Being real is being authentic. No one can copy you when you are being authentic, which means you will have no ‘competition’. So, stand up and own the fact that your clients work with you because they like what YOU have to say and what YOU do. Systems, pricing and products can be changed or fine-tuned, but you being you is the most important part of being in business.
In the fast-paced world of marketing and social media, it is very easy to get lost in the endless stream of posts and social media stories. Looking at what other people are offering and how they present themselves can take us down a rabbit hole of self-doubt and uncertainty. Our clients need to know that we are human, which means some days we don’t look 100%, some days we wonder why we get out of bed and other days we’re on our game and celebrating the fact that we are self-employed.
Think about your favourite clients (yes, we all have favourites) and- consider what helped them come to the decision to work with you. It all started with a first impression! First impressions are vital. Just like customers will notice the mud on your boots when you have a face-to-face meeting, so they will notice your website images and content. Are the images on all of your marketing collateral showing YOUR unique personality and what YOU stand for? Invest in professional images of you and your business as opposed to stock images. If you are going to use stock images of “clients” then are should be a true representation of those clients. One of my pet hates is images showing a very corporate setting in which everyone is wearing a suit or tie – when, in fact, the business conducts much of its business in cafés and over a coffee. Keep it real and take some photos in your local café.
Work with a professional to create some key brand guidelines around your business and ensure that they align with the vision and mission of your company. If you’re a petrol-head who owns a unique car, then include that in your marketing. Likewise, if you want to plant more trees and have an e-car, add those traces into your values and your marketing. There is no right or wrong here – not everyone is going to agree with your unique view of the world, but you don’t need every potential client to engage with you – just the RIGHT ones.
The colours we use to represent who we are as people and heavily influence how our business is perceived. We gravitate to certain colours, and they reflect our personality. Use colour wisely to support your brand values:
- Red — Red stands for passion, excitement, and anger. It can signify importance and command attention.
- Orange (my favourite)— Orange stands for playfulness, vitality, and friendliness. It is invigorating and evokes energy.
- Yellow — Yellow evokes happiness, youth, and optimism, but can also seem attention-grabbing or affordable.
- Green — Green evokes stability, prosperity, growth, and a connection to nature.
- Light Blue — A light shade of blue exudes tranquillity, trust, and openness. It can also signify innocence.
- Dark Blue — Dark blue stands for professionalism, security, and formality. It is mature and trustworthy.
- Purple — Purple can signify royalty, creativity, and luxury.
- Pink — Pink stands for femininity, youth, and innocence. It ranges from modern to luxurious.
- Brown — Brown creates a rugged, earthy, old-fashioned look or mood.
- White — White evokes cleanliness, virtue, health, or simplicity. It can range from affordable to high-end.
- Gray — Gray stands for neutrality. It can look subdued, classic, serious, mysterious, or mature.
- Black — Black evokes a powerful, sophisticated, edgy, luxurious, and modern feeling.
Use your words to send a powerful message to your future clients. Show your knowledge and passion and convey that you love what you do. Ensure that your words are true to who you are. A powerful message doesn’t rely solely on words but is a combination of expressions and your energy and personality that will resonate with the right future clients. Have a read over your website and social media content – does it feel like you are talking on the phone to your clients or is it too over-worked? When you think about your brand and the words that you use in your marketing and your business think about some of these keywords:
- Feminine vs Masculine
- Playful vs Serious
- Luxurious vs Affordable
- Modern vs Classic
- Youthful vs Mature (so glad I didn’t write Old there!)
- Loud vs Subdued
Ultimately, you want to walk your talk. We can all write up some amazing words about how we work, but when it comes to action it, we can drop the ball at times. (Writing this article has highlighted some areas that I need to tidy up.) Ensuring that you have strong systems that support you to improve and stay on track with positive changes is important to help you stay true to your vision and brand. Constantly seeking to keep your message and actions in alignment will empower you, and help you earn your clients’ respect.
Being real and authentic comes from within and shines out through your branding and marketing. If you feel as if you aren’t quite being as authentic as you’d like to be, be patient. Sometimes it is a journey to discover our personal and business branding and voice. But it is a worthwhile journey because when it is fully aligned, you will attract your ideal clients and continue to love what you do.
See how Lynne helps her clients here: https://www.groworange.co.nz