Hi, I’m Patty K.

I’m a business coach/consultant/educator specializing in ethical marketing. (Apparently, I'm also a fan of oxymorons.)

I work with self-employed professionals to help them clarify their message and build a client attracting system for their business based on honesty, empathy and education.

I've been self-employed for most of my working life - primarily as a computer programmer/systems analyst. So I bring my clients real world business experience - along with a logical, systematic approach to marketing with a keen eye to "debugging" what isn't working.

Exciting details (and shocking confessions) below.

Patty K is an interesting combination of business acumen, tech savvy and a barrel full of monkeys. She is precise and concise and fun.

~ Amanda O’Leary

Read more client testimonials here: Testimonials

"Actually, I don't like marketing any more than you do"

Oops. Was that my out loud voice?

So...maybe that wasn't the most reassuring thing to say to a room full of people who had signed up for my marketing class.

But I'm a fan of honesty...and that's the truth.

I am not a marketer. Marketing is not my business.

I'm a writer. A teacher. A coach and consultant. Marketing is my subject.

I love studying marketing. I love teaching marketing. I love helping my clients get better at marketing.

But I don't particularly love doing the marketing for my own business - and I would happily skip it if clients would simply show up.

Especially when I think about "marketing" in the way that some people in my industry teach it.

Which brings me to another potentially credibility destroying confession.

I'm often embarrassed to be part of the business coaching and marketing industry

It doesn't work. It's over-priced. But if you order before midnight, you get the "fast action bonus."

When I see people use (and teach) pushy, deceitful and psychologically manipulative "marketing" tactics, I want to distance myself from my own profession. Here are a few of the things that I oppose:

  • Making completely unrealistic claims about results (search my archives, you'll find a few rants about this 6 figures in 6 weeks kind of bullshit)
  • Promising "valuable information" in a presentation or webinar - and then delivering an infomercial
  • Promoting the idea of a lifestyle instead of actual content and expertise (look at me - I'm rich and beautiful and I have expensive stuff - therefore I am clearly an expert who can help you have those things too)
  • Selling ridiculously expensive coaching programs to people who are not ready or able to implement the advice
  • Using psychologically manipulative "sell from the stage" techniques
  • Offering "fast action bonuses" -  drastic price reductions to people who make a hurried "investment" decision

Underlying these tactics is this premise:

If people truly understood what we were selling and had time to think about it - they would choose NOT to buy. Therefore we have to trick them.

Fortunately, there's an alternative. Let's call it marketing for people with a conscience

You understand my problem! I can see how your service will really help me! Here...take my money! Sign me up! I'm in!

If people would gladly buy your product or service if they understood how it could help them, you don't need to trick or persuade them into buying. You just need to clearly communicate the value.

Marketing is communication. As Steven Covey says: "seek first to understand, then to be understood."

Empathize - show that you understand your potential client's situation. Look at everything from their perspective and meet them there. Use their language. Talk about their concerns and problems.

Once you understand their needs, you can build a bridge to what you offer.

Educate and explain - show them how what you do can help them. Answer their questions.

When you approach marketing from this perspective, you eliminate selling. Selling is about persuading and convincing, getting people to do something that they don't want to do. (If they don't need or want your service, they are NOT a potential client.)

Instead, you get to use your strengths. You get to be helpful and of service.

As one of my clients put it: "Wow, Patty. This is more like counselling than selling."

How can a systems analyst help you with marketing???

Me in the 1980s. And yes...I repaired computers and assembled them from parts.

I've been self-employed for most of my life - primarily as a systems analyst, programmer and technical trainer.

In my early 20s, when I decided that computers were interesting and I wanted to learn more, I taught myself how to program by reading a book. My first project was a video store management system. No classes. No teacher. No problem. This stuff was made for my brain.

Two natural talents made me a good systems analyst and programmer. The first was being able to see and create the complicated relationships across the big picture - knowing how the various pieces communicated with each other - structuring the system so that the "inputs" gave the desired "outputs."

The other is debugging. Seeing the problem, analyzing the root cause and fixing it.

Computers, programs and networks (like the internet) - are systems. Each is made up of an intricate series of processes that need to work together. If one part isn't working, the whole thing can come crashing down.

Marketing is a system. Marketing problems are "bugs"

Marketing is a system. Let's make sure that the inputs lead to the desired outputs.

Marketing is a system too. It's not just one thing. There's a series of steps that need to happen between finding strangers who need your services and turning them into happy paying clients.

If your marketing isn't producing clients, part of the system is either missing or not working correctly.

If you're not good at systems or debugging - it can be really easy to miss the real problem - and waste a ton of time, effort and money on the wrong things.

Example? Let's say your website isn't bringing you any business.

What's the real problem?

Hey! I have an idea! Let's find the real problem...and solve that!

It might be:

  • A lack of traffic: not enough people are visiting the site
  • The wrong traffic: people are visiting, but they're not potential clients
  • The words on the site: they're not communicating with visitors and inspiring them to connect
  • The visual appearance of the site: maybe it looks unprofessional or untrustworthy or out-of-date
  • A missing call to action or difficulty finding contact information or incorrect contact information
  • A technical problem with the site: links not working, not displaying properly on mobile devices
  • Not having a way to capture an email address

Or maybe it's not a problem with the website at all. Maybe you ARE getting business from your site but you don't know it because you're not tracking it. Maybe the real marketing problem lies somewhere else.

When someone (like, say...me) approaches this problem from a systems perspective, they start by analyzing to determine the actual problem before they attempt to "fix" anything. (This is the very first step I take with every client: an assessment of their entire marketing system - regardless of where the problem appears to be.)

Most "marketing solutions" don't work because they don't solve the actual problem

My only tool is a hammer. Oh my...look at all those nails you have!

Not many people approach it from a "let's find the real cause first" way. Most people simply offer their favourite solution. Instead of careful analysis, you get:

  • You need better SEO!
  • Websites don't work! You should be on social media!
  • Your site has too many words! You need video!
  • You shouldn't use WordPress. You should be on Joomla.
  • You need better branding and a new logo (or a sexy sexy photoshoot in front of the Eiffel Tower)

And next thing you know, you're shelling out thousands of dollars for something that may or may not solve the problem.

If your marketing isn't working, the issue is rarely tactical

Any marketing activity can work if it's done well in the right situation. Websites work. Cold calling works. Networking works. Advertising works. Direct mail works. Social media works.

Most marketing problems stem from poor messaging, a missing or ineffective piece of your system or a flawed strategy.