You know that feeling. It’s 2 AM, and you’re wide awake thinking about all the things that aren’t happening with your business. Potential customers don’t seem to grasp the value you offer. They aren’t even reading your blog posts or downloading your content, let alone booking in to speak with you. You've been over every scenario a thousand times. Tweaked your website and proposal. But nothing seems to work.
Once again, you reach for the Nyquil and down a dose, waiting for the drowsiness to slow your pulse—for another few hours at least.
But when you wake up, the question will still be there in your mind.
Why don’t they see me? The real me?
While the other questions you’re asking yourself may be complicated, this one is quite simple. Or rather, the answer is simple.
Your potential customers don’t see you, because you haven’t shown them the real you.
You are your most important business asset.
I know what you’re thinking now. “Can it really be that simple?” Or even more likely, “Wait, that seems terribly self-serving. I was taught to be humble.” But at the end of the day, we are what we think. You can keep thinking those thoughts—and buy more Nyquil—or you can change how you think about yourself and finally rest easy … after a long day of serving your paying clients.
Because if your are you most important business asset, you are also the greatest gift you can give your customer.
Last time I checked, giving gifts wasn’t a selfish thing to do.
Why would I do that?
Chances are, you are what your customers are really looking for.
Every month, sometimes every day, I hear it the same sad story from a talented, almost-radiant female entrepreneur: “I didn’t include myself in my branding because I thought that was being boastful.” Or even sadder, “I scrubbed myself out of my branding because I felt like it was the problem. If my website was more professional, I’d get more clients!”
Quality does go a long way toward confirming your worth to prospective clients. But quality without soul is equally unimpressive.
If I were the Nyquil-taking sort, that alone would send me straight to the drugstore.
So what is the real problem, then?
Somewhere along the way, we’ve picked up the notion that customers walk through life seeking products and services. While that’s partially true, at the end of the day, as human being we seek to connect: with one another and with ourselves.
The transactional products we purchase are soon forgotten. The products and services attached to a relationship stay with us much longer—and are usually the purchases that help transform us in some way or another. We remember them. We cherish them. And (here’s the key) we’re willing to pay more to have that emotional experience.
People want to buy from people, not from robots. As a person, you are unique, unexpected, quirky, fun, even fascinating. The more of you comes out in what you do, the more unique your product and your message will be—and the more your ideal customer will be motivated to purchase from you.
Why is it that we’ve built our businesses outside of ourselves?
According to Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate and How the World Sees You, it’s likely a function of society’s insistence that we all fit in. Conformity breeds a type of harmony, it would seem. From earliest childhood, we’re taught to downplay the most fascinating aspects of ourselves in order to fit in and keep systems running smoothly.
This may be a recipe for harmony in kindergarten. It’s a recipe for disaster in business.
Because after all, business is about difference. It’s about disruption. It’s about saying the thing people are desperate to here, not what we’ve been told they want to hear.
Since time immemorial, humanity has known that it’s the unique qualities of who we are that directly drive our impact on the world. History bears this out, if we dig even just a little bit. But in the modern world, we tell ourselves it’s just a fairytale. We whisper to ourselves what they told us in school. In sports. In society in general.
“Be a little bit more generic, kids, and you’ll be more successful.”
The makers of Nyquil are laughing all the way to the bank.
So what can I do?
Tired of sleepless nights and a medication-induced hangover? Isn’t it time you woke up from that fitful sleep so alive, your business can come to life, too?
Together, you and I can discover the most powerful, most compelling parts of you—the ones that may be in hiding right now—and communicate them in a way that draws your ideal customer to you and your offerings like moths to a light.
You are your best business asset. The question is: does your business reflect you?
Until next time, speak freely.
How would you describe your unique essence? And how well is that refelcted in your current brand? Share your thoughts below!
Ready to expand your brand and your audience by crafting a more powerful message? Schedule your FREE 1:1 consultation here.