7 Ways to Give People Permission to Hire You Today with Emma-Louise Parkes

February 21, 2022

Welcome to the newest solo episode of The Ambitious Introvert! Like every new entrepreneur, at the start of my business journey I had to learn to sell to people who didn’t know me well. I never wanted to have to ‘convince’ someone to invest with me on a sales call. Instead I got VERY intentional about my marketing! Today I’m sharing 7 seven simple ways to create safety with your marketing and online presence so that people WILL want to hire you. No matter what stage of business you’re at, I know this episode is going to be so helpful to you!


  • The mindset switch that makes it feel safe for new people to hire and invest in you 
  • Why testimonials are the golden currency for online business owners, and how to collect them easily (even if you’re brand new to business)
  • Why sharing client results really works as a way to grow your business 
  • Why your audience needs to know all relevant experience, qualifications, and certifications (even if you don’t think it’s a big deal)
  • How small BTS clips creates a sense of trust for potential clients 
  • Taking the fear out of offering a guarantee 


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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Ep. 74 (Solo)

[00:00:00] Emma-Louise Parkes: Hello. Welcome. Welcome to this solo episode of the ambitious introvert. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am going to go back to the beginning of my business and something that I really had to be cognizant of when I brought the business on board. Is that I needed cells. People who didn’t necessarily know me very well, or hadn’t had the chance to get to know me, or, you know, hadn’t invested in a service of mine.

And this is something that comes up a lot for all new business owners, really. Um, but also whatever stage of business you’re at, the important thing to note is like, you never have to prove yourself. We never want to be in that position where we feel like we have to convince someone that we are worth investing in.

We really need to know. Our own [00:01:00] worth our own importance. If you listen to the episode that I did with my client Kendall a few weeks ago, you’ll know one of the tasks that I have my clients do is to create a why me list and they list out all the reasons why someone should pick them as their coach service provider.

He loved whatever they are. And it’s a really great exercise to focus your mind and remind yourself of why. Very likely more than qualified to do what you do. So it really helps with imposter syndrome. It really helps with your marketing to be able to say, you know, like, oh, I have 10 years experience in this field just casually in a post makes people think, oh, okay.

So. I want to put an important distinction here because energetically, if we feel like we’re sharing this stuff to prove, and we have to prove how amazing we are, and we have to convince people to work with us, that’s a real kind of desperate energy and it’s not very nice and I’ve been there and it’s not very nice.

And it’s also not very magnetic [00:02:00] and not very conducive to attracting. But you still need to share the same things, but today I want to talk about a different way to think about this, and also some ways that you can achieve it in your online presence. So rather than this proven. We are worthy of being hired.

What we really need to do is give people permission to hire us. So it’s a very simple switch, but it works so well. And all we do and really is creating safety because when we see something new as a human. It feels unsafe. That’s why our comfort zone feels safe and pushing the edge of it. Doesn’t that’s why maybe we felt comfortable on one social media platform.

And when we moved to another, we don’t because it’s different and it app subconscious is protected us. I know systems like danger. This isn’t familiar. Like, let me just sit [00:03:00] with this. So. Obviously, that’s one of the things that can hold us back in business, but it’s important to know that every single human feels like that.

And especially around something as emotive as money, we want to feel safe when we’re making an investment. The best way to do that is to make your marketing strong and allow it to give people the permission to hire you, because they’re going to have all kinds of thoughts going on in their head, just as you do when you’re looking at making investments, just as I do, when I’m looking at making investments, like, you know, this doesn’t stop, um, and especially more so as you get higher and higher levels and you’re making larger investments, there’s always going to be things going through your mind.

So we’re going to talk about five. Now we’re going to talk about saffron actually. Yeah. Let’s, let’s add those in, I can talk about seven different ways that you can create this kind of [00:04:00] safety within your marketing and your online presence that gives people the permission to hire you. So when they have those thoughts or they’re not sure.

These are the things that they will see that will give them the confidence to feel safe, to make the investment, to work with you and to get the results. So, yes, we’re going to go for seven. Why not? Okay. Number one is the most obvious and we all know that testimonials are gold. So testimonials are the ultimate thing.

Everyone’s got them on their website. Do you see people posting them on social media? Things like video testimonial, really, really powerful. Uh, not without reason, like everyone loves to read that someone else’s invested in what that potentially thinking of investing in and see that they were happy with it and they got results.

And psychologically, if we see that person’s name and a photograph and [00:05:00] what they do, all of that, it just creates so much safety for us to. Oh, okay. And obviously the more testimonials with the more results, it just creates more and more and more. So I really want to gear this to, well, first of all, if you’re an established entrepreneur, make sure that you are collecting and sharing testimonials.

This is something I have been guilty of. And it’s something that we have now added into the content schedule to ensure I’m doing it regularly. Um, I’ve actually got. For testimonials sat at the moment. Um, click up as people for former clients have completed them. I just need to go through and edit them and put them on the website and then share them on socials.

But they are there. But w I have to make it now part of my offboarding workflow to send a testimonial questionnaire, because otherwise I forget. So if you are established entrepreneur, make sure you are getting feedback. Make sure you are collecting testimonials. That’s super, super [00:06:00] important. If you are newer or even brand new, you may be thinking, but you didn’t have any like testimonials what I haven’t worked with anyone yet.

What can I do? So a couple of ways that you can get around this is considered. Doing free session and exchange for testimonial. This is something that I have done myself. I know a lot of people build up and start this way. It’s a really great energy exchange. If you are super clear with the person from the get go, like, you know, I would love to offer you a free session or a free, you know, whatever it is you offer in exchange for a testimonial that I can use to grow my business.

So make sure that they’re very aware that they were. You know, expected to submit that at the end, um, and make sure it feels good, make sure everyone’s happy with it. Then it’s a really great energy exchange because they’re receiving something they’re receiving your product or service for free, which is amazing.

And they’re also giving you [00:07:00] that testimonial. This is also really good way to be, to test and get feedback on things. So if you aren’t a hundred percent confident in your offer. It’s often just because you haven’t had the chance to put it out and try it in the world, you know, and to try to sell something that we’ve never done.

And we’re not sure if it works and we don’t know what it’s going to be like the first time, that can be a lot of pressure. So that’s where like an exchange of energy, like this a free session for a testimonial can work really, really well. Also, if you have testimonials, you can just use, pull quotes from them.

Like you don’t have to keep posting the same one over and over again, or you can use bits of it. So let’s just say you’ve only got a handful of testimonials. You could pull out one or two lines that are really powerful and use that. A few weeks later, you could share another couple of lines from that one.

So to make sure that you’re sharing different information, but it’s absolutely fine if it’s from the same person we don’t, what I [00:08:00] don’t want you to think is I’ve shared that one once and that’s it. I can’t ever utilize it again because especially when you’re growing your business really important. The other thing, if you don’t have testimonials or you’re, you’re just starting off is consider using character reference.

So you’ll see this quite a lot on people’s websites. If you look at a lot of, I’m going to say, um, of the more guru type coaches and people further along that often in groups and masterminds, and there’ll be some. That’s quite prolific who’ll comment, you know, it’ll be on the front page of their website and it will say, you know, oh, so-and-so is a thought leader for the new generation or whatever.

I think Marie Forleo has that actually from Oprah. So it’s something like that anyway, because you know, these people know them, they know them personally that they might have hired them for their services, but they know them or they have trained them. Maybe they’ve undergone some kind of certification under this person and they [00:09:00] know them well, well enough that they’re like, yeah, I’m happy to write that.

You’re a good person. I’m happy to write that, you know what you’re doing and you know what you’re talking about. Consider that, especially if you’ve been through a coaching program or you have gone through certification learning, something like you can approach the people that run it and say, would you mind giving me a character reference just for social proof?

Um, you know, it can just be a couple of lines to say, you know, this person is super knowledgeable in what they do and you know, it has a great understanding of X or, you know, so-and-so is. Um, such a passionate person they’ve, they’re so intuitive and they would be an amazing person to work with. Like eight doesn’t have to be war and peace, but know that that’s also really good way for you to be able to create.

Okay. So number two, client results. I’m raising my hand because [00:10:00] I’m also guilty of probably not sharing enough with these. No, not probably, definitely. And, but it is so powerful and we see it plastered all over social media people go, oh, my client had a 10 K day or, you know, whatever the thing is. Yeah.

Great. But there’s a reason for it. And it really does work. It works twofold. First of all, it shows that it’s safe to invest in you because people are doing that and getting results. But it also gives people permission because they see that other people are doing it. And all of us have that little bit of FOMO inside of us, but psychologically, when they can see that other people are going through this program and doing it.

It’s like, oh, okay. If they can do it, I can do it. It’s safe for me. It’s like that. See to believe. So client results as, and when you have them, Really powerful to share. So it can be screenshots. It can [00:11:00] just be around up, which I do sometimes. I’ll, you know, this is what my clients have achieved this week can be sharing a win.

I always personally do so anonymously. Some people may be really happy with you sharing their wins and that’s fine. But I ask my clients when we onboard, if I can tack them and social media and share that. But I never take them while I’m sharing. They wouldn’t such just, just an aside, just because I think it’s quite personal.

And if you again are new, you don’t yet have client results to share if you are your own mirror client. And what I mean by that is if you are helping people with something that you have gone through previously, then you can use your own results in lieu of that until you start to get other people’s results.

So you can say like, I did this, I was here, I lost weight. I grew my business. You know, sleep better, whatever the thing is that you help people with. If you have gone through that yourself, you can absolutely use your own [00:12:00] results until we start getting client results to share. If you are not your mirror client.

So you help people with something that you haven’t actually gone through yourself, you just do it because you are certified qualified. You’re an expert in that field. Then consider sharing things like statistics or results that, you know, people have gotten through doing the work, even if it’s not through you like this.

So rather than saying, I have helped so-and-so to do this. It could be like this methodology has helped thousands of people. Blah, blah, blah. Um, I feel like I’m saying lots of so-and-so and blah, blah, blah, but I’ll leave it for you to fill in the blanks. So if you haven’t been through it yourself, then use those kinds of statistics and numbers to give people the permission that the thing that you do is really reputable and really powerful.

Okay. Number three is qualifications and certifications. [00:13:00] Sometimes they may not seem relevant again, if you listened to the episode with Kendall, We touched on this. Kendall was putting out a product for, um, PR for how to get featured in PR. But hadn’t bothered to mention that she had actually had a master’s degree in PR and she forgot to mention that to me as her coach, I was like, how do I not know this?

And she hadn’t talked. Make the connections you hadn’t connected the dots that actually that, which, because she did it while she was in corporate and it was something different was actually really, really useful to what she’s doing now, which was creating this PR guide and helping people to write stories and, you know, pitched to PR.

Content and all of that good stuff. So think about any qualifications and certifications that you have. And again, especially earlier on in business, this is really useful. If you don’t have those client testimonials and results that you can share, when you start to share to people that, you know, you’re certified in this, or you’re qualified in this, or you’ve [00:14:00] studied this.

It just enables them to see that you have a great depth of knowledge and makes them feel safe again in making that investment. So number four, experience, experience this relevance. I’m going to add onto that. So any experience that you have in the past that is relevant. And when I say relevant, there’ll be things that you do not think are relevant.

The absolutely are. Because I have been through this myself, which I’ll explain, but for instance, I had a client who is a mentor to business owners and formerly she was a teacher. So that’s absolutely relevant experience because. You know, used to disseminate information to people and ensuring that they understand it because that’s what she did as a teacher.

So when she’s earlier on in her business, that’s a really great thing to keep share. Yeah. For her to keep sharing over and over that she’s a teacher. So people are like, oh, [00:15:00] okay, well she must know how to deliver information. What a great person to choose as a mentor. Another one that I see a lot, and this has been true for myself as well is maybe what you studied in college.

May not have been what you went on to do in your career, but look back and see, does it somehow, or is it somehow relevant to what you’re doing now? I think you may be surprised because when I looked back at college, I studied communications, psychology and English. Um, so maybe English isn’t as relevant, but definitely communications and psychology as I’ve gone on to run a business and also be a coach.

You know, I wasn’t really thinking about those subjects for the last 20 years actively, but here they are, they come around and actually I really, really relevant to what I’m doing. So when I was early in my business, I shared that a lot more about how I’ve had an interest [00:16:00] in that. And even, you know, for 20 years and even studied it.

When I say about what relevant. This is where it gets interesting as well. So one of the things that I struggled with early days is how my experience experiences now traffic controller could in any way, translate to me being a good coach or business owner. And I couldn’t couldn’t see it. I just, as, I didn’t want to talk about it and my coach was like, oh, what a great job.

It’s really impressive. Like you have to utilize this. And I was like, but you don’t understand. And it sound the connection. Um, But there’s actually a couple of connections, which are so obvious to me now, one is the, I did stretch. I did strategy. That was it. I went to work and strategized day in, day out like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

That’s absolutely what that job is. It’s just creating pure strategy and that strategy has to work because you, you can’t get it wrong. So of course I’m good with [00:17:00] strategy. That’s what I did for 17 years. Um, but also. Because of the clients that I work with, um, because of the sensitive nature of them, understanding that I was in that job where it really was like being in a safe pair of hands.

I was, you know, looking after the sector of airspace and making sure that everything was safe and that for them was running smoothly. And that capacity to, to hold that I guess is also really, really important to my clients. They want to feel like they are in a safe pair of hands also. And lastly, a little way of making connections is look a success that you’ve had in other areas of life.

And it may not directly translate again to your business, but what does it say about you? So for example, with me, I have had some success in investing. And I’m not financial coach. I don’t teach anyone about investing. That’s not what I do. So I [00:18:00] could say, well, you know, that’s not really relevant. However, what it does show is that I’m pretty savvy and I’m probably good at making decisions, which again are direct control probably makes.

And that I have, uh, you know, I think about things in this way of like long-term and growth and investment. So. All of those things are great to have in a business coach. Um, but you probably care less about the fact that. You know, I made good investments, but it’s more about what went into them. What was the thought process?

Like one of my clients said to me, she’s like, oh, actually hide you because I saw that. And you’re an air traffic controller and I thought, oh, she will have a good brain. I want her brain on my business. So people will look at things very differently to how you do so any experience that you can share is great and try to find the connection, even if it seems a little bit abstract, try to look because I guarantee you that we think.

Just show that you are the perfect person to be able to [00:19:00] help.

Okay. Number five, show something behind the scenes from what you’re creating or your product or service. Let’s just say your creating a course that you want to sell, like show people some video or some screenshots of it behind the scene, show them what it looks like. Shouldn’t the login page. Um, you know, show them the modules that you’re creating any of that, because not only does that get people interested, but it gives them safety because it’s like, okay, once I put my credit card in and pay, that’s what I’m going to see.

Oh, okay. That’s what it looks like. Because again, these things are quite often an unknown entity. And if we want to give people permission, obviously we can’t show them everything, but it’s really great to be able to show them a little bit. You may have seen as well. A lot of people that run group programs and masterminds, they will share like the zoom screen on their [00:20:00] stories to say, like, you know, oh, I had a great group call today.

And then it shows everyone on the call. Because again, that’s creating the safety of look when you joined my container. This is what it looks like. We’re here, we’re on the screen. Look, these are the people everyone’s smiling. Everyone’s happy. This is what we do. And of course, people see this week after week, like every Monday or whatever day the call is, and then it starts to create that trust like, oh yeah, this person shows up for their clients.

Every single Monday, it’s safe for me to invest. So that is another great way to, to give permission. Sure. Or share something a little snippet from behind the scenes so that people can feel like they are familiar with it before they invest. Number six is calling out potential objections. In your marketing.

So this is where understanding your ideal client is crucial because when you understand your clients so well, you know, what is going through their mind [00:21:00] and, you know, the things that they are thinking

when they are deciding whether or not to invest in use. With that knowledge armed with that knowledge, you can create your marketing. So for instance, when I launched the mastermind for the second time, one of the things that I was very clear to put in the, um, I launched by email, one, things is very clear to put in the email was that this was a safe, confidential space, and it wasn’t.

Where every everyone was going to be sharing everything all over Instagram. Like it w it just wasn’t the container wasn’t designed like that there’s nothing wrong with sharing on Instagram, of course, but for the people that I wanted to attract into it, I wanted them to know that it was safe. It was confidential.

They could come into the call. Yes. The people that, but they can be honest. They don’t have to worry about being vulnerable. [00:22:00] And that is something. I know has come up for me and it’s coming from many clients like, oh, I went into a group program and then like, I didn’t feel like I could share. And someone was like, you know, video and upfront Instagram and blah, blah, blah.

And so I was calling that out because people could’ve read that email and gone. I don’t want to join a group. I don’t like it doesn’t feel good. It feels, you know, not private enough. So by putting that in, I was actually given them the permission and overcoming the objection already. Another one. I see a lot in my clients is that they’ve invested in some courses or programs and for various reasons haven’t got results.

So they feel like they’ve wasted that money. They are still very ambitious. They still want to create that business and create all that growth. But, but now they starting to go, oh, I don’t know. I’ve spent so much money. Like I just, I don’t know if I want to invest. I’m not going to get results. I’ve been doing all these things.

For instance, a way that I would overcome that. I’m just thinking this off the top of my head now is [00:23:00] like my group programs have been designed with an instructional designer. I worked with her for three months and she went through my entire product suite knowledge and made sure that there’s a journey.

So people are actually starting at point a and they get to point B and we have created these containers. In a way, firstly, for and highly sensitive entrepreneurs, of course, but also to make sure that it’s not just information, so many courses and groups that you, you go in, they’ve just listed everything in the kitchen sink.

It’s in no order, you just have to go through it yourself. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s tied together. I’ve been there and I’ve heard it so much. So I invested in the lovely Emily and we’ve created these amazing products, which actually carry people through on a transformation journey. And so I could call that out in my marketing.

I could say you’ve done so many courses and programs and not gotten results. And you think it’s, you. It’s not an in fact, my program is designed just for people [00:24:00] like you. And not only that, but I’ve invested five figures in getting it designed in a way that means that you will get results. So calling out the objections in the marketing just really helps those people to feel safe.

Again, it gives them permission to invite. And the last one, which I wasn’t going to add, but I decided to, cause it’s a bit of a contentious one, but it really depends on your business. So offer a guarantee. Now, if you’re a coach, many people will tell you should never offer a money back guarantee because well, for various reasons, which weren’t going to.

But it’s generally not the done thing in coaching because the results are so dependent on the client that a client could come, they could work with you, and then they don’t do any of the work outside of the calls. And then come back and say, I didn’t get results. I want my money back. So we do have to be a bit savvy about this, but I offered a guarantee on my one-on-one coaching [00:25:00] for the first.

I think 14 months of my business, something like that. And no one ever used it for start because I was confident in what I do. I never expected it to be used, but what it did do is those people that were like, oh, I’m not sure. I’m not sure this is a big risk. It gave them three weeks of working with me to feel into it.

And they knew that if on the third call they went, I don’t like this. It’s not for me. I would refund them. They hadn’t lost any money. They’d got couple of calls for free and, and it was all good. So I was. Very clear about the fact that the guarantee wasn’t about results. It didn’t guarantee any kind of results.

And also. If the client felt uncomfortable because there was growth because they were doing things, you know, outside of the calls that homework they’d been set to grow. And it [00:26:00] felt, it felt discomfort about that. That was not a reason for a refund. Either. The reason for the refund was if they just didn’t like me and my energy on the calls and they went, I’ve made a huge mistake.

I don’t want to sit and spend, you know, 45 minutes with you every week for the next six months, because it’s a big ask. My guarantee was. Written very clearly to that. Like, if you’re not feeling it, you don’t like my energy. We don’t vibe on the calls. Then you can have your money back. And as I say, no one did, but this is a really great way when you are newer in business and you don’t have these other ways, like the testimonials say all the client results.

It makes people think, oh, okay. So I’ve actually got nothing to lose. There’s no risk in doing this. I either do it and love it and get results, or I do it and they hate it and I get my money back. So this could look very, very different for depending on what type of business [00:27:00] you are. So it could be that you offer a lower price introductory session.

Or even a free introductory session to people. So they get a taster of it depending on the kind of work that you do. It could be that you offer a money back guarantee. If within the first 2, 3, 4 weeks you change your mind or, you know, this happens, the I’ll give you your money back. No. If you are a service provider, such as a designer or a copywriter, it could be about revisions.

So it could be that you offer maybe more sets of revisions in the early days than generally people would. It may be that you offer to rewrite it until they happen. Up to like three times, or it may be that you offer unlimited revisions for two weeks after delivery, something like that, which may be outside the scope of what you would usually do.

And certainly when you’ve got a full business, [00:28:00] but in this instance where we need to give people permission to feel confident, imagine you’re a copywriter. And someone’s hired a copywriter in the past and you know, they got one revision and it didn’t hit the nail on the head. And now they’re like, I didn’t really know if I want to invest in copywriting.

That’s quite expensive. I didn’t really get what I needed. Imagine if you’re going, oh, we come back and forth for two weeks after I deliver your project. And within that two weeks, you know, I’ll make, um, unlimited revisions, you know, we’ll check in every day. I’ll check in every day. If you want something revised, revising, I’ll get it back to you.

Like that could sound like a lot, but actually most people won’t think, oh, unlimited revisions. Let me just use that. Let me just make the most of this two weeks. Most people just want the copy to be really good and want to be happy with it. Same. If you’re a designer, it could be that you offer one round of revisions.

Usually, maybe you could up it to two or three. Maybe you could offer to do it until the person’s happy with a time cap on it. But that is a really great way [00:29:00] of giving a guarantee. So like everything else outside of online business has a guarantee, right? You buy online, you get a 28 day money back guarantee.

You know, you buy something from a shop. You could, you can take it back. All of those things create safety. Like, yeah, I’m going to invest. I’m going to spend, you know, a hundred pounds on a dress because it’s going to come and if it doesn’t fit me, I’m going to send it back. Would you be spending a hundred pounds on it?

If there was no guarantee and it was just like, no, you’ve just got to pay a hundred pounds and that’s it like if you don’t like it. Some people would, but probably not as freely and easily. So consider some kind of guarantee or some kind of safety where you’re offering to ensure that that client is super, super happy.

And remember this, isn’t a carry on forever. We’re talking about what can you do right now to give people more permission to hire you and create that safety?[00:30:00] 

So just to recap, that is making sure that you are sharing testimonials or character references, making sure you’re sharing client results or your own results. If you’re your mirror, client, any qualifications and certifications, any experience that you’ve had, not necessarily just in that sector are doing this kind of work, but anything else that has transferable skills to what you do or anything that.

That you are switched on, or that shows that you are caring. If you’re a healer, whatever the thing is showing things behind the scenes, giving people a little, know, a little flash of what’s going on. So they know what to expect. If they invest in you calling out the common objections in your marketing. So creating that safe space, where people are asking questions in their mind, answering them already and offering some kind of guarantee or offer.

A satisfaction guarantee that they, you can guarantee there’ll be satisfied with the work within a certain [00:31:00] parameter. So I hope that was useful. I would love to know which ones that you could be implementing more of in your own business. Pop me a DM on Instagram at ambitious introverts. And I look forward to seeing you all sharing your amazingness online very, very soon.