Darlene Hawley, Business Coach, on Creating a Business That Fits Your Life | GP 72

Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed in your business? Can you structure it around your personal schedule instead of bending yourself to suit it? How can storytelling be effective marketing?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Darlene Hawley about creating a business that fits your life.

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Meet Darlene Hawley

Darlene Hawley is a speaker, personal branding, and online business coach who shows ambitious, heart-centered service-based entrepreneurs how to create a profitable online business while making space for themselves and their families.

Her genius is showing entrepreneurs 2+ years into their business how to deepen their business foundation and go after visibility so they can share their message with the world, attract dream clients, and have the impact, freedom, and flexibility they desire.

Visit her website. Connect on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

In This Podcast


  • Tips for moving your brick-and-motor business online
  • Storytelling on your website
  • Finding balance in your business

Tips for moving your brick-and-motor business online

A lot of what I found when I switched my business to an online model was that I had to start doing more networking and connecting with people from my laptop, not actually out and … in person … I found that I was able to start using social media and I was able to build relationships and connect with people over social media platforms. (Darlene Hawley)

To connect with an audience online, Darlene found connection and created relationships with people through:

  • Using social media platforms,
  • Building a strong website,
  • Podcasting and being a guest and having guests of similar interests,
  • Doing personal PR and putting herself out there to be interviewed by magazines

On your podcasts and in your interviews, make sure that you are sharing information about yourself that is valuable and invites your audience into your world. This is how you can have strong calls to action and encourage the building of relationships.

I think a big part of it is really being of service. When we’re growing online communities we’re really having to forge the same type of relationships we would have if we were in person, but we have to actually reach out and make the connections and invite people. (Darlene Hawley)

Storytelling on your website

We resonate and connect with people when we feel a closeness and similarity to them, and one of the best ways to achieve this closeness is through authentic storytelling because that is what can resonate most with people.

One of the great things about storytelling … I read that people are 22 times more likely to remember you if you share a story, that’s how our memories connect. (Darlene Hawley)

  • What about your story do you want to share?
  • How does it connect with the story of your ideal client?
  • How is your story going to serve them, and connect them to you?

Once you know these answers, you can bring them into your social media and incorporate them into your marketing so that you can attract your ideal client and the client that is the most authentic to you.

Through effective marketing and storytelling, you do not have to sell so hard because people connect with your authenticity: you do not have to convince them.

Finding balance in your business

Break down your schedule so that you can work with the number of clients that feel comfortable with you so that you can give them each your all.

Figure out a strategic marketing plan so that you are not working constantly trying to market your business, but instead that you do marketing in small pieces throughout the month or every other week so that you build on a rhythm and save yourself time.

Have a few hours of content creation such as building and writing blog posts and connecting with your audience through social media.

You can work with joy, you can create and run your business in a way that is enjoyable and fun to you instead of feeling draining and taking over all your time.

Every Friday is a “follow-up Friday” for Darlene, where she:

  • Connects and follows up with clients that she saw earlier in the week and plans out the next steps in their process,
  • Follows up on meetings that still need to happen,
  • Plans her upcoming week and jointly writes down business deadlines as well as any family commitments and appointments,
  • Plans out her upcoming week’s marketing deadlines

For me, just knowing that I have a schedule in place and that I know how to show up and what to do, it takes away that guess work, and so that’s one of the secrets to keeping to a really right schedule that has allowed me to have that freedom and flexibility to where I can be more playful and more at home with my kids or take time off from my business. (Darlene Hawley)

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Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

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