The Power of Me – But I’ve been in the wrong place
The Power of You – that was the theme of this year’s WiRE Conference. I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly powerful. In fact, I’m a quiet soul at heart, but what I do know is that my business is all about me – I am the face, I am the brand, I am the business – so I’m probably more in the spotlight than I’ve ever been and I probably have more ‘power’ than I’ve ever had.
So how can I make me work for me?
Well, it appears that I’ve been in the wrong place for too long.
It’s nice where I am. I have a lovely shed in the garden with my things in it and Henry, my Border terrier, next to me. I like being there, doing what I do, connecting through the online world with my lovely clients. It’s comfortable, my comfort zone.
Why would I want to be anywhere else?
Because that’s not where the magic happens, that’s not where I can be my own amazing self.
I need to move out of my comfort zone, one step at a time. As an introvert, that isn’t easy. I think of it as being a bit like taking the plunge in the North Sea – first just my big toe gets dipped in, then perhaps I’ll go for a paddle and then I’ll just go for it.
How am I going to take the plunge?
Well, I got some really good starting points at the WiRE Conference that I’ll be trying right away.
I’ll ask for what I want
At networking events, I’ll set an achievable goal for each meeting and ask for what I want or who I’d like to be referred to:
“Do you know anyone who …”
“I’m looking for …”
“I’d like to be connected with …”
I’ll always follow up
It’s rare that I’ve done this effectively in the past. I guess I’ve thought, “They know where I am if they need me, so they’ll call.”
But I’ll follow up when I’ve met someone new or interesting.
I’ll connect on LinkedIn with a personalised connection request and perhaps offer to meet up for an introductory discussion or arrange to talk in person or on Skype.
I’ll tell my story
After all, everyone likes a good story.
I’m unique, I’m interesting, I’m different. I am my brand and I have a story to tell. It’s what I stand for, my values and background. It shows my authenticity and where I’m coming from.
And it will resonate with my ideal customer.
I’ll tell it consistently in everything I do, both online and offline.
I’ll fill my business with little wows
It’s so ‘noisy’ out there, so it’s hard for this lady in a shed to get herself heard and be remembered, so I’ll always go the extra mile, I’ll exceed expectations and I’ll even do something a little unexpected sometimes.
I’ll start at the end
I’ll forget school essays and I’ll never start with the title when I’m writing.
I’ll write all the content first and then come back to the headline when I’ve finished. And I’ll make it attention grabbing but not horrid click bait.
I’ll be memorable
I’ve just completed my first year in business and I’ve proved that I can do it. 80% of small businesses fail in their first year, so it’s good to know that I’m in the top 20%.
So now it’s time to develop my visual brand – looking at colours, fonts, how I write, my tone of voice.
And my new logo will be simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate.
I’ve got lots of ideas, so it’s time to get started. I think that’s my big toe that’s just gone into the freezing waters of the North Sea.
I’ll make videos
A web page with video is 53% more likely to appear on page 1 of Google, so I’ll make videos and they will have an effective call to action.
Creating a video has been on my to-do list for a while, but when it’s got to the top, I’ve quickly moved it back down to the bottom again!
I’ll be putting my big girl knickers on now and getting it done (maybe not today as it’s raining!). It won’t be anything sophisticated, just me, my phone, a tripod, a few trees perhaps and Henry the dog.
It’s written down now
And it’s there of everyone to see.
So this quiet soul is going to get out of her comfort zone more often and make some magic happen.
Sarah Liddle is The Lady in the Shed. She is a virtual assistant specialising in marketing, admin and techie solutions for small businesses, a smallholder, a sheep farmer and a farm bygones dealer. She loves supporting small business owners to do whatever they do by enabling them to use their time more effectively.