Frequently Asked Questions
An Interview with Author, Speaker, Marketing Strategist, and Clarity Coach, Amanda H. Young, MBA
How long have you been a marketing strategist?
My marketing career began in 2000 when I went to work for one of the top advertising agencies in downtown Chicago. By the time I earned my MBA in 2004, I had already learned the ins and outs of the agency world and helped plan media buys, win new business, and support all aspects of agency life. As a natural-born planner, my agency experience offered a framework for thinking ahead and creating marketing plans that worked together with each part building on and enhancing the others.
How did you become a marketing expert?
I love learning new things. To get good at anything, you need to be a sponge and seek knowledge from as many experts as possible. For starters, I absorbed marketing strategy and brand theory from really talented professors. Then I worked closely with the leadership teams at creative advertising agencies who taught me to think without limits while asking great questions to uncover huge opportunities. While leading the marketing efforts for entrepreneurs, small businesses, start-ups, and nonprofits, I experienced a variety of challenges that provided me with an arsenal of solutions.
Whenever I was exposed to a new marketing or business topic that interested me, I signed up for classes, seminars, coaching, or online courses to keep my skills current. As an avid bookworm and life-long learner, I read 3-5 books a month on average for business and pleasure on top of Wired and Inc. Magazine.
The rest of my expertise comes from working closely with amazing entrepreneurs, living a full life with a family, kids and a dog, and running my own business.
Who are your clients?
My clients tend to fit into three different categories:
- Foundation Builders: Entrepreneurs with young kids and new businesses who want offer their services to make the world a better place by helping others. They are often overwhelmed by the idea of marketing, aren’t sure what to say to attract clients, and don’t clearly know who their ideal clients are. I’ve worked with a wide range of clients in a variety of industries including photographers, event planners, weight-loss coaches, intuitives, artists, personal stylists, consultants, life coaches, and interior designers. They are all looking for more clarity and the next steps to take to move toward their goals.
- Developers: Established entrepreneurs who are ready to grow their business, take it to the next level, and need a trusted adviser and sounding board to run their ideas by. They need help working through the challenges they face, and realize they aren’t meant to be in business alone. These entrepreneurs understand that doing everything themselves leads to burn out and instead chose to invest in a trusted adviser with the power to shine a light on the best solutions to fit their needs, budgets, and capabilities. They know what they don’t know and see the value in hiring exceptional support where they need it most.
- Renovators: Business owners who are stuck spinning their wheels, not getting the results they desire, and in need of a shift — in their energy, mindset, offerings, market, or some other aspect of their business that they can’t seem to get to “click”. They know something is out of alignment and they are ready to make the changes needed to get themselves and their businesses pointed in the right direction.
On the speaking side of my business, I work with event organizers looking for engaging speakers or emcees to entertain their entrepreneurial audiences. They need someone who can connect with their audiences to educate, inspire, and motivate their members, (in a very extemporaneous manner) to attract more clients, improve their networking skills, and become more effective leaders in their businesses.
What five words describe you best?
Adviser. Connector. Strategist. Fixer. Mom.
Adviser: Advice has been something business owners, friends, and family have been coming to me for my whole life. As a kid, I was described as “mature”, “an old soul” and “wise beyond her years”. Friends came to me for dating advice, homework questions, and help with their job searches. Now, they come to me for help planning their marketing strategies, learning how to network for new business, figuring out what to say on their websites, and building awareness of their services.
Connector: I love networking. Meeting new people, learning what their superpowers are, and figuring out how to thoughtfully connect them with the people they need makes me happy. I see opportunities others miss, and enjoy matchmaking every chance I get. And I’ve been compared to a chameleon when it comes to being comfortable in any networking situation.
Strategist: After getting the results from my Gallup StrengthsFinder, I suddenly understood why I always won strategic board games against all the boys. Four out of five of my top strengths support strategic thinking: Learner, Input, Strategic, Achiever, Intellection. That means I’m a sponge for knowledge, love influencing others, spot patterns, see the big picture in all I do, get things done, and find alternative solutions easily.
Fixer: As someone who is constantly looking for solutions, I’m a great resource whenever you’re in a pinch. By combining my vast knowledge base with my strategic tendencies, I’ve got a knack for finding efficient and effective ways to get what you want. With my training in Energy Mastery™, this now extends to include the ability to “fix” everything from mindset blocks to physical ailments like migraines.
Mom: I have two kids, Ada and Iain, an Architect husband, Rick, and a lab/border collie mix named Jax. As an entrepreneur, I juggle their needs with the demands of running a business and supporting my family. My success lies in the ability to work quickly, make decisions, stay on top of our schedules, and turn off my work when I’m home with my family. I’ve learned that all parts of our lives are intertwined so intricately that they feed from the same source and my job is to stay connected to that source to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
How are you different from other marketing strategists, business coaches, and consultants?
Many coaches and consultants go into a business with preconceived ideas, formulas, and suggestions without getting to know much about the people they are working with. They offer ideas, but no way of implementing them. Or they provide strategies that would be great if the business owner could afford support staff or had ten more hours in their day. Some even push their own services, products or agendas without much care for what the business actually needs.
I prefer to help entrepreneurs realize their goals by aligning their marketing strategy with their personal preferences (introverts need different tactics than extroverts) and resources (time, skills, knowledge and budget) so that they can successfully implement a marketing plan that works for them. I recommend individualized plans that break marketing down into manageable steps that get results, and ongoing support to adjust our strategy as the entrepreneurs I work with become more clear about what they want and where they want their business to go.
What kind of personality do you work best with?
I work best with entrepreneurs who are empowered to make decisions, open to change, willing to try something new… and able to get back up when things don’t work out perfectly. We naturally tend to want to work with people who are similar to ourselves. That tendency helps me attract optimists who want to make the world a better place while finding more efficient and effective ways to maximize the results from their efforts. My clients tend to hate networking and feel like self-promotion is slimy. Together, we can find creative ways to promote their work and attract their ideal clients in ways that align with their goals.
How do you work?
I start by asking a lot of questions about my clients’ businesses. We uncover their most pressing concerns and build a strategy to effectively fix what isn’t working, while focusing on what is. Once I have a clear picture of what services my client is providing and how they are positioned within the marketplace, I get a feel for what messaging will resonate best with their audience. We work together to identify goals they want to achieve and create an overall strategy and a step-by-step plan to make it happen. The work we do generates ideas that can be implemented quickly, easily, and affordably for fast, and sustainable, results.
What results can I expect?
Entrepreneurs who work with me find the clarity to move forward in their business and confidently know what their next steps are instead of constantly spinning their wheels and feeling exhausted. They focus on and attract more of their favorite clients so that they enjoy the work they do and achieve better results all around. They make more money and are less stressed about marketing. And they save time and money by investing in the right tactics. They are in control of their marketing, comfortable talking about their businesses, and consistently seeing results from the work they do.
Can I sign up for one strategy session with you?
Yes… but… I prefer working more long-term with my clients because I know that’s how they get the best results. In the early stages of business, I find that what we really want and what we think we want aren’t always aligned. As things shift in my clients’ businesses, new ideas are uncovered. By working together over several months, we can incorporate new insights into their marketing strategy to make it even stronger. When we have time to peel back the layers of their business, we see real results. Entrepreneurship isn’t something that is meant to do alone. I invest in coaches to support my expansion and growth, and encourage my clients to do the same because consistent actions breed consistent results.
I’m really busy and overwhelmed. How much time is involved before I get results?
I understand how valuable your time is. My work style is to maximize our time together while finding the clarity we need to decide the next best steps for you to take in your business. If you make our work together a priority, you’ll see results immediately. Like many things in life, if you put in the effort, you’ll see the rewards. The results you see will surprise you.
I haven’t invested in coaching before. Is this going to work?
My clients are amazed by how good they feel after our first meeting. The power of having clarity and support in your business is infinite. To get results, you have to show up and do the work. By being more clear about what you offer your clients, you’ll create momentum toward your goals. You’ll gain confidence in your messaging and have a clear picture of your ideal client. The beauty in this process is that, instead of splattering your marketing all over the place and hoping it works, you’ll have strategic messages that automatically attract your favorite clients. This stuff works, and it works on levels you have yet to imagine.
Will I see a return on my investment?
Yes. Sometimes marketing changes will have an obvious effect on your bottom line and you’ll know that a certain strategy led to new clients or the achievement of your business goals directly. Other times you’ll see changes in behavior (more social media activity, sign-ups for your newsletter, clicks on your website) that won’t translate into revenue immediately, but will grow your business in the long run. My goal with every client is to help them achieve their marketing goals while making more money. All of this assumes that you show up and do the work, of course.
If I’m not quite ready to get started, is there a way to sample your work?
Please read my book, Finding Clarity: Design a Business You Love and Simplify Your Marketing and complete the free companion workbook. Both will offer insights into how I work while helping you become more clear and confident in your business.
For more information, contact Amanda.
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