Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Divya Parekh (USA).
Did you realise that there is much to learn from Michelangelo about how you can make an impact in your career? His creating a sculpture out of a rock can show you how you can market your coaching business to connect with potential clients, or how you can grow your coaching business.
When undertaking a project, the great artist first came up with an idea of his work of art. He painstakingly searched for the best piece of stone that allowed him to bring his approach to life. Then he would start chipping away at that stone, piece by piece, until he created a masterpiece such as David. Considered the most beautiful sculpture of the Renaissance period, an opinion that has not changed today, David is an enduring testimony to Michelangelo’s skill and genius.
Although you are an expert, you have probably discovered that the road to grow your influence and impact your bottom line is a long and difficult one. Most likely, your potential consumers perceive you as a peer. Most of you are looking for the modern-day equivalent of a lasting work that will make others recognise you as an expert in your field. You are that quality piece of marble that is the seed of the masterpiece. Education, experience, and your work with others takes on the work of the chisel as you smooth out the sharp edges and bring into definition your assets and how you present yourself to the world. In all his masterpieces, Michelangelo’s reputation hinged on the rich detail of his paintings and sculptures. In that detail, his creations seemed to come alive and resonate with almost anyone who enjoyed his works.
Let your approach be similar to that of Michelangelo’s. You are your ‘brand’s message,’ and your authentic brand should encompass values, vision, mission, innovation, quality, excellence, transparency, leadership and anything else that is important to you. Let your brand’s message project your voice with grace and dignity. You want to earn a substantial loyal following because of your knowledge and transparency. In this way, others recognise you as a real influencer because of the value you provide to peers, clients, and other followers as you make a difference in their lives. They will see you like the David in your field – a recognisable expert that others seek out.
The first step is to define your unique message that sets you apart. A message is a promise to others that you deliver over and over again. You probably have a general idea about your message. You are a pristine piece of marble, but strategy, time and efforts are essential to reveal the masterpiece. Here are some questions to ask yourself to find your voice and build the right framework for creating your message:
- Are you starting from a place of integrity?
- What is your life’s purpose?
- What are your core values?
- Are your core values and business aligned?
- What are your strengths and flaws?
- What is your modus operandi in day-to-day operations and challenging situations?
- What is your purpose that helps you spring out of bed every day?
Now that you have defined the message, the second step is to sharpen it. Before you continue, reflect on why did you get into coaching profession? You will find that at the heart of your trade that you genuinely want to serve people and make a difference. When you are aligning your message with your business, you cannot be all things to everyone. The key is to focus like a laser beam. As you chip away at the excess stone, you will be able to identify your ideal market and understand the landscape of your industry. By absorbing the market that you work with, you are concentrating your efforts on those you can best help. The process will crystallise your message to be genuine and distinctive. Ask yourself some of these questions as you pinpoint your message:
- Is your message a seamless extension of who you are?
- Is your message positive?
- Will your message stand the test of time?
- How can you align your core values and your business?
- Who do you want to serve?
- What do you want your coaching business to look like?
- What does your coaching business do for others?
- Does your message differentiate you from other companies?
- What makes your message genuine and distinctive?
- Does your message resonate with your customer base?
The third component is choosing a platform to get your message out to your market. There is a myriad of platforms these days ranging from multiple social media platforms for public speaking, blogging, radio, podcasts, internet channels, traditional television, authoring books, and old-fashioned networking. Example questions to select your platform are:
- Where does your audience hang out?
- How does your audience like to consume information?
- How will you know which social media channels are a good fit?
- How will you know if your planning process will help you meet your business goals?
Once you have decided on social media platforms, the fourth component is to become an influencer when you mobilize your message to your market. It is time to use the tools at your disposal for making your message a movement. You want your prospective customers to know who you are. You desire to connect you with the type of people you want to work with while encouraging others to live their life with a similar philosophy. You want your message to start conversations, build instant credibility, and lead people to seek you out to engage you personally. Example questions to make your message a movement are:
- Are you willing to take responsibility for your message and make it a way of your life to build the connection, trust, and meaningful relationship with your market?
- Are you willing to embrace and embody virtues like sincerity, patience, perseverance, acceptance, humility and more to establish and grow your message into a movement?
- What steps are you going to take to increase your visibility?
- How can you be seen consistently and repeatedly so that you engage your market?
- What will you do to help your audience so that they become your champions and help you expand your reach?
As you establish your influence through your message, the fifth step is to sustain the message movement. The next step is to determine where do you stand in the market. Then, continue to leverage the tools that provide a good return on investment and adjust the course to magnify your positive differentiators.
You may be curious as to how does this translated to my life. I discovered that a purpose-based message outlives challenges and tough times. My purpose in life is to make a difference in others’ lives by helping others crystallise their authentic message and become influencers to expand their reach. I believe that receiving begins with giving and I experience joy when my clients achieve more than I ever did. Additionally, I find gratification when I volunteer to support young students and women to succeed in their personal and professional lives. In my experience, I have found that having a book detailing your message is the best platform on which to launch your message. It marks the author as an expert. It gives the writer credibility that attracts attention. Furthermore, it gives you a central foundation by which you can effortlessly spin off into social media, lectures, radio, television, etc. A book still provides a person with the legitimacy and status not found in many other venues.
Do you want your message to be your masterpiece? Do you want your masterpiece to be a movement? Do you want to be an influencer? Your time is now! Present your purpose, passion, and excellence in your message, and you will look on in wonder at how far you can go!
Divya Parekh is an international Executive Leadership Coach, 4-time #1 bestselling author, and a writing muse. She is CEO of The DP Group, a global coaching and consulting firm that provides leadership and team development services as well as corporate coaching.
Having success in four primary career paths, Divya has the expertise and knowledge of real-world business backed by a proven record of success. Divya brings over 25 years of rich and extensive experience in academia, the biopharmaceutical industry, and as a global executive and leadership coach. In each of her many roles, she has empowered leaders, seasoned executives, and management personnel with breakthrough insights, talent development strategies, and measurable business outcomes. She believes the key factor in leadership success is the partnerships we cultivate. Working with cross-functional groups, she inspires them to morph into high-performing, collaborative teams. Her technique utilizes measurable assessments, a supportive delivery method, and a bit of pointed accountability that ensures the success of both leaders and professionals in the organization.
As a Forbes Coaches Council Official Member, Divya is a regular contributor to Forbes. Divya is also the author of numerous leadership and entrepreneurial books. Her books include Stress Management, Mindfulness Mastery, Critical Thinking, Candid Critique, Appreciative Inquiry, Leadership and Influence, Emotional Intelligence, and The Entrepreneur’s Garden. As a writing muse, she has helped leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs craft their authentic message that positions them as influencers in their industry.
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