Description and Show Notes
If it feels like you're being slimy and salesy in your marketing, you're probably not in alignment with your values. Yes, YOUR personal values, as the human being behind the brand you've invested all your hard earned money, energy, and time into.
Do you know what your values are? Does your product or service accurately reflect what you stand for? Are you mistakenly assuming your client is a penny pincher?
Learn how your ideal client decides who to buy from, and tips for checking your social media content and feeds to ensure you're being authentic.
Rochelle Sanchez is a business and mindset coach. She helps solopreneurs quiet their inner drama and build the right systems and build their businesses with consistency and authenticity.
My name is Rochelle Sanchez. I'm a business and mindset coach, and I help solopreneurs like you quiet your inner drama and build compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business. No matter your background, status, what you've done or haven't done, you deserve to do what you love for a living. So let's go together and find that next best step for you on your journey.
Today I’ll be teaching you about values! And I happen to have very nerdy urge to quote something from Bioshock the video game, but I won’t. But if you know the line I’m thinking about, about appreciating value, you’re my people. Go nerds.
So, values. I want to get you to the point where you know your content is coming from a place that feels authentic and true to you. Your values are the foundation for why people should hire you or buy from you versus buying or hiring anyone else.
No one here has a business that is something that only you do. There are thousands of people who do the exact same thing, have the exact same services. We all have our own spin on what we offer, and sometimes it’s helpful to pretend that your offer is completely different because you’re completely different and unique.
Today, I’m choosing to be a little more grounded and real about this stuff. If you sell sandwiches, your competitors are other people who sell sandwiches. Same if you sell rocks and crystals and card readings or coaching or strategy or what have you.
Your ideal client makes their decision on who to hire based on who’s in front of them (we can’t buy from or hire someone we don’t know even exists) and the way you do what you do -- your process. They care that you care about them, that you know what’s actually happening in their life and what matters right now for them. They may be able to get some form of what you sell from anywhere, but they want your particular process because you’ve already shown them via your marketing and outreach that you’re a good fit for their life right now.
A Toast to Ethical Solopreneurship!
First of all: I commend you for for sticking to this business of yours. Having your own business is not easy, and being able to stick with it and maintain that consistency and put yourself out there and all that scary stuff is a BIG DEAL. It may not always be easy, but I’m here to partner with you on this weird journey you’ve chosen by answering your calling in this world.
Let’s get started.
What Are Your Values?
How familiar are you with your own values?
I ask that because while values are important, they’re not very commonly discussed. Or at least they weren’t in my family and community and the way I was raised. Most of us kind of know what our values are, but as we grow and learn, the values shift in priority or change in meaning. And this is especially true in these modern times where the movement for racial justice, especially here in the United States, is gaining momentum and changing the way we run our businesses. Your values may shift as you start a family. Or as you make the decision to move after your kids have moved out. Maybe you’re near the end of a divorce or a similar end to a long term relationship so your values have a new interpretation in how you act on them.
Unless you already have a team of professional marketers and branding experts on your payroll, your business revolves around you and what you bring to the table as a human being.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. It’s helpful if you get a friend to interview you and get you to answer out loud instead of writing. That way you avoid the temptation to edit and re-edit your answers.
Who are you? Besides what you look like and what ages your family members are, what are you all about? What kind of person are you?
Why did you start this business? Is it just about the money? If not, then what?
And I encourage you to dive deep into these questions. For example, if it is about the money, what does money mean to you? What does it mean to you if you have money, versus if some billionaire on a yacht has money? What should money be used for? How does money change you? What can it do for you?
What is your purpose in life? How do you find out? And how do you hope that your business model fulfills that purpose?
If you don’t know what your purpose is, then that’s okay too. You can ask yourself, what kind of clarity do you hope to achieve about your life purpose by running this business? What will your business prove, and to whom? Because having a business is a big deal. Not a lot of people start one, and not a lot of people continue to run their business over the long term.
If this is new territory for you, try to be kind to yourself. You may need to pause or bookmark this and set aside some time to just let yourself think. You can answer honestly in a journal that no one else will read, and then come back to it later once you’ve let your thoughts simmer for a bit.
Embrace the Deeper Message You Want to Share
Pay attention to when you feel powerful and passionate. The world needs more people like you being vocal about what matters. If it matters to you then it will matter to someone else, and probably change their life once they hear you say the words out loud. Go ahead and embrace that deeper message you have inside you for why your business matters.
Does Your Product Match Your Values?
So your foundational act of staying true to your values is to have an offer that aligns with those values. For the context of this teaching I’m going to call what you sell a “package.” For people who provide services, that’s a little easier to understand because we’re used to saying what’s included and what’s not. Phone calls, templates, hours of labor, all of that.
But if you’re product-based, a package may feel different to you, so here’s a tip: Your package is the whole concierge experience that you provide when someone buys the thing you sell.
Your package includes the friendly greeting via DM or phone call when they call your store.
It includes the freebies and samples you send them.
It includes the biodegradable packaging you use and the premium shipping that they’re happy to pay for.
It includes all of the labor that you put into your social media, where you’re re-sharing important messages from non-profits or re-posting inspirational quotes so that your customers feel connected to you even if you’re not in the same physical space.
Maybe it’s the energy you bring to your live sales, and all the behind-the-scenes reading and coaching and self-help you share because you know you NEED those rituals to be able to show up consistently and in the right energy for your audience.
Be Wildly Honest About How Much You Care About What You Sell
Whether your service based or product based, think of all the things that go into what you do. And make sure you have it written out somewhere, available to purchase. Be open about how much you care about the product or service you sell. If it seems pretentious to have a whole page on your website dedicated to your unique offer, then that’s okay because what seems pretentious to one person will seem authentic and caring to another. And guess what -- that second person is your ideal client. Not the one who’s judging you and internally criticizing you.
So make sure you have your product or service listed out and described in detail, somewhere. As you get more feedback from your customers or people who said no and decided not to buy, then you can change how you describe your product. But don’t be afraid to be proud of what you’re offering. We need more people being proud of the good work we’re doing. For sure.
Focus on Your Most Ideal Customer
If you want to take it up a notch, I’d recommend giving yourself a 30 min session to just gush over your favorite customer. Someone who’s bought from you, how grateful you are that they’re in your life now, why you like them a lot. What is it about them personally that you love? What is it about the professional exchange with them that made them one of your favorite customers? What are their strengths and what quirks about them do you love? If you let yourself just feel happy and appreciated by that customer, you’ll find it easier to focus on attracting more people like them. We want to attract more of that kind of person who loves all the unique qualities of your package and is happy to pay the price you’ve put on it.
What if you haven't had any ideal customers?
If you’ve never had any ideal customers, then I’d suggest taking a moment to grieve over that. Because it sucks. And we’ve all been there. Give yourself a moment, and then when you’re ready, try that ideal client process with someone you believe would be the perfect customer to buy your package. Think of someone you know -- preferably a real human, not a made up avatar -- who makes you think, “Oh if ONLY they would buy from me! I could change their life. I’d love that so much and they would benefit so much and it would be amazing.”
The next step is to have a link I can essentially click on and enter my credit card number so that I can give you my money and purchase what you have to offer. I know a lot of modern virtual selling involves you saying “Send me a DM” and then sending paypal links and all that, but as someone who has had a business for years now I’m asking and pleading with you: Please try to get a better process in place.
Secure Your Values-Based Message with Solid Processes
We can talk about the algorithms and accounts getting shut down and the evilness that is Facebook and Instagram, but we really don’t need to. We all know someone or heard of someone or experienced that craptastic things that happen with social media selling, so I’ll let that rest.
But I do want to focus in on the very real need to make your business more official. Like having terms and conditions that people have to agree to, when they buy your package. Refund policies. Privacy policies. A place to easily find you if your accounts get shut down or suspended, where they can just Google your name and brand real quick and continue on with buying from you without it turning into some giant Real Housewives big dramatic venting session. And yes, I know that websites and contract templates and shopping carts cost money. But that’s why you price accordingly, so that as the owner of the business, you can afford to cover your costs AND get paid as the owner AND deliver the high end service to people who are already grateful.
Visually Evaluate Your Social Media and Google Results
Remember to take a step back and look at how you’re presenting yourself. Whether it’s online or at live events (although I know there aren’t a lot of those happening right now, and the introvert in me is like, thank goodness), or during your livestreams, or even how your business pops up in Google search results or Google My Business. Literally take that piece of paper or that page of your journal where you lined up your personal values, and see if the two match. Let’s say a big value for you is being helpful. If you look at your IG feed, at a quick glance, does it look like a very helpful, honest, kind person is running it? Or does it look like someone who’s struggling and needs help? I’m not saying not to ask for help, but this is where personal branding comes in, if you want to lead with your values.
If one of your values is bringing people together in a community, does that match? Or do you show up as a solopreneur, working on your own, who has never collaborated with anyone, and doesn’t share anyone else’s stuff?
One more example.
If one of your values is taking care of the planet, how does that look when someone Googles your business name? Do they see blue skies, and recycled materials being used in your packaging, and group photos of you with your hiking crew? Or do they see someone wearing a suit jacket with their arms crossed, under artificial lighting? Or maybe they don’t see you at all, and only photos of your product or logo. Or worse, stock photos. Please stop using stock photos.
Products and logos and stock photos can’t save the planet by themselves. Maybe it’s time for you to show a little more of your behind the scenes philanthropy or volunteer work.
Think of Your Branding as a Vision Board
You don’t have to overcomplicate it, but I do recommend revisiting your values often and infusing them into your digital content. Think of it as a fun vision board exercise, where your values are the themes, and your task is to create content and use photos and graphics that uplift your audience into believing that your vision is possible. That’s essentially what your branding is. It’s better than a vision board, actually, because it’s a constant process of being creative and expressive and being an example of what you want to see more of, in the world.
And we definitely need more of you in the world. The real you, not the one that you think we want to see.
Your personal brand, driven by your values, is made up of all this stuff. You are the soul behind your brand and the reason it exists. You’re the reason it’s going to continue to exist, because your purpose is so powerful and you’re just not going to let it go. If you were going to, you would have quit by now. So that’s what I’ll say about that.
Okay let’s review, shall we?
Values are an important part of your personal brand. Deciding what matters to you and what your business is really all about can be a vulnerable process, but it’s important. Make sure you have that mapped out and updated to match what kind of person you are today.
So that’s values.
Next comes your package and aligning what you offer to what your values are. This is a reminder to stay true to what feels important to you as a person who cares deeply about the impact you’re making in your customer’s life. And remember, this goes for service and product based businesses.
Remember to keep a close emotional and intellectual connection with your most ideal client. The one who’s thrilled to hire you or buy from you no matter what you cost them, and the one that you’re so excited to work with and you hope comes back again and again.
And lastly, embrace showing your values through your visual branding and social media content. Do a review of your Instagram page, your timeline of tweets on your Twitter, your Google My Business page, your website home page, and see how you can make those a living vision board for who you are and what you’re all about.
Still Need Some Help?
If you’d like some help with one or more of these steps to do your marketing in alignment with your personal values, I invite you to work with me! I can help you if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some clarity on the next best step for YOU, based on your personal values and your business goals for the next six months. I offer a very affordable month-to-month group coaching program that will walk you through the process of setting up a business that you can grow and scale on your own terms. Send me a message! Use the contact form to get in touch.
I hope to hear from you soon! Take care and keep in touch.