I had a great conversation with someone recently. It was on the topic of “owning it.” We were each reflecting upon the fact that we operate a business that has more to do with creativity than any “perceived” solid, marketable skill. It’s easy for many of us to identify with what an accountant does or with the services a website designer can offer. For many of us, we also “know what we don’t know.” That is to say, I’m no good with numbers so I KNOW that I need an accountant to help me with that part of my business. But for those of us offering more creative type services, a typical response from many customers is; “I can probably take a stab at that myself,” or “I need to cut costs somewhere so I’ll (insert here – “get my friend to help” or “write my own blogs” or “take my own pictures.”) How is the budding entrepreneur in any of these creative type services supposed to market and sell to the “DIY” audience? By OWNING it! Own your skill set and service and most of all stop apologizing. Be loud and proud about the VALUE ADD that you bring to the table.
When you’re a writer for example, it can be hard to provide quantifiable evidence of your ability to add to a client’s bottom line. Is the increase in customer traffic due to great content or whizbang looking graphics or because the product or service is exceptional? If you’re a photographer, who wants to pay for your services when everyone has an iphone and thinks their shaky video is suitable for posting. The conversation with my fellow entrepreneur sparked an investigation into how creative people tend to sell their services and universally (from my admittedly unscientific research) it would appear that when we undergo the transformation from apologizing for our services to owning our strength and proudly speaking about our value to your business bottom line, that’s when people suddenly realize that YES they need you and YES, they should actually be paying you what your worth.
Owning your work is pretty simple. To “OWN it” means to be:
Out loud. To speak loudly and proudly about what you do and whom you do it for and that your fee is your fee. End of story. Project that you’re worth it and people will pay what you’re worth.
Original. Stand out from the crowd. Differentiate yourself from every one else.
Out in front of people. SPEAKING is important. Grab every chance you get to speak publicly about what you do. Seek out professional groups and opportunities to speak in front of others. Speaking lends credibility to what you do.
Own it also means:
Work hard. It’s true what your Momma told you. You get out what you put in and if you work hard and produce results for your clients word will get around.
Winning Attitude. Project confidence. Tell yourself every day “you’ve got this.” Confidence sells.
Write about what you do. Again, it’s about credibility. If people can see what you’ve had to say online you are positioning yourself as the expert and will be viewed as one.
Finally, own it means to:
Never underestimate your services and never undervalue what you do. You pay a contractor to complete a task in your home, why wouldn’t you expect to be paid for what you do? Content is valuable, artwork draws the eye to the page and a picture sometimes really is “worth a thousand words” so demand a fair rate and be open about what goes into the services you offer and why they cost what they do.
Network like your life depends on it. This doesn’t mean “selling” to folks, rather it simply means get out there and meet people, talk about what you do and treat everyone like a mutual referral source.
Without fail, the entrepreneurs I spoke with all said some variation of the same thing. The moment they stopped “justifying” their service and the price they charged and instead began proudly declaring: “Here is who I am, what I can do for you and the price you should expect to pay,” (in other words owning it) that’s when their business shifted. Change your mindset. Speak with confidence about what you do, project in your voice and actions that you are the “go to” expert and take on any opportunity to speak in front of groups. Then sit back and watch your business grow!
- Out loud and out front
- Work hard
- Winning Attitude
- Write what you know
- Never underestimate
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!