Do YOU Need To Change Your Voice?
Suzette owns a consulting practice where she serves families who have autistic children. She is a speech pathologist and has gone to college and worked with the a lot medical experts to understand the psychological and physical aspects of autism. Her very successful practice is run in her home. Learning how to transfer her message to a social media world presented several challenges. This is why she came to me for some help.
When she started working on her Facebook page and wanted to increase engagement, it was only natural for her to believe that doing videos and blog posts from a medical and professional standpoint would be the best way to serve others. In her practice she really enjoyed being able to work with parents and brought solutions to help their children. However, even though she did regular videos and blog posts, her engagement was very very low, and no matter how many articles or videos she did nobody was talking back to her.
She thought her targeting was off. So she changed her ads, tried to write her headlines more ‘specific’. Diving into the latest studies, medical journals and such, she was convinced if she could just provide more information than everyone else, things would change.
I reviewed what she was doing in one of our consulting appointments and knew immediately where the problem was. She was speaking ‘over the head’ of her clients. Even though everything she learned in school said to not get too personal, and to be sure she maintained the ‘Alpha’ position, when it came to social media she was going to have to get personal. The parents were desperate and they didn’t want to feel intimidated by more medical jargon they didn’t understand.
When we did our research together, reviewing other Facebook pages that dealt with autism, most of them were autistic societies and organizations that also served the parents, but they were very technical, too. The majority of the comments, however, were from desperate parents wanting help. THIS is where most business owners miss it. They review their competitors content and they’re not paying attention to the COMMENTS coming in from customers and clients.
Suzette had to reinvent the way that she talked, the way her videos were presented, including even the background set up of her videos, the words that she used, and even the topics that she discussed if she wanted to make headway. It was important for her to speak to the parents in their words, at their level, and remembering how stressed out and exhausted they were.
When we worked together in a consultation I helped her to see that the colors in her videos had to change first: the soft and muted backgrounds, as well as muted clothing she was wearing were not going to work. I asked her to describe to me what she used in her practice that help the children. She said bright colors, things that were animated, and most times, pictures were instead of or along with words. It was going to be very important for Suzette to lay aside the fact that she had a medical background and training and now she had to speak to the parents at their level. Everything she had learned in school had to be put aside, and she needed to really show that she cared. It took a really big level of personal growth for Suzette to realize that even though she is the expert, it was time to talk to people on her Facebook page the way she did when she was working with parents in her office. Image and appearance had to be laid aside and her focus had to be on how to help these struggling parents.
The changes she made were dramatic and so were her results. When she started talking more one-to-one in a casual tone about the topics of frustration, worry, exhaustion and even feeling like a failure as a parent, engagement skyrocketed on her page. The parents responded instantly.
Some professionals might say that is that lowered herself and would lose her credibility. But with my consultation I was able to show her that actually she earned the trust of the parents who are ultimately going to be paying her. Speaking to them on their level and providing solutions made her the one they wanted to trust. The front end of her marketing had to be very personal and at the parents level.
It took a lot of time to redo her website, rewrite the copy, get new pictures, change the clothing she was wearing, change the background that she was using with her video props, and then, changing how she spoke on video. Unfortunately, I usually see a lot of business owners who are given this type of solution in our consultations, but they just aren’t willing to to make the changes. Suzette was. Initially it was very scary. I remember how nervous she was about it, and she began to wonder what other people would think in her industry. When we discussed the fact that it didn’t matter what other people thought, it didn’t matter what her competitors opinions were, she never got into this industry to care about what her competitors or the other experts thought, but to serve children. This took her to a whole new level of serving.
Ironically Suzette has just had her first baby. Now she’s going to understand talking to the parents- parent to parent as opposed to expert to parent, at yet ANOTHER whole new level. It’s going to be important for her to remember she is the expert, now that she’s a parent and she has to be cautious to not get too familiar. Being friendly and being vulnerable with your clients is not being familiar.
Suzette is reinventing the speech pathology world and things are going fantastic, her future looks bright. Unfortunately, though, sometimes when I work with clients, the future doesn’t look that bright. They’re very emotionally attached to what they’ve done, they’re very concerned about what their competitors will think, and they forget about the people that they’re serving and what they have to offer. Sadly, they stay STUCK.
If you’re interested in more consultation makeovers and reinventions join me in my Inner Circle Mastermind Coaching program. Every month I’m reinventing a couple businesses and showing what I would do if I owned them.
If I owned Suzette’s business I am confident I could take it to over $1 million in six months. I’m excited that Suzette is taking steps forward and I hope that she continues on this path. By the way, Suzette and I are working on information products that she’ll be able to deliver to the parents and people won’t have to necessarily be in her home office, face to face, all of the time. This is opening up a brand-new income stream for her, and because of the new baby, she’s excited to see this grow. My prayer for her is that she will continue to reinvent herself, break the rules and do things other people are NOT doing.
The big issue for the majority of small business owners is this- keep your mind off of her competitors, ignore what people think and keep your focus on WHO you serve. This is how I’ve been able to make millions of dollars in the companies I’ve started.
Write in the comments below the biggest challenge YOU have in your business. Then jump into the Inner Circle. (See link at the top of this page marked, “Inner Circle Mastermind”. YOU could be my next reinvention! 🙂
P.S. Originally this was written to not disclose the ‘real identity’ of the business owner. But Hallie Bulkin would love for you to see what she does, and how she’s implemented the changes here.