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  • Writer's pictureHilary Young

Bridging the Marketing Confidence Gap: How Sarah Wahiba Senan Learned to Love Marketing Her Business

“I didn’t like having to think about marketing my business; it was something I wanted to avoid,” said Sarah Wahiba Senan, a professional life coach. “Marketing felt very sterile, very salesy and sleazy–all things which really don’t feel good for me. It all made me very uncomfortable and I became convinced that it just wasn’t for me.”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re (clearly) not alone. Sarah is just one of many Hilary Young Creative clients who report feeling this way during their Discovery Call. One client even told me that marketing her business made her “feel icky.”

And for good reason: sales are transactional, and for many business owners and entrepreneurs, they are looking to go beyond transaction to actually build community and connection. Good marketing aims to take a more human approach to these transactions, and great marketing is focused on forging stronger connections with your target market.

But without confidence in your approach and a solid strategy for how to achieve your goals, it often seems impossible to get a handle on your marketing. That’s where I come in. I work with all of my clients to help bridge that confidence gap between their anxiety around marketing and embracing marketing as a fun and awesome tool to grow their business.

If you’re skeptical that working with me can get you from Point A to Point B, take a look at how we achieved this for Sarah in three easy steps:

Step One: Seek Out Help

Although Sarah knew that she was avoiding marketing her business, she also knew that it was a necessary function for growth. 

“I saw a video you posted on Instagram comparing how people feel about branding to a Taylor Swift lyric and intuition just kicked in about learning more about you,” Sarah said. “I wasn’t totally sure what you even did, but it felt very personal and approachable.”

Remaining true to herself and the nature of her business, Sarah didn’t want to engage in anything that wasn’t in alignment with her values or authentic to who she was. As a result, she had developed a lot of fear and anxiety about explaining what she did to others and it was preventing her from communicating effectively. Making a choice to bring in help allowed Sarah to take a first step towards mending her complicated relationship with marketing

“I went to your website and knew I needed to make friends with marketing,” she said. “I really hated selling, but it seemed like you could help guide me through it in a way that felt right to me. Before that, I didn’t even know people like you existed.”

Sarah booked a Discovery Call with me, and was very clear about her dislike of marketing–especially when it came to social media. I knew how she felt, because I also felt that about marketing my business early on, long before I had a content strategy to keep me on track. I promised Sarah that I could help her and told her I felt confident that I could get her to love social media by the end of our time together. She hired me, but proceeded with caution.

Step Two: Create A Strategy That Works For You

Sarah had worked with a business coach in 2018 who helped her get clarity on a variety of topics. But when it came to the social media piece, Sarah felt disconnected from her “formula for success on social media,” with a focus on beating the algorithm and building generic funnels. It stopped feeling authentic, and instead created a lot more anxiety for her.

“It was all about just trying to hook people and pull them into a funnel and I didn’t want to contribute to that. I put a lot of pressure on it and felt like each post needed to be perfect. I was tied to the likes and had no strategy–it felt like I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall.”

When Sarah and I first started working together, we threw that concept out the window. I don’t cater to vanity metrics (followers, likes, views) because they’re never actually meaningful when it comes to actually growing a business. Instead, we got to work understanding Sarah’s core audience segments and crafting thoughtful messaging that spoke directly to their needs and challenges. 

“You met me where I was and we created something that I can reference and go back to whenever I need it. It’s so meaningful.”

By taking the focus off of selling her services and instead placing an emphasis on how she could help others, Sarah started to see how marketing could actually be in alignment with her values.

“It was so grounding and empowering,” said Sarah. “I had a sense of control and focus, and when we were done with our sessions I not only walked away with a system but also with such an education on marketing. I actually finished out my year with it being my best ever in business.”

Step Three: Confidently Market Your Business

Once Sarah had a plan in place–one that involved a detailed look at her target audience, clear value propositions, a set of brand values that aligned with her approach to business, and a compelling brand story–she felt like a weight had been lifted in terms of how to talk about what she did and market the business to prospects.

“The process gave me agency. I realized I could choose where and how I show up and it could always be in a way that felt good,” Sarah said. “And then having a content strategy made it less overwhelming, since we picked three channels for me to focus on–Instagram, email, and LinkedIn–and realizing I didn’t have to be everywhere was huge.”

As a result, Sarah hit her financial goal for the year. More than that: they were all the right clients who were finding her.

She has also grown the opt-in numbers for her email list, which currently has an average 50% open rate and 6-7% click through rate on the links she shares.

“It’s helped me become more strategic about how I approach marketing moving forward,” she said. “I’ve started doing things differently and am operating with more confidence–finding new ways to showcase my services and share what I do with people and having so much fun with it. I feel so inspired! I have a whole folder on my phone where I keep ideas. It’s absolutely all a product of the structure that we built together.”

Grow Your Business With Confidence

Sarah was happy to learn that I build brand strategy holistically, not platform-by-platform. Building a brand is a lot like building a house: it’s a lot easier to grow upwards when you have a solid foundation.

“It’s all about meeting people where they are. The work you do is customized–you’ll work within the bounds of what feels good for your clients. I trusted you and you really guided me on how to think completely differently about my business and marketing. You’re not teaching people how to master a platform, you’re giving them a strategy that applies to everything.” 

So, what do you think? Are you ready to book your Discovery Call?


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