MOVE OVER, Work/Life Balance! There’s a newer, hotter entrepreneur struggle in town.
Yup, the line between being professional while still letting your personality shine is a spot where every creative gets stuck in their business. We know without a doubt that our products are services are worth premium prices, but we end up trying SO DAMN HARD to justify their worth that we put allllll our energy into making sure we’re being taken seriously. So we share our processes and ingredients, we vomit up a bunch of industry jargon, and we only post about what we have for sale because god forbid we OFFEND someone omg can you imagine?!?!!
But I promise you can be both professional AND charming. In fact, not only is it possible, it’s absolutely necessary. If you don’t show your audience who you really are beyond the fact that you sell a specific thing, you’ll just be seen as a boring business. And people don’t buy from businesses!! People buy from people. That’s why large international companies use spokespeople in their advertising, why influencer marketing is so successful, and why about pages are the most-visited sections of websites.
It’s completely understandable that you don’t want to come across as flaky, immature, or incompetent. I mean this is your BUSINESS we’re talking about here, and I respect that you take it seriously. But it’s also important that you don’t come across as dull, because that is a big, fat turn-off from a marketing standpoint.
Below, I’m giving you five ways to find the ultimate balance between personality and professionalism:
1. AUDIT YOUR COPY AND VISUALS
I know it’s tedious, but double-check that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct, okay? It shows you pay attention to details. Equally as important: write the way you’d speak! No one wants to listen to you drone on and on like a high school history teacher three years from retirement – we want to feel like we’re being invited into a conversation. Writing in your voice takes practice, but the best way to test this is to read what you’ve written out loud. You’ll be able to tell which parts feel stiff and which feel natural.
Make sure the visuals you’re using are relevant to your brand – you might be really proud of that sunset photo you took on vacation in Costa Rica last year. But does it really belong on your about page, or would a professional headshot of you make more sense? Give your Instagram grid a makeover so it’s cohesive, and look over all your fonts and colors on your website to ensure they’re on brand.
2. BE AUTHORITATIVE
Being an authority in your field doesn’t mean acting like you’re better or smarter than everyone else, okay? (Fun fact: that’s what we call “being a bitch!”) It just means you’re presenting yourself as an expert at what you do. And there’s never shame in that, especially since you’ve invested thousands of hours and dolla dolla billz into becoming an expert. Being an authority in your field will help build trust with your audience – your potential clients want to buy from someone who knows their shit. And remember: to be an “expert” you only need to be ONE step further than the person you’re helping. JUST ONE. Own it.
3 RESPOND TO COMMUNICATION
I’m honestly shocked at how many times I’ve left a long and thoughtful comment on a small business’ Instagram post and received nothing back but a like. SHOCKED, I TELL YOU! I mean what a wasted opportunity on their part to make a new connection! The internet made it possible for businesses to be accessible and approachable to their customers, so make sure you are. Having conversations with your audience is the BEST way to network, nurture relationships, and get direct feedback from the people most likely to buy from you, so make sure you’re giving your followers the attention they deserve.
4 DON’T BE FICKLE
I mean this might be obvious, but the best way to not come across as flaky is to not be flaky! Get systems and processes in place to keep you organized and on time. Make your booking process easy and efficient. Keep your promises. Over-deliver. Treat your clients the way you’d expect to be treated as a client, only better. Make every customer feel like they’re the most important customer, ALL THE TIME.
5 BE CONFIDENT AF
Confidence isn’t a talent, it’s a choice. It’s deciding to show up as your best self even on days when you feel like Britney circa 2007. It’s crucial to be confident in your business because your confidence will inspire confidence in your potential customers. And if they’re convinced you can give them the results they want? That’s half the battle.
Like any type of balance, this will take some shifting back and forth in order to stay centered. But practice makes perfect and the more willing you are to test and change the faster you’ll find your balance.
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