"If people continue to get great results and continue not to share my business there might not be a business in the future for them to benefit from and covet."
There's a weird phenomenon I experience. I remember being bright eyed and bushy tailed when I started in 2000. I saw the incredible results I was getting with clients and imagined there would be clients lining up from here till forever to experience the same:
"Wow, what a fantastic experience which is now changing how I view my life and everyone in it. Extensive counselling, the support of friends and my own efforts have more or less got me through but nothing has ever really made me take control of myself. I feel lighter, calmer and more balanced than I used to and I realise (at last) that I do have a choice over how I behave."
These are from the first brochure I created in 2001. They were suicidal, and anorexic and bulimic. They weren't after my 1-Day Breakthrough Session. Amazing right? Bring on the crowds.
Fake Coffee Dates and Secrets
Nope. The exact opposite happened; I had to graft for the majority of new clients and business because people would come to see me in secret; I remember one client where I had to remember to make sure she had a sip of coffee before leaving because she would tell her husband she was: "Meeting the girls for a coffee."
I figured back then it was a sign of the times; The concept of 'Life Coaching' was new, and Hypnotherapy was still associated with TV and stage hypnosis, and looking after your mental health was something really only seen in American TV Shows where someone seemingly neurotic had a "Shrink."
Nope. Almost 2 decades later it was is still a thing, and it isn't just associated to the stigma some have about receiving help and improving your life or mental health and wellbeing with Coaching or Therapy; worse still I discovered a more conscious aspect to it, I was people's "Best kept secret" and "Secret weapon."
I first heard those terms about 17 years ago. A clients friends were asking: "What happened to them???!!!" Because they couldn't believe the astounding overnight change in their confidence, outlook on life and way of being. Their response wasn't: "Oh my god you should go and see this amazing woman called Marilyn Devonish and do a Breakthrough Session" it was just a coy knowing smile.
I remember another client proudly telling me how they had gone from struggling and on the verge of failing their professional exams to juggling their busy working life and family life and studies with ease. When their classmates asked about the astounding change and turnaround their response to me was:
"I was just about to tell them about you and PhotoReading then I decided not to because you are my secret weapon and I didn't want them all catching up and doing it."
The Power of Social Proof
I kind of smiled when he said it because I know people mean it was as a compliment, and I was reminded again of how all these years later still not getting the benefit of word of mouth business and what Cialdini calls #SocialProof in his groundbreaking book Influence.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is becoming more prominent in digital marketing as a way to build buyer trust and confidence. The use of social proof is can be seen as written reviews, sliding banners featuring company logos, and video testimonials from industry influencers.
A common trend among digital marketers is the use of real-time social proof notifications on websites.
Social proof is also prominent on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The number of followers, fans, views, likes, favorites and even comments that a user has made, positively affects how other users perceive them. A user on Twitter with a million followers is perceived as more trustworthy and reputable than a similar user with a thousand followers, resulting in faster growth of followers and higher engagement and click-through-rates.. Although, these fake followers will never help meet business objectives or generate sales directly. SOURCE: Wikipedia
The power of social proof and social media persuasion moves people in your direction.
To learn more about Rober Cialdini and his work go to: https://www.influenceatwork.com/ You can also pick up a free chapter of his latest book.
You can also watch a taster below:
The Impact of No Proof
Having clients out in the world and on social media sharing their own experiences is far more valid than me being out there blowing my own trumpet. Those on my #eNewsletter list might remember my update a few years back where I shared my response when I was accused of making both my own story and client testimonials up because "no ones results and transformations could be that amazing." You can read the Blog I wrote in response to that here: http://marilyndevonish.com/results-amazing-seemingly-impossible-people-think-youre-scam-artist/
I understand their challenge because much of what I share is under the "someone said" guise which is akin to having a greyed out cartoon avatar on a profile. I do this because when clients are willing to share I always ask if they prefer to remain anonymous, which they misconstrued as me making the incredible feedback up.
Because the nature of the work we do is private I totally get people not wanting to talk about that aspect, it's no ones business what they are working on, however the net result is people often don't publicly share anything at all.
The Ripple Effect
AND, for those who don't share anything full stop, as you were, nothing to see here. What I'm intending to highlight is for those who could easily share and maybe haven't realised the importance and #RippleEffect of it.
In today's social media world even a simple 'Had a great session with Marilyn' or comment on posts with a quick sentence recommending a training or event to others has enormous power in both breaking through the algorithms and providing much needed social proof.
It has has always been about the Ripple Effect for me and the water drop above has been my logo since 2001. The intention was the changes of my Breakthrough Sessions would continue to ripple throughout someone's life, which has turned out to be the case.
I had a client get in touch after 10 years. Number 1 to recommend an Executive Coaching client to me, and number 2 said he had been meaning to get in touch and let me know:
"The positive effects of the Breakthrough Session are still rippling throughout my life."
Celebrity and Influencer Traction
I notice that generally people tend to be fine sharing or recommending posts and videos and quotes from famous people who essentially do what I do, the main difference I can see is they're famous.
My guess on that one is it's nice to be associated with the work of someone famous but has little perceived value if the person isn't that well known. It could also be you don't recognise the importance and big difference it can make to those of us who don't already have the groundswell of millions beneath our wings.
The Self Employment Roller Coaster
I had a fascinating conversation with someone this week who gave up their job a couple years ago to go self employed. I originally saw them a month after they resigned from their day job. They were excited and bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was excited for them. This week it was 2 or so years on. They were despondent and had gone back into full time employment; If you're reading this in real time the post about their roller coaster ride was shared 3 days ago on my page.
My 30-minute conversation with them reminded me about this choice and journey. The following day, having done another mind blowing Session with a lovely client they said those fateful words about me being their "best kept secret."
I smiled because I know they meant it as a compliment, and my heart also suddenly sank because I realised my journey has probably been way more challenging and up and down than it needs to be because of this weird 'secret' phenomenon.
Being secret and invisible doesn't make the ride and journey any easier.
I'm in several tech communities. There's a thing called white labelling where you strip out the providers company identity and label it as your own, and there is a very good and legitimate agency business reason for it. I have also witnessed on several occasions the potential downside to it; many of the companies providing brilliant and useful products and services go out of business because they don't get enough traction and repeat business to be sustainable, partly because the wider world doesn't know who they are.
It's of course a complex issue with many sales and marketing facets and goes way beyond social sharing, and the net result is as much as people love the service they provide, they are no longer in business to provide the said service.
I've got a big mouth in that respect, when I find products and services I like, I like and share and talk about them to help insure they continue to be around, and mention them if people are asking for recommendations in their field.
The challenge I now contemplate is the balance between clients being free to of course do what they want, which includes not sharing, and how to break the cycle of having little public support or word of mouth.
The Potential Trap of Self Sufficiency
I was out with a friend last night who shared another interesting perspective. She said: "When you do good work and appear to be everywhere and doing a load of things, people assume you don't need any new business or help doing what you do."
I am enormously grateful to all my clients over the past 18.5 years and I recognise how much more can be done and achieved when I resolve this. If you have been a client during that time and are happy to share you can write a Google Review here:
I'm currently running a Webinar Series about raising your vibration where we close with my: "Notice what you notice" idea. Even though I am the one running the Program I am not excluded from noticing old patterns and blockages it is time to clear, and it was partly that which prompted this post and Blog.
Responses to this Post
This originated as a post I wrote for my Facebook and it elicited some incredible shares and responses. Adding the additional voices was an afterthought however the responses were so good I am sharing what some contributors said with their permission.
I will continue to add to the shares as I collect permissions.
The Rebel Rev Monica Douglas-Clark said:
Monica Douglas-Clark shared a post.9 mins ·
"Marilyn Devonish is a dear friend, money mentor, teacher and fellow transformational leader. I love her open letter as it eloquently articulates the problem that we face of being our clients #bestkeptsecret.
You know that businesses thrive or die as a result of testimonials and referrals.
It takes courage and confidence to admit that you've had or have challenges of the body, heart, mind or spirit. When you share your vulnerability it's not a weakness but evidence of your humanity and strength.
You do not have to share the intimate details of your dirty laundry but to admit that you have it and regularly get it washed shows that you are human. If you use a stellar launderette, remember to give a 5 star review. It may keep them in business and help many other people.
I am so grateful to my current and former clients who recommend my services.
I also give thanks to God for all of my trainers, teachers, mentors, guides, peers and friends for their loving professional support over the years. I'm going to make it a consistent habit to write testimonials. I need to honour the help I've received to restore my health and wellbeing physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually over the years.
Please remember to share, like, recommend and give testimonials for the professionals that you have benefited from. Someone in the midst of challenge may need to see your endorsement to step forward and benefit too."
About Rebel Rev Monica Douglas-Clark
Monica inspires business rebels and disruptors to be well, abundant and impactful after challenge, loss or life change.
She helps these unconventional leaders to be physically well, release emotional baggage and get mental clarity through mentoring, practical spirituality and kick-ass accountability.
Monica creates safe, sacred spaces, bespoke rituals and practices for these talented and driven professionals to enable them to be vulnerable, listened to & supported. This enables them to transform worry, uncertainty and insecurity into strength, focus, purpose and action. Website: www.businesswellbeing.co.uk
An Coppens from Gamification Nation said:
"Just gave you a shout out on LinkedIn Marilyn where I have more of an audience. I also mentioned your money challenge program on a podcast and wrote about your work in a blog in the past and linked it to your website.
I also have to add that I have over the years been a client of many coaches, therapists and trainers. To be the best version of me it takes a whole team I feel 😀. Not necessarily because I am particularly messed up or at least not anymore but it’s like fine tuning when I am not happy with a result or need help to get to the next level.
One thing that annoys me as a client is any one person claiming they were the one instrumental for my success. Now I work freaking hard myself and on myself with a whole bunch of people so what I achieve at best is team work. If anyone should get the credit it ought to be the client.
I think Marilyn has a great way of turning my emails with raw and very identifiable material into meaningful and anonymous testimonials I can approve. Some of the things I deal with through Marilyn are very personal and nobody else’s business, but I at the same time I am happy for her to make them into testimonials."
About An Coppens
An Coppens is a leading expert in gamification for learner and employee engagement, with over 15 years experience in creating behaviour change through creative and innovative solutions. Her company Gamification Nation, won the Outstanding Gamification Agency Award in 2017 at Gamification Europe and the Excellence in No-Tech Gamification Design in 2018 at GamiCon 18. In 2018 she was listed in the elite of e-learning professionals.
She is an award-winning Speaker, L&D professional, business and executive coach and author. Her speaking style is interactive and engaging. Go to: https://www.ancoppens.com
Kay Westmorland The Conscious Accountant said:
"Well I have to say how shocked I am that people like Marilyn Devonish are not referred all over the place! The woman is a true expert in her field and has made a huge difference to me over the past few years!
Her PhotoReading course changed my life in a weekend!! I draw weekly insights from her Membership Group, never one to miss #TarotTuesday! Her Coaching cards and her new Money Breakthrough cards are fabulous and I am excited about what will show up over the coming weeks as I use them regularly! And then there are all the courses that she offers that I’ve yet to enjoy such as Huna and Access Consciousness!!
She really is a ‘secret’ that I want to share with all I know! Please check her out!"
About Kay Westmorland
If you want to get more conscious with your numbers, finance and accounting, and have someone lend you compassionate helping hand get in touch with Kay. Email: email@example.com
Anneke van Genderen from Silver Bullet Healing said:
"Marilyn Devonish really describes here what it is like to work in the coaching / healing / self development business if you are not one of the big names in this field.
It is amazing to be someones secret weapon / best kept secret.
It would be even more amazing if people would at least share it with their nearest and dearest and their peers.
How amazing would it be if all of your friends and family would benefit of a similar upgrade? Just imagine you all growing together.
Anyway. Have a read."
About Anneke van Genderen
Anneke is the Founder of Silver Bullet Healing and offers a simple solution to complicated problems. If you have been struggling with muscle, joint and longstanding health issues get in touch. Website: https://www.silverbullethealing.co.uk
My Testimonial Own #Synchronicity
Whilst writing this Blog I was recommending the Kyvio platform to someone who was asking about building a Membership site so looked up their page to see if they are still doing their $1 trial, which they are, click here to check them out, and who did I see on their testimonials page but me!
I used Kyvio to build my Membership Group website and sales funnel and landing pages. You can view the Kyvio driven sales page here: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.devonish
And, just to add to this story, a few hours after writing this Blog, this happened:
One of my clients saw the post and is going to take a look at Kyvio because she's thinking of building a site. I so love it when a plan and the Ripple Effect come together! #DivineTiming
The Ripple Effect is Already Working
I wrote the original Facebook post on Saturday morning. It is now Monday Morning and I've already seen several Ripple Effect instances, one of which is below:
Their message to Monica Douglas-Clark:
"Thanks Monica - testimonial and social proof are so powerful. We need to be able to share when we have been helped and thanks for mentioning me. The energy clearing work you do is transformational and has really helped me. Happy to give you a testimonial!"
My Favourite Things
I've got to do a bit of updating however you will find some of my favourite things in terms of technology and products and services here:
Thank you all for a wonderful, enlightening, thought provoking, life affirming, and fun conversations. It is amazing to connect with people around the world in this way, and one of the reasons I am transitioning and replicating my 1 and 3-day Workshops online.
Contact Information for Marilyn Devonish
To read more about the 1-Day Breakthrough Sessions go to; http://marilyndevonish.com/breaking-up-the-easy-way-it-only-took-6-hours/
Coaching and Therapy Quiz
When it comes to the field of Coaching, Therapy, Self and Personal Development and Emotional Health and Wellbeing there is a LOT more choice than when I became a Coach back in October 2000.
I often have people asking where they should start or what comes next with the vast array of modalities on offer so I created an anonymous Online Quiz to help you decide. Go to: https://app.involve.me/tranceformationstm/which-therapy-is-right-for-you