In one of the final sections of our Publishize book, I list my 10 Keys to Success. Because I only briefly touch on them in the book, I'm expanding on them here. Here's number nine in the list: be yourself.
There's an old adage that says, "People buy from people they know." Let your true self shine through, and don't be afraid to let customers and prospects know the people behind your company. In a world full of big company advertising messages, people respond to those who are genuine and let their personality show.
Of course, with that said, not every client will be a good fit. You can't please everybody, always try to work with the people who love what you do and the values you represent. In our case, most of our clients understand that we live in the middle of nowhere and we like it that way.
After all, we started our business to support a lifestyle that we love. Whenever you make a big lifestyle choice like that, you have to expect repercussions. For our clients, our lifestyle choice means that sometimes James has to go out and plow the driveway, so we can dash through the snow and get important things like food. Obviously that takes away from some of our billable hours.
Our clients also understand that we work mostly through email and they are never getting my cell phone number. I hate cell phones and we don't get a signal at our house. That's fine by me, since I don't want to be connected 24x7 anyway. I don't actually know my cell phone number (well, except for the area code I guess). Since I don't know the number, I'm certainly not giving it out to my clients. Some people can't even imagine this concept, but it works for us.
At their core, all of these business issues relate to who we are. They are a direct result of the way we choose to live our life and operate our business. Our best clients appreciate who we are as people. These people like us for more than our skills. They like our outlook and the perspectives we bring to the table. Some marketing books call these types of clients "raving fans." I think the only way you get raving fans is to be who you are. People are a lot better than you might think at detecting phonies.
As an example, the other day I got possibly the nicest testimonial I've ever received from one of the people who participated in our 90-Day Book Challenge book-writing course. On the evaluation form, the last question was "Is there anything else you would like us to know?" In response, she said of James and me, "I feel like I made two new friends. I'm ready to move in with you. Any openings?" Now that's the type of raving fan you want in your business!
Everyone in business is always seeking that elusive "unique selling proposition." Obviously, the most unique thing you have going for you...is you. Your personality, point of view, and experiences are not the same as anyone else's, so capitalize on that fact. Be brave enough to just be yourself.
Listen to Us at the Self-Publishers Online Conference
James and I will be speaking at the Self-Publishers Online Conference (aka SPOC) on May 13, along with 14 other publishing experts. At SPOC, you'll learn how you can use a book to establish your expertise, build credibility, generate leads, and create information products that can skyrocket your business. These days, with fewer people being able to attend live publishing conferences (and some conferences even being cancelled or curtailed), SPOC is a a great low-cost opportunity for "book people" to connect and learn more about the business of publishing. You can register for FREE (or opt for paid options as well that offer more benefits and goodies). You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain!