Client Story: A valuable partnership

Debbie Frith, pictured above, in The Passionate PA for the Poole, Wimborne and Blandford area of Dorset. She’s been running businesses for many years and has a wealth of experience in managing people, planning for business growth and creating efficient operations.

Meet Clare Norman

Clare Norman is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. She’s a Mentor Coach, a Coach Supervisor and partners directly with business leaders to provide transition and team coaching. Clare is based in the New Forest and works with coaches and leaders worldwide.

How it all began, the best kind of referral!

Debbie was first introduced to Clare by another of her clients. A fellow coach and an associate of Clare’s, Penny Gundry.

Debbie was working with Penny, helping her with marketing aspects in the setup of a new business. Inevitably, Penny and Clare had a discussion about the support Penny was receiving and, the rest as they say, is history.

Clare’s immediate need was some help with marketing, she wanted someone who could help her to implement ideas that would grow her business and to take care of the implementation too, allowing her to get on and do more coaching.

“Clare has a great vision for the development of her business and her offering, she just needed an extra pair of hands and a trusted partner to help her.” 

Immediately Debbie and Clare hit it off. Debbie understood Clare’s vision entirely and was able to add to it with her own ideas. Between them, they began to shape the picture of things to come.

Finding The Balance

Clare had reached a classic point in her business; it was growing at a rate where she was having to make choices about her time. Time spent on marketing and organisation, wasn’t time that she could afford to take away from her coaching work. She knew it needed to be done, but she knew that she didn’t have the time or the skill set to do it.

Debbie’s experience and ‘can do’ approach was therefore a perfect match for Clare.  Clare also appreciated having someone to bounce ideas around with, she quickly learnt that Debbie’s keen eye for business and commercial sense was an anchor point for her. Since the first time they worked together Clare has run ideas past Debbie, not for her approval, but for her common sense, business thinking approach. Frequently Debbie will take that idea and push it further, occasionally, it’s a non-starter, often it’s just perfect as it is. That’s why these two ladies have the most awesome relationship… no divas, no drama, just a healthy respect for each other’s strengths and knowledge.

Clare said “I have been really happy with Debbie’s support and challenge. She makes innovative suggestions about how I might develop my business and how I might address my current clients’ outstanding needs. She is efficient and effective,  and uses my time wisely.”

And in Debbie’s Words: 

“When I first met Clare, it was clear that she was a natural leader in her field. Having worked at a senior level for Accenture for over 10 years, she had ventured out on her own and started her own business to deliver her work to a wider audience. This lady is going places, she is passionate, she is hugely talented, and she cares about her industry with an unrivalled dedication. I immediately jumped on board and I’ve enjoyed the journey ever since.  The nature of Clare’s coaching work means that I’m learning about personal development all the time. The work I do for her has a direct impact on her business, I can see it, she can see it and that makes us both very happy!”

Working Partnership

Clare needed someone to work remotely, keeping in regular contact via phone, email and video call but importantly the pair also have a quarterly face to face strategy review day. This aspect of their working relationship is incredibly important to evaluate what has gone before, and check and realign what will happen going forward.

Debbie’s routine sees her working with Clare every week in a dedicated, protected, chunk of time. In this way, Debbie zones in on Clare’s requirements without distraction, cracking on with the schedule of planned marketing, also helping Clare with organisational aspects, as and when they arise.

Skills & Experience

Debbie manages the website content and posts Clare’s fortnightly blogs. She also sends out to the database via MailChimp. She also publishes articles on LinkedIn for her.

Debbie creates graphics and infographics for Clare, these are used to promote her programmes and events on the various social platforms and LinkedIn.

She also creates new web pages for the events, updates copy throughout the website, uploads material onto YouTube and onto other industry specific membership platforms.

Debbie has undertaken a number of projects for Clare over the 3 years they have worked together, here are a few examples:

  • Virtual book launch: Debbie assisted Clare with the launch of her book ‘Mentor Coaching: A Practical Guide’. This happened in lockdown 2020 and so moved from the planned physical event to an online version via Zoom.
  • Adobe Spark: Debbie created a picture video to support Clare’s book launch, this was played at the virtual book launch and included a whole heap of amazing testimonials about Clare from her network.
  • Website review: bringing it right up to date and keeping it that way! With the help of Debbie’s preferred web developer, a decision tree online and event registration platform were created, and now Debbie manages all content on the website and is regularly adding pages and blogs.
  • Trello implementation: to assist with the management of all projects and keeping track of important coaching programme work.
  • LinkedIn profile management: to ensure Clare’s profile is up to date with her latest work and demonstrating the value she delivers.
  • Coaching programme information and event leaflets: Debbie has created these with the help of Black Dog Graphics. These are used to send out to leaders and coaches interested in Clare’s work.
  • Research projects: on numerous subjects to support Clare in her work.
  • PR & publications: Debbie has often helped Clare to get articles published in industry specific journals both online and paper.

The Future

Clare’s business goes from strength to strength, she’s forging ahead with her commitment to professionalising the coaching industry and Debbie is supporting her all the way.

The pair are enjoying working together as there is mutual trust, respect and challenge. Clare has recommended Debbie and The Passionate PA to others in her network which has led to a further two client appointments. There is surely no better endorsement than that!

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: