Businesses like ours – rest on the skills, experience and expertise we have gathered throughout our education and careers.
Here’s the thing: there are, for the most part, many, many people with almost identical education, and very similar professional experiences. Many people who could, on the face of it, do the same job we do.
I imagine you know this from your own experience.
The Big Question, then, is this: how can you possibly set yourself apart? What’s the difference that makes the difference?
What’s the answer?
What sets you apart isn’t all the technical stuff.
It’s your own personality, your own unique perspective, your insight. Your commitment to excellence. Your own personal ‘take’ on things.
Which makes what I am about to say a real issue for anyone who has fallen into the trap.
Because it can be a bit daunting – even rather scary – to be ‘seen’ in your own promotional material.
Now, that probably sounds a bit odd but if you Google around you’ll find a surprising number of websites and blogs and so on that look so remarkably similar to each other that it’s hard to get any sense at all of the personality behind the business.
Sometimes it goes as far as an individual business owner presenting themselves as if they are some Corporate Entity, with the sort of glossy-but-anonymous branding and positioning that goes along with that.
Sometimes you’ll find people who seem to have deliberately set up their websites to discourage any sort of personal interaction – no sign anywhere of even a name or phone number, far less an actual image of the person behind it all!
In the past I’ve been just as guilty of this as anyone else: when I started my business I came straight out of Big Corporate Life, and being seen without all that corporate hoo-ha seemed all rather too naked and exposed.
The truth is, though, that clients and prospects see straight through this ruse.
As soon as any sort of engagement is established, it’s blindingly obvious that it’s an individual behind the business, and when you are engaged for a job, well, there’s no hiding the fact that it’s you the client gets on site or on the phone.
Now, I’m not at all saying that the look and feel of your business doesn’t matter: it absolutely does. Just that it should be consistent. If it’s just you, then it’s just you and that’s just fine. That is exactly what is going to attract the right people.
The real danger is that, if you present yourself as something other than who and what you really are, you will start to find yourself engaging with clients and prospects who don’t suit you – and that is the fast-track to short, painful and unsatisfactory business relationships.
So don’t get swept away by the Invisible Man Delusion.
Allow yourself to be bold. Allow yourself to be creative.
Don’t get fooled by anyone who says you have to spend thousands on branding and copywriting.
And above all, allow yourself to be yourself.
Because that’s your true brand.
I've created an infographic to summarise all seven Deadly Sins: you can download it free, print it off and put it somewhere near your desk as a daily reminder of some of the common traps by which we, as business owners, can find ourselves unwittingly and oh so easily seduced.
Download it here:
To your business success!
PS: Please feel free to leave me a comment to let me know you and your business...
PPS: If you want to explore how you might tackle any of these issues then you can schedule a free business assessment call with me...
More from the Seven Deadly Sins series...
Previously: Is YOUR Business Held Back by the Domino Defect?
Coming Up Next: The Grasshopper Deception: Are You Falling For It?