As an entrepreneur, expert, author or other business professional, you have a great “story to tell.” That is, you offer something special – whether it’s advice, a service, a product or perhaps all of these – that helps people solve a problem and achieve a goal.
However, unless you can stand out and get noticed for all of the right reasons, you’ll wind up being “the best kept secret in your marketplace.” And even worse, that’s a designation with a short shelf life, since it’s only a matter of time before it’s replaced by an even more dreaded label: “out of business.”
Fortunately, standing out in your marketplace is not costly or confusing — provided that your efforts align with these 7 key principles:
1. Be True to Yourself
Clients and prospects recognize when someone is putting on an act – it makes them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Ultimately, that undermines likeability and trust, and it’s an axiom of any business relationship that people only buy from those that they like and trust. By staying true to yourself, you attract the right people – and avoid the wrong ones.
2. Stop the Negative Thinking.
Forget multitasking: It’s impossible to do two things at once, much less do them well. And that means you can’t focus on doing what you do well, if you’re constantly being “cut off at the knees” by obsessive, repetitive negative thinking. Choose to focus on the positive and make optimism a habit.
3. Be Your Brand…ALWAYS!
Every step you take in public is another chance to market yourself and your company. “Invest in your dress” so you are always ready to initiate conversations that might lead to new business.
4. Bring Joy Into the Room.
Your attention and positive attitude will make people feel good – and, in turn, they’ll associate that good feeling with you. And while that will lead to more business from better clients, there’s an even greater achievement in store: you’ll bring joy into every room you enter.
5. Project the Right Image.
Use a professional photo across all of your marketing materials and in all of your social media profiles. This inspires a personal connection and trustworthiness – even before you meet and talk.
6. Be Your Own Best Advocate.
Know what you do inside and out, especially as it relates to adding value to people’s lives and helping them achieve a goal. Remember: people don’t buy advice, products or services. They buy solutions to their problems. Be aware of what problem(s) you solve, and then promote this in the context of helping people.
7. Be the Center of Influence.
Obtain and keep the coveted “Center of Influence” status by staying up-to-date on industry trends, and surround yourself with people you admire, who are experts in their fields, and who know other people of equal caliber.
It’s All About Love
Ultimately, the thread that connects all of these strategies is one thing: passion. Love for what you do – and delegate the rest. When you do this, your creative force will empower you to work wonders, and you’ll take your career to a whole new level…and your bank account will soon follow.