As an entrepreneur you are constantly bombarded with shoulds, musts and “you’ve got to’s…” on a daily basis from everywhere. Other entrepreneurs, your partner, even your friends the “advice” just never seems to end. But let’s have a little honest talk for a moment. The ever present weight of all those expectations is like getting bulldozed over and over again. I feel it, you feel it, Every entrepreneur on the planet feels it. And as a brand strategist, I hear it all the time from my clients., “ So-and-so said that in order to be successful I must…” do whatever, and almost always that advice is NOT the right fit for my client.
Well, business isn’t cookie dough that you can roll out and cut to create the same shape over and over. Every entrepreneur has a unique spin on things. Every brand has a unique experience that clients and customers go through. Being successful requires thinking outside the box, because cookie-cutter strategy doesn’t work!
If cookie-cutter strategy doesn’t work, then what does?
Authenticity. As much as it’s the big buzzword on campus, it’s the truth. Raw honesty has more positive effects on business than most other things you could possibly imagine. For example, social media is a place I see people getting crazy inauthentic. Either they are showing up in all the places in ways that make no sense for that platform, or they are posting pictures that don’t represent what their business is all about. Both are examples of showing up in a way that will alienate your audience.
The more you get on your soapbox about issues that you are passionate about, the more you will connect with people. If what you’re passionate about aligns with your business then your ideal clients will be popping in to connect with you naturally based on all the things you’re speaking about.
My client Angela is a perfect example of this. As a clinical sexologist and life coach she was building her business based on all the “shoulds” she thought her business needed to be. Because the big fancy business people said it needed to be that way. But when we dug deep into who Angela really is, and who she is trying to serve we realized that the big key was the geeky, nerdy and all around weird stuff that her clients love. As Angela leaned into this side of herself (and the biz) new potential clients started coming out of all the D&D Dungeons!
Yeah ok, but…what about templates!?
I know, you’re probably thinking I am batshit crazy at this point because you’re saying, “Molly, you sell templates! Isn’t that a cookie-cutter!?” I see where you might think that but NO!
Templates aren’t the cookie cutters of business (when used properly at least), they are the recipe. Just like humidity, altitude and ingredient availability affect how a recipe turns out, templates must be tweaked to the adjustments of your business’s unique needs. Do you have a service based business? Are you providing a luxe experience? Are you mass producing or hand making products? All these things will affect the outcome.
That’s why you’ll find that our templates aren’t copy paste solutions, they are more like workbooks that guide you through the work I do with 1:1 clients to find the answers and solve your strategy struggles.
Fine, Fine. So how do I start being more authentic in my biz?
Well for one, you can start putting your real self out there. Talk about the things you love, the things you despise and everything in between. Don’t be afraid to be nerdy, geeky, or whatever. Just be who you are.
If you find that your brand is just not representative of who you and your business are looking to become, then book a discovery call with me and let’s figure out what your next step should be!