November 29th, 2020

Hello folks ๐Ÿ™‚ I began this month of November with a post about Karin Brauner, an accredited counsellor with a big heart. I should like to round the month off in mirror fashion, as I introduce none other than Karin herself as…my first guest blogger ๐Ÿ˜‰

Read on for Karin’s advice (paired with mine) on how to become successful in this world, no matter what it is you love doing!

โ˜˜๏ธ โ˜˜๏ธ โ˜˜๏ธ

Find out what your N.A.M.E. is!

Hey there! I’m Karin, and I’ve come over to Andy’s blog to give you some insight and food for thought. Here’s why you need to read Andy’s novel Folk Springs Eternal, and buy his course when it comes out in the near future.

I’ll write a proper book review once I’ve finished reading it myself (I’m at 40% or so, according to Kindle ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Look out for that post on my website soon!

So far, I’ve been taken on a journey into the folk scene, the pub scene over in Canada, and into the fictional entrepreneurial lives of Gus, Lin, “Herman”, Rash, and others. Are you hooked already? Well, go get the book then, what are you waiting for?

In regard to setting yourself up for success, Andy’s novel isnโ€™t just a novel, it comes with a lesson or two, and these lessons are learned through the journey of his main characters, but also through the follow-up course This Is My N.A.M.E. I can’t wait to see what Andy teaches us from module 2 onwards.

There are four things included in the N.A.M.E. acronym. Allow me, in the next few paragraphs, to whet your appetite for Andy’s novel and upcoming course. Naturally, I’ll be speaking from my own entrepreneurial experience too, as a counsellor, supervisor, and more recently author, coach, workshop presenter and much more (yes, I’m a busy lady with lots of strings to my bow, and darn proud of it!)

Let’s get right to it thenโ€ฆ

 

Niche

There’s a lot of talk about finding your niche when working. I understand the premise of this for many businesses; it helps you outline who your audience is, who you want to help with your products and services, and also not to get overwhelmed with doing everything or being everything to everyone, without clear direction.

For many, the final answer is that it is a good idea to have a niche.

For me, in the counselling area of my business, I felt that a very specific niche like “depression”, “anxiety” or “autism” wasn’t going to work. Even though I would still be able to see more than these type of clients, it still felt too constricted and restrained if I were to have a very specific niche for my counselling business.

It was only when I started writing 20 Self-Care Habits that I realised what my generic counselling niche was. I was quite happy with it actually, and it’s been on my website ever since.

It’s something that I find important in my life, but have seen as having a great impact in my clients’ lives and relationships. It’s a thread relating to boundaries, self-care, and what the client needs for themselves and from those around them.

I believe that this framing of my generic counselling niche offers my potential clients the freedom to contact me with anything that might be ailing them at any particular time. It doesn’t limit me to “if you’re not depressed or anxious or autistic, don’t contact me”, which is the vibe I might send out if I niche down too specifically.

In regard to other areas of my work, though, I find it useful to find more specific niches. My social media workshops, for example, are geared towards counsellors and other mental health workers that might be interested in building their private practices through content marketing, such as blogging, or using images and video.

You can see there that I’ve narrowed my niche down to blogging and creating content, and also narrowed my audience down to, well basically, private mental health practitioners.

I hope that with this brief insight into my views of niche-ing, you get a thirst for the more in-depth support that I’m sure you’ll find in Andy’s course.

 

Accountability

Ah, this is a key word. I believe that accountability is crucial, whether it’s actively meeting with one, or with several people to keep tabs on each other’s work, and stay on track with one’s own personal deadlines.

I do find it tricky sometimes (just ask Andy!), as I have been a very independent worker for such a long time. This is why building my own business works for me. I do it how I like.

BUT! There’s something about having a regular meeting with like-minded people, which we’ve been doing with the “Igniting Souls London” chapter members every fortnight since Covid began. As leader of this group, I felt it would help us keep “sane” amidst the lockdowns and ever-changing guidance, and the situation in general. It has proven absolutely essential for helping all of us to keep on track.

I’ll leave this question with you: have you got an accountability buddy (or buddies) that will help you move forward with your business?

Again, I can’t stress this enough. Check out Andy’s course, watch his trailer videos via this link, and get on that road to success!

 

Marketing

As I mentioned above, I help mental health professionals build their private practices through content marketing.
There are many other ways of doing this, but this is the most fun way I’ve found. I am, though, a self-confessed computer geek (with lots yet to learn, but still… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so this method might not suit everyone.

In the end, marketing is about getting your message out there. How you do it will have a lot to do with your knowledge, willingness to learn new skills and programs, time availability, budget to hire people to do it for you, time you want to devote to your business, and more. Your personality will also have an impact on how you market yourself.

A tip for you right now is that, with all the lockdown situations going on worldwide, online marketing will be the best way to reach your audience. You can reach more people than just your local community, and you can find more people to network and connect with online. Plus!: social media marketing is free! And I know we all love a bit of the “free” stuff. Yes, you can buy ads on the different platforms, but why would you, when “bombarding” people (gently, and according to posts’ half-lives on each platform) will do it for you?

I did it that way. Yes, a bit rogue, but it worked!

 

Earnings

Are you going to charge pennies for your hard work? Or are you going to set your fees as a representation of how you value your studies, experience, and ability to help people with what you claim you can help them with?

What’s the right fee? I’d say look at the going rates in your field; I did this for counselling but it might be different in regard to coaching and other areas of my business.

Another way would be to consider how much your knowledge is privy to a minority, and how much the people looking for your help see you as an expert. Even if you never call yourself that!

Lastly, I want to say this: you can definitely earn a living from doing what you love.

I never do anything that I don’t enjoy. If I’ve ever stopped enjoying something, then I’ve pivoted and found something else that is enjoyable and that I do love doing.

Remember, it’s a process. Trust it and keep moving forward. Whether the steps seem small, medium or large, keep moving. Every step gets you closer to that bigger goal in your heart.

 

Karin Brauner is an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). She holds a BA in Clinical Psychology and Counselling, and has over 15 years’ counselling experience with various life issues, and within a variety of settings.