“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, things weren’t happening. 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 – and profound confidence — about their unique voice, story, message, 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 helps new entrepreneurs and those who are pivoting, to build businesses grounded in who they really are.
Clients also loved my fun video workshops (infused with playful elements of improv, interviewing, and role-play) that helped them find their confidence on camera.
Expanding the video area of my business made sense because being on camera is my second home. I believe in video’s near magical ability to connect us on a visceral level, one human being to another. Mastering that power is essential if entrepreneurs want to develop genuine, long-lasting relationships with their clients in an increasingly virtual business world. And, video is fun! Sure, I would say that since I have a TV background, but it’s true.
Now, I help my clients build businesses that honour who they are; develop a unique and genuine brand presence and message; and express it in a compelling way on video. I also moderate lively business panels that audience’s love to watch; emcee events; teach breakout sessions; and I am a guest expert on panels and virtual summits.
Everything I do honours both sides of me: the master interviewer, and the thought-provoking performer who loves to stir things up and make it fun. 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 compelling brand presence) lies.
“True-to-self” brand presence and video. If you think it could help your business, let’s connect.