I subscribe to a lot of email lists. This week, at least two had subject lines that went something like this “If you only read/do one thing this week, let it be…”
Maybe if it was an email from my doctor, I might read the rest, but no marketer gets to tell me what is most important to me this week.
1. Communicate the Way You Want to Communicate
That’s the first lesson in building a business you love — Communicate the way you want to communicate. There is a psychology to breaking through, and yes, it’s a hyper-busy, distracted, competitive world. And, of course you have the greatest thing in the world to sell, but the world is on to your games.
Even if your content is phenomenal, if it comes in a clickbaity “I bought this caption and image” package, you’ve missed an opportunity to connect intentionally.
Have you ever Googled a solution to your problem, then clicked on a link because it seemed perfect, intrigued, and ready to buy, but when you clicked, there was such a disconnect between what you were looking for and what you found?
You almost felt confused or hit the back arrow to see if you inadvertently clicked the wrong link?
Maybe it’s not always that obvious, but there is usually a proof point that goes one of two ways: Either, the way you communicate at the beginning of the relationship (in the ad, in the copy, in the post, in the initial meeting) attracts someone and is consistent, authentic, and unique. You build from there on a foundation of trust, genuineness, and integrity. As they get to know you, they like you, have confidence in you, and buy from you because you’re you (not because you have the world’s best thing to sell).
Or, the way you communicate at the beginning of the relationship attracts someone, but the more they get to know you, the more inconsistencies, discrepancies, and doubts show up. They trust you less, feel less and less confident, and question if you’ll deliver on what you say. They decide not to consider/follow/buy from you.
2. Show Up the Way You Want to Show Up
In another example, I received an email this week from someone I have been following for a long time that said I missed the webinar I registered for, with a link to the replay.
Now I remember thinking I wanted to sign up for the webinar, but wasn’t sure I actually did, so I clicked the link. The moment I did, I realized I had definitely never seen her live before.
Again, I wondered if I clicked the wrong link. She was wearing little girl pigtails, sunglasses, a light-up necklace, costume jewelry, a feather boa, and something unidentifiable in her hair. She was broadcasting from what looked like a colorful sauna, and the ring light she was using was reflecting oddly in her sunglasses. And she was amazing.
I never in a million years would have expected any of it, and it was a show, for sure, but really fun, really informative, and surprisingly brilliant.
Clearly, she was doing her thing, and it was by design. I didn’t buy anything, and I can’t remember how I ended up on her list, but you better believe going forward, I’ll read the next thing that shows up in my mailbox with her name on it.
3. Socialize the Way you Want to Socialize
Speaking of not being afraid to stand out, don’t be scared to be memorable. If you are posting on social, first, pick your platform, don’t try to be everywhere (often said, not so often followed), then create a feed that’s interesting, engaging, relevant, fun, entertaining, educational, and/or informative.
I was in a mastermind meeting recently, and another coach got a little frustrated because she said no matter what she puts out there, someone steals it. We talked through what she was putting out there, and it turns out, no one was stealing it, but many were saying precisely the same things. To the same audience. With similar graphics.
Not because they were unoriginal, but because it wasn’t her take. It was the same ol’, same ol’, and the internet is already full of that.
Stand out, not because you are the most creative or clever or perfect or put out 700 IG reels and 490 YouTube videos every month, but because you are talking to your audience about what they want to talk about, in the way they want to talk about it, where they are right now, and you are bringing your take to it.
4. Let Your Audience Lead
Can we stick with that for a moment? Talking to your audience about what they want to talk about, in the way they want to talk about it, where they are right now?
Maybe it seems a bit counter to building a business you love to let your audience lead, but hear me out. When you know what you do, and you know how well you do it, and you want the whole world (ok, not the whole world, but your ideal clients) to sign up for your thing, you just want to shout it from the rooftops! I’ve got this thing, and it’s so perfect for you, come get it!
But you can see where I went wrong, even though my heart was in the right place. My intentions were good, to solve their problem with my thing. But alas, it was about me. I’ve got this thing. Look at my thing. Buy my thing. My thing is perfect. I want to help.
Instead, talk about their problem, not your solution. Use the language your ideal clients use to describe their problem, not the diagnosis you want to make. Use the language they use to describe the solution, not the features of the thing that you, as the expert, sell. Meet them where they are, not where you want them to be.
I’m a coach — so I can say this — coaches are the worst about this. We jump ahead 2, 3, 10 steps and have already worked out the comprehensive solution to everything they are about to say, and they aren’t there. They don’t want to solve the 2nd, 3rd, or 10th step; they just want to solve what they are facing right now.
Right now, they want to do X. Do we know that solving X is just going to lead to Y? 100%. Does it matter? Nope, because if we solve Z, and they are focused on solving Y, they won’t come to us; they will go to the coach talking about Y.
5. Get Ultra Clear on the Problem You Solve and the Solution You Provide
Speaking of solving problems, what is the problem you solve, and how do you solve it?
I’m not talking about who you serve or what your niche is or why you started your business or any of that. I mean, what is the one problem that you solve exceptionally well, and how do you solve it?
If you don’t know, that’s ok. Practice more — experiment more. Spend more time solving problems. You’ll know you’re ultra clear because when you nail it, it will feel like home. It will be a big fat no-duh of the best kind.
For example, I help moms grow businesses they love without missing a moment of mom life. One problem that has a million different solutions, but I’ve developed a proprietary framework that allows moms to do it without compromising their family. It’s not for everyone. It’s not for every problem. It’s not all the ways to solve it. It’s one problem, one solution, and I know who gets the best results = ambitious moms.
6. Get Carried Away by What You’re Building
If you don’t love your business by doing all the things above, you aren’t dreaming big enough, thinking long-term enough, or getting excited about where you’re headed.
NBD. Just let yourself get caught up in it a bit. There’s no reason to hold back. When you can see and feel and envision the possibilities exploding, capture that — Journal, note it, share it.
Don’t limit yourself. Don’t chicken out either. Don’t diminish what you truly want or let anything stand in the way of this amazing, big-deal thing that could make the world a better place.
Building a business is a slog, a brutal marathon that tests your resolve. But every so often, you get these glimpses of what could be, and they are FIRE. Let them light you up. Store that heat for colder days.
Work towards blow-your-mind, bajillion-dollars, change the world, and even if you don’t get there, you’ll land among freaking amazing, millions of dollars, did all that I could to change some lives for the better.
7. Let Business be the Icing on the Cake
Finally, more living, less working. Do what you can, when you can. Strive for focused, inspired work consistently and frequently, but don’t let it take over. You are not your job or your business or your role or your bank account or any of the ways you might measure success.
Love your life, be obsessed in that you won’t let anything deter you from where you’re going, but try not to lose yourself along the way. If you are truly building a business that you love, each step should be an affirmation in authenticity, a move towards your best self and your best life, and one step closer to who you’re meant to be.