collaboration is beautiful: how to increase traffic, provide value, and have fun when marketing

A year ago, after getting a lot of emails from a lot of other coaches, I created The Coaching Blueprint. It’s 300+ pages of gorgeousness and resounding calls for you to leverage up your life coaching practice (or psychotherapy practice. or acupuncture practice. or really, your client-based practice). See what this yoga instructor wrote?

 

I wanted to create something that was elegant yet down to brass tacks; something that spoke to the philosophy of a higher vision for your business while also telling you the straight-up “how to.”

How do you find clients? What are the best practices for social media? What do you write about on your blog? How do you increase traffic? How do successful life coaches make their practices thrive?

Poetic n’ pretty are all well and good, but man–it burned me whenever I bought a product that was basically someone else’s manifesto on life, with no actual straight-up, step-by-step help so that I could…get shit done, build my business, see the coin, create relationships, and more.

I also wanted to interview other coaches, so that I’d get a wide expanse of experience. I interviewed Pam Slim, Tanya Geisler, Jamie Ridler, Michelle Ward…all of them gave behind-the-scenes access to building their successful life coaching practices.

In the past year, I’ve sent out more than 300 copies of The Coaching Blueprint, and the rave reviews have come in:

“I carry around the Blueprint like it’s my bible.” –Jen Vertanen

“I love that Kate takes into consideration those of us who work full time and are starting a part-time coaching business. Incredibly useful takeaways is how to schedule your blogs, manage clients and develop products. Thank you Kate for this valuable product!” –Zivana Anderson

“Your program has been the most effective one I have done. I love your writing and your style. I don’t feel preached to, and I’m doing the work.” –Pam Hirsch

 

On October 4, 2012, I’ll be releasing The Coaching Blueprint version 2.0–a response to changes that have happened in the past year (technology is ever-evolving, and Facebook alone has made some changes that affect how you market online!).

Oh, yeah, and–I’m adding Rachel W. Cole and Tia Sparkles to the mix, plus I interviewed Leonie Dawson on how she made $300,000 from her coaching practice in one year.

I mean, I’m good and all, but–$300k? I’m intensely curious as to how someone leverages that. Aren’t you?

Want to Talk?

I’d like to get the word out about TCB 2.0, and need your help to do that.

Rather than doing some massive email blast, or social media blast, or network-through-my-friends blast, I prefer an approach that delivers traffic (to you!) and provides value, and is more fun.

What’s that? Interviews.

It would work like this: You have a website or blog. You email me (at kate -at- this domain –dot– com) to set up an interview time. Tell me your blog, your vision for the interview, etc.

We get onto Skype, and you interview me on whatever is the best fit for your website’s audience

No, I don’t prattle on about TCB, because the focus is about providing value for *your* readership.

The exclusive focus of our talk might be courage, working with fear, relationships, shifting inner critic voices, working to transform overwhelm, forgiveness, spirituality, meditation, and more. We inspire people, make them laugh a little, have fun as if they’re in the room chatting with us, and give them a takeaway that makes everyone’s life more beautiful! Contribution. Connection. Expansion. Sharing. Collaboration.

You publish the interview on your blog, and send me the link to it.

I tell everyone in my networks about our interview and the topics we covered. That provides value for the people who resonate with those topics, and traffic for you and me.

The emphasis is not on trying to “push” for copies of TCB to be sold.

The emphasis is on sharing valuable information that could help people. People find you through me, and me through you.

 

Ready?

If this is of interest, email me. You know–kate at thisyheredomain -dot- com. I’ll be opening up approximately 15 slots in my schedule.

If you have a functioning blog, a web cam that works, a Skype account, and this nifty call recording software called Call Recorder by Ecamm, then we can rock and roll.

(If you grab a copy of The Coaching Blueprint, I have an entire chapter devoted to how you can rock a seriously amazing interview.)

Interviewers (yep, you) also have an opportunity to sign up to be a TCB affiliate and earn commissions off of any sales that funnel through your website.

 

Collaborative Marketing

This is all what I refer to as “collaborative marketing.” We’re creating something together, as a team, and we’re being present and purposeful about creating something that provides value to other people.

Let’s get this collabo started!

Oh, and? If you haven’t already signed up for The Blueprint E-Letter, get on that. Every week, it’s a helpful insight for growing your life coaching practice!

uprooting the attack dynamic and choosing to love big

In the moments after I opened the letter with my blood work results and diagnosis, I burst into tears and my hand instinctively went to my throat, over the area where the thyroid is located.

I re-read the letter a few times, my hand petting my throat as if to soothe it.

“…this is a common condition where, for some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack the thyroid.”

Attack? That word. Attack.

I felt a hole of sudden grief, of despair, that there would be any part of my body or being that would “attack” itself.

I spent the next few months trying to find some alternative approach to dealing with this, and along the way, feeling the feelings that have come with it. In my work, we don’t try to cling to happiness if that’s not real and true. Feel the feelings, feel the sadness, anger and disappointment, all of it. Feel it so that it’s not stuck inside, and because that’s honest, and then work with it.

I’ve needed to be with the truth of what I felt until I was ready to feel something else.

When we are ready to transform something, it transforms.

I’m ready to stop being resentful of the “what-is-ness” of my life, in this area. I’m ready to dismantle the entire belief system of resentment, which is a belief system of “attack.”

I’m ready to love even illness, even this.

 

What is it to “Attack”?

Here’s what I already understand about when we attack:

  • We attack when we are afraid.
  • We attack when we need to defend (defense is the first act of war).
  • We attack when there is a perceived threat to our safety.

 

Attacking in Life

We attack when we’re impatient and snap at the people that we love.

We attack when we are defensive against someone’s feedback.

We attack when we push against what-is, declaring what-is to be wrong.

We attack when we judge others, play the comparisons game, or decide that we are better than.

We attack when we don’t forgive.

We attack when we do not love ourselves, believe that we are enough, or see ourselves as worthy.

I can even see how I attack when I resist what I know I need to do. In those cases, the “attack” is the entire mental game that I play of knowing I need to do it, resisting/justifying not doing it, and then darting back to how I know I need to do it.

And on, and on, and on.

 

Resistance

Nothing in me wants to admit publicly that I’m human, that I do these things, too.

Sometimes I feel as if I need to remind myself as much as everyone else that the backbone of my core philosophy is that we are all human, all un-peeling one layer at a time, and that I’m not exempt from that category just because I’ve internalized a life lesson or two in one area of my life.

So–there’s the resistance, the resistance to admitting that I can see the places where I “attack” in my life.

The comforting thought in this is that if I can see clearly where I’ve internalized lessons of loving, and being with, and accepting even those things that are hard in one area of my life, I can practice that in another.

The deepest lessons we learn in life are wholly transferable.

If courage is feeling the fear, diving in anyway, and transforming, then loving this thyroid condition–casting love upon it–is…

…appreciating it for the gifts that it brings (just like fear brings gifts);

…seeing it as the call to rise (just as fear sounds that call);

…a greater commitment to ending suffering in the world (when we fight anything, we contribute to the madness, and fighting fear/illness is a contribution to madness);

…not inflating it to be the Big Bad Thyroid Condition (instead just seeing it as…what it is; confused cells);

 

When It’s Ready

I couldn’t have said any of this six months ago, or even six weeks ago. I was too angry. I was resistant to releasing any of the anger. I was resentful.

And then, one day last week while sitting on my couch, I realized that I no longer felt like being angry about this, anymore.

Just like that, I was ready.

 

Preparing to Be Ready

Getting ready for transformation works something like this:

  • Acknowledge the truth/reality of the situation. See it fully and clearly, for exactly what it is.
  • Accept the truth/reality of the situation. Be with it fully.
  • Embrace and extend lovingkindness to the truth/reality of the situation.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Perhaps for days, perhaps for years. Again and again, like a meditation, coming back to the breath.

It isn’t sexy. It often has a “crawling out of your skin” feeling to it, because it’s so contrary to all of our conditioning to start accepting things, to learn to be with discomfort.

How it looks for you will be somewhat different because you’re you, but this is the skeletal framework of how it looks.

Especially the part where you repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

 

Choosing Sanity

I understand that all of this might seem really, really difficult. It has helped me immensely to see this as “choosing sanity.”

It’s choosing sanity when I choose to practice a tool rather than go with the habituated response.

It’s choosing sanity when I choose what I know to be true about life over what seems true in moments when I’m triggered and upset.

It’s choosing sanity to see, very clearly, the insanity of doing anything that keeps us from the truth.

Truth? I/you/me/we want to live happy lives. When we’re not happy, we can conjure up any number of distractions and indulge in addictions untold. The conjuring up is a dysfunction.

It’s choosing sanity to ask: How big can I love? Am I willing to extend love, even to this? Even to that which confuses me? Even to that which I do not understand?

Choosing sanity is the functional thing to do, for the health of the organism.

I choose love/health, and I already know what that looks like–I just need to be willing to choose it. How about you?

If you were to look at something in your life that you have difficulty with, and if you were already choosing sanity in that place, what actions would you be taking? What beliefs would you adopt? What would you do differently?

How to practice courage when your health hits the skids

Alright, alright, alright. I’m finally telling people: I’ve been sick. Ill. Down. Struggling with my health. Challenged.

I recently caught myself trying to pull what Ken Wilbur calls “spiritual bypass,” the attempt to think positively and reframe myself right out of the very reality that I’m in, not to transform it, but to deny it entirely.

Is it a good thing to reframe? To reach for what’s positive? Of course–and it’s the courageous thing to do.

But Da Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt, and there’s a place we can go to with all of this that isn’t actually powerful.

The energy put into denying something is wasted energy.

 

Current Reality

Current reality, always changeable, but in this moment, is this:

I have an auto-immune disease. Or, at least, I’ve been diagnosed with one.

It’s called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and it’s a pain in the ass.

More accurately, it’s not even “pain,” per se. More like my body has been in a freak out spiral where my energy levels have sagged and my metabolism has sagged further, causing a cascade of other sagging issues, particularly in the posterior, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

Other things? Sadness and exhaustion can wash over me without warning, or I wake up with achey, sore joints. I’ll catch “Brain fog.” Oh, and–if there’s someone with a cold anywhere in my vicinity? Chances are, I’ll catch it.

I’d felt smallish symptoms for years, but then about a year ago, for reasons I don’t understand, some kind of tipping point was reached and that’s when I started to really spiral downward, so I got my bloodwork done and there it was: a diagnosis.

If I’m completely honest, I’ve had this entire fantasy in my head where I’d tell everyone the story of this *after* I’d figured it all out–you know, the whole, “Got the diagnosis, doctors said take a pill, I declined and did the holistic route, now I’m cured, what do the doctors really know, anyway?” deal.

That’s *almost* how the story has gone: I did get the diagnosis, doctors did say to take a pill, I declined and did the holistic route, and…well, my blood tests only got worse.

So, yeah. Now I’m on medication.

 

Answering a Few Questions

Yes, I’ve explored multiple alternative options other than medication. For the first six months of 2012, I put well over a thousand dollars into acupuncture, herbs, supplements. Upon reading that going gluten-free is supposed to help, I promptly ditched it. I haven’t had a piece of real bread for nearly a year.

Yes, I already ate a basically whole foods diet well before this diagnosis, hardly ate anything packaged, have done multiple raw foods pure cleanses over the years, and am probably one of the few Americans you’ve ever met who gets anywhere close to the proper servings of vegetables.

Yes, it has pissed me off to have an illness and a diagnosis, given the fact that I exercised and ate right all these years and that’s supposed to be the #1 thing you can do to ward off illnesses. As a runner who likes to sweat it out, who thinks brussels sprouts are better than pasta, who had happily given up dairy awhile back, and who only ever ate sustainably-raised-organic-grass-fed animals a few times a month? Ugh-fucking-ugh. There’s my tantrum.

Yes, I do take time to remember to be grateful. I am grateful that I’m not in actual “pain,” just chronically tired. I’m grateful that I’ve caught it early. I am grateful that it’s not the worst possible case of this disorder. I’m grateful for all of the things that DO work splendidly in my body; all of the nice clean blood, arteries, the tissues, the joints, the tendons, the bones, the nerves.

The body is a marvel–a beautiful, lovely, self-repairing marvel.

 

Control

Every single tool that I have used to navigate every other challenge in my life has been called upon to navigate this one.

I am reminded again that apparently, for this incarnation of my soul, the major lesson to be learned in this lifetime is about control, because life certainly serves up a lot of those lessons!

I cannot control this.

I might be able to influence the outcomes–I might spend time and money and resources and energy into therapies that ultimately do help me. I believe that this is all possible. I might even completely reverse this.

And–I cannot control this. I know that the current New Age order of the day is to tell everyone that they can have anything they want, and on a higher-order level, I do believe in infinite and limitless possibilities. I even believe in mind-body connections.

I also know that if I approach this from the perspective of, “Okay, I have to figure out the steps and then if I just execute steps 1, 2, 3, I’ll get the outcome that I want,”

–well, that’s control, an attachment to outcome. Control = suffering. Control = the illusion of safety. Control = narrow options and choices.

My background in Buddhism reminds me again and again that when we think we can get what we want by following a path that externalizes happiness (in this case, happiness is externalized by the underlying belief that I’ll be happier if I don’t have an auto-immune disease), then we suffer.

Paradoxically, it’s when we accept and embrace the reality of our lives that we are in the best position to change that reality–and to be happy.

I have rejected this truth more times than I could count, and it’s only been when I embraced this path that I’ve ever seen my life radically change.

I acknowledge that fact and I think with a rueful smile and the slightest Midwestern accent, “Well… sheeet, Kate. Time to love bigger.”

I’m ready. Just knowing that is the shift.