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The $20,000 Personal Brand Move You Need To Make💰💼

branding linkedin tips personal branding Jun 22, 2023

If you’re a professional coach or consultant experiencing a “brand breakdown” — that is, your marketing efforts aren’t generating the types of high-ticket clients, speaking gigs, book or course sales you’re hoping for— the problem typically lies in one of three areas:

1. Messaging

You haven’t figured out how to nail your unique personal brand position. A personal brand position is a powerful statement that clearly connects your audience’s core problem to the unique expertise, personality, and solution you have to solve it. 

2. Products/Packaging

Your audience is clear on what you do and how it ties to their nagging issue, but they aren’t clear on how they can engage with you. Some piece of your packaging or product suite creates resistance to purchase.

3. Execution

If your messaging is on point and your packages are constructed in a way that shows how your customers can confidently work with you to solve their problem, you likely have a marketing strategy breakdown. Perhaps you are on the wrong platform, or your content isn’t engaging enough to build your following and convert them.

Now in 15 years of branding, I can say 90% of coaches and consultants come to me thinking they have an “execution” problem. They think if they have the right “hook” or if they were just on the right platform, all of their problems would be automagically erased and their doors would be beat down with customers who are anxious and eager to buy for them.

This makes sense. “Execution” is the thing you see day in and day out. It’s where the majority of your marketing and business development efforts take place, so of course, you’d assume it’s these strategies that need course correction. But, if you’re communicating to the wrong audience, or to the right audience with the wrong problem, or your packages aren’t clear, you can post 3x a day and it will lead to bupkis. (and you'll make a face like this guy)

Here’s a poignant story to illustrate this point:

Years ago, I had a friend — we’ll call her Lisa— who ran a professional productivity consulting business.

Lisa worked with leaders to maximize their output by mastering technology solutions like inbox and calendar management. But, despite all of her cold-calling, content, and email campaigns, her lead flow was less of a high-powered faucet and more of a very leaky trickle.

“I keep trying new things, and I don’t see results!” she remarked to me one evening as she shared how business development burnout drove her to enroll in a year-long sales program.

Lisa and I then went about our separate business. Six months later, we reconnected for dinner.

“So tell me, how’s the program going?”

Lisa excitedly put down her fork. “Listen, Kait, I invested about $20,000 into this program, and I’m getting a lot, but if the only thing I got from it was my new positioning statement, it was worth it.”

“Really? 🧐” I inquired, “Say more…”

“You see, all this time, I’ve been telling CEOs I’m a productivity consultant. But they don’t feel they have a ‘productivity issue.’ We’re talking about highly-motivated folks here. Upon digging deeper though, it became apparent they are overwhelmed by their workload. What they’re really looking for is a workload and workday strategy — something that will make them feel they made critical movement on top priorities while facing fewer distractions and less stress.

So now, my title isn’t ‘Productivity Consultant,’ it’s ‘Workload Management and Efficiency Expert.’ My personal brand statement (or unique value proposition) is ‘I work with leaders and business owners to increase efficiency and make more progress with less stress.’”

“Huh,” I reflected, “I know that feeling!”

It was the first time I thought, “Wow, I’d actually hire Lisa. That’s exactly what I’m going through!”

A productivity consultant who helped leaders maximize output never seemed to connect with the raw nerve ending of my hamster wheel-like activity— my feeling of doing, doing, doing but not moving, moving, moving. My next question was geared around road testing the results.

“I’m lit up by this, Lisa. What are prospects saying?”

“Kait, you wouldn’t believe it; my leads are up, stale prospects have just become hot again, my marketing is firing, and most of all, I feel clarity. I feel like I’m speaking from a place of real connection and inspiration, not grasping at vague productivity language. I have so many ideas, and they’re all building upon each other.”

Ah, brand utopia. ⛱️

Nailing your brand messaging is like catching lightning in a bottle. It’s like cutting a master key— once you have all the teeth shaped just right, you can put it into a lock, and everything effortlessly tumbles to open the next door.

So, how do you go about fixing a brand breakdown?

Well, look no further than our brand heroine Lisa. What Lisa brilliantly did was zoom in on a target market (C-suite execs) and get atomically detailed in asking questions to discover what’s really going on with them.

So, assuming you don’t have the pedigree of a clinical psychologist, how can you unearth what’s really going on with people? Look no further than tactics employed by a 3-year-old to find your solution.

That is, the proverbial, “Why?” and then “Why?” again, and then “Why?” again.

Reductive? Perhaps. Effective? A resounding Yes!

Let’s follow how this strategy went for Lisa:

“Hi, Mrs. CEO. You share that you are having issues moving the ball forward. Do you feel that you’re productive?”


“Interesting — why?”

“Well, I concurrently run about 5 projects, manage a team of 10 direct reports, and still take my kids to soccer 3x a week.”

“So why do you feel that you aren’t moving the ball forward?”

“Because I come in, sit through 5 different back-to-back meetings, have an inbox that is overflowing, and a door that continually swings open with the complaint du jor. At the end of the day, I feel spent, and never know what to prioritize or take action on. Then the next day comes, and it’s much the same.”

“I heard a few things, meetings, inbox, complaints, and prioritization, and Groundhog’s day repeat. Did I get all that?”

“As it relates to work, yes.”

It only took about 2 why’s in this fictitious scenario for Lisa to collect clay that she would mold into “workday and workload strategy with less stress.”

Oftentimes, it will take a few more rounds of digging, but you get the picture.

Once you do this critical digging, you can start to piece together one of the key elements of your personal brand statement — what your customer is struggling with and how they articulate that struggle.

The Recap:

  1. The "brand breakdown" for coaches and consultants often relates to messaging, products/packaging, or execution.
  2. Messaging involves connecting the audience's problem with the consultant's expertise and solution.
  3. Products/packaging should be clear and remove resistance to purchase.
  4. Execution refers to marketing strategies; ineffective strategies require course correction.
  5. Many mistakenly assume they have an execution problem, but messaging and packaging are often the underlying issues.
  6. Consultants can uncover customer insights by asking "Why?" repeatedly.
  7. Personal brand statements should address customers' challenges and how they articulate them.

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