In today's information-rich world, it is easy to forget the basic elements of growing and establishing your business and personal brand.
After a few event outings with my fellow entrepreneurs and small business execs, I got a pit in my stomach from substance-lacking conversation.
It seems with all the hype, hub-bub and over-kill from the press on hyper-growth companies, growth hacking and billion dollar buyouts—many have lost site of what matters most. Or what I'll call "The Three Forgotten Laws: First Impressions, Understanding the Customer and Self-Investment."
These apply both online and off. But as a reminder (you already know this stuff, it is just about applying it), here are some areas that will make or break your ability to grow your business.
Related Article: 7 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Companies
Law 1: First Impressions
In the online world that means your website, LinkedIn and Facebook. Offline, the hand shakes or first step in the office, facility or store.
It’s the nature of all animals to make a quick and lasting first impression of yourself or your immediate surroundings. It’s our survival instinct kicking in to tell us whether friend or foe. Fight or flight. And so forth.
Yet, we just don’t make it a priority any more. Off line, there is a lack of care towards personal appearance in many stores, studios and offices these days. The issue is not with casual dress but rather the modicum of décor that is missing. This too is reflected in personal websites, Facebook and LinkedIn efforts.
Just ask three people to go to your website. Does it inspire them? Motivate them? Give them confidence and clear path on how to get in engaged? For most, no.
Then take Facebook. There are random promotions and accolades on company pages (not to mention those with personal brands on own personal page). You are what you post in the digital age—so look at last 10 post and fill in the blank of “My company stand for XXXXX” and fill in blank with the core message of that post.
Lastly LinkedIn. This is most specifically about your personal brand. Your profile should include, at the minimum:
- A cropped a professional photo
- A well-written and thought-out “about” statement
- Tied accolades, history and experience in a nicely woven resume
People research company’s executives to see if they are partner worthy or business worthy. For example, if you are a life coach, this is paramount. A distinct and quick judgment will be made strictly based on your profile picture, first words of your bio and title you choose.
If don’t get these right, then “growing” is much more difficult.
Related Article: 5 LinkedIn Profile Faux Pas
Law 2: Understanding the Customers
In both on and offline its primarily about how customers find your business on your mobile site or website.
Plain and simple they are finding you on their phone. Doing search for a local studio to work out, looking up how to solve their stress, seeing what friends say on Facebook about a certain product. They are using that phone (and computer of course) and you must be ready to look good and be found.
Google recently announced providing heavy ranking penalties for sites not mobile friendly. If your website does not have the proper qualities, there is a chance it could not be found at all.
It is important to stay up-to-date with any of these changes, and revise your website so it is “mobile responsive.”
Related Article: Leaders Innovate, Followers Increment
Law 3: Investing in You, a.k.a Mindful State of Being
Center yourself to be in the right calm, thoughtful, purpose drives state of mind. Lead by example to inspire your staff, engender trust with your customers and clearly see the road ahead.
Ask yourself: How are you caring for yourself? Replenishing the brain. Having a clear thoughts. It’s hard. There’s a lot of stress. A lot of work. A lot on your plate.
But, if you think “working harder and it will all get better” will be the formula for real growth, think again. Getting very good at owning that hamster wheel of a brain. Being in a mindset to inspire folks with your calm clear demeanor. Having the energy to handle the issues of every day. That is what matters most.
Your state of mind is primary. What you do is a distant second.
The practice of Mindfulness is a combination of Zen, meditation, yoga and positive imaging. You'll find this can make a positive difference in your business.
Alas, our challenges are not easy. Our mind a far way from being calm. There is no judgment in getting awash in the self-created drama. Rare is the soul that is above that at every moment. But getting back to the basics of first impressions, customer mindset and owning our own peace of mind. The effort itself is noble and right.