“True to self” was the motto of my high school, and I never forgot it.
That and carrying a torch for a guy until way too far into adulthood; advanced-level English class; and being valedictorian and discovering that my words, and my performance of them, could get laughs!
I was in the drama club, but this was different: I wasn’t hidden behind a character; I was connecting with the audience directly, and it felt incredible. Had I been true to self back then, I’d have tossed the torch and gone to acting school!
But the concept of true to self didn’t sink in until I became an accidental entrepreneur.
I worked for over 25 years in journalism; and in broadcast TV (on-camera and producing) with amazing teams, creating content for major Canadian media including YTV, CTV, HGTV, and MSN. Until I didn’t. I’d always gotten jobs—put myself through university working lots of them—but after a downsizing, I wasn’t getting hired. So, as a former journalist I did the logical thing and started a website copywriting business.
Inspired by one of my heroes, legendary founder of broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow, I presented each entrepreneur’s story in a compelling, balanced, and genuine way, in their voice and words, knowing that the clients who were a fit would respond.
As Murrow said, “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”
But I wasn’t being true to self: I had happy copywriting clients that I loved working with, but I was increasingly unhappy doing a solitary job in isolation. And, I was getting my clients’ voices out at the expense of my own and what lit me up—inspiring and entertaining an audience on camera or on stage. Turns out you can’t take the performer out of the journalist.
So, I stopped; took a sabbatical; and evaluated: What did I really want to do? What were the greatest benefits I would continue providing to clients? How could I offer them in a way that served both of us?
It was clear that my deep interview process and natural coaching ability gave my clients clarity on their unique brand message, voice, story, distinction, and ideal client. They’d always say, Kathy this is way more than great website copy! That became the inspiration for my signature program, which focuses not only on messaging, but also on the importance of doing work that honours who you are.
Clients also loved how my fun writing and video workshops (infused with playful elements of improv, interviewing, and role-play from my media background) helped them find their voice and the confidence to express their message in words and on video. I just needed to add private coaching; and more opportunities to speak on stage, on video, and as a guest expert.
Now, everything I teach or present honours both sides of me: the master interviewer and the thought-provoking performer who loves to stir things up. Or I don’t do it.
That yin/yang combination helps my clients get out of their heads and into their heart and gut where their deeper story (and their irresistible message) lies.
“True-to-self” brand messaging. If you think it could help your business, let’s connect.