No one will believe in you until you do.
I remember when I was a brand-new life coach—about eight years ago.
I had just finished my training at a top life coaching school (Dr. Martha Beck who is the bomb dot com). I had my official certification and a fancy little diploma. I even had a stack of freshly printed business cards. #CardsOnFleek
I was ready to take on my first round of clients—and take on the world!
Except that I wasn’t.
Sure, I had the “certification,” but I didn’t have the confidence to go along with it.
I had the “credentials,” but most days, I felt awkward, shy, and defensive. I remember facing stern criticism from people who didn’t even know anything about me. “What are you, thirty?” one snotty man snorted at me. “What the hell do you know about‘life’ yet?” (Uh, thanks for the support, buddy! Excuse me while I go cry myself into a stupor.)
I was NOT confident when I introduced myself to potential clients—or anybody for that matter.
I was NOT all that confident about my abilities as a coach. (“Can I really help people? I don’t knoooow!”)
I felt uneasy and even hypocritical. I mean, it’s not like my own life was “perfect” yet! I still had issues to resolve, some extra weight to lose, plenty of problems of my own. What made me think I was qualified to help other people if I wasn’t “totally put together” myself?
Honestly, I could barely even splutter out the phrase “I’m a life coach” without stammering and looking down at the floor.
And guess what? People could smell my lack of confidence a MILE away. They could sense that I didn’t really take myself “seriously” as a coach and they responded accordingly—by teasing me, questioning my expertise, or just flat out ignoring me.You can understand why—like many new coaches—I really struggled to get clients and earn an income back in those shuddering, under-confident days.
I carry myself very differently.
I am confident. I smile warmly. I introduce myself to people and say, “I’m a life coach” and they say, “Oh, awesome!” not “[snort] Yeah, I bet you are.”
Exact same phrase that I used ten years ago—“I’m a life coach”—but today, I say those words with a totally different attitude. People can feel my seriousness, my self-respect, my confidence, and they respond to the vibe I’m putting out.
This is why—when newly certified coaches ask me for “marketing advice”—the first thing I say to people is, “Have you introduced yourself to even ONE potential client this week? Did you actually say, ‘I’m a life coach’? How did that go?”
Usually, newbie coaches bashfully admit, “Uh, no. I hate introducing myself to people because I’m always shaky and awkward and they don’t seem to ‘get’ or ‘respect’ me.”
Well, as I know from experience… THAT is a problem.
It doesn’t matter if you’re introducing yourself to people via email, phone, social media, through your website, or in person.
No one will respect you as a skilled professional if you don’t feel that way about yourself.
No one will feel confident about hiring you if you can barely even stammer out your own name and job title.
No one will take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously, first.
I know it is terrifying—believe me, I remember—but the absolute BEST thing you can doto strengthen your new coaching business is to COACH YOUR FACE OFF until you’ve EARNED the confidence that you’re currently lacking. Coach for free. Coach for cheap. Coach for trade. Coach for a little money. Then coach for more money. Then a lot of money. Coach different kinds of people with different types of goals to figure out where your innate strengths reside. Coach, coach, coach. Coach more. Hone your skills. Gather client success stories and solid proof that you do, in fact, get results for your clients. All along the way, keep introducing yourself to people everywhere, all around town, all the time, as often as you can.
Trust me: if you say the phrase “I’m a life coach” to 100 people this month, I guarantee the 100th time will be a hell of a lot easier than the 1st or 2nd time.
Introduce yourself. Then introduce yourself again.
Keep going. Feed your confidence.
Because in life coaching, or any industry:
No one will believe in you until you do.
PS. Did you know I’m hosting a live event this January to give you the “best of” everything I know about marketing, personal branding, finding your voice and unique, recognizable style as a coach, making a deeper impact on your clients, and building the coaching practice of your dreams? You can get on the first to know list HERE and receive deets as soon as they are ready in a few weeks. You’ll see why I refused to give up and if you wind up attending the event, you can thank me in person. 🙂