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The Influencer Economy is Booming. Yet, therapists and other helping experts fail to capitalize. How can the caregivers society needs actually achieve?

Helping professionals need marketing but to succeed they must stay true to their vocational skillset and instincts in the form of their natural empathic caregiving self.”

— Jack Rourke

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, August 16, 2023/ — As the world of social media continues to grow, so does the number of people who are trying to make a living off of it. Influencer marketing is a $21.1B industry, of that, coaching services are valued at $2.85B. But being a successful life coach is much more than converting public attention into marketing dollars.

The distinction between marketing a personal brand as an influencer and building a counseling or coaching practice that provides actual help is important.

The influencer sales pitch promises one can make a MASSIVE impact by harnessing personal greatness to help others. However, what influencers peddle is commonly entry into a self-improvement culture that resembles a pyramid scheme. Something that leaves therapists feeling as if they must compromise their values to succeed.

Feel-good Influencer content is on all social media platforms. These videos can strike conspiratory tones promising secrets, “they”, – presumably vetted mainstream experts -, don’t want you to know. Such messaging might also include metaphysical jargon promising in one way or another, hacks users can employ to scale personal lives they can convert into cash by doing virtually nothing except “clicking now” to join an exclusive community.

Marketers who create other influencers are salespeople. Money-motivated individuals who leave well-intending therapists, and holistic practitioners seeking to grow their businesses feeling deeply triggered, in debt, and fearing they really are not deserving because they fail at internet marketing.

According to spiritual counselor Jack Rourke, influencers who promote “help others live their best life” wealth schemes can be very charismatic. Conversely, therapeutic professionals are often deep feelers uncomfortable with attention. Yes, influencers have technical skills that can help healers grow their businesses. But, since self-aggrandizement actually helps no one, self-promotion can feel deceitful and deeply wounding to sensitive people working in helping professions.

Rourke has been coaching helping professionals since before the term influencer entered the lexicon. As a six-figure earner, he might teach caring for self and others in a counseling setting or guide therapists on how to negotiate the caregiver’s role personally and professionally as an empathic business person. But, over the last several years vocational instruction and insight on relational dynamics for caregivers have been found to be of no use to influencers who think they are life coaches. What he has discovered is when attempting to help influencers shift focus onto serving others the influencer identity unravels causing panic. The core issue, according to Rourke, is influencers are not genuinely motivated to serve others selflessly. They are marketers who are often trying to find themselves by achieving acclaim and financial security. Whereas for therapists and holistic practitioners, their clients are not simply stepping stones to achieve personal greatness.

3 Ways Pursuing Money and Acclaim Harm Helping Professionals
In the realm of genuine life coaching the ultimate goal is to empower individuals to achieve their personal and professional aspirations. Life coaches play a pivotal role in guiding their clients toward self-discovery, growth, and transformation. However, a significant number of coaches are drawn toward the allure of money and fame, often at the cost of their clients. Below are three ways in which an excessive focus on money and fame can undermine the effectiveness and fulfillment of life coaches.

1. Dilution of Authenticity
One of the fundamental aspects of effective life coaching is authenticity. Clients seek out coaches who can empathize with their struggles and provide genuine support. When life coaches prioritize money and fame, they might be tempted to compromise their authentic selves to cater to popular trends or perceived expectations.

Coaches who prioritize financial gains over authenticity may start offering generic, one-size-fits-all solutions instead of tailoring their guidance to each client’s unique needs. This can lead to a lack of connection and trust between the coach and the client, ultimately diminishing the potential for meaningful and lasting change.

2. Erosion of Client-Centered Focus
Successful life coaching is built on a strong foundation of client-centeredness. Coaches who genuinely prioritize their clients’ well-being are more likely to establish rapport and encourage open communication. However, an excessive focus on money and fame can shift the coach’s attention away from the clients and onto their own desires for recognition and financial gain.

When coaches become more concerned with their public image and growing their follower count, they might neglect the critical skill of active listening. This can result in superficial interactions and missed opportunities to truly understand and address their clients’ concerns. As a result, the coaching process becomes less effective, and clients may not experience the personal growth they were seeking.

3. Ethical Compromises
A focus on money and fame can potentially push life coaches towards ethical gray areas. Coaches might be tempted to offer quick fixes or promise guaranteed outcomes to attract more clients, even if these promises are unrealistic. This not only damages the coach’s credibility but also raises ethical concerns about their intentions and integrity.

The pursuit of fame might also lead coaches to prioritize self-promotion over the well-being of their clients. This can result in a conflict of interest, where coaches prioritize their own success and public image over the genuine betterment of their clients’ lives. Such compromises can have long-term consequences for both the coach’s reputation and the client’s trust.

While achieving financial success and recognition is not inherently wrong, life coaches, therapists, and healers of any ilk must be cautious. Fixating on money and fame – or even personal perfection in the form of demonstrating a better version one’s self diminishes authenticity, client-centeredness, and potentially ethical integrity. These are the cornerstones of an effective healing practice, says Rourke.

Yes, marketing is important for any business, and social media is a powerful tool. But, as a caregiver, brand marketing cannot overtake the commitment to provide for those in need. Client focus is what empowers coaches to navigate away from the allure of superficial success and truly make a positive impact on the lives they aim to transform and by default their own. ♦

Kathryn McCabe
Psi Source Media
+1 917-231-2025
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