Who You Gonna Call?

I ain't afraid of no ghost
If you are out of shape, you may go to a gym or hire a personal trainer. Someone is there to guide you through the right exercises to help you get fit based on your goals. 

If you are a rising executive in a corporation who needs help navigating the rip tide of corporate politics, you hire a personal coach. They are often HR professionals who can help you find your path forward in rough waters and to develop a clear path to success. (A really good one I know is Bob Stapleton at Live Oak Leadership

If you have a small to mid-sized business and aren’t getting enough business coming your way, who are you going to call?

Meet the Marketing Coach
The right person to reach out to is a marketing coach who can help audit your activities and provide you with clear plans and paths forward. The marketing coach is often an expert in marketing but also has a range of experiences in business that can help you see clearly what is missing from your efforts. A marketing coach has a bias that is focused on understanding what success looks like and how to achieve the desired results. They have a wide array of tools but are mostly agnostic toward one approach over another. Their main role is to help you improve your marketing so that you get noticed, your brand connects with customers and you achieve a well-defined goal. 

Jack Slater,
my dad, my coach
Recently, I started doing marketing coaching (in my spare time) where client's fees are donated to charity. (see this blog post for details on Clarity for Charity) I have consulted in the past and I have always preferred the word coach to consultant. A coach sounds like someone who is there to be with you on the journey. A consultant is often someone who drops in, sells advice and leaves once the fee is paid. Perhaps I always think of my Dad who was my coach for me when I was playing little league baseball and then many years later as my business coach as my wife and I grew our bakery business

When I speak to someone as a coach, here are my initial questions I ask to help frame the conversation.

Ten Questions: A Marketing Audit of your Business 
  1. Tell me in less than five words what you do.
  2. What is your business story?
  3. Who do you compete with?
  4. How is your business different from your competitor? 
  5. Who exactly is your target? Can you picture them in your mind?
  6. Have you asked people who learned about you but didn’t become a customer why they chose someone else?
  7. Where do you currently try to tell your story?
  8. What would it look like if things improved?
  9. Most importantly, what problem do you solve for your customers? 
  10. If your business disappeared, would anyone care? Why.
When I get answers to these questions, I often have a pretty clear sense of what is needed, what is missing and places to focus. What surprises me for both small and mid-sized companies is that the owner or marketing lead often doesn’t get a chance to talk through these issues. Like a baseball coach, the best guides are good listeners and work hard at helping the player to succeed based on their own definition of success.

When you need help, who you going call? 

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