Tara here, and I want to talk about love. Specifically the word “love,” and if it has a place in your business or your brand. We all hear and see it all the time: “Do what you love!”
Everyone says “do what you love!” But does love have a place in your business?
We say it too. It’s inspiring, and it’s a reminder to make our own rules and define our own success. But I also know a lot of us pepper the word “love” into our business all the time—especially when we’re talking to a new client or a new collaborator and we want to express how we can help them.
How often do you say the word “love” in your emails or posts to your clients, prospects, or peers?
So social media posts aside, let’s talk about when you’re having that new potential client conversation. They are usually over email, the prospect is inquiring about working together, and you’re giving them a glimpse into what you do.
So here’s how—in the course of an email—I might drop in the L word without even realizing it:
“I love the vision your are sharing with us.”
“We love working with creative entrepreneurs like you.”
“I’d love to share some examples of the kind of work we do.”
“If I can walk you through the process, you’ll love what it can do for your vision, your positioning, and your brand.”
I’m being genuine, but I’m also taking a shortcut using “love” to infuse the enthusiasm and warmth I actually feel, and also not freaking people out with all-the-words or sounding like a consultant who is all business, no personality.
This is completely socially acceptable. Depending on my client, it’s business-acceptable too. But add in exclamation points to the end (do it, go back and read this with exclamation points) and it can start to sound a little too perky (and desperate to over-promise and over-please).
If I were to be more accurate with my words, cool it on the eagerness, and not just type “love” willy-nilly, what I really mean to say taps into more of my “expert and guide” voice:
“I appreciate you sharing your vision with us. That was thoughtful of you, and I’m glad you reached out.”
“We specialize in working with creative entrepreneurs like you.”
“If I can share some examples of the kind of work we do, you can start to see the deliverables we can create for you.”
“If I can walk you through the process of what it’s like to work with us, and what you can expect along the way, you can start to imagine what our method can do for your vision, positioning, and brand and see if it’s a fit for you.”
You’re expecting me to say, “cut out the love-talk and use more of your expert-guide voice.” But I’m not. it’s just how we are as creative entrepreneurs—it’s a mix of both. Some days I go with the love. Some days I go with the guidance. Usually it’s a mix of both. There’s no formula to it other than the voice in my head that says, “check yourself here, are you being real?”
We love the idea of loving our work and our clients. But really, we just want to exchange our talents, our time, and our guidance for compensation and appreciation for a job well done.
Maybe that is the definition of loving the work we do after all.
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Kathleen here. Last night I was browsing the Kindle bookstore looking for a fictional book I could escape into. Before I knew it, I was browsing personal development and business books. Does this ever happen to you? I’m guessing you’re a student of life and just as invested in learning All The Things as I am.
The hard part is balancing the learning with the doing. It’s easy to begin to hoard knowledge without ever implementing it. Or becoming overwhelmed with all the things you should be doing according to the last book, course, or webinar you attended.
So today, I want to share a couple ways I’ve balanced learning and doing:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you don’t know, make a list of everything you’ve already learned. Think about education, courses, books, and conferences you’ve attended. Make a list and next to each one write down even just one thing you learned.
Any time I start fantasizing about getting a masters degree in creative writing, I decide to just sit down and do some creative writing instead. Sometimes the best way to learn is by actually doing the thing. (And on that note, can I get an honorary master’s in business from somebody???)
You guys, it wasn’t until early last year that I knew what a “content upgrade” was. Just recently I learned the importance of an auto-drip sequence for your email list. I was running a profitable and successful business long before I knew what a sales funnel was or even had an email list. There are a lot of people trying to scare you into buying their thing in order for you to be successful, but if you learn one thing today it is this: you don’t have to know it all to be successful.
Before you read another book or buy another course ask yourself “What is it that I want to learn?” So for example, let’s say I pick up the most recent Seth Godin book, before I crack the spine I might say something like: “I’m hoping to learn just one technique for growing my list.” or “I want to get more comfortable selling myself.” That way when I’m reading through the content, I’m focused on acquiring knowledge that will support my intention, rather than getting distracted or overwhelmed by all the content.
And how are you going to act on it? Any time I go to a conference or read a new book, I reflect on the one thing that really stood out and I act on just that one thing. For example, early last year I was at a small mastermind retreat in Mexico with a few creative entrepreneurs. I learned a lot of things, but the one thing that stood out most was that I should be adding content upgrades to my most trafficked blog posts in order to grow my list. I came home, looked at my metrics, designed some worksheets, and asked my assistant to help me with the technical side of adding opt-ins to those posts. Since then my list has grown by 2,000 people.
The final thing I want to leave you with is that you don’t have to be an expert in the idea you’re implementing before you try it out. But it’s not enough to hoard knowledge without ever acting on it. So… what’s one thing you want to learn? What’s one thing you learned recently that you can implement that you haven’t acted on yet?
P.S. Lately, we’ve been telling our ECourse students that if they just tackle ONE lesson and learn ONE thing they’re going to get the most bang for their buck in Lesson 3: Your Creative Expertise and in Lesson 5: Shaping Your Brand Messages. Okay, that’s two lessons. But truly, if you JUST did those two lessons you’re going to learn a lot you can immediately act on to attract more dream clients.
Our Braid Method Branding ECourse has 7 modules, a workbook filled with branding exercises, audio tracks (so you can learn on the go), and a live quarterly masterclass where we dig in and answer any questions you might have. This course is DIY at-your-own-pace. Learn more and see if it’s a fit here.
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Kathleen here. I want to tell you a few secrets – Tara and I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs. In fact, before creating Braid Creative, we had never really imagined working for ourselves. We were perfectly comfortable collecting gold stars (and a paycheck with a matching 401k) from somebody else.
But here’s another secret: even with our lack of experience, we were profitable since day one. Our goal was to simply replace our day job salaries, but I was surprised when in our first year of business together, I made more than I ever had working as an art director at an advertising agency.
What’s the secret to being profitable since day one? We positioned ourselves as creative experts, created really good content, and narrowed in on our offering to attract just the right dream customers.
I recently invited Tara to chat with us on the Being Boss podcast to chat with us about:
P.S. The Braid Method Branding ECourse is where we share everything we know, plus helpful how-tos, on how to package and position yourself to attract more dream clients. It’s now open to new students. Learn more and register for this DIY complete-at-your-own-pace branding course.
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