Over the years the things I hear most from aspiring business owners when they first knock upon my door with a heart full of promise & mind full of questions is…
“Do I really have to use social media?’
A close second is…
‘Do I have to market myself? (And how do I even start to do that?)’
And there’s usually a hint of ‘What if I’m just not cut out to run a business?’ thrown in for good measure.
The answers I give are ‘no’, ‘well, sorta’ and ‘let’s dive in and see, shall we?’.
Firstly, no you most definitely don’t have to use social media should you not wish to (I didn’t until my business hit six figures and I thought it might be interesting to give it a crack). It does help however if people know about the business you’re bringing into the world… and that’s all marketing is really…finding a way for people to notice what you’re doing, preferably without feeing like you’re selling used encyclopedias.
What helps you do this is based on a couple of things:
1. Using a strategy that aligns with your PERSONALITY and CORE VALUES to help you confidently take charge of all that tricky business decision making.
2. Having a brand that takes some of the sales & marketing weight off your shoulders
This is my difference.
I’m a brand strategist who won’t tell you to get over yourself and create a business that makes you do all the things you hate (isn’t that why we left our day jobs?!).
I won’t encourage you to use manipulative copy that preys on your customers deepest fears to nail a sale (Can we give our customers some credit to determine our value for themselves, thank you very much?).
I won’t automatically tell you to roll out a suite of social media templates, letterheads and business cards as part of a standard package. Because depending on your personality type, your business model and your core values, you may not actually NEED them (and spreading yourself too thin trying all the marketing strategies is going to be exhausting and probably just make you want to go back to that day job).
I have built my own business with zero social media. Zip, nada, nothing.
And my copy has nary a fear based tactic in sight (although it is very long, and that too is my bag, baby).
Which is not to say that social media isn’t a totally legitimate tool, and there isn’t a whole bag of benefit to short. punchy. copy (a lot of my clients love it). It’s just not me.
This is my difference.
- A brand that’s short on copy but loaded with adrenalin, excitement and spine tingling visual wow factor, or
- A simple visual brand that allows you be the hero of the show with oodles of compelling video content that brings people together and shares your message, or
- A stats based funnel that lets you hide behind the scenes while your carefully crafted ads bring people to your door, or
- Deep educational content that educates your audience and sells your product before you’re even aware they know you exist.
My philosophy is that your business should fit you like a hand-sewn, couture glove.
When it doesn’t, marketing feels icky, getting customers in the door feels like an uphill battle, when you do get them they’re the wrong people and you sort of just want to hide in the shadows.
But when it does, Ohhhh, when it does… Everything is so. much. easier. and. works. so. much. better. and. you. make. so. much. more. money. (Full stops intentional for emphasis).
There was a time a few years ago when I wasn’t sure my business was going to fly. Back then it was fitting me more like an oversized sweaty gym sock than a fancy elizabethan glove.
Back then I was doing all the things you ‘should’ do. I was posting on social media (hated it), I was out there all loud and proud and hustling my toosh off to secure new clients, I even tried cold calling (exhausting and oh so awkward). I was trying to stick to a routine like all the productivity coaches say you should do (trying being the operative word) and couldn’t keep up with the volume of work I needed to do to earn a decent income (Do I hear the word burnout anybody?).
Was it supposed to be this hard? Was I a failure? I really cared about my clients and I worked really hard. Was I just not cut out to run a business that made money AND felt good?
Then one day, while stumbling around the internet on a mission to answer said questions, I stumbled upon an article about personality types.
Apparently I was an INFP.
Something about it intrigued me. So I dug further. Before I knew it I was miles deep in an internet rabbit hole and in that metaphorical hole I found a graph. This graph ranked each personality type by income level.
And its pretty little columns smacked me right in the face. Check them out…
There I was…. INFP….DEAD LAST on the income scale.
You might think that this would be all the evidence I needed to quit my business dream, but it did the exact opposite. Now I had something to work with. What was it about me that made running a business tricky, and more importantly, what could I do about it?
So my quest continued, until one day I found a podcast.
I can’t remember where I found it now. Was it divine intervention? Lucky happenstance? We may never know, but what I do know is that it changed, well, pretty much everything.
It was a podcast by a couple by the name of Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge.
It’s called Personality Hacker.
Together this ENFP/ENTP power duo delve deep inside the familiar four letter codes of personality types to the cognitive functions that govern them. These cognitive functions (first researched by Carl Jung) explain so much more about how our brains learn and make decisions than the average personality type information you can google on the internet.
And it was this that gave me my uh-huh moment…
Based on the cognitive functions I prefer to use as an INFP, the brand and business that would work for me was the polar opposite of most standard business advice out there.
It turns out I was just a different sort of business owner than the more extroverted, structured business owners that are often the most visible in the business world. Eureka, Now I had a plan!
I signed up for Personality Hacker’s profiler training course and combined their teachings with my years of branding and marketing experience to change the way I ran my business reflect the way my brain is wired and what’s important to me rather than haphazardly wading through combinations of time consuming options that just felt like I was trapped in another corporate job.
With these changes, my newly shaped business began to flow and prosper. Life was good. Then curiosity got the better of me. What if I could apply these new learnings to my client's businesses?
So, eagerly, I did. And before too long I started to notice patterns in the way each personality type preferred to run their business, the logo styles they were attracted to, the business models they prefer to work with, the marketing strategies that came more naturally (and the ones that definitely did not) and the sorts or roles they preferred to outsource to help their business grow.
After 3 years of training, experimenting and testing out my theories, I turned it into a system that matches personality (brain wiring) with core values (because we’re all more than just a personality type) to cut through the oodles of business advice out there and quickly home in on how you business can work best for YOU.
I call it True North. And it’s the key to self awareness that my clients say they wish they had before they’d spent a dollar on building their new businesses:
…Like the new business owner who wanted advice on how to market his new online fragrance store only to discover his True North was actually starting an online membership site and classes for yoga.
…Or the new business owner who was eyeballs deep in one-on-one clients only to discover her True North was offering live experiences to larger groups in real time.
…Or the new business owner who was attracting all the wrong clients only to discover her brand was created on those standard surface level values like ‘quality’ and ‘kindness’ rather than the values that represented her real True North.
…Or the new business owner who had all but decided to go back to the corporate world only to discover that when she started to work based on her energy levels and the way her brain works rather than trying to follow a strict routine, getting new clients felt much more natural. She hasn’t gone back to the corporate world, by the way 😉
So, if you happen to have made it this far with me, there’s a fair chance we might be a good match to work together. If you’re curious, you can find out more about how the True North process works by clicking the button below, and if reading makes you say ‘hell yes’ and do a little fist pump in your chair, it’d be tops to hear from you.