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Molly Hicks, Brand strategist on Google Meet Call with perspective business owner needing help with biz strategy

Brand Strategist or Biz Coach: What’s the forking difference?

When you start a business–it typically starts with the same three thing: Inspiration, passion, and drive. Those things can take you pretty far in your new business journey. It can build a site on SquareSpace or Wix, build a T-shirt shop on Shopify with the help of Printful or Printify, or it can get you your first few clients. But eventually you realize that things are NOT optimal or even intentional. Everything exists out of survival, or extreme need. Little forethought is present. You KNOW you need a person to help you find a way forward. But on Facebook and LinkedIn it feels like coaches and strategists are used interchangeably. You aren’t sure what you actually need–or frankly if they are even the same thing.

The truth is sometimes they are the same thing–and sometimes they aren’t. Some people use the terms interchangeably because they serve both roles. While others claim to be strategists but really only serve the role of a coach. So it’s important to focus more on your goals, and less on the title so you can be sure that–whatever that person you hire calls themselves–you achieve your goals.

What is a business coach, and what do they do for me?

Business coaches help you understand what YOU want from your biz, how to break down internal barriers and help you figure out who you need to help you achieve your goals. Essentially biz coaches focus on your mindset. The goals you accomplish with these people tend to look at how you can improve your way of thinking to make changes in your business.

  • Do you need boundaries?
  • Are you communicating clearly?
  • Do you want to change directions?
  • Why are you feeling what you feel about your business?
  • Are you resenting your clients

The big takeaway here is that coaches (who don’t identify as anything else) only help you on the mindset of business and not the execution of business. Most people tend to need to hire an additional person to help them implement things they need to accomplish to be more intentional in business.

A coach would be great for you if…

  • You are a person who needs to process things for a long time before making plans, or implementing processes.
  • You have a team who can implement for you, but you feel like a mindset shift would help
  • You are considering building a business and need help finding your direction
  • You are looking for a specialized coach to help you figure out how to better do what you do

What is a brand/business strategist, what do they do for me?

Brand strategist and business strategists help you work on the internal structures of your business and help them work on a macro and micro level. They look at the big picture. What you want to achieve? What are you accomplishing now? How can you bridge the gap between those two things? The goals you accomplish with a strategist typically involve multiple facets with your business. They are not single focused on just one layer of your business plan–but every layer of your business. Tasks with brand strategists are action oriented. The encompase the entirety of your business and typically involve everyone on your team–not just you!.

  • Do you understand your ideal client and are you actually marketing to them?
  • Is you branding focused on your niche or is it missing the mark?
  • Do you have a marketing plan that has a multi-layered approach?
  • How are your potential clients making their way through your sales web (because funnels aren’t really a thing. I get ranty about that here.)
  • Are there systems (both automated, and how-to accomplish a task oriented) in place to make sure your client experience is on point?

Now the bonus with brand strategists is a lot of times they wear multiple hats NOT just the global thinker. In order for them to do the job–they also have to play the role of coach and collaborator. Many like myself play implementation roles as well. Meaning you can find a strategist that can help you work through your mindset blocks while building a new business infrastructure that resonates with your values and can help you put all the pieces into action. Say hello to that whole new client experience without hiring 10 different people.

A brand/business strategist would be great for you if…

  • You have a business that is feeling clunky–but it’s working–and you want to streamline
  • Their are people inquiring about your services and booking–but you feel that they are just missing the mark of ideal client status
  • You want to expand your offering to a wider audience
  • Your business has evolved and you need help piecing things together in a way that feels more intentional
  • You’ve previously built a successful business and are starting a new business venture that you want to not fumble through
  • You’re a one-human show and are ready for delegation but the business isn’t well structured to do that at the moment and you have ZERO time to figure out how to fix that 

Can I hire both a coach and a strategist?

Of course you can! If you have found two people who resonate with you, and you want them both to help you achieve your business goals then hire both! The big thing if you want to work with BOTH a coach and a strategist is that those two people need to be on the same page. Let them both know that you are working with the other, and keep both in the loop about what they other is working on with you. Allow them opportunities to have a group chat with you as well. The key here is open communication. 

There have been times I have seen biz coaches (who were unaware of the big business picture) send people on not so stellar paths. This wasn’t intentional-they just were not aware of the ultimate goals of the client. This can all be avoided with open communication. Business coaches and Brand strategists can make an amazing team to help you build your business–but only if they both can communicate openly with you and each other.

Now it’s time to make the best decision for you and your business about whether you need a strategist or a coach (or both!) I can’t wait to see what you accomplish with your business. And just remember business coaches work with your mindset, biz strategists are do-ers that bring intention to your business. If you are ready for a brand strategist–but your biz bank account isn’t quite ready for a 1:1 approach–remember that the Make Shit Happen Hour is always here!

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