Continuing on from May’s post, I would like to talk about my personal branding and how that guides me in running my business.
The second aspect to my personal brand is friendliness. Now this is not the fake friendly appearance one might assume because you know it will lead to cold hard cash (a former boss once told me to see the customers as big euro symbols to improve my sales), this is a genuine friendly approach that I find works well for me and my clients.
I want clients to see me as a professional with a friendly side, someone they can quickly contact to ask my opinion on something or to advise on a tricky issue.
Being friendly is also a good way of maintaining professional relationships. I find that whatever energy I bring to the relationship will not only reflect on me, but determine the nature of the relationship and I get this energy back in return. (And for an introvert, having friendly, easy working relationships is a must!) This relationship takes a little bit of work as you must listen to clients, even empathise with them so they can put their trust in you and put their work in your hands. A writer, be they creative or academic, wants to know that their work is in good trustworthy hands that understand their concerns and hopes.
I think that having a friendly approach to all business relationships makes everything easier for everyone involved and can be rewarding.
This friendly attitude has helped me through word-of-mouth marketing. Various companies and individuals have referred me for jobs citing my skills and how easy I am to work with.
Another way this attitude is rewarding is that I get to know my clients, I get to meet new and interesting people and broaden my network. As an introvert, I can often find myself being quite isolated but going out to meet new people satisfies the all-too-human need for human interaction.