- Who & Why?
I left the practice of law in part because I didn’t feel self-expressed. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was stuck and withering away. I loved being a lawyer but found myself frustrated so often, especially towards the end of my successful fifteen year career. The result was often anger- inward and outward. That’s when I knew it was time to get out. During the last year of my legal career, I discovered something that saved me and helped me get through that final year where I was confused and angry and unhappy.
I found a pottery class. I was living in Irvine, California. Every Monday night I would joyfully run over to my pottery class after work.
I couldn’t wait to put on my “uniform”- generally it was the same jeans and t-shirt from the previous Monday night. Yes, I liked wearing the same clothes spattered with hard and dried clay. I felt like I was wearing my badge of honor.
More importantly, I felt heard and seen and happy. Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty darn awful at pottery. My family got lots of ugly lopsided “ashtrays” from me during my pottery days. None of them even smoked! There was just something about sitting there at the pottery wheel and discovering what I could create with my hands and a lump of clay. It was fun, exciting, messy and natural.
I also discovered I didn’t care if I was good at it or not. I was just expressing myself and that was good enough. Well, ok, I was a bit competitive with myself- but I discovered how minimal the competition was compared to my day job competition.
My pottery class was my first taste of really using my creative right-brain. I didn’t consciously know it at the time, but the class led me down the wonderful road to so many things.
My pottery class helped me gain the internal strength to leave my highly paid career as a successful lawyer. It helped me discover my natural talent in branding. It helped me open my personal brand management company. All of this led me to be of service to others using my natural talents- all of which allow me to be self-expressed and creative and happy.
So think to yourself:
- Do you feel self-expressed? If not, why?
- How can you find an outlet for self-expression and creativity? The time commitment is up to you as is the modality. Just thinking about it should inspire and excite you.
- What is your higher aim with being self-expressed? How does it look?
It likely could be what others think when they see you. However, odds are they are not going to actually say anything to you about it because they fear embarrassing you and themselves. So what happens is they move on and you become forgettable for them- you and your business.
What if they were a good prospect who could have really used your products and/or services? What if they could have made a really good friend or been a quality addition to your support network? What now?!
I encounter this issue almost weekly with clients. Most often though, people don’t even have the awareness to even consider whether (and then how) they are top of mind to others. It’s as if no one really wants to know because if the answer is “no”, then what?
The way to remedy this situation is to start thinking about how you want your brand to be remembered. In other words, start with the question of How do I want to resonate with others? From there you can at least have a focal point and feel in control of your end of your brand.
I encourage you all to take that first step and stop and assess:
- do people remember you?
- if so, how well do they remember you- by name, profession, visual brand/clothing?
- if people don’t remember you, why?
- how do you want to resonate with others and why?
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU ARE GOING TO DO IMMEDIATELY TO INCREASE YOUR MEMORABILITY FACTOR FOR OTHERS? EMAIL US AND LET US KNOW.
I have the same conversation at least once a week with a client. It goes something like this: they tell me they met a wonderful potential client OR they tell me that they got a great new client. Fantastic, right?!
So I always ask them what they did to get that client, i.e., how did the referral come to them? Why do I ask them this basic question? I often find that folks don’t stop and really think and assess how they retained business. All they care about is that they got new business or met a “hot lead”. While it may seem to make sense to focus on the final outcome and move on with business, it’s really not ok.
Why? Because you need to figure out how the client came to be. You shouldn’t be hoping and praying each time you meet someone who can possibly be a client. You must have a plan and thus, be in control of the outcome – and your brand. There is absolutely no sense in recreating the wheel each and every time a new lead or referral pops up in front of you. When I say ‘have a plan’, I mean a branding plan where you know who you are, what you do and how you can tell them all this about you in a compelling way.
In my world, knowing who you are is key because if you don’t know yourself and your brand well enough, then how can you tie it well into what you do? If you can’t get that far, there’s no way you can tell a referral or lead all this about yourself and “how” you can be of service to them- at least not in any compelling way for them to remember you and want to get to know you better and then hire you.
So next time you get a client or connect with a great referral, stop and think what about:
- Who you are is clear and concise?
- What you do is tied into who you are in a compelling, rational manner?
- What about your overall brand is communicated well and with emotion to move me to get to know you and hire you?
Several years ago I wrote a post on treating your clients like you treat your pets. I still get requests and inquiries about that post, including one just two weeks ago.
So here’s a post along the same lines. This post came about as a result of a conversation with a client last week. She was pointing out that she’s not sure how her brand comes across at work. New in her position as General Counsel of a major corporation, she is working on developing a brand that works for her and for others in her organization. Part of that brand is making sure she is seen as competent, yet warm and caring.
The dialogue then turned to the fact that she is not a particularly “smiley” person. In other words, her natural tendency is not to have a smile on her face. I appreciate this tendency, as I’m not a naturally smiley person either. Many people are not naturally prone to smile, and thus do not have an open and inviting face, during interactions with others during the day.
So I told her what I tell myself all the time. You have to practice and have self-awareness around how you are coming across. You have to practice putting a smile on your face- regularly! I asked her when she finds herself the most animated and smiling the most. Not surprisingly, when she goes home to her kids she is most animated and smiling in an effort to connect with them and show them her affection for them.
I told her the same mentality needs to, and can, apply at work. She needs to approach her staff and colleagues the same way she approaches her kids- with a mentality of connecting with them via animation and smiles. In my mind there is no difference. Sure, the audience differs. However, the end goal is exactly the same.
So stop and think to yourself:
– Are you a “smiley” person or not?
– How often do you smile at work? As much as you smile at home? If not, why?
– How animated are you with your clients and colleagues? Do they connect with you and “get” your communication and affinity for them and your work?
If you answered any of the above questions in the negative, then you’ve got some work to do. Get busy practicing that smile and remember, clients respond to smiles and attention just like kids.
Former securities lawyer turned branding expert, Katy Goshtasbi, shares her story and tips for Lawpreneurs to have a successful business and a happy life. http://lawpreneurradio.com/katy-goshtasbi/