If you’ve read Business For Superheroes (or know anything about me at all) you’ll know how I feel about jargon and buzzwords.
I think they should be consigned to the dustbin of history, together with Justin Bieber, Simon Cowell, Nigel Farage, and anyone using the term “bae”.
But I heard a buzzword I actually like the other day; or rather, a phrase.
Return on relationships.
I talk about ROI – return on investment – often, because it’s really the only thing that matters when it comes to marketing your business… but I’m going to add RoR to my lexicon, too. Relationships are what successful businesses are built on, run on, and thrive on.
You can’t run a successful business without building personal relationships with people. Even the biggest, most corporate, faceless corporations once were small businesses and there ain’t no way they started faceless and corporate; they’d have failed at the first hurdle if they had.
So, how do you go about building strong relationships with your potential clients and customers?
Just be yourself.
I read something that made me laugh the other day, because I couldn’t really believe it was a thing – but then I looked it up, and it’s true! There are people out there purporting to teach business owners how to be authentic. How to be themselves.
Which is insane, because it sounds to me like lots of those “teachers” will be teaching business owners how to act a certain way.
I mean, you shouldn’t need lessons to be yourself, right?
What business owners really need, I think, is permission to be themselves. The space to sit back and examine who they really are, what they stand for, and what they’re offering. Perhaps that’s what those teachers are teaching; I don’t know. I hope so, because the alternative is just silly.
But I do know that people seem to need permission to be themselves. Certainly in my industry, indistinguishable copywriters bloom like mushrooms on a poo patch – and I think it’s lack of confidence, not lack of ability. They look around at how to be “professional” and end up sounding like every other copywriter out there. Same happens in every industry.
Which is when it’s time to take Mark Twain’s advice:
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Then, once you’re done pausing and reflecting, you should take my advice:
“Look at what your competition is doing, then stick your tongue out at them and do the opposite.”
Above all, be yourself. If you’re waiting for permission, this is it.
And if you’d like a helping hand from a business owner who has already been there and done that, read my book. Buy a copy of Business For Superheroes here.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS Something else I found out the other day, that delighted me – where the name LEGO comes from. I’ll share my glee tomorrow. In the meantime, though, you could buy a copy of my book and start growing your business…