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Ready for another mini-rant? Seriously, if you’ve never met me, you might think I’m really a grumbly person- but I’m truly not. There are just a few things which grit my nerves- and, adding to the list- style is easy, substance is not.

This comes directly out of my intense annoyance at all the so-called business coaches whose main strategy seems to be “get good branding” and “look pretty” as their two main avenues of client generation.

Now, while I can do all the girl things just as well as anyone, the truth is, looking pretty is not enough. Especially not as online business is becoming more competitive, and good branding is becoming increasingly easier to get.

Style is easy, substance is not.

What all the “look at me, I’m so pretty” people don’t realize is that style might draw them in, but substance is what actually makes them stay. Yes, shockingly, you can have substance even with little or no style. (If you saw this website before its recent makeover, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

The downside is that without at least some style, people are less focused on your substance. So, as with most things, you need to find a balance of presenting a credible and presentable online image, but, remembering, too, that style is not going to carry the day indefinitely- not for you, and not for your clients.

When you are looking to work with someone to help you grow your business, it’s vital to not get so carried away by someone’s style that you completely skip over a deficit of substance. 

This goes hand in hand with something I posted a few weeks ago; the concept of being wary of what everybody says, in which I write about the idea that we sometimes accept too easily the experiences that other people predict for us- without looking at the data and metrics of our own specific business.

The style/substance thing is a bit like that. When you’re looking to work with a professional to help you grow your business- in any dimension- do focus on working with someone who can demonstrate proof of results that you want.

Don’t just pick someone because they look pretty, have nice branding, or have a lot of fans, friends, or followers. (Believe me, there are plenty of ways to get those numbers up, and they don’t necessarily mean anything real.)

Instead, observe how this person interacts with their colleagues, friends, and community (social media makes this so incredibly easy.) Read what people say about them. Note if they “walk their talk” in their own writings, presentations, and marketing. If they don’t, that’s your indication to dig a little bit deeper.

While everyone wants the glitz and glamor, i.e. the popularity- remember that it’s the substance- i.e. the profitability- that actually makes your business run.

I believe you deserve to be liked, and rich. When you’re looking to work with a business coach- just be sure they can actually help you manifest both outcomes.