Hello! 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
Who I work with
My mission is to help self-employed professionals succeed in business by being their authentic selves. My clients tend to have these attributes:
Wisdom along with deep experience and/or extensive education
My clients often have multiple areas of expertise and/or in-depth knowledge about a specific subject. Being a "smarter than the average bear" brings up a significant marketing challenge: difficulty clearly and succinctly explaining what you do. How on earth can you pack years of experience, expertise and wisdom on a myriad of complex and nuanced thoughts across multiple modalities into a 30 second sound bite? (Spoiler: you can't. Fortunately...you don't have to!)
Strong values and a desire to do business in an ethical way
This makes sales and marketing exceptionally challenging. The teachings of most sales and marketing "gurus" are based on psychologically manipulative techniques. This often looks like a choice: either suck it up and "do what works" - or hope that positive "word of mouth" from your grateful clients will be enough to sustain your business. The former is exceedingly difficult to pull off when you have a conscience. The latter isn't enough to sustain you until you are very well-established. (Good news for you: there IS a middle way.)
Content to remain self-employed doing the "thing that you do"
If you read the E-myth and felt sad because Anna doesn't get to bake pies anymore, you'll understand this. While others were born to manage a team, build an empire or self-promote themselves into celebrity status - your gift lies in the specific service you offer. You want to focus on the work you do as a healer, coach, consultant or freelancer. And yes, make a great living doing it!
A unique perspective and a desire to do things your way
This might mean freedom to set your own hours, choose where and when you work and what you wear. It can also mean doing things a little differently than others in your industry do. Or doing multiple things instead of being resigned to a single specialty. This means that marketing programs based on formulas, blueprints and cookie-cutter systems will never fit you.
(All of this? Describes me too.)
About me. My story & approach.
"Actually, I don't like marketing any more than you do"
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
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 sales techniques like 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.
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."
The official stuff. Experience and credentials.
Most of what I know and teach comes from direct experience: I've been a small business owner or self-employed professional for most of my working life.
My first business was a video store.
I operated a small real estate agency with one of my former husbands. I was a licensed Realtor.
I freelanced as a programmer, technical trainer, web developer, instructional designer and copywriter.
I built my first website in 1994. True + fun story: when I showed it to my client, he asked me if I could fax it to him. 🙂
For the past 7 years, I've offered coaching and consulting services.
As a lifelong learner, I invest thousands of dollars every year into books, courses, workshops and coaching programs. Here are some highlights:
Microsoft Certified Trainer: taught network and database administration to mid-life career changers. In other words, very geeky technical courses to people who were not necessarily technically savvy (or in some cases even comfortable using computers.) This challenged me to get very good at explaining complicated concepts in plain language.
Instructional designer and distance learning research at Royal Roads University: developed Introduction to SQL course and e-learning systems analysis course. I also helped develop a web application for creating and delivering courses online. Working closely with Doctors of Education, I learned a LOT about creating classroom and online training for adult learners of various learning styles.
Erickson Coach Training: Art & Science of Coaching: intensive training in solution-focused coaching, including 128 hours of Accredited Coach Specific Training. My big takeaway from this training: I'm not built to be a coach. My skills lie in consulting and training.
Toastmasters International: member from 1998 - current. Hold DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) - the highest achievement award. Served as Public Relations Manager for District 21 (all of BC at the time). Competed at District level in both Humourous and International Speech Contests.
Approximately a million gazillion sales and marketing programs. A few of them were really good. Most of them were disappointing. The 1980s sales training was downright scarring. The decent ones all boiled down to some version of the following: understand who is going to buy from you, clearly communicate how what you're offering will help them...then ask them to buy it.