Her mission is “To make each life I touch better in some way for my having touched it.” – meet J.S., the Life and Business Development Coach, founder of Success Coaches Institute.
Her twitter id is @TheSCICoach and she is probably one of the few twitters I know who actually engages her followers in meaningful conversations. She has a natural talent in motivating people to change their lives for the better and to maximize their potential. More amazing is that J.S., TheSCICoach, manages to accomplish a lot with a tool that doesn’t allow for too much flexibility. What can you say in 140 characters? Well, the interview below will show you that Twitter can be successfully used for both business and fun.
Everything PR: How does twitter influence your business?
J.Sewell Perkins: For the past 20 years I’ve traditionally seen my clients one-on-one, in person. Coaching is not just what I do but actually who I am. When it occurred to me that I could reach literally thousands of people thru social media I signed up. In late August of last year I was advised to sign up for Twitter and about 30 other social networking sites at the same time, which I did. While I’ve maintained all those connections, I do it through Ping and spend most of my actual one-on-one time on Twitter.
While I’ve been contacted by many people about coaching and have actually set up a coaching relationship with a weekly or biweekly schedule with about 15 people, I find that many who have no one else to go to with what they see as a huge problem will Direct Message me and ask for help. I’m able to help each one of them and always make sure they know I’m here if they need additional help. Understanding people, often better than they understand themselves, is necessary to be able to help them. My daily interaction with literally hundreds of people on twitter gives me the opportunity to study people and identify problems that are holding them back from all they say they want to have and be. I find that fulfilling.
EPR: How do you use twitter to promote your brand? (yourself)
J.S.: Given the fact that I’m a Life and Business Development Coach and the further fact that most people spend more time planning a two-week vacation than they spend planning their lives, most people are looking for answers. I have a blog to which I post frequently. Also Success Coaches Institute offers as a free service something called TodaysThought.com. It enables anyone to subscribe to not only a self-affirming daily quotation but a bit of coaching on the topic of the quote. There are thousands of subscribers from all over the world. I believe the majority of the subscribers are as a result of the fact that Twitterers recommend it to other Twitterers and all pass it along to their friends.
EPR: Do you coach clients using twitter (for example via direct messages?)
J.S.: While many people use Twitter’s Direct Message component to ask for help…and I always reply, it is seldom that the problems they want help with can be solved effectively in 140 words much less 140 characters. When I realize the magnitude of the problem I usually give them both my personal email address and phone number and will, if need be, spend up to a half hour with them without charge. My life mission is to make each life I touch better in some way for my having touched it. I will never turn away a person who needs help. Fortunately I have a significant number of high-power, high-dollar clients who pay well enough that I can afford to help those who cannot pay.
EPR: Have you ever had negative experiences with twitter?
J.S: Not really. I sometimes have difficulty remaining silent when I see a coach giving someone bad information on Twitter but that’s not really a Twitter problem. In recent years many companies have sprung up that offer a two-day course in which anyone can spend $2,500 and one weekend and get a coaching certificate. I guess I would wish that people check out the background of any professional they are considering working with before they trust their life issues to that person.
EPR: What twitter “best practices” would you recommend?
J.S.: That really depends on one’s purpose for being on Twitter. Since part of my coaching is Business Development I spend much time helping my clients with marketing strategies (I was in marketing before I became a Life and Business Development Coach) and any business plan must start at the ultimate goal and work backwards. What I mean by that is if I have a product or service to sell on Twitter I need to take that into consideration before I decide how to proceed. I personally am not looking for high numbers of followers. It’s more important for me to connect meaningfully with people. I follow people I see that I think I would enjoy getting to know and also follow back those who follow me as long as what they are doing meets my guidelines.
Some people seem to be on Twitter for the sole purpose for being there to sell something to as many people as possible, in the shortest possible time. They follow the Twitter maximum of 2000 people immediately and subtly promote their product to them. They keep the ones who seem to be likely customers for the product and replace the others with more likely prospects. With that said, however, I can tell you that most serious Twitterers frown upon the hard sellers and Spammers. What’s that old saying? “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” The fact is that on Twitter, just as in the real-life world, people prefer to do business with their friends.
EPR: What advice do you have for new users?
J.S.: Make friends! There are thousands of really great and helpful people on Twitter. Get to know as many of them as you can. Behind each avatar there is a real, live person with an incredible story. I’ve gotten to know many of them and I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything. They are funny, brilliant, helpful, giving and caring people. Even the ones with whom I have philosophical differences are willing to go to email or telephone and engage in really interesting discussions. Take advantage of the opportunity Twitter provides to meet new people, share your ideas and expand your own horizons.
EPR: Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
J.S.: It’s no secret that many people on Twitter are there seeking business success. As a Life Coach I am all too aware that what holds most people back from the success they seek is that they doubt their ability and or their worthiness. My parting words are something I share at every opportunity –
“Given that the tiny acorn has within it a mighty oak tree imagine how much greater what lies inside you must be!”