When you start a business it can be tempting to go with generic, we feel like we want to appeal to as many people and fear that our flaws will put people off – if they knew I was slightly sweary, not very good at paperwork, messy and loud would it put them off? Maybe I need a shiny, glamourous website to sell with expensive photos and copy crafted to an inch of its life by someone I barely know.
You don’t need this, you don’t need to offer up an airbrushed version of you to be successful.
In fact, people prefer to know more about you – the person behind the brand. They want to know what you are like.
Last week I had a reality check (thank you to the person who helped me). My brand is not strong enough, people don’t realise what I am like or how much I can help them because they don’t know enough about me. My web copy is too generic, I merge into a sea of other business coaches and my website is… dare I say it… boring. No one has ever called me boring. So why did I go for safe?
Let’s get clear, my business is growing every month and is set to reach 7 figures next year. People who work with me recommend me, people who meet me want to collaborate. BUT, I am still regularly approached by other coaches – ones with less success because outside my closed Facebook community I don’t share all of that which makes me unique.
A coach recently asked me to join her mastermind which promised me certain results – things I have already achieved… She had no idea how successful I was, our call ended with her considering my mastermind. It made me reflect how my messaging has sometimes been off point rather than on and a this has come in part, from a fear of criticism.
At an early event I held a woman said to me “we know you are successful as you keep telling us” it was said with such spite that it made me introspect – was I a show of? It took me a couple of days to reframe and realise that it said nothing about me and more about her.
So how am I, and how can you get clear on your brand and what makes you unique?
The first thing is to speak to clients (especially those that meet your ideal client profile) and see what they think you stand for. I recommend you do this by asking them for 3 words that describe you.
These were my top ones: inspirational, generous, driven, assured, supportive, authentic, honest, credible and positive
How do these tie in with I do? For me it is important to not only walk my walk and show success but to help others find their version of its which is rarely the cookie cutter version.
Beyond your words consider what makes you unique – things that you are inspired by and make you stand out, for example my love of people and psychology means that I can see things from different viewpoints and am able to read people and understand different viewpoints. My passion for travel makes the freedom lifestyle attractive and means I am always using other influences in my work.
When you look at you as a person don’t worry about being marmite. My favourite emails get as many unsubscribes as they do subscribes and my best blog posts get nasty comments as well as nice because I am stepping into who I am, and I am old enough and self-aware enough to know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.