How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Vocal Coach

I’m Katti Power, and I help singers show up in big ways, so that they can go on to achieve even bigger goals than they ever thought possible. 

I also empower vocal coaches to help clients of their own from any zip code do the same: achieving big goals that are bigger than they ever thought possible. 

Today, we are going to be talking about imposter syndrome. And my solution to overcoming it.

I have been there; I understand it. So I want to share this with you. It’s so important.

On Monday, I shared my POWER Academy of Master Coaches that I’m super excited to be relaunching. And then yesterday, I shared a whole series of wins by one of my certified master coaches herself, Miss Mia Smith, who I adore. Mia went through the original version of my program back in 2012, back when it was called the Powell Method Certification Program. Now it’s called the POWER Academy of Master Coaches. Anyway, she has been rocking it for the past eight years. 

Imposter syndrome is one of the main reasons that she came to me. It’s one reason she signed up for that program because she was afraid that she wasn’t going to be able to deliver to her clients in a way that would be healthy or responsible or that she would know the answers to their questions. If you’re someone who struggles with this, you are not alone because a whole lot of vocal coaches go through this imposter syndrome nonsense, just like Mia did, just like I did when I first got started.

So we have these fears: what if I screw up their voices in a way that can’t be fixed? Or what if my clients come to me with a problem? And I don’t know how to fix it? Or what if they have a question, and I don’t know how to answer it?

For some vocal coaches, imposter syndrome can keep them from ever even taking the plunge in getting started in vocal coaching. It can be what keeps them from taking on students that they absolutely could help, but they fear that maybe they can’t. Instead, they could fix the struggle, and they could go on to help singers in huge, huge ways. 

Besides the incredible sense of personal satisfaction that you get just from helping a singer achieve whatever their goal, always remember that happy clients refer you to their friends. Then you’ll have the ability to make an even more significant, more lasting impact on more singers. 

So let’s dig in. I have three things to share with you about imposter syndrome and my solutions for getting through to the other side of it. 

1) Know Your Value

So number one is: know your value — which seems pretty obvious, but it’s trickier than that. The most critical piece of advice that I have for you about imposter syndrome when it comes to vocal coaching is to know that you know more than you realize you do. And you probably are taking it for granted because it’s so easy; it’s been so much a part of you that you think that this is the easiest thing in the world that people can’t possibly need this, right? 

But the other truth about that is that people don’t ask someone to help them if they don’t believe they can help them. People aren’t going to ask you specifically for help if they don’t think you have the answers they need. So that’s something else to keep in mind. Regarding knowing more than you think you do, I experienced this. And I continue to think about this.

For example, to maintain vocal health and sing any style, whether it’s contemporary or classical, the basic foundation is the same. I call it “basic foundation” because it’s the first step. It’s so essential to have to sing healthily in any manner whatsoever. And I remember thinking, I’m not going to teach that because that’s boring — people want more than that. I can tell you, almost 100% of the people that come to me don’t know how to do it. And I work with high-level singers. 

So it’s important to know that you know more than you realize, and you have something that other people want. Remember, people aren’t going to ask you specifically to help them if they don’t believe you have what it takes to answer their questions. 

2) Know Your Strengths

Okay, number two, know your strengths. I teach this concept to my performers, as well, because it’s unbelievably crucial in performance. (I recently re-shared a Live on this very topic of knowing your strengths, when it comes to auditioning. So if that’s something that you’d like some more information on, I would encourage you to check that out on my page.)

So know what it is that you do the very best, and offer that to your singers. Whatever it is that you do the best is going to be the easiest for you to teach. Often, we suffer imposter syndrome because we’re stepping outside of our most comfortable comfort zones. And when we step too far out of what we know, that’s when that imposter syndrome creeps in because we’re stepping into uncharted territories. 

Don’t do that.

Stay in your own personal zone genius.

Whatever your strengths are, whatever is easiest to you will allow you to feel confident in sharing it with singers. For example, my top two strengths as a coach and as a performer are total vocal health when it comes to contemporary singing and audition strategy.

And guess what?

Everything that I do in my business centers around those two strengths because that’s what I do the best. Now, does that mean that I don’t work with classical singers? Absolutely not. I absolutely work with classical singers. 

In fact, I currently have a two-time national finalist who competes in competitive karaoke competitions. And she’s a two-time national finalist since working with me. She’s presently competing right now in a world competition as an opera singer. She’s coming to me for those two things as well. So it doesn’t mean that you’re going to exclude other people.

When you get specific about what your zone of genius is, other people will still want you for whatever reason. But when you get clear about what you do best, the people who need that are going to come to you. So know your strengths. When you know what you do best and offer that to your singers, you can boost your confidence in your expertise. And that makes that dreaded imposter syndrome vanish away.

3) Get Support

My third tip for you is to get support. You can always invest in your education. I am a big huge fan of this. I preach the importance of getting coaching to singers all the time. If you’re a singer, you need a vocal coach, period.

But I walk my talk. So I don’t just tell other singers, you should have a vocal coach; I also have coaches. I’m always in some form of coaching, usually a couple at a time, because it helps me sharpen my skills. It helps me make sure that I am showing up the very best that I can for my clients because how can I coach them, empower them, and give them everything I have if I’m not getting that from someone else? 

So support is super, super helpful. Another benefit of getting coached is when you invest in yourself and your skills, your clients and potential clients can see you modeling it to them that this is what they should be doing. 

If that’s speaking to you, I would love to talk to you about how I can support you — just like I supported Mia and several other coaches nationwide in this same area, who are now rocking their Vocal Coaching businesses all over the country. 

Let me be your source of POWER. Reach out to me at info@singwithoutlimits.com if you want to dive deeper into this topic of overcoming imposter syndrome. 

P.S. My POWER Academy of Master Coaches is about to reopen. I’m offering an amazing deal on it if you get in before the end of 2020, so if that’s something you’re interested in, let’s chat.