True Colors

True (troo): being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something.

“Andrea” is a six-figure earning trainer, a budding speaker and a woman with some big dreams.

On the phone, Andrea is mesmerizing. She is profoundly articulate, has developed a “big idea” with some legs and is completely focused on serving her audience—a classic heart-centered entrepreneur. Clients and referrals keep her steadily busy with training projects.

The problem? She wants a bigger life and platform as a motivational speaker on an issue near and dear to her. And while clients love her, she isn’t jelling with the larger digital audience she envisions for herself.

Her podcast—in which she invests hours every week to develop topics and source occasional interviews—has a tiny audience after almost two years. She wants to do more motivational speaking, but beyond a few local (read: non-paying) gigs, she is mostly treading water. She has a social media presence, but that too is moving glacially.

And yet she has the visceral sense she is missing something elemental. What would deliver the bigger audience she knows deep down she is ready for?

Quite ironically for a heart-based entrepreneur, her digital self reeks of insincerity. She gives glimpses of the real deal (her story for example is deeply moving), but the genuine bits are drowned out by scores of (fixable) missteps.

Her rich podcasts are produced prefaced by 30 seconds of old-time booming announcer spouting an off-putting sales pitch.

Her showcased video demonstrates great camera presence, which tells me she could handle a larger audience. But the production is stilted, with poor lighting and an inappropriate backdrop.

Her blog posts don’t have her fire and conviction. And worse still, they are posted with the name of her marketing firm who presumably wrote them (with a link to their website). Not cool.

Her social media posts (which she has outsourced), are bland, inconsistent and non-engaging. It was clear no one has put any effort into actually seeking out her audience vs passively hoping they will come to her.

The solution—as it often is—is simply to be genuine. To show her true colors EVERYWHERE.

Remove the “voice of God” delivery and put some of her trademark wit and caring into her content. Pursue her ideal audience intently and consistently via social media. And deep-six the old video in favor of a softer, brand-consistent shoot clearly declaring her manifesto.

Because, no matter what sort of service or product you deliver, your clients and buyers want a genuine experience. They want to see “your true colors shining through”.

Isn’t it time you let them?

p.s. Need a little incentive to clarify your true colors? Check out my brand-spanking new Be Unforgettable: The Digital Kit and save $100 until October 2.


  • No matter if it is a client, prospect or friend; people see through insincerity and “bull” from the beginning. No matter what you think, or how good you think you are; you are sending a message that is a put off. People know when they are being sold, and know when someone is interested in helping. This has and will never change throughout the passage of time.

  • Thanks Ed! The thing that’s unfortunate is this woman truly is the real deal. She just “outsourced” and accepted the output without asking the tough questions…

  • Fantastic point, Rochelle. Never let marketing tactics and gimmicks overshadow who you really are (or what your brand really is).

  • Smart comments Rochelle, and it’s something that definitely makes a major difference in growing a career strategically as well as organically.

  • I recall perhaps 20 years ago (maybe more) talking to the need for short and concise messaging and writing shorter sentences (even this one might be too long) in what I called the video age. As we mature into the social media and Internet world where we compete against all sorts of stimuli, it becomes (became) essential to grab folks at the outset; otherwise they move on by.
    I know many people outsource social media; I often guide such messages as part of my involvement in political (and other) campaigns. I submit professional need to control their messages and devote time. I know a service that drafts punchy newsletters for attorneys; the professionals there pitch that talk (usually a telephone) with the client and then draft material using the content of the call; it remains unclear whether all (of their) clients take the time to review work.
    Too many professional outsource websites with out a real discussion first of the content they wish to emphasize. The content should drive the website design. Too often the bells and whistles and ‘boxes’ that the web developer creates forces message into boxes that obscure the message(s); I always maintain message should drive how it gets presented.
    I am on an attorneys listserve. When anyone asks for recommendation for a web developer I share my strong (and correct) position that the content drive the design (and yes I recommend some developers.).
    In this regard, AFTER a client reported the desired outcome occurred, I actually tastefully debriefed him about how he selected me. That engagement was perhaps the first real engagement where I enjoyed no prior existing relationship of any kind with the client. I found out the engagement resulted from me responded to a post for help for a client on that aforementioned attorneys listserve. I did not even recall I responded to it. I actually searched for an email after we spoke. I found I responded to the post asking for more info; the information posted suggested (to me) it might not require me; I do not enjoy taking on a project and collecting cash when I am not necessary (even if the client wants that — another story).
    It turns out the client’s attorney shared my information and info from two other professionals with him. The client advised me he looked at my website and what he saw there made me the one he called.
    Most comments I receive on my website come from friends, many professionals in their own right. As I recall it Rochelle, you shared some input that I actually implemented. This was the first instance I can recall where my belief in my content and presentation received validation.
    My takeaway (in a way a “giveaway”) here, professionals need to take control of their presentation and style; where you outsource, no matter the quality of reputation of the professional or firm you engage, adequately review the product; make sure it reflects you and reflects YOUR voice.

  • Rochelle

    Cool story Corey–thanks for sharing!

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