By Seth Lusk
We share content online CONSTANTLY as life coaches. As marketing moves more and more online, life coaches share content more and more frequently on social media platforms, to help them reach their audience. Sure, we have our face-to-face communities. But we also have our worldwide communities of people who follow our work, and wish to receive our guidance, support, and insight. This means that we share content on platforms where this content is accessible to people worldwide.
In the process of sharing so much content online, the question of authenticity comes up. We want to share content that is not only helpful to our audience, but we also want it to be effective in grabbing people’s attention. Without this attention-grabbing aspect of content, the chaos on the online world will easily drown out helpful content, to the point where the intended audiences do not see or hear it. The question for so many coaches then becomes, “how do I share content in a way that grabs attention, but also stays true to my mission and purpose as a coach?” How do we share authentically?
Authenticity is crucial for life coaches, and for their brand. Trust is a must for people wanting to work with a life coach. Authenticity is key for building that trust with an audience that may never see us in person. But, sharing authentically as a life coach can feel a bit tricky. So, let’s explore that here. How do we stay heard, and relevant in the chaos of online marketing, branding, and messaging, but also stay true to our message, and purpose as a coach?
The first key here is to KNOW your message and purpose intimately. But don’t know it intimately in a fixed or stagnant sense. Your message and purpose are so deep and vast, your understanding of them will evolve as you do. How you will want to express those will evolve also.
Remember that knowing your message and purpose is truly a journey. Not because it takes a long time to arrive at knowing. But, because you will NEVER know it fully. You can’t. That is not the point of it. The point of your message and purpose is to pull you in a direction of knowing more and more for as long as you are here in this life to know more.
So, when I say to know your message purpose intimately, I mean that you will want to be willing to spend time and energy to be vulnerable in those areas about what you do not yet know, so you can explore deeper. Also, be willing to be confident in expressing what you feel you understand, while remaining open to even that being challenged in life. Knowing your purpose and message intimately is all about knowing how you connect to that purpose and that message, based on what is truly important for you in this life.
Because these things are so important for you, you are also willing to explore and grow in these areas of knowing. And this creates an intimate understanding of your message and purpose.
Having this intimate understanding allows for you to follow trends in marketing, and find your truest expression of those trends to express your message and purpose through them. Sometimes this might mean not participating in a trend. Sometimes this might mean that a certain trend aligns with you and excites you. Sometimes this might look like you altering a trend in a way where no one else is using it. Ultimately what keeps it authentic, is your understanding of how your message and purpose connect to it, and how you as a life coach connect to that message and purpose.
The second key here when it comes to being able to share content authentically as a life coach, is to allow for vulnerability. And I get that this word automatically brings a feeling of a pit in your stomach for many of you reading this. Vulnerable brings many thoughts of being weak to mind, or being open to destruction by your enemies (or competitors). I want you to consider this today.
In a world where people are wanting authenticity, and transparency; vulnerability is a powerful tool. Your community of people who follow you and your work, also want to know that you are a human. They want to be able to relate to you. Which means that giving off the impression that you are above struggle, or difficult emotions, then people begin to believe either you are not relatable, or you are hiding.
When people start to believe that you are not relatable, they do not know if they can trust you to understand what they are going through. And when people come to a life coach, that is one of the biggest feelings they are looking for; to feel understood. They want to know that you can see them, where they are in life, and understand what that might feel like, and why they might be struggling with it.
When we share content on social media as life coaches, it can become way to easy to give off the impression that we have all of the answers, and we do not struggle like other people do. I get it. It is easy to fall into the fear as a coach, that if you do not appear to be above the struggle, or like you have all of the answers, then people won’t hire you to help them.
As coaches our job is not necessarily to give clients our answers anyway. Our job is to guide clients to their own authentic answers. Which means that we want to be able to see our clients fully. We want to be able to relate to them, to know the right questions to ask to direct them toward their own power and knowing again.
Coaching is one of the few fields in the world that having the answers can actually become a hinderance. We can become fixated on our own opinions and solutions so much so that we cannot relate to where a client is. We cannot hear everything that they are saying and not saying. We assume things about them. We may even judge their struggle.
Coaching clients want to know that you believe in them. They want to know that you see them and understand them. They want to trust you to be able to hear their deepest truths, and be able to hold non-judgmental, and compassionate space for them.
What this means is that when we share content online as coaches, we have an opportunity in choosing to show vulnerability. We have an opportunity in talking openly about our own struggles, and our own mistakes openly. When we work through our own struggles and mistakes with love, and compassion for ourselves, we show the people following us on social media that we are able to hold space for the human experience without judging or shaming it.
It can feel scary for us as coaches. I get that. But I promise you that if you share content that is vulnerable, you are going to earn so much trust, credit, and respect from people who are looking for coaching in the areas you are being vulnerable with. You will of course have those people who make the snide comments, and openly judge you for your vulnerability. They might tell you that you should not be a coach if you make those mistakes or have those struggles.
The truth is, these people are doing a lot of work for us. We do not want to work with people who would hold us up on a pedestal so high that even the tiniest mistake would mean that we lose all of our respect and credibility. We don’t want to live life walking on thin ice, holding our breath and praying that no one sees a flaw in our words, or behaviors so that we can have them with us.
So, share content that is vulnerable. Enjoy the respect, and trust you will earn with it. And, when you receive the inevitable judgement, and snide comments, remember that these people are letting you know simply, that they are not your ideal client, and you can release responsibility for their experience of you. You do not need to be perfect to be a coach. If you were perfect, you would STILL have people judging you and making snide comments about how unrelatable you are, and fake you are, and that no one could ever live up to your standard, so why should they hire you.
Vulnerability when we share content is a huge way of showing up authentically as coaches on social media. Letting people know where we struggle, and where we make mistakes, and how we are using our own values, and purpose in life to grown and learn with our mistakes, builds connection and rapport with people following us on social media.
And when we let this same group of people know that we are here to help them to grow and learn, they know that we know what we are talking about. People know that simply reading a book is not going to teach you everything you need to know when it comes to helping people create the life they want. They know that you cannot learn from a degree or certification, how to help another person move through their fears and into empowerment. This is something we learn through the experience of being a human, and choosing to do so for ourselves.
People want to know that you have done this for yourself, and that you are still growing, and learning. This is why vulnerability is your second key to share content authentically as a life coach.
The third key here to share content authentically as a life coach, is to make your content your own. Create from your mind and experience, and share content from there. It can become all to easy to read books, watch videos, and see inspirational quotes online, and to just copy and paste the ideas into our own content.
Using inspiration from others is not a crime. It is not a bad idea. But authenticity asks you to take that inspiration in, and apply it to your own life, message, and mission. Make it your own. Then share from that space of authentic application.
I found myself many times in the beginning of my career as a life coach, just regurgitating what I had learned from podcasts I had listened to, books I had read, and videos I had watched. Sure it grabbed people’s attention. Sure people liked the content. It already had a proven track record elsewhere, so of course sharing it meant attention on my social media.
But, what I noticed, is that this attention was usually very shallow. It did not last long. What did attract people’s attention and kept it, was when I spoke from MY experience with concepts that I was learning about. When I took concepts I had learned about and found a new application for them, and even created new concepts from applying concepts I had learned.
People wanted to know that I could create in my own life, not just spit back out pieces of information I had learned. Remember this. We as life coaches are here to help people create in their life. We want them to look from a space of authenticity to see what they truly want in their life, and to find their authentic how-to to create it.
People looking for someone to guide them through the creation process, want to see that you are creating, not just taking in information, and spitting it back out on the heals of someone else’s creation and their success with it. People want to know they are in the hands of a master creator in their own life.
Authenticity is complex. It is deep. It is something we can always practice more effectively, and truthfully. Authenticity is not an arrival point, it is a life long journey of uncovering our connection to our values, and who we truly are.
I could go on for days on how we can be more authentic as life coaches when we share content. I think that for the sake of this blog, learning to implement these 3 keys into how we share content online, and on social media will get any coach on the path of showing up authentically in what you share online.
Know yourself, your message, and your purpose intimately. Be willing to share vulnerably. Take the time to make your content your own by talking about how you have applied learned concepts in your own way, to your life, and how you coach (don’t just regurgitate information). These three practices will ensure that when you share content, you are doing so authentically.
Seth Lusk, Founder, and CEO of Authentic Life Connection: coaching services. He is also the podcast creator and host for the Authentic Life Connection podcast. He is a published author of the book What I really want is… But I’m Just too full of… . This book is available on Amazon for purchase. Seth is a Life coach as well. He works with clients one-to-one as well as in groups to help them create their most authentic and fulfilling life, from the inside out. Seth is also the founder and CEO of Lusk Holistic Health Services (the umbrella company for Authentic Life Connection: coaching services). Under this umbrella company Seth also provides guidance in fitness and nutrition for his clients. This comes from his background and education in exercise science and nutrition. Seth has worked with hundreds of clients to get clear on their authentic goals for their life, fitness, and health, and helped them create unstoppable authentic action to actualize these in their lives. For more about how to get in touch with Seth or hear more about his work, you can find him @ https://www.lifecoachseth.com . There you can access his podcast, book, social media, as well as speak with Seth directly about working with him one-to-one as coach/coachee. To access the “Authentic Life Connection” podcast, follow the link below
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