I’m a chronic people pleaser. It’s both a blessing and a curse and it’s shaped a huge part of how I approach my business, client relationships, and my creative intentions and values. I’m here to serve others with my work, but I’ve also learned that I’m not here to become a jack-of-all-trades or a yes-woman - and learning that there’s a huge difference between the two was a big lesson for me these past few months.
Something I think so many of us can struggle with is the pressure to be everything to our clients and customers. We want them to walk away from working with us or engaging with our products feeling like they got their money’s worth - and then some. But we do our best work when we’re tapping into our expertise and getting specific about who we are and how it is we can serve our clients and customers best - yet it’s so easy to feel like we have to be everything and solve every problem that our clients and customers are struggling with.
This all comes back to the idea of never over-promising as you eventually will under-deliver. When it comes to how we share ourselves online, package our products and services, and market our work and our business, when we try and solve all of our clients and customers problems we end up diluting exactly what it is that makes the work we can do with them so valuable and worth their time and investment. Today I want to talk through how we can avoid falling into this trap, and instead embrace the real value behind our business and the work that we do.
Serve who you serve best
You started out on your creative entrepreneur journey most likely because you’re passionate about the work you do and the people you want to do it for. After you’ve been running your business for a while, you’ll probably start to see who it is that you serve best. For example, I’m heading into my sixth month of running my creative coaching business and I know now that I serve best other service based creatives like photographers, coaches, nutritionists, designers, and infopreneuers. When we get specific about who it is we serve best, we can then get extra specific with our marketing and branding.
When creating and building products and services that will sell and give us the freedom to do work that feeds our soul as much as it does our bank balance, a huge part of successfully making this happen is connecting with the right prospective clients and customers for us.
A question for you: who do you serve best? Who is your work for? Taking all of your expertise, purpose, and experience - who do you really want to be working with and who will find the most value from investing in your services and products?
Don’t become a jack-of-all-trades
Give yourself permission to get super specific. There’s nothing that kills a creative's soul more than feeling like a jack-of-all-trades. We want to be excellent at what we do - we want to do work and serve others in a way that can cause change, growth, and happiness. Most of us are either solving problems or adding joy with our products and services, and we do that best when we embrace exactly who it is we are and exactly who our work is for.
If we don't quit trying to be everything to everyone - with our offerings, with the type of clients we take on, and the way we market ourselves online and offline - we’ll find ourselves with a generic and ineffective brand. At best we’ll struggle to really find fulfilment from the work that we do, and at worst we’ll struggle to find any work in the first place.
So don’t become a jack-of-all-trades. Don’t try and solve all of your clients problems with your services and products - instead just do what you do best. And do it really, really, well. Because change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Help your clients solve what it is they’re looking for - maybe you’re a branding expert for other designers, a nutritionist for new mums, an infopreneuer specialising in social media for non-profits, or maybe a wedding photographer for couples who want more than just photographs and instead a visual story of their big day that understands where they’ve been and where they’re going. Give them the work or product they need right now so that they can go on to even bigger and bolder things along the way.
Say what you do
This is where your online presence comes in - it’s where you say what you do, share who you are, and where you can connect with potential customers and clients along the way. I’m always talking about unlocking the potential of our online presence as a game changer for our business - and this step right here is one of the biggest game changers of them all.
When we say what we do, and share who we are, and attract the right people for us - that’s where the magic happens. That’s how we get to do the work that we feel inspired to do - the work that moves us, challenges us, and allows us to serve those who we can serve best, while also paying the bills and making a living doing something we love. A big part of this is embracing an Attract & Repel approach, and crafting content and copy that really tells people exactly who it is we serve and how it is we serve them best.
Every time we share content, or launch a new product, or promote our services, we’re saying who we are and what it is we do. A huge mistake so many of us can make is trying to be everything to everyone - we might craft products or services that we hope can appeal to the most amount of people, that can solve as many problems as possible, and we might dilute our brand with generic terminology and content as we’re too afraid to get extra specific with our work. But when we hone in on our messaging, craft content that is shaped around our brand and our purpose, and refuse to become a jack-of-all-trades, that’s when we can start to really make things happen.
And how do you say what you do without becoming a jack-of-all-trades? I’ll be digging more into this topic on the blog in the near future, but the following two posts will hopefully be of help until then - Say More With Less: An Alternative Approach To Content Marketing + Attract & Repel: A Content Planning Session For Creative Entrepreneurs. Helping creatives unlock the potential of their online presence and say what they do so that they can do work that feeds their soul as much as it does their bank balance is a big chunk of the work I do with my one-on-one clients - I have limited availability left for this summer season so if you want to work together you can find out more here.
Now over to you - I would love to know your thoughts. Do you ever struggle with wanting to solve all of your clients and customers problems? How do you avoid becoming a jack-of-all-trades in your creative business?
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