Ever wondered how you can give yourself and your business that extra ounce of salability? The secret is to always be happy with who you are and what you do. More importantly, always exuding that self-confidence produces a certain wavelength that potential clients will benefit doing business with you.
I now reside in a small town. To help me get accustomed to the small-town life, I observed entrepreneurs who have lived and worked in the area. One tip that I got from one of them was that I had to mix in, not make waves, and begin establishing relationships. Another friend of mine also gave me this advice: “Never bring your metro-chic attitude to a small, country town.” One person even told me that even the way I dress made me an oddity; and this clearly signaled to everyone that I wasn’t a ‘local.’
At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the advice. When I was new to the town, I went to meetings with my business suit on. I also usually drop by the shopping arcade on my way back to the office to pick up mail from the post office. At the arcade, I do get weird looks from people as if I was an alien from another world. It was then that I thought that I should change my clothing selection because I’m not fitting in.
It was then that I followed the advice my entrepreneur friends gave me. Everything didn’t work out as planned and business was the slowest it had been; despite being in operation for sixteen years. I began to lose my professional image, my self-esteem lost, and tackling obstacles seemed more difficult than usual.
I realized my mistake. Self-promotion isn’t all about fitting-in. Selling yourself is about promoting the ‘real you’ and what makes you stand out among the rest of the pack. As a business owner, you want to always be unique, be the trendsetter, and when appropriate – even go against the flow.
Always have in mind that selling yourself is a form of product branding. If a customer consulted you on how to brand his or her product, you wouldn’t tell the client to stick to what’s the ‘most acceptable,’ plain, and to just follow what ‘everyone is doing.’ You would outright tell this customer that his or her company should be a cut above the rest. Being different gives a company a certain identity and this identity makes the owner and employees feel good. Moreover, it also boosts self-esteem and reputation in the industry.
Isn’t it ironic how we don’t usually give ourselves the same treatment as we give our customers?
The challenge here now is to go out into the world and start promoting the ‘real you.’ Be proud that you are different and show potential customers why they should be getting you and your business as partners. Be the trendsetter and watch in satisfaction as you see the rest of the pack do their best to catch up.