Brighter Spotlight with Tracy Baranauskas
Introducing October’s inspiring Brighter Spotlight, Tracy Baranauskas. Tracy is a Personal Development Life Coach who turned her own experiences into the opportunity of a lifetime.
After unexpectedly losing her job only a few years ago and hiring a life coach to help get her own life back on track, she made the choice to “move forward” from Social Work to Life Coaching and has never been happier.
Sit back with us as Tracy walks us through her decision to start a coaching business, and how Brighter Vision has helped her grow her new personal brand even faster than she ever expected.
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Q: Tell us a little bit about you and your business – what do you specialize in, where is your office, how often do you see clients, why did you become a life coach, etc.
A: I am a personal development life coach, and I help empower people who feel stuck to move beyond their own limitations and create lasting changes in their personal and/or professional lives. My office is in Mentor, Ohio and is conveniently located for anyone living in the greater Cleveland area. I also coach by phone or video, so location is never really an issue.
As a former social worker, I have always found pleasure in helping my clients tap into their strengths and realize their true potential. So, when I lost my job quite unexpectedly in 2014, life coaching seemed like a natural fit.
Ironically, as I dealt with job loss and the decision to become a life coach, I had to implement all of the practices I had previously taught others in order to get myself back up and moving forward. It was a month before my 50th birthday, and I had to re-examine my purpose, explore my strengths and rebuild my confidence.
One of the first things I did was hire a life coach. It was through my real-life transformation that Moving Forward Life Coaching came to be. Now, as a life coach, I have the opportunity to help my clients see past their limiting beliefs and reach higher than they ever imagined possible. It’s such a delight to help people realize that they have the power to actually create the life that they want!
Q: What is the biggest reason you’re glad you became a life coach?
A: This is the happiest I have ever been in my life, and I know for sure that it’s because I am living my purpose. I now have the privilege of helping my clients do the same, and nothing could be more satisfying!
Q: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not working?
A: There are so many things that I love to do in my free time! Spending time with my husband of 29 years, and our two adult daughters and son-in-law, definitely tops the list. I also love spending time in nature, especially at the beach, traveling, exploring new places, reading, photography, and more. This is a fun time of life for me!
Q: When did you become a Brighter Vision client, and why?
A: I am a Brighter Vision newbie. I had a website with another company since I started my coaching business about five years ago, and the quality of service I was receiving from them began to decline over that past few years. The templates they offered seemed outdated and I really wanted a fresh, crisp look.
When I received an email from a Brighter Vision representative this past July, I was intrigued, since I had been thinking about making a change. But I didn’t want the hassle that I imagined it would be. However, I scheduled an appointment to talk with someone and was pleased to learn that Brighter Vision would handle all of the website transfer details for me.
Then, once I looked at some sample websites, I was sold! They were absolutely beautiful, and the cost was considerably less that what I was paying.
It was a complete no-brainer!
My new Brighter Vision website went live August 26, and the entire process couldn’t have been easier. Every representative I have dealt with has been helpful and professional, and their work is pristine. I am thrilled with the result!
Q: What methods were you using to attract new clients before you had a BV website?
A: Referrals from former and current clients have always been my primary source of connecting with new clients. I also had a website through another company, and I am listed in the Noomii Coaching Directory.
Q: How did your process of attracting and attaining new clients change after your BV website went live?
A: Although my Brighter Vision website has only been live for about a month, I am receiving more inquiries through Google searches than ever before.
One of the most amazing things that happened as a result of my new website, was a reporter from a local television station (WKYC) contacted me recently and asked me to be a guest expert on a segment they did on their morning show.
The reporter told me that although she found there to be a lot of life coaches in the Cleveland area, my website just “spoke” to her, and this was why she made her decision to contact me.
The segment aired September 25, only one month from the time my new website went live! Kudos to all of the people from Brighter Vision who helped me design my beautiful new website, which in turn created a wonderful opportunity for me to promote my life coaching business on television!
Q: What is your favorite part of your BV website? How does that represent you and your coaching business?
A: I love that my new website is warm, polished and inviting. I have received so many compliments on it! My designers, Wyatt and the Orange Team were fabulous and truly seemed to understand my branding. I wanted a website that was easy to navigate and simple to read, and that’s exactly what they designed for me!
Q: What is something you now know about marketing your practice, or making a private practice website, that you have learned from your experience with BV?
A: I’ve learned that it is important to frequently add content and to regularly update my website for SEO purposes. The blog feature makes it very easy to do this.
Q: How do you keep organized and on-schedule in your day-to-day life?
A: I keep it simple. My clients work with me for a minimum of six months, and we typically meet on the same day/time each week, if possible. Payment is expected in advance and in full, so record keeping is not complicated.
Q: How do you make time for self-care with your busy schedule?
A: I have just decided to make time for self-care because it is important to me. It’s honestly that effortless. I don’t ever say, “I have a busy schedule,” because that sets me up for thoughts of limited time. I did that for years, but I don’t let myself get away with it anymore!
I start each day with a morning walk by the lake, and this is a non-negotiable part of my day. It’s my biggest treat! When I start my day by doing something I love, I know for sure that I am setting the day up for awesomeness!
Healthy food purchase/prep is also non-negotiable for me. I have this as part of my weekly routine. I love how I feel when I am eating right!
Finally, time with my husband is a top priority. We have nightly chats and weekly date nights that feed our souls!
Q: What other tools or services do you use to help boost your business?
A: When I first started my coaching business, Thumbtack was a great resource. I am still working with clients who are referrals of referrals who originated on Thumbtack. Today, networking is what I’ve found to be the most effective way to meet prospective clients. Lots of people still don’t understand how they might benefit from life coaching, so in-person conversations are golden.
Q: What have you found to be the most important piece of advice someone has given you about being a life coaching business owner?
A: The very best piece of advice I have heard is just simply to BE YOU.
In one of my favorite books, The Prosperous Coach, author Rich Litvin talks about how, when he first began coaching, he tried to mimic what other successful coaches were doing. However, the more he tried to be like other people, the less authentic he became. He points out that it’s hard to do what you love when you feel inauthentic. Over time, as he got to know some of the world’s best coaches, he realized that none of them were trying to be like anyone else. He said that once he was willing to take the risk of being himself, the more wonderful his life became.
This has also been my experience. Life has taught me the value of vulnerability and authenticity, and I believe this is what draws clients to me.
If you think about the expression, “Never trust a skinny cook”, well then, the same would be true for a life coach or a therapist. No one wants to work with an inauthentic life coach or therapist!
Q: Do you have any pieces of advice for someone just starting their own private practice or coaching business?
A: Expanding on the BE YOU idea above, my advice to someone just starting their own coaching business or private practice is not to get caught up in the idea that there is a “right” way to do this.
When you do get stuck in that thought loop, remember that these are just thoughts. It’s your brain’s job to keep you “safe” and inside your comfort zone, and so confusion is just one way to keep you stagnant.
There is no one-size fits all formula, and we know this for sure, because if there was, everyone would be doing it!
One of my coaching mentors is a multi-seven figure earner, and her “method” is very different than what the authors of The Prosperous Coach recommend. However, what they have in common is that they coach from a place of integrity.
They have experienced transformations in their own lives, and they use their experiences to help others. They also pay for their own high quality coaching, constantly working on their own growth, so they can improve the way they serve their clients.
This is what has worked for me. I frequently remind myself to mindfully stay in service to my clients. When I find myself moving away from that, I work to align my thoughts and beliefs back to my purpose.
As a person newly starting a coaching business or private practice, your primary responsibility is to get yourself out there and tell people you are a coach or therapist, and then make offers to help them.
Don’t let your mind make it more complicated than that and keep you from moving forward. If you stay in authentic integrity, then your energy will draw clients to you. Seriously, do what you want your clients to do – be courageously you.
Want to follow in Tracy’s footsteps? Give your practice the very best and try out the world’s leading therapist website service – Brighter Vision.
Reach out to our customer happiness team today and learn how one of our custom-built websites can help you grow the practice of your dreams.