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.
Okay, I’ll admit that this post is more of a kudos type of review for Google+. At first when I was offered an invite to Google+, I was skeptical. I thought, “Oh no, not more social media to keep up with!” But, then, I tried it and I like it. Here’s why:
1. Circles. Google+ allows you to create Circles of people. The rational is similar to Facebook groups, but it’s much more user-friendly. Circles are so you can share the right stuff with the right people. I mean, sometimes, you don’t want your boss to see your drunken pictures from Friday night. I myself share links from Planned Parenthood and of course, some of my high school friends who are still diehard Catholics have to chime in on it. I find Google+’s arrangement of lists of people to be much cleaner and easier to use.
2. Like Totally. I dislike the “like” feature on Facebook. I prefer the Google+ term “+1” since I’m not like totally a Valley Girl. Ha ha ha! Some 80’s humor–yeah, I’m showing my age.
3. No more letting the flowers, fish, or animals die. I dislike Facebook games so much. So far, so good. I haven’t seen any of it on Google+. My farm was repo’d by the bank, I’m sure at some point on Facebook.
4. Ads? I haven’t seen many advertisements on Google+. I know most Google products have their GoogleAds, but so far, so good. It’s clean over there at Google+. My one Google+ pal said it was like a Friday night when the college bar or cafe is empty. I like that.
5. Heck, it’s Google. Google rocks. Okay, I’m biased since I went to undergrad with Larry at the same time. I can’t help myself for being loyal to fellow alumni.
6. Less distraction. I’m very ADHD. Facebook sucks my focus because there is so much going on and the feed is so busy looking. Again, Google+ is very clean looking.
7. Similar features. Google+ and Facebook allow you to share similar things such as video, photos, links, etc. Google+ lets you create Hangouts using your webcam (get your mind out of the gutter!).
8. Sparks. I love Google+’s feature called Sparks. Instead of finding your interests in a cluttered news feed on Facebook, you can type in what you’re looking for or interested in on Google+ under Sparks. It’s fun and you don’t have to “like” a fan page.
These are some of my preliminary thoughts about Google+. I’m not a techie and not an expert. Just giving you some of my first impressions as a casual user taking it for a test ride. I myself find that I’m using certain social media sites less and less. For example, I don’t use Myspace or LinkedIn very much.
What do you think of Google+? Have you tried it yet? How do you use social media? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts.
It’s so much easier to make and keep friends when you’re younger.
By the way, I know that this is just a belief. A belief can be changed, but seriously, I’ve tried as an adult to make and keep friends as effectively and simply as I did when I was a kid.
I don’t get it. When did it get so hard?
Are our lives really so busy that we can’t make time for each other?
Are we really that scared or neurotic to try to meet new people?
I’m the type of person who prefers to have a few closer friendships than a bunch of acquaintances. I also am energy sensitive, so I prefer to be one-on-one with people versus being in larger groups.
(By the way, if you’re reading this and you are my friend, please know that it’s not about you. I’m just taking some time to think about this topic and see if anyone else feels the same.)
I also think about how much easier it must be socially when you have children. I have chosen not to have children, so I take full responsibility here. I’m just trying to make sense of my friendship transitions.
I know that when you change, your friendships and other relationships will change. It’s part of being human and living on the planet. Everything and well, everyone evolves. I get it, but I still think it’s easier to make friends when you’re a kid.
A couple of things challenge me about friendships. The first one is technology. A friend used to be a friend. Now you have social media like Facebook to complicate things. I myself don’t have texting on my cellular phone either, so I often wonder what I’m missing out on by not having that sort of link to people. Oh well…
The second thing that challenges me about friendships is that some seem to treat friendships as disposable. I’ve experienced things such as people just ceasing to talk to me. I tried to make amends. I honestly didn’t know at times what I did to deserve the silent treatment. It puzzles me. I even apologized in case I did something wrong. But, still, I was ignored.
I start to feel a bit defensive or protective when it comes to allowing new people into my life because of all of this. I know that I’ve not perfectly handled some friendships, but I’ve done my best. I suppose that is what the silent treatment friends I had were doing too–they were just doing their best.
But, I still wonder what is up with friendships these days? What do you think? Is it just me? I don’t know. Feel free to share.
(photo by Tom Lin :3=, Flickr, Creative Commons License)
(Warning, this post contains a bit of a rant, so if you’re not in the mood to listen to a rant, then, don’t read this post!)
On a recent trip/cruise, I unplugged from technology. I didn’t bring my laptop. I only used my cellular phone in a port of call that was in my network to call my hubby. So, no email, no social media, and no phone calls.
It felt great! I came home feeling more refreshed and less fried. I started to rearrange my life according to my priorities, not according to some crazy schedule in which I was constantly checking on messages. I started to be able to have clear thoughts. Ideas and inspirations came flooding through. I got back in touch with my inner voice, as I recently wrote about here.
Some of the re-entry into my life back at home was rough. Hubby can attest to my yelling and ranting while checking emails. “Can you believe that this person still sent me emails, even though I was out of town and they knew it?” The nerve of some people–ha ha ha! Life apparently goes on without me even being there. I’ve experienced this before, but for some reason, this time around, it really made me mad. So, I knew I had some work to do on this issue to see what the real issue was really about.
Then, I noticed something uncanny. On my Facebook personal profile, it seemed like no one noticed I was gone away. I think it’s because of that whole new feed configuration bit. I switched my news feed to show everyone’s postings, not just people’s I’ve interacted with lately. I’ve been reconnecting with the important people so I’ll show up in their feeds. I can’t pressure them to change their news feed view to see everyone–that’s their decision. But, whew, so I’m still loved. People saw me again! That’s a relief!
Actually, no, it’s sort of pathetic. After being gone and returning to some of my on-line activities, I’ve noticed that I miss the in-person type of connections with people. I had deep, meaningful conversations with real, live people on my cruise.
Then, I come home and it feels a bit disconnected for me. I even saw a car commercial where the car has an application that will read you your Facebook news feed. The poor guy in the commercial was checking to see how his first date went. Hubby again, was subjected to my yelling, heard loudly from the living room, “What the heck? Why doesn’t he ask her the next day how she felt the date went?!”
This technology stuff is making me frustrated. I mean, I like techie things like blogging, social media, doing my own websites, being on message boards, internet shopping, and yes, I do a ton of things on-line to save time. I’m not dissing technology at all. I guess I’m just tired of it replacing human contact.
A gal pal told me recently that she would text me when she showed up for our lunch. I said, “Well, will it be telepathic ’cause I don’t have texting on my phone?” She was flabbergasted. I only use a cell phone for emergencies and to say, “Honey, I’m on my way home.” Or, to save money when I travel on phone bills. I don’t like being available all of the time. I don’t like to talk much on the phone. I also don’t like to multi-task. I can’t talk and grocery shop, for instance. I would never be able to text and drive physically (and, well, I personally think it’s the most idiotic and dangerous thing you could possibly do!) Clients are always shocked that I can’t be reached by phone much.
I might cave one day and get some techie phone ’cause I love to play with tech gadgets. But, probably, this won’t be anytime soon. I am shopping around for e-readers. I don’t really feel the need to surf the internet as I’m away from home driving and doing errands. I don’t want to be one of “those” people who are in line paying for groceries, oblivious to anyone and anything, all self-absorbed and not even realizing that the cashier wants them to pay! Ha, there, I said it!
I was excited recently on my birthday. I received hundreds of Happy Birthday wishes–on my personal Facebook wall. Some were from people I hardly know. This startled me quite a bit. First, we gave each other birthday cards. Then, electronic birthday cards followed. Now, we wish each other “Happy Birthday” on our Facebook walls? Seriously? This still feels so impersonal to me.
I have my fun on Facebook and other social media, for sure, but I don’t feel like living my life on them. I know that no one cares what I had for breakfast, so I don’t Tweet about that stuff. Somehow though, email feels more personal nowadays. This makes me feel a bit sad that email is what feels more personal to me.
I’m not getting old because I stay up-to-date with using technology. I just choose not to own or use certain devices. I like my life simpler. I also like to spend my time on more important things like playing guitar and writing my book.
I guess that I’ve always been a bit old-fashioned. I am the type of 1950’s manners girl that sends hand-written thank you notes. When a friend has a problem, I say, “Call me, and we’ll talk.”
(Of course, if you are a loved one reading this, please don’t take offense. I’m not talking about you when it comes to my frustrations!)
I’ve also not been immune to the beneficial uses of technology. I remember calling hubby from a store to ask him if he ever heard of a surfing company called Lost. Yes, score! I bought him a cool t-shirt. I’ve had hubby call me from the store too in order to ask which brand of cold/flu medication I wanted. I’ve called people and businesses when I’ve messed up directions. I’ve called people to say that I’m running late, which rarely happens by the way, unless it’s weather-related (meaning, snow!). (I can’t handle it when people are chronically late, but that’s a subject for another blog post!)
I love listening to podcasts, reading blog posts, and watching videos on-line. There is tons of great, free content on-line. It rocks! I’m grateful for all of it.
I guess that as someone who works at home running her own business, I crave the in-person interactions that so many complain about. I’ve been working on getting out there to network and meet new people. That way, I’ll be a bit more balanced with it all.
But, I still prefer more personal communications. I still cringe when I read a post on Facebook of a friend’s and it’s something that I didn’t even know. You mean, I have to read your news feed to know this about you? It must really be time for me to look at friendships…
With all of this electronic communication and with all of the massive amounts of information on the internet, do you ever not feel heard? It feels harder to be heard, really listened to, and even noticed–even by friends and family at times, I’ve found.
I’ve just decided lately to not compete with all of this static. I do my part to stay in touch, but I don’t try to read everyone’s Facebook feeds or blogs. I just allow the connections to occur more naturally. I feel much less burned out. I feel like if something happens that I need to know about, someone will tell me.
It’s time not to feel fried or burned out any longer. I myself am pretty sensitive to energies. I get really depleted from being on-line for long periods of time. I had to start putting limits on it.
What about you? How do you feel about technology as a way to stay in touch? What challenges do you have? In what ways do you find technology helpful? What else do you want to share?
Feel free to comment and leave feedback. I’d love to hear how you feel about this topic.
I love it when you get guidance from unexpected sources. I especially enjoy when quotes or messages in my daily life cause me to reflect on my own life.
I drink Yogi™ Teas. Here’s the website if you are interested: http://www.yogiproducts.com/ (By the way, I don’t get any kickbacks or financial reward for sharing–I have to have this disclaimer on my blog).
What I enjoy the most about their teas is that they have these little tags with gems of wisdom. Of course, the tea is delicious, but the little messages make my day. It’s similar to getting a message from a fortune cookie.
This week, I had two messages from the tea bag tags that were quite fitting for me. The one basically said if you don’t realize who you are, you can’t have happiness. If you know me, I’m all about being authentic. I make my social media content all about authenticity, non-conforming, and how to be the real you.
The other tea bag message was basically talking about the difference between knowledge and wisdom. The difference is that personal experience makes both more real. I’ve often wondered if my experiences would benefit anyone. In the past, I’ve been reluctant to share my life, especially the really personal parts. I wondered if it would really matter or make a difference to others. The truth is…all of us have wisdom to share.
I love it when people share their lives. It’s fun to read people’s updates on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I enjoy it when people share books, links, or quotes that are helpful in some way.
I’ve been thinking about the ideas of authenticity, wisdom, and knowledge when it comes to my own marketing, writing, and psychic readings. I seem to be allergic to bullshit, so certain marketing methodologies do not work for me. I really work hard to share high value content without doing a hard sale. Plus, I’m more interested in building relationships versus adding to my social media numbers just for the sake of having numbers. I do share a bit of my work in these outlets, but I work hard to do it from a place of love, integrity, and authenticity.
I’ve studied marketing for years and what really stands out for me is that it’s more fun to work with people that you enjoy and who enjoy and resonate with you. I feel like the right people will be attracted to me naturally, so I allow some of this process of building my business to occur organically. I don’t like to push myself on you and sell, sell, sell.
I’m also a consumer so I’m super mindful to not do the annoying marketing methods or techniques to you. Friends of mine and I this week have been discussing this marketing stuff openly and privately. You know where you get the daily email blasts that clutter your email box? Or, you opt-in to someone’s mailing list and it feels like robots are answering your emails? I’ve also had people friend me on social media and then, right off the bat sell me their book, supplement, juice, learning system, VIP coaching, or other products. Yikes, can’t we be “friends” first? It reminds me of a first date and then, the guy wants more. (I’m so glad I’m married to a great guy, by the way!).
I realize that marketing is necessary. I’m not bad-mouthing it. I’m just saying that there has to be a different way, a way that truly honors people as consumers. I don’t like any methods that hit you over the head. I’m sure you don’t either.
Not to state the obvious, but I’m a bit rebellious. I don’t really want to do the traditional marketing methods. I know how to do them, but I’d rather keep it real. I also want to keep it personal. I don’t want to be another anonymous entity on the internet or social media. I like to have fun and get to know people. It’s how I aspire to be in life, both off-line and on-line.
I’ve been working on my own marketing model. I desire simply to be of service to you. I don’t really have aspirations of being the most famous psychic in the world. I simply enjoy being a messenger of the divine to help others. I have a life mission of helping people to utilize their intuition more in life.
People privately ask me why I don’t ever go for bigger things. I had at least 20 people ask me why I didn’t send an audition video in for Oprah’s search for new hosts on her new network. To be honest, I don’t want a day job like that! I prefer to be my own boss. I don’t mind working hard and believe me, I do, probably harder than I’d work if I had a job. But, I love owning my own business. It is truly liberating and fun. I like defining success as freedom and happiness. The rest is just details.
Thanks for listening to my rant about marketing. I appreciate you as a reader or client or follower of my work. I really enjoy being of service to you. You rock!