Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #12
Why You Aren’t Getting More Clients and Leads (and it’s not for a lack of trying) I remember the day as if it happened yesterday. Well, almost.

It was a summer Saturday morning and my Dad said to grab a friend, it was time to head to the auction and pick up some calves for our little 10-acre farm.

My friend Lynn and I hopped into his Econoline van, happy to go on a small adventure, even if it was kinda boring. (Now this is where the “almost” comes in. I’m pretty sure it was Lynn but not positive! Sorry to Lynn or the other friend who accompanied me. This was ahem decades ago and well, memories fade…)

Lynn and I got settled at the top of the bleachers in the old auction house while Dad sat in the front row with auction paddle ready for bidding.

Cows, pigs and other animals of all kinds came, got purchased and went on to their new home. When Dad got the calves he came for, I had assumed we would be heading home, but Dad kept sitting in his seat, auction paddle still in hand.

I didn’t think much of it, he was probably tallying up his purchases and we just needed to wait it out.

But then the horses came into the auction ring. Finally, something to look at!

To say I was a horse lover back then was an understatement.

Vintage Black Beauty and Black Stallion booksI read every Black Beauty book from cover to cover.

I was in love with The Black Stallion and all of his incredible adventures.

I drew horses at every opportunity.

I even played the horse in the back field behind Bradner Elementary school with my friends during recess.

So with this in mind, imagine my delighted shock when I saw my Dad bid on a grey three-quarter Arabian mare! I jumped up in my seat and couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.

We had been on the farm for two years and I had been begging for a horse every opportunity I got.

What do you want for Christmas Susan? A horse.

What do you want for your birthday Susan? A horse.

And now my begging finally paid off! Or was it Law of Attraction in action?

Dad won the bid and Lynn and I literally ran to the back paddocks to go meet my new best friend. (Sorry Lynn.)

Upon reaching the horse I ended up naming Misty, the owner who just sold her asked if she was going to be mine. Beaming I exclaimed “Yes sir!”

Then my heart sank.

He said, “She’s not broke; you can’t ride her and she’s pretty feisty.”

Fearing my Dad had made a horrible mistake, Lynn and I ran back to him, sharing what we just found out. Thankfully he alleviated my fears and reassured me that we could break her in ourselves and I’d be riding her in no time.

And sure enough, in a few weeks she was broke and ready to ride.

The only thing was, she ended up being more like a stubborn mule than Black Beauty!

Sure, I could ride her. But only where SHE wanted to go!

Well, I did have some control, but not much. Turns out she liked it when we rode to our neighbour’s house on the left. I guess their grass was greener than ours. And luckily for me, many of the times I rode her, was to head to the neighbour’s house.

Me, Misty and her colt Chester

So we got along famously.

But then there were times when I wanted to go somewhere different. Like turn right out of the driveway to a different friend’s house instead.


She wouldn’t budge.

Not. One. Step.

Beyond frustrated, I’d turn her around and she’d jump into a gallop, over to her tried-and-true grassy oasis.

Now I bet you’re wondering what this has got to do with entrepreneurship? Besides the entertaining value of this story that is!

Well, here’s the thing. Most of you are just like Misty. I say that in the nicest way…I’m not calling you a horse! More like a stubborn mule…

Case in point: How many times has your coach or mentor told you to change how you were doing things in order to grow your business, but you didn’t?

I can’t count how many times this has happened to me when consulting our clients. I make suggestions, provide plenty of reasons to make the shift, provide step-by-step instructions on how to make the shift.

But nothing happens.


One of the biggest areas I see this happen is when entrepreneurs in the coaching industry are focusing too much on their modality, instead of the outcome their clients will get after working with them (using said modality).

Whether it’s hypnotherapy, Law of Attraction, Tapping, Guided Meditations, a 10-step process and so on, these are all modalities coaches use to get the desired results their clients are seeking.

And logically, it makes sense to promote the modality as that’s the tool that will make a difference.

But from a marketing perspective, the potential client doesn’t care about your modality.

They care if their problem or challenge will be solved. By any means necessary.

The same thing applies for your product or program concepts, ideas, theories, features and experiences.

None of that matters to your target audience.

They don’t wake up in the morning saying, “I need hypnotherapy”. No, they wake up saying, “I can’t stand feeling this way any longer. I need help.”

Then they go seek out who can help with their specific problem.

They aren’t typing “hypnotherapy” into Google or asking for a hypnotherapist recommendation on Facebook.

No, they’re asking for help solving the problem they can’t stand any more.

See the difference?

It’s Not About HOW; It’s About WHAT. So I ask you: What specific problem does you business solve? If you aren’t sure, you need to do your homework and find out, fast. Or you will continue to struggle getting qualified clients.

And once you are certain about what problem you solve, then answer: What will your client’s life look like, specifically, once you’ve solved that problem?

Your business needs to stop being stuck going to the familiar pasture like Misty did and instead, focus on the specific problems your modality solves, wherever that might lead you.

While it might feel a bit uncomfortable at first to go in a new direction, it could be the best choice for your small business.

So don’t be a stubborn mule like Misty! Take a close look at how you’re presenting your business. Let your coach, mentor or consultant be your guide and stop fearing the unknowns of an unfamiliar path.

You never know, that grass might be even greener on that side!