal and detached. The problem is, we’re not all robots. Human beings are emotionally driven, meaning-making creatures. So let’s make this personal. Communicate your genuine value in a way that will really sink in; become known and remembered for the incredibly experienced coach that you are. Tell your story.

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