Stop a minute and think about the impact you have on your clients and the industry you serve. Are you presenting yourself as a leader in your field, full of great ideas and providing valuable resources to everyone who comes your way? Are you making a difference in the lives of the people you meet, either online or in person?
Sure, the goal of every business is to make money- we have bills to pay after all, but what if our goal was to make a difference in the lives of every person we meet, no matter if they are clients or not? What if we made such strong connections with those we “talk” to that they would miss us if we were gone?
Shouldn’t that be our ultimate goal?
Here are some tips to create a business of value and appreciation.
1. Be generous with your knowledge. Sharing real solutions to the problems facing your niche market is more than just a great marketing tool, it shows you care enough about your clients’ success that you are willing to help them for free. While some people may take advantage of your generosity, many will be impressed at your efforts and will remember your kindness when they are ready to hire someone.
2. Give more than expected. Someone may have hired you to design a website, but why do just the basics? Showing them how to create content that improves search engine rankings or giving them ideas on how to keep the site fresh provides your client valuable tools to succeed in their business without feeling nickel-and-dimed by someone more interested in making a profit than providing great service. What additional treats can you provide your clients that exceeds their expectations?
3. Be authentic. This should be a given. Doing anything to gain a client or saying anything to be seen as an expert does not benefit your business or your legacy. People want to work with honest, caring, genuine and authentic leaders, not someone willing to ignore their values for the sake of money.
4. Invest in the success of others. If you really care about the success of your clients, not just so they will keep you on the payroll, but because you believe in what they are doing and truly enjoy watching them grow and thrive, then become devoted to their business.
5. Share your mistakes. Let people learn from your failures so they do not have to go through it themselves. It does not make you look weak or stupid to admit you made a mistake, it makes you human. It is how you handle those mistakes that expose your true character.
6. Show your fun side. All work and no play make you easy to forget. Add personality and character to your business efforts to make it easier for clients to connect with you and enjoy the relationship.
Incorporate a few (or all) of these tips into your business and see how your clients react. I bet they will appreciate your efforts and tell others about your great work. Best of all, your business will mean more to them than just another invoice.