Want to be the coach clients choose? First step: Figure out who you are—and who you aren't.

Easier said than done, we know. Let's dig into why people decide to make a purchase, and how to show your clients who you are—in a way that makes them want to commit.

Why do people buy things?

Today's market is all about personalization. People buy things because they feel like the product speaks to them, and was made for them, specifically.

When a new client reaches out to you to learn more about your program, it's likely because they feel a personal connection with you, even if they've never met you face to face.

As a trainer, this is where your uniqueness comes into play and can help you grow your business. People don't just want to work with you because they agree with what you're about. They also want to work with you because they agree with what you're against.

Enter: the monster.

Identifying your monster

It's not enough just to let potential clients know what you're for—you also need to let them know what you're not for. We'll call this factor "the monster."

You don't need to be against a person, but it's important to be against something—an idea, a societal convention, an institution—something that people will be able to rally behind.

Some companies fight against an idea. Wealthsimple, for example, fights against confusion around money. Liquid Death Mountain Water is hard-core anti-plastic—and uses its monster to raise awareness for its environmentalist message. Some Instagrammers fight against editing that shows tough-to-achieve body standards as if they're reality.

Whatever your monster is, it's important that you take a stance and that you don't back down.

When you identify and talk about your monster, you're making it clear to clients that you stand for something. Whatever you're doing to promote yourself should scare you a little, and should remind you that not everyone is going to like you (and that's okay).

Working to spur conversation around controversial ideas—and responding to the backlash that comes with it—is a way to expose yourself to new clients, and to help clients in your warm market make the decision to commit.

When you post something controversial, you can expect an onslaught of comments, both good and bad. Know that when someone makes a negative comment or shares your post with a negative post of their own, they're drumming up far more publicity for your brand than a positive post ever would.

"You can do this" marketing vs. "Can you do this?" marketing

You'll also want to consider whether your target market is looking for support or looking for a challenge. "You can do this" marketing is supportive and uplifting, and works to build clients up. "Can you do this?" marketing is about challenging clients on whether they can handle what you're offering (think Spartan Race, P90X). Both types of marketing can be effective.

Whichever strategy you choose, it's important to take your marketing strategy and incorporate your monster. We need to be unapologetic, unafraid, and willing to take our monster stance. When we do, potential clients know that we're confident and strong—and able to give them the conviction they need to get results.

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