The Funny Side of Marketing for Coaches
Chris Kenworthy is a coach, and a funny one at that. He is a DIY expert and a master in self-compassion. Time with him is very well spent and speaking to him as a guest on our Better Bolder Braver Monday Masterclass series was like a storm in a lovely cup of Yorkshire brew.
We get near to daily reminders about the existential power of having fun from Chris Kenworthy (check out his weird instagram account here). He describes himself as a “reforming grown-up trying to take things less seriously”. He’s a former copywriter with special interests in levity, uncertainty, subversion and dark humour. He’s also trying to “save the planet vicariously through the do-gooders he coaches”.
The topic of our Masterclass with Chris was ‘The Funny Side of Marketing for Coaches’. And so — naturally — the conversation ebbed and flowed from dairy intolerances and other middle class problems to computers and chairs, muffin-based comedy and seagulls. It all made perfect sense at the time. Here’s a link to the video recording.
I listened again to the recording of this late last night and realised that it was quite moving and profound on rather a lot more levels than I had realised when we recorded it. A bit like recalling an excellent coaching session.
We delved deep into authenticity, and the funny parts which make us us. Chris offered, “People think marketing is a set way of doing things right — really, it’s channels in our lives that amuse us, knowing what belongs where and what parts of ourselves we hide from public view.” Chris referred to his own “Trunk of Bullshit”… the weird avenues he explores in his mind — channels of nonsense and amusement — and talked about how these are mirrored in his coaching practice and his marketing. For Chris, showing up as a “sacrificial, flawed clown” — as imperfect, spontaneous and emergent — allows him to accept parts of himself and also reassure his (potential) clients that they are human, just like him. He teaches anyone who gets in his way not to take themselves too seriously, to exercise self-compassion and to enjoy life whilst we have it.
We talked extensively (too much?!!) about ‘oversharing’ and about what our intention for sharing is — for ourselves and for others. And we talked about what having a conversation actually means. Chris shared with us Maria Iliffe-Wood’s four levels of conversational presence/involvement, from her book, ‘Coaching Presence’. He explained the four levels as being:
A member of our Better Bolder Braver community, Ellie, was so taken with this model that she found — and helpfully shared with us — a blog post about the model, ’Beyond situational coaching: being deliberate in how we foster deliberation’.
It feels useful to transpose these four concepts of conversational being to how we can be in our marketing, and to do this best we need to be aware of how they mirror our ego.
The take-away message from our time with Chris is that marketing can, and even should, be imperfect. Imperfection is not a reason to hold yourself back — it is in fact a good reason to keep going with what you are doing. Chris says, ‘people will filter out that stuff and figure out for themselves who you are.’ We can take these weird avenues of authenticity and use them as a connection point for more conversations.’
Here at Better Bolder Braver, we are less in the business of telling you what to do or not to do and more in the business of telling you to give yourself a break, about pinches of salt, and to remind you that — as coaches — you have all the right skills not only to do marketing really effectively but also not to worry too much about what you put out there, what people think about you or what the worst-case scenario might be.
To join some brilliant coaches doing just this in the Better Bolder Braver community, sign up here.