Why you need to ditch your credentials…
Has someone ever asked you what you do, and when you say I’m a…
…Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner…
…or a Functional health coach….
…or a Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner…
…or a Certified Nutritional Therapist…
…or a Functional Medicine Practitioner…
…their eyes glaze over, and you can tell you’ve completely lost them in the maze of words that just came out of your mouth?
So you find yourself scrambling for the right words to describe what you do but the deeper you go, the more confused they look until they give you a polite excuse to leave the conversation or they totally ghost you.
And you walk away thinking, “what just happened???”!
Whether it was an in-person conversation, email, or social media exchange, how many potential clients have you lost in a scenario like this?
I get it.
You’ve worked hard to get your credentials, and you’re proud of them as you should be.
However, your credentials aren’t what you do.
And the sophisticated words used to designate your credentials tell the potential client on the other side of the conversation absolutely nothing about what you actually do.
Business and marketing research shows that character-driven stories with an emotional aspect result in a better understanding of what someone is trying to communicate over strictly informational content.
A study in 2010 found that character-driven stories actually increased the release of Oxytocin, an empathy chemical that motivates cooperation, understanding, and trust.
Wouldn’t you say those are some important factors when trying to convince a potential client you have a valuable service to offer them?
You need to ditch your credentials and tell more stories to get more clients.
In this week’s video and blog, I share my top tips to help you ditch your credentials, tell more stories, and ultimately attract more clients so you can have the impact you want on the world and help people get healthy!
You are much more familiar with storytelling tactics than you might think. Consider your favorite books, movies, and TV shows, what keeps you turning the page or on the edge of your seat? It’s the story that is being told.
Or how about the commercials about abandoned animals and rescue shelters that instantly bring you to tears? It’s the story that pulls at your heart and purse strings.
Your story is the most powerful marketing tool at your fingertips, and it doesn’t cost you a thing.
The key to getting more clients is sharing your story relentlessly and authentically. When you do, it releases that oxytocin and instantly creates an emotional bridge of trust with the clients you are trying to reach.
I bet most of the people you’ve worked with, or hope to work with, feel as if no one listens or understands them.
Storytelling shows them you’ve been in their shoes (or another client of yours has), that you “get it”, and that you know how to get them past it. It positions you as the expert.
Think of your own health journey or the person who inspired you to do this work if it wasn’t you. How did you get here? It was likely because someone else’s story inspired you, giving you the pieces of the puzzle to map out a similar path to success.
This is why testimonials are so effective. They show the “from-to” while highlighting you as the expert guide.
However, sharing an endless list of testimonials can feel salesy; and if you haven’t worked with enough clients to have a long list of them, you’re SOL (shit out of luck).
But what you do have unlimited access to is YOUR STORY.
An essential key to your business success is extracting marketing material from your personal story (or the person who inspired you to do this work).
Here are my top tips to help you leverage your story to attract more clients.
The first tip is to write out your story in great detail.
The only rule when writing out your story is to avoid using too much technical industry jargon that you NOW know as a result of your acquired knowledge and expertise. Focus on using simple and common words to describe your experience as much as possible. This will come in handy later!
Start with where you were even before you realized you had a health problem or wanted to work in this space.
Think about …
- What were the things you were experiencing back then?
- What were you thinking?
- What were you feeling?
- How were you behaving and moving through life?
- Who were you being?
Continue to write out the journey you took…
- What things did you try that didn’t work?
- What were your daily frustrations?
- What was your “rock bottom” or the moment you realized something needed to change?
- What obstacles or struggles did you then encounter along the way?
- And what were the key turning points; things you did or actions you took that propelled you onto a better path or place?
I suggest taking an initial swing at this, then reviewing it and coming back to it as many times as you need to add more details to it.
To leverage your story as much as possible, you want to deeply tap into what you were FEELING, THINKING, and DOING or NOT DOING throughout the journey.
Go deep. Take up as much space and time as you need. Type it, physically write it, or verbally record it to get it out.
My next tip is to dissect and extract content from your story to share on social media, blogs, newsletters, on your website, or any other place you might come in contact with potential clients.
Once you’ve written your story out in detail, go back and pull out “scenes” like a movie to elaborate on in more detail, painting the picture of the experience.
Here’s an example from a practitioner who did this exercise as part of my Practitioners’ Business Essentials program…
(Picture a selfie of this Practitioner in her beautiful garden)
“A little over 5 years ago I was in so much pain I couldn’t spend time in my garden like I did today.
Gardening is my obsession. It brings me joy, happiness, and an abundance of delicious foods.
But for years pain kept me from doing the thing I loved the most.
I would sit inside staring at my garden while I spent countless hours scouring the internet looking for answers to debilitating pain that would take control of my body from the moment I got out of bed.
I watched as others went down the pain med path and the unwelcome side effects that came with it, and I vowed I would never subject myself to that. I knew there had to be a better way.
And there was.
By digging deeper, getting to the root of my pain just as I would in my garden, I found natural solutions that moved me from pain to peace.
And here I am, after spending 5 hours in my garden without a single knee twinge or body ache.
If you want to move from pain to peace, I would be happy to share what helped me. Send me a message.”
And if you haven’t completely healed yourself, you can still help others.
You will always be two steps ahead of your ideal clients by sharing your story as your most powerful marketing tool. When you share your story, it’s practically impossible to attract a client that is farther ahead of you because where you are won’t resonate with them.
Based on sharing your story, you will attract the people who need exactly what you have to offer.
This story exercise will give you all the material you need to tell people what you do in terms they will understand.
It’s time to start ditching your credentials and start storytelling!
I would love to see what you’ve come up with, so feel free to tag me in any of your social media posts 🙂
P.S. Do you want to elevate your storytelling skills and build a strong foundation for success? Click here to get my Story & Purpose Worksheet for FREE!