I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs. A whole lot. And you know what makes me want to work with one person over another?
What does that mean?
Well, if I get a weird feeling that someone is trying to “sell” me or holding back important information so I quote a lower price, then it is a no-go. No matter how great a referral they are or how much I “should” want to work with them.
I think it is vitally important to be as authentic as possible in your business.
Why? Because as entrepreneurs, you are your business. There is no getting around it. You can’t be corporate serious on the business side, then hippie-happy on your personal time.
And why would you want to be different in your business, anyway? (I never understood that).
To be successful in business, you have to be stand out. And you are more likely to be heard if you have a unique message and authentic voice, so stop trying to be like everyone else.
If you are worried that your are too weird or silly or to crass for your clients, then maybe you are going after the wrong clients. Why would you want to work with people that don’t get you or even like you?
Your personality will connect with your ideal clients which will help you build buzz for your business.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs shift their entire business to align with who they are and what they believe, and it was scary to watch. But you know what, they may have lost a ton of clients at first, but when opened up and truly embraced their authentic self, they soared. I’m talking dream clients, rapid growth, free to be real and show up messy without worrying about their competition taking their business away.
In fact, when you focus on being authentic, competition goes away because there is no one like you. How great is that?
So, if you think you should hide who you are or hold back what you really want to say just so you can save your business, do yourself a favor:
Let go and be authentically you.
female entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, heart-centered entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, documentary filmmakers
How in the world am I going to craft a message that speaks to every one of these groups?
They may each need the same services – copywriting, marketing, social media, even product launches and fundraising support – but they have dramatically different pain and pleasure points, motives, 3 am sweats, and discomfort levels.
It has been hard for me to really niche down my ideal client because I want to help everyone. I mean, everyone needs marketing help, right?
Nope. It doesn’t work that way. Messaging that is too broad will miss my target audience and may even turn them away. And it keeps people from recommending you to their own friends and clients (if they aren’t clear about who you work with, they won’t know who to recommend you to).
The key to really connecting with prospects is speaking their own language, understanding exactly where there are and what they are going through, and having a solution to help the problems they have right now.
If you aren’t sure who you are speaking to, or if you are speaking to too many audiences, then you message will not land with impact and clarity. It will be like a whisper – is she talking to me or maybe she understands me but I can’t really tell.
Don’t send your message to Never Never Land.
Remember, there is no such thing as the general public, and even if there was, would you really want to work with anyone and everyone?
You deserve to work with only the dreamiest of clients, so make sure you are speaking to an audience of one. Be focused on their exact needs and watch them magically find you with ease.
I had this interesting conversation with a friend and fellow entrepreneur the other day and she bemoaned that she “should” be doing a free webinar and more free consolations and oh, her website needs to be redesigned and rewritten and on and on.
“If you don’t want to do webinars or consultations or telesummits or any of the other marketing strategies that you feel like you ‘should’ be doing, then don’t.”
She got really quiet – maybe from the shock of a marketing consultant telling her not to market, maybe from the pure joy and relief of mentally crumbling up her to-do list.
“But, then how do I get more clients if I don’t market?”
Ah, great question. You still have to show up and connect with prospects, let people know what you have to offer and how you can help them, and you still have to have sales conversations and ask people to work with you.
You just don’t have to do it the same way everyone else is – especially if it doesn’t feel right to you.
The most effective way to market yourself is to BE yourself.
The worst way to market yourself is to do those things you don’t want to do because you “should” do them.
(We’ll need to talk later about why you’re letting someone else tell you what you have to do instead of listening to your heart, but that’s another blog post).
Marketing that makes you feel bad also makes your prospects feel bad.
If you think they can’t sense how much you hate doing teleseminars, then you are underestimating the brilliance of your clients.
Of course they can tell when you’re doing something you don’t want to do to make a buck or two. And they don’t like it. Not one bit.
So, quit feeling bad about not doing what everyone else is doing. Focus on doing what you love – what gets you excited. Share your passions, desires, beliefs and dreams with the world.
Stop marketing. Start BE-ing.
That’s when the magic happens.