People buy from people

This is even more true for small businesses. As consumers, we buy from people or businesses we know, like and trust. According to Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, stories help with this connection and converting this connection to sales, by boosting credibility, sparking emotional connection, exploring the pain of a problem, engendering trust and busting through sales resistance.[1]

Skip the gimmicks, share a truth

I’ve never been a personal fan of marketing tricks and gimmicks like scarcity marketing or engaging fear to encourage purchase. It feels deceptive and uncomfortable as an informed consumer and business owner. I do like expertise, showing yourself as an authority in your field and developing a rapport with your customers. I’m loving the idea that one’s truth, and personal story can help these connections and rapport building.

Digging deep

Last week I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by the wonderful Ingrid Ingram of Womanspeak, inspiring us about the power of speaking our truth from deep down within our bodies. Ingrid fired us up, had us reconnect with our bodies, and then literally cheer each other for our stories. It was a most enlivening evening and it really left me thinking about my story and inspired to start sharing it.

A little of my story

Obviously in business we should only ever share as much of our story as we are comfortable with, but what we share, and how we present should always be genuine. The part of my story that I am going to share today, came to me as I was reading a book called Intuitive Impact by Michelle Kerr. Michelle talks about different types of business personalities, and I related to both the intuitive (unexpected) and the creative (unsurprising!).

My truth is that a writer I like to write, but only when I feel like it. When I am in flow words come easily, when I am forcing myself to sit and write, it is painful. This going with the flow, when the mood strikes style of working means that I sometimes work Sundays, or Friday nights, because that’s when I’m in flow. It means I sometimes sit for hours trying to work on Tuesday mornings and feel like a failure when the words don’t come. If I’m honest, it’s also part of the reason I wasn’t cut out for the set hours employment that I left earlier this year. Working for myself lets me go with the flow.

It also lets me follow my intuition. Trusting my intuitive side (listening to my gut) in business is hard. Sometimes it means turning down clients, or publishing something I am nervous about on (like this truth perhaps?). It means trusting that I will connect with the right clients and that it’s ok when people don’t connect with me. Really trusting my intuition in business is a work in progress and probably always will be. But I know my energy flows better when I am aligned with my instinct, so it’s a good motivation to keep persisting.

Clients buy you

Tracey Lee Needham says that ‘Clients buy you, not what you offer’[2] and my experience is beginning to show the truth in her words. I have now had more than one success story working with a client who has never seen my work, never asked for a reference or even known anyone else who had used my services. These clients connected with me in conversation and trusted that I could write in their voice to represent their business as authority in their field or tell their stories with truth and integrity. They met me, liked me, trusted me and engaged my services on the spot.

So, I’m shelving the faces and the masks and showing up as me. Creative, intelligent, reference based, intuitive, mother, wife, writer, me!

Join me! Be yourself. The rest will follow.

References [1] Conscious Entrepreneurs, Christine Kloser, 2008; chapter by Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, A Copywriting Crash Course to Reach the Conscious Consumer. [2] Conscious Entrepreneurs, Christine Kloser, 2008; chapter by Tracey Lee Needham, Good for Profit, Your Social Conscience is an Asset to Your Business.