I have always been the person who cries after reading a good book, or watching a happily-ever-after movie, or seeing those life-transformation television commercials.
Wanna know why that is? Why it’s so easy to become so invested in something that clearly isn’t real? Simple: they all play on emotions and share a common theme: irresistible storytelling.
Imagine using this same idea for a coaching business to win hearts and minds — and get the same reaction from clients?
Hi there! I’m Judy Cohen, storytelling coach and recovering public relations executive and that’s EXACTLY what I do.
I left my high-paying public relations executive job after 20+ years to venture out on my own. I thought the only thing I could do to promote myself and attract clients was to do exactly what I had always done and talk about it… a lot.
I made myself sound like I had a staff of 10, even though it was just me. Surprise! Based on how I positioned my business, I got hired by clients to do the same projects and tasks I’d always done. This led to having the same exact job as before, except now it was just me with no team to support me.
It was a great smoke and mirrors game I was playing. And I was miserable… and drowning.
I needed to figure out what I’d do next so I could be happy with the work I was doing… and still be able to pay the bills.
This wasn’t the business or life I wanted for myself.
Back then I thought… I need more confidence, I need to stop self-sabotaging. Maybe I just need to do something else.
I always taught my clients the importance of storytelling and telling their own story for their business, but I felt so insecure sharing my own truth. Instead, I made up a whole team just so I could impress people so they would take me more seriously.
I was super stressed out because not only was leaving my job scary, but it also meant I no longer would be able to contribute to my family’s household expenses and I lost the freedom to do awesome things for myself without feeling guilty.
I was frustrated that I did all the things I thought I should to create a successful business like build an expensive website, start a blog, engage on social media, pay others to help me… but I just couldn’t gain any traction or get new clients.
I remember there were times when I got a good lead on a client and for one reason or another, they wouldn’t sign on with me and I would get so depressed and feel like a failure.
In my mind I was like, it’s ok, it’s just one client. I was so used to getting a steady paycheck and had no guilt of doing things for myself. I had to get back to this point for my own sanity and that of my family’s.
And if I’m being totally honest, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get more clients because I didn’t realize that I was marketing myself was all wrong… pretty funny considering my background. It was like the equivalent of a doctor being the worst patient.
After my rock bottom moment, a lightbulb went off. I had all this great experience. Why couldn’t I just take the one thing I was most passionate about to help others? And that passion was storytelling coaching and helping others turn their personal experiences into stories that sell.
I’ve always known and taught the importance of storytelling (a.k.a. positioning and messaging) for business, but I didn’t truly grasp it until I ventured out on my own. Once I stripped away my fear of telling my story, including my struggles and challenges, I started connecting with my ideal client.
I now totally understand that my journey is my story, and it won’t end here. And this is what I teach.
What I discovered through this journey was that it wasn’t no one wanted was I was selling, or that my ideas were all wrong, or they didn’t like me… or that I didn’t have a good story to tell…
I discovered that I had the wrong strategy of how to attract my ideal clients. And once I started to address that wrong strategy, everything changed for me.
And I want it to change for you too!
Your story…to be continued
p.s. If you want to learn more about me and my life observations, check out my personal blog, Judy-isms!