One thing that I have realized clearly after all these years of being self-employed is that success grows from what we are able to do for others. Yes … ponder on this a bit more and you'll realize how much sense it actually makes: success grows from what we are able to do for others.
Most often we make the mistake of thinking that a good idea, or great service is enough to get clients/customers rushing through our doors to buy. Hundreds of people, everyday, come up with brilliant ideas and roll out top-class products and services that somehow fail to take firm root, why's that?
What's going to set you apart from the next entrepreneur offering a similar product? Why should a person spend their hard-earned cash or precious time on your product? These two questions capture the challenge of growing a viable brand.
When it comes to growing a clientele, the hardwork is to consistently give the public reason to choose you – to purchase your direct sales product, pick up your new book, buy your song, trust you as a realtor, donate into your cause. The open markets of today are flooded with tantalizing products, attractive goods, expertly presented services, and people are presented with an abundance of choices for products they consume. Why choose yours?
The secret is to bring your business to life by using your product/services to SERVE and HELP others. For example, an accountant looking to establish their own firm can provide free financial counselling to help clients become more stable financially, an author can offer free reading sessions and talks to the public on the subjects they write about, a beautician can offer free beauty tips and products to clients, a caterer could volunteer their services at community events where they speak about healthy eating and get to distribute business cards, photographers get their businesses out there by offering free photo-shoots to famous clients for name recognition, etc.
A very common mistake that young entrepreneurs make is to place a price tag on EVERYTHING they do and then get upset when people don't bite. You've got to first get the public interested, so that they can see the value in any investment they may make – that's savvy sales 101. Earn trust.
Always remember that while employees trade time for money, the self-employed spend their time creating value. It's the value you create and offer that leads to sales. Not the other way round.
What will a person gain from doing business with you? Can they trust you? Are you serious about this venture? Do you know what you're doing? Are you in it for the long run? These questions typically run through potential clients' minds whenever they are faced with an offer, and it is up to the founder/CEO to lay their concerns to rest.
Leadership is service, leadership is giving. Successful businesses grow (especially during their initial stages) by putting profit-making secondary to attracting appreciative clients. Appreciative clients = happy clients. Why happy clients first? Because once you gain a client's trust, they remain loyal for a long time and lead you to other clients and more business.
A brand that provides value first takes off faster than one that focuses on making a buck first.
Brand building takes time and it requires sacrifices (of time and personal resources) … those who have been around for years will attest to this.
So, I encourage you great leaders to focus on impacting those around you positively through your business. Sow first, and expect a harvest later.
Cheers to you Success!