‘Figure It Out Fridays’ is a new weekly blog series where you submit your questions and struggles about designing your Uncaged career – and I give you my straight up advice. Because sometimes you just want someone to tell you what to do.
How do you convince people/potential clients that you and your business are just as legitimate (if not more!) than big businesses or corporations?
Oh boy. Oh crap. Ok, I have a lot to say about this one. And I’m going to do my best to boil it all down into the two most important bits.
First of all – you should never have to work that hard to “convince” anyone anything about your business.
If someone needs convincing, you can bet they’re going to be a huge pain in the ass to work with. And why would you want to work with someone who is a huge pain in the ass? You don’t.
I’m not gonna get into the psychology of marketing, but here’s the 101 version: Market to your IDEAL clients, and you’ll never have to do any convincing to anyone, because your clients will be coming to you and banging down your door to work with you, instead of you begging them to hire you.
Ok, now that that’s settled, here’s the other part of the answer:
This question is basically just another way of asking “How can I prove I’m good at what I do?”
I get asked this a lot (especially by people who want to be coaches… Which I posted about on Facebook, and started this ridiculous odeal), and my answer is always the same:
No one gives a shit what school you went to, how many letters you have behind your name, or what diplomas are hanging on your parents basement walls. What people care about are results.
They want to see the proof in the pudding (what does that even mean? Hold on, Imma Google that shit. Ok, got it. It comes from the phrase “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, meaning you have to actually eat it to see how good it is. Ok, now that that’s cleared up…)
The proof is in the pudding. In other words, the way to be legit is to actually work with people and get results (and them ask for sweet testimonials to slap up on your website). Get proof of your pudding. That’s the only thing you need to do, and the faster you do it, and start talking about it, and start pimping it out, the sooner you will get recognized as the expert at what you do, which will further this cycle of social proof.
Which is what will make sure that you never had to convince anyone ever again that you’re legit.
And just a note: I’d HIGHLY recommend getting this proof before you go all out with starting your business. It’s a great way to test your ideas, to see how the market responds, and to learn what you like doing and what you’re good at. Something can sound great on paper, when you actually try it out you might realize you hate it, or worse, that you suck at it. The easiest way to do this is to create a mini-version of your business and test it out on real people in exchange for feedback. If you want to be a coach, take on two clients and test out your skills. If you want to be a copywriter, find a few entrepreneurs and do their copy for free. You’ll learn heaps more than just sitting back and planning, and you’ll get some sweet proof to show to all the people who still need “convincing”
Lastly, pay attention to where in your business you’re working too hard to please other people, and then cut that shit out right now!
Your turn! Tell me in the comments where it still feels like you need to prove yourself in your business, and we’ll jam on how you can shortcut the process to success!