Are You Brave Enough to Turn People Off With Your Business?

brave turn off ideal client

When I was in my 20s, I realized something big. Not everyone liked me – and I had to be okay with that. Because I certainly didn’t like everyone I met.

Some people just weren’t my cup of tea – I wasn’t theirs.

Your business is similar. It won’t be for everyone. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be for everyone.

Who are you turning off?

Think about some really successful brands you know out there. They usually have a really strong personality that’s not for everyone.

Take Harley Davidson – they are for the rebel who likes to wear black leather. Not everyone who buys a motorcycle is going to like them.

Some will prefer the sporty performance of BMW motorcycles.

Each of those brands has a distinctive niche and say what they stand for, in a way that will turn some people off. That’s how you build an enduring, strong brand.

decisive marketing attract

Another example is Patagonia. They stand for active clothing and protecting the environment. Not everyone is going to care for that stance, but their ideal customer loves it.

Attract by taking a stand

So in your business, don’t be afraid to say what you stand for. Be sure to address your ideal client, in a way that’s sure to turn some people off.

By doing this, your ideal client will know even more clearly that you are talking to them.

They will be even attracted to you when you’re not worried about repelling others.



Do You Make It Easy to Recommend Your Services?

niche specific branding

Say you went to your hair salon. Your stylist asks what you do. Can you explain it simply and clearly? Are you focused enough in your business that she’ll really get what you do. More importantly, if her client next week needs your services, is what you do specific enough that she’ll recommend you?


Let’s take an example. Sitting in the stylist’s chair, the first client says, “I’m a dog groomer.” The second client says, “I’m a mobile dog groomer for rescue dogs who hate to be groomed and have a lot of fear. I specialize in gentle treatments for these special dogs right in their own home.” When your stylist runs across someone worried about grooming their rescue dog, which groomer is she going to recommend?

Humans have a need to be helpful to their friends. They will recommend services that are an ideal fit and come to mind when a friend is talking about their problem. In his book Contagious, Why things Catch On, author Jonah Berger calls this “practical value.” He states, “It’s about saving people time or money, or helping them have good experiences. … Sharing is caring.” Get specific on what problem you solve and people will share the value you offer.

Getting Noticed

With the internet, this problem is even more pronounced and important. There are so many coaches and entrepreneurs out there, it’s hard to get noticed. The more clear you are on what you do, the more you will get noticed and stick in people’s minds. The good news is that with the internet, you don’t have to worry about limiting your potential client pool, because you have the ability to reach so many ideal clients through the web. You don’t have to rely on those within driving distance.

As mission based entrepreneurs, we want to help. But that description can get fuzzy sometimes. Especially as a life coach. It’s great to want to transform people’s lives and help them get unstuck. But with so much competition out there, it may be really hard to get known for this. Is there any way you can go narrow and deep? What or who would you really love to focus on?

Make it easy for people to recommend you by getting clear and specific on what you do.

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Tribalism, Politics, & Branding

tribalism, politics and brandingI read the political headline online and my anger bubbles up. I can’t believe the “other side” is doing what they are doing. My fear gets in on the act too and I start imagining scenarios if this comes to pass. So I click.

I know that someone crafted that headline just to make me click so they could get page views and ad revenue, but I click anyway. So what’s going on? My humanness kicked in.

Our human instinct for survival by forming groups makes us eager to embrace an us against them mentality. In an article in the Smithsonian Magazine, Harvard professor Edward Wilson stated “the drive to form and take deep pleasure from in-group membership easily translates at a higher level into tribalism … and can spark religious, ethnic and political conflicts of breathtaking brutality.”

Branding, marketing tribeHeadline writers know this and write to invoke our “us against them” tribal feelings. And it works.

As mission-based entrepreneurs, I suggest we capitalize on these human behaviors as a force for good, by spreading our business’ message and helping more people.

How can we use this human attribute for tribalism in branding our business?

1 – Know your tribe and make it specific

Who is your tribe? Are they divorced women or people trying to heal from chronic illness or healers who use the chakra system? Get specific here and if fear is holding you back, my article on getting clear might help.

2 – Speak directly to the dreams and values of your tribe

Dig deep and think about the dreams of your tribe. What do they lie in bed at night imagining? What would they love to see happen in the future if all went perfectly? What’s important to them? Speak to that.

3 – Make clear who you don’t help

Talk about who is not part of your tribe. In clearly building your tribe, make them feel like part of an exclusive group. One way to do this is to get clear on who you don’t help, and speak about that. People will feel satisfaction from being included in your tribe.

4 – Build community among your tribe

Tribes love to come together over a united ideal. What is that for your people? Have a place for them to come together, virtually or in person. You can give them a group name and talk to them using it, have swag for the group that identifies them as a member of the tribe, or even your product can be a unifier.
Although tribalism can get divisive and ugly in politics, use it for good in your business by bringing people together.

This article also appeared in Huffington Post.


Is Fear Holding You Back From Getting Clear?

Get clear on your brand

It was just a normal day, and I was perusing in a Facebook group. I saw a post by a woman asking for advice on her website redesign. Even though I was a life coach, having experience as a web designer, I was drawn to help out. I took a look and saw immediately this woman’s uniqueness and what she should play up on her new site. I loved looking into who she was and thinking about how that could translate into words, images and colors. It was huge fun for me. I wrote her a quick note about what I saw and got an amazingly grateful response back. This moment and this way of helping was so big in my mind. The yearning to do that again was enormous. But fear held me back.

This seemed like a difficult thing to do – help people see themselves so they can build an online presence. I didn’t want to limit my coaching and I was scared I couldn’t provide it. But it was there was this unexamined longing to do it.

After many months, I’ve finally gotten clear and realized that “branding” is truly what I want to do. I get that all of my skills and my natural gifts add up to branding work. I’ve worked in advertising, graphic design and helping others see their purpose. All of these truly lead to helping mission-based entrepreneurs state what they offer and what makes them special in a short clear way. I’m now moving forward, so inspired and excited to help people brand their unique genius.

It was fear holding me back. Do you have some of the same fears around getting clear on what you do?

Soul Yearning Business

1) Fear that if you get too specific, no one will hire you.

The truth is, if you don’t get specific, no one will remember you and recommend you.

2) Fear that even though your soul is yearning to do a thing, you won’t be able to deliver.

Know that if your heart wants something, you were given the gifts to do that exact thing. You may need some training, to read some book, but trust me, you have those skills within you.

3) Fear that you’ll miss out if you only do one thing.

Do you want to transform people or solve broad emotional problems? Great, but there’s so much work in the small areas. You can use all of your coaching skills in a tiny area where people need help. And you can get really good at that one thing because you will have seen it and coached on it many times before.

4) Fear that if you pick one thing to do, you are stuck with that forever.

Know that change is the constant. Only as you start doing something will you know if it’s right for you. Websites and taglines are quite easy to change. But first, you have to pick.
Ready to admit what your soul is yearning to do within your business? What’s niggling in the back of your mind as really fun to do? What would you do if you couldn’t fail?

Do you need to figure out how to clearly express what you do and what makes you special? Check out my Brand Blueprint program.