Talking about sex is not easy. Marie-Pier Deschênes she decided to make a career out of it, and it's a choice we can only admire! Through her business Comme des Lapins, she helps women regain power over their sex lives. She offers a personalized coaching service and transformation tools, including two online training courses.
The motivation behind the Comme des Lapins project
Marie-Pier has a master's degree in social work, which led her to work in a women's shelter. It is through this job that she developed her expertise in helping relationships for female clients. However, it was introspection following a bad personal experience that pushed her to want a change in her professional career.
“My only strategy was to put all the cards on the table. Be open and transparent to create a bond of trust.”
When Marie-Pier went into business, it was first to make a blog and share the results of her research. She believed in the importance of democratizing sex, but above all felt a need that, for the moment, was not met. This is why she adopted a simple, welcoming and accessible approach by opening herself up to the subject.
Being authentic and vulnerable in business
From the start, Marie-Pier decided to be naked (figuratively!) and to be 100% herself. Suffering from a speech impediment for already 23 years, she did not let her stuttering slow her down. Even though she wondered if it would bother others, she ignored her thoughts and pushed through. A paying choice, because her success was not affected.
“I am very comfortable knowing I can’t please everyone. Our imperfections make us human. If it makes me more accessible, so much the better.”
Developing and making profitable use of her expertise
Although she is not a sexologist, Marie-Pier has understood the market and how to position herself. Due to her academic background and experience, she opted for coaching rather than therapy. This differentiation allowed her not to suffer from imposter syndrome in the industry. Conversely, she considers that her expertise is complementary to what is already available in this area.
Why talk about sex?
In the French market, Marie-Pier explained to us that there were not many resources for women. It was by doing research for herself that she realized that there was a lack at this level. Drawing inspiration from coaches who offered coaching services in other countries, she saw this as a business opportunity. Besides, Comme des Lapins became her full-time job for over a year!
One would think that the subject of sexuality could shock, but Marie-Pier reassured us. Although we think that sex is taboo, in reality, it is a very current theme that interests many. So far, the response on social media has been very positive. She even received several requests from male clients who, too, would like to take advantage of the coaching services!
"Nobody admits it, but everyone likes hearing about sex!”
The challenge of promoting sex-related services
In an area that is still controversial, it is difficult to use traditional methods of promotion. Not being able to advertise on Facebook is almost unthinkable for any modern business! However, Marie-Pier had no choice but to accept it and develop other means to make herself known. Her obstacle became her strength, so she now practices conversational marketing. Even if it requires more time per client, it is a much more organic and sustainable way to expand her client base.
The importance of building a network
Sharing your expertise and experiences is good, but offering a wide range of points of view is even better. Marie-Pier has therefore developed a network with other experts and partners who are also ambassadors for her message. From her beginnings in business, she understood that it was necessary to create contacts in the industry that would address the matter.
“The more we talk about it ourselves, the more it invites the world to talk about sexuality. It opens up the dialogue.”
Collaboration as a driver of success
It is clear that working with collaborators is an excellent way to provide visibility in different networks. However, Marie-Pier believes that quality is more important than quantity. She prefers to have a small number of collaborators but to develop a real relationship with them. By moving away from the strategy, it is easier to generate a high level of commitment on their part.
Launching online training
Blog, coaching, podcast, events ... Marie-Pier uses several platforms to share her expertise with as many women as possible! For her, online training was more a strategic tool than a business model. The resulting income is just a bonus. In fact, she explained to us that the training provided a great middle option between blogging and coaching. It is a great form of introduction to her star service.
“Beyond business opportunities, my training has created momentum in my business.”
However, the creation of online training on Didacte was really a personal development exercise. Organizing a product launch more officially forced her to develop skills that were less natural for her. It took her to a higher level in her professional career, as much in her eyes as in those of others.
Is it difficult to create online training?
For Marie-Pier, it was not only easy, but also very quick to put her training online. With a platform in French and easy to use as that of Didacte, everything happened naturally. According to her, there is nothing that justifies inaction when you have an idea. Even if it's not perfect!
What does 2020 look like for Comme des Lapins?
With all her plans for the coming year, we know that we haven't finished hearing Marie-Pier talk about sexuality! We can expect new formats of coaching, events and even more collaborations. One thing is certain, success has only just begun.