I get a lot of questions about how I came up with my authentic branding and web presence. To make a long story short, I was at the crossroads and just wanted to have more fun in my business. I don’t publicize this, but I do a lot of readings for clients about starting their own small, on-line business. I enjoy helping others in this way, although I have to say, I’m not a business expert. But, I’ve been running my own business since 2005 (officially speaking since I gave readings for years for free). Here are some tips for having an authentic business:
1. Fun is essential. If you are not enjoying having your own business, you might want to think twice about having it in the first place. Of course, there are some parts that might not feel fun to you (mine is wrangling the Aweber templates). You can outsource the parts that are not fun. If you are working a day job with running a business, the fun element especially is important. Time is one of the only resources that I have, I’ve realized. So, my logic is that I may as well enjoy my activities.
2. Build a connection. Old school, high-pressure sales techniques are so yesterday, especially with the advent of social media. Things today are more about building the connection with people. Ask them what they think. Be interested in them as people, not prospects. This seems sort of common sense, but I’ll admit that sometimes, I’m amazed at how impersonal some businesses can be towards customers.
3. Be genuine. Don’t be a fake or try to be someone that you’re not. Don’t impersonate your teacher or mentor. Sure, you might model yourself after successful people, but don’t copy them. You have your own style and voice to share with the world. The world needs your unique expression.
4. Walk your talk. If you are telling clients to reduce their stress or follow their dreams, be sure that you are doing the same in your own life. I mean, we’re all works in progress, but if you are not walking your talk, the energies felt by others will seem incongruent. It works on the unconscious levels at times. Some people will sense you are not walking your talk and they might not comply with coaching or guidance.
5. Offer value. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What would you need? I like to post inspirational or funny quotes on social media or links that are useful or interesting. I enjoy writing blog posts that (hopefully) bring some insights or food for thought. I enjoy giving away some services at times on my Facebook page doing free readings or on my radio show. Of course, you don’t want to give and give until you are depleted. That’s why #6 is so important (and also, see #4).
6. Take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish. It is hard to be of service to anyone if you are tired or not feeling well. Rest, relaxation, and things that enhance your well-being help you to be a better service provider. Don’t be like some business owners, burning the candle at both ends. Working so hard just comes from the belief that you have to do so.
7. Be honest. Don’t hide behind the concept of a company. If you are in business for yourself, you ARE the business. Of course, you might have outsourced communications. But, if there is a serious client issue or complaint, address it yourself. Take responsibility. It feels better for you and the client. If someone is testing your boundaries, be sure to respond to them in a firm, but respectful way.
8. Break the rules. Make your own rules instead! Just because a certain marketing technique works for others, it might not work for you. Or, just because almost everyone is on Twitter, it may not be your cup of tea. Honor that and yourself. Do what works for you. For example, I’ve been procrastinating on my video blog. I dislike how I look on camera, so it is not where I focus right now.
9. Have heart. Be loving and kind. Give support and virtual hugs. Share others’ work. Give back to others, whether it is to your clients, friends, family, or members of your community. Brighten someone’s day with a surprise. Care about people, animals, and the environment. (Yes, the Punk Rock Psychic™ is a bit lovey-dovey and proudly wears her heart on her sleeve.)
10. Enjoy the path. Your business will evolve because you are evolving. Be flexible and try to go with the flow. You will be shifting things around from time to time. It’s the way life works. Change is all there is, truly. So, my philosophy is that I may as well enjoy the ride.
How about you? What are your tips for having an authentic business? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to comment here.
Lisa, Punk Rock Psychic™
(This is my post #24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.)