Women’s Networking – 11 June 2014
YOUR BUSINESS IN THE MEDIA
“Is your message getting across properly?”
A quick example
Here we have Joe and Susie. Joe leaves his towel on the bedroom floor – he’s in a rush. The message Susie gets from this is – I don’t care about you, I don’t respect you, I don’t think you are an equal etc. Absolutely no words have been exchanged (although I’m sure they would be after a little fuming) and yet a message is still received whether intended, desired or not.
When we step out into the business world we often don’t pay enough attention to the message we’re conveying without the use of words – let alone with the words we use.
Carry a positive message
A general rule I stick to is whenever I post on Social Media (twitter, facebook, linkedin, Google +) etc – I make sure it has a positive connotation is uplifting or helpful. I steer very clear of negative statements. Your intention behind anything you say should be to uplift, help and encourage others or cause them to think about their position on a particular topic.
As a women you need to particularly careful as no matter how much we “disagree” – Men perceive women that stand up for what they believe in being bossy, arrogant, “emotional” – the list is endless, but it’s negative.
We as women can say things in a powerful manner and with the right attitude and it speaks volumes – it’s all in HOW you say it.
Keep it honest – it’s easier to remember
Being honest in your message has a very different affect to fabricating the truth. When you fabricate the truth, you have a lot more to answer to (and remember) – so keep it simple and honest. A bulldog selling approach – especially coming from Women rarely works. Connecting with people is where your sales will come from. Share honest testimonial about your product or service or offer free advice.
Once people trust that your knowledge is correct, they will instantly be attracted into using your services or products.
Don’t give away all your information for free – you’ve worked hard to gain that knowledge and skill, but giving them advice on say a new tax law that has come into being and you do people’s tax, they will read it and remember that you wrote it or go back and search, where did I see that person that informed me.
BRAND AND DIGITAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
You are what you wear
What you wear says a lot about you. When you attend meetings, networking sessions or even when you just bump into a client – the person you are seeing already has a perception of you within 3 seconds – before you’ve said anything at all. Make sure your verbal and non-verbal messages are on a par.
If you go to a meeting in your jeans and takkies and hair pulled back – pretty much looking like “I rushed here, just dropped the kids at school” The first thing the client can see is “I don’t take the time to care”.
Branded company clothing is the easiest, not that expensive, manner to advertise whilst also taking the “what do I wear today out of it”. People like Carina Nel (Fashion and Style) will be able to advise you on the best fit clothing (She’s not as expensive as you might think) – then you just make sure you brand it – Embroidery costs around R30 per item (obviously less the more you have) – and you look good with very little effort.
On an advertising level – as soon as you have branded clothing on – people will immediately assume the company is professional and stable. Only important companies brand their clothes, right?
Look the part
In any digital media and on your business cards – the simplest change you can make is your email address.
A lot of women I have come across give me the same story – it’s expensive, I don’t have the money. What if I told you, it will cost you R75 per month. All you need is to register your domain (company name) and we will setup an email for you. It’s simple and not expensive and says volumes about your company. Yes, it would be great to have a website, and if you can afford it, go for it.
You need to start with the vital part of having the domain. Just a quick note here, you can have an inexpensive one page website that just tells people what you do and how to contact you and build it from there. You don’t have to have a full blown Ferrari type website off the bat. Everything can be done for less than R1000 and you’re already on the starting line ahead of many others.
Start with the housekeeping
Do your housekeeping – go look at your logo and brand and are you attracting the right customers? Have you branded any of your clothing, pens, mugs etc? Do you have signage up?
Think of every customer as the president coming to see you. You wouldn’t dare have them over to your house without cleaning up a bit and making sure it all looks just right?
Get kerbside appeal
- 1. Are you invoices written in a little book by hand or do you have your logo on them?
- 2. When you deliver your product (if you have products) does your delivery note have your logo and contact details on them?
- 3. Do you send thank you notes (or emails or follow ups) – do they have your logo on them?
- 4. If the president was coming would you let him walk through the veld with toys lying everywhere?
Arrange the flowers – if the president is coming – you make sure the flowers on the coffee table are the right colour – they aren’t dead and boring, you put effort behind it – so put effort behind our message. Remember punctuation, spell checker, and HOW you say it are all vital.
It’s attention to detail that counts!
What are you trying to say?
What does your brand portray? There are only 3 things you can offer a client.
- 1. Time
- 2. Money
- 3. Service
You can either save them time (you are fast / can do something for them that they don’t have to do / Offer an easier way to do something) or you can save them money (or cost money). You can claim to be cheap / cheaper / cheapest. Or you offer them service.
Nashua have the ultimate tag line – saving you time, saving you money and putting you first.
One of the 3 must always be your main focus. There is a saying, you can have it fast or you can have it done properly. I am not saying you can’t offer all 3 but it’s difficult to offer quality that is rushed and below cost. You have the skills and knowledge – charge for them.
I learnt a very valuable lesson from one of our SACBW members – never be afraid to earn money, we as women always seem to be afraid. Believe in yourself and in your product. If you don’t believe in either and aren’t passionate about them, you need to find something else, you will never succeed.
Do that housekeeping! Go look at your logo and brand and ask if the colours you use, the typeface and logo will appeal to your potential clients and tell send them the right message? “I’m stable, I’m creative, I’m organised, I’m funky, My business cares…. You colour choice, logo and design need to reflect what you’re saying to people about your business.