How much can a label such as “coach” or “mentor” say about you? My recent blog Call Yourself A Coach? promoted some interesting discussions, online and off.
The consensus? Of course a label can’t say everything about you – because there’s more to you than the label.
But my point was that labels aren’t just about you – they have their primary effect “in the eye of the beholder”.
When someone who doesn’t know you sees your logo or web URL, hears your elevator pitch or even just catches your name in conversation, they have a response which has more to do with them – their knowledge, their experience, their assumptions, their prejudices – than about you.
Typically, if they feel that they understand the label, that’s it. They’re satisfied. They put you in a mental category and close the lid. No open loop, no more thinking to do.
And what happens next? They move on, and probably instantly forget you.
I’ve recently been doing a lot of work with coaches to help each of them find a commercial “sweet spot” (I hate the word “niche”!)
Frequently, at the start of the process they expect that once they find their perfect niche, they’ll have an elevator pitch that everyone they meet will immediately understand.
Really? Is that what you want?
Pretty much everybody you meet will understand: “I’m a life coach and I an help anybody with anything.”
But they won’t do anything with it. It boxes you up with other would-be life coaches they’ve met, to be instantly forgotten.
So, what’s your goal with that elevator pitch? Is it to label yourself, to put yourself in a box?
Or could it start a conversation which builds a real, authentic relationship with the human being in front of you?
- What do you reckon? Please comment below!