Have you ever felt that as an entrepreneur you need to present your business in a certain way to be seen as professional? Or maybe ever doubted whether or not to communicate something you feel very strongly about with regards to your industry? But you held back, because you didn’t want to offend anyone?
You wouldn’t be the only one.
Most entrepreneurs adjust. They show up the way society and business-life expect them to. They stick to what they’ve been told around ‘professionalism‘, because, well, we need to become ‘authorities‘, right?
Yes. Our authority status is crucial. It increases credibility and therefore trust. Trust is the basis for customers to say YES.
If everybody is doing the same ol’ thing, presenting themselves in the same ol’ way… how can customers know they’re choosing the right fit for them?
As entrepreneurs we need to understand we cannot be the right fit for everyone. We shouldn’t even want to. In business as well as in life, we really don’t have to be liked by 8 billion people. Trying to please everyone means you’re spreading it too thin.
Paolo Nutini’s music isn’t for everyone, nor is Slipknot’s. Neither is (was) the legendary band Queen, that specifically positioned themselves as a band ‘for the misfits’, not trying to fit into a box. Great bands are great bRrands: they understand who they, dare to be different are and focus on their tribe – not the entire world.
Narrow the focus: focus on a type
So what do you need to do?
Narrow your focus and then narrow it some more. I’m not only talking about focusing on a specific target audience defined by demographics like gender, age, location, b2b/b2c, income.
I’m talking even more about focusing on a TYPE.
People with similar values, interests, personalities, craziness, beliefs. People who speak the same language, which is more than just English, French, Italian or Dutch. People who share your vision, who resonate with the dreams you have for this world, and who appreciate the way you make them a reality.
>>> Do you think you could serve these people a lot better
than the people you don’t feel a connection with? <<<<
How COOL would it be if you could work with a tribe you resonate with? How much FUN would that be?
No more whiners, only winners. Yes ma’am.
Okay, so here’s the thing you need to realize:
If you want to attract winners, you’ll need to adjust the way you show up.
You show up constantly. In fact, you’re broadcasting your brand 24/7: on your website, social media, exhibitions, in-store, on the phone, your office, packaging, delivery.
Your brand is like a filtering system
Every broadcast is an opportunity to filter out the people your brand would match with best. It’s like a sieve. You narrow the openings in the sieve so the sand and mud can still go through, but the gold remains on top.
The stronger you show your PERSONALITY – your brand’s personality, not only your individual personality – the easier it is for your tribe to recognize the ‘right fit’. Others can easily decide to walk away. That’s great; this way you’ll not go through the agony of having taken on a client that drains you guys.
Knowing this, you understand you’re doing your ideal clients a service by being a lot more outspoken than you’d initially feel comfortable with.
Listen up, I get it. It’s quite scary to be outspoken. To share MORE than products alone; to share stories, beliefs, and use language that may repel people. Your brain doesn’t want that. It doesn’t want to be different from the crowd. There’s danger in separation.
The danger of remaining in the crowd, my dear, is much bigger. You’d be leaving your gifts on the table. They’ll be overshadowed by the sea of sameness, whereas your gift deserves to be SEEN. After all, why keep it to yourself only? You could help so many people with it!
Success takes more than a good quality product; it takes a BRAND.
So narrow your focus by showing up with a BRAND PERSONALITY that is different. Those people who don’t like the way you show up, are the ones you don’t want to work with. You can’t be walking on eggshells anyway, hun. You want to feel liberated. That’s the whole point of being an entrepreneur, isn’t it?
So how do you make sure you show up differently?
- Decide on the brand personality. When everybody is trying to prove they’re the authority, you show your adventurous side (or whatever side there’s to the brand!). Be the jester, make jokes. Be that weirdo and stand on your head when everyone else stands on their feet.
- Visualize your brand’s personality. Colors, shapes, fonts, photography – make sure it aligns. Go creative, work it out in detail.
- Find a language that fits. Your message needs to stand out and needs to align with the personality, so it will tell a congruent story with the visual part of your brand.
Please understand that deciding on this personality is the result of a clear understanding of the brand’s identity. You cannot start with a logo, website and colors or language if you’re not 100% clear on the underlying elements. This is where most entrepreneurs go WRONG. You need to build the basics first. And in my humble opinion, you need guidance with that to get this done profoundly, so it will all align AND help you define that message in a way that WORKS.
But when you have invested in your brand… oh my. There’s tons of value waiting to be gained and shared.
Hope this helps.