A really interesting thing that every mentee goes through – almost without exception is imposter syndrome – or, as I prefer to think of it – overwhelming self-doubt. The journey from clueless, to proficient marketer has a number of close encounters with doubt – self and otherwise.

1) The first kind of imposter syndrome comes from the reluctance to nail one’s colours to the mast in terms of specifying who your ideal coaching client is. These are the kinds of resistance we come across:

  • Not wanting to specify an industry, because my ideal client could work in any industry.
  • I don’t want to have an ideal client who works in the industry that I’ve just left – there’s a reason I left!
  • I don’t see why it’s important that my ideal client has a gender, or a name.

2) We move on from that – some more quickly than others ? – and the next place we find resistance is when writing a marketing message.

  • I don’t want to talk about any suggestions I have for helping my ideal client to overcome their problems – that’s not coaching! (You’re right – it’s marketing!)
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • Agonising over every single word in the presentation – the self-doubt of perfectionism – as a means of procrastinating.

3) The next place mentees find themselves resisting is when they need to become visible.

  • What will people think?
  • I’ll be judged and found wanting!
  • The entire population of the internet is examining everything I write – I feel so exposed!

4) Another place that coaches dig their heels in is when they feel it is essential to hang on to a particular job title.

  • I’m a mindset coach!
  • I am a transformative coach!
  • I’m a change coach!

(Hint – we are ALL mindset, transformative and change coaches – that’s what coaches DO!)

5) Coaches also resist when they don’t like a particular platform(s) or way of marketing.

  • My ideal client is definitely not on Facebook because I don’t like Facebook.
  • My ideal client definitely does not attend networking events, because I don’t like networking.
  • I don’t want to make videos, even though I know my ideal client prefers to receive information this way.

6) Finally, the one last place where we encounter resistance is in the ‘shouting into the void’ stage of marketing. When you’re actively marketing and becoming visible to your audience, but nothing has happened yet – as in no enquiries.

  • This isn’t working – I need to change my ideal client!
  • My marketing message must be off, I need to cast my net wider!
  • There’s no point tracking what I’m doing, because none of it is working!

(Truth bomb – hold your nerve! This works – every time!)

Once the various emotional hurdles are overcome, the coach goes on to grow a fabulous business – and when they become mentors, they say to me “gosh – do remember when I resisted like that?” ?