If sales and marketing feel sleazy to you (even after doing loads of work to manage your thoughts and beliefs about it) I believe that dissonance is showing up for a reason and it's worth looking at.
So, let's do it.
Why does "the sleaze" still feel like an issue?
My short answer: Marketing and sales will always feel sleazy to you if there's a disconnect between your approach to marketing, what you value, and the value you provide.
If any one of those is inflated and you're a human with a conscience, it's likely going to feel very off-putting to you.
If you're giving a sermon at church tomorrow, you wouldn't cat-call people walking past you on the street to get them to attend. That effort would look every different, right? (Unless, of course, you take people to a ... ahem, different... kind of "church.") 😂
The same pattern applies: a disconnect between your approach to marketing, what you value, and the value you provide.
Your daughter is selling Girl Scout Cookies, and her Troop Leader encourages her to set up her table outside WeightWatchers with a Get-One-Give-One promotion. The Troop Leader even provided a template for the signage. It's easy-peasy, don't worry about it. Right?
This exact kind of thing happens in the coaching industry ALL THE TIME, and it really should stop.
If your marketing feels sleazy, there's probably a good reason for it. You are brave for listening to that voice, and you're even braver for doing something about it. 🖤
What are some specific ways a coach can fix the sleazy marketing problem?
- Be authentic and transparent. Share your own personal story and experiences. Be open and honest about what you do and how you can help clients. No fluff, no posturing, just honesty.
- Focus on the client's needs. Rather than just promoting your own services, focus on how you help clients achieve their goals and make positive changes in their lives. Talk about that.
- Use ethical marketing practices. Avoid making false claims or exaggerating the benefits of your services. Instead, use real-life testimonials and case studies to show the results you've created alongside your clients.
- Build relationships. Instead of just trying to sell a service, you can focus on building relationships with potential clients through networking and community outreach.
- If you haven't already, get comfortable with selling. It's common to have a hard time selling something, but it's important to remember that as a coach you have a valuable service to offer and there's nothing wrong with letting people know about it.
Most importantly, do your own soul-searching to define what you truly value so you can make a conscious effort to realign with those values on a regular basis.
Then, research and find marketing strategies that align with your values and stick to those without apology.
Primary photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash