A lot of our creative entrepreneur clients struggle with how to share about themselves and their businesses. Whether online, over email, or in person: how can you capture your vibe in a way that feels polished and consistent, yet real? How do you sound legitimate enough to get hired (or, if we’re being honest, impress a relative or new acquaintance), but still “you” enough to feel authentic and true to the dreamy-but-difficult path you’re carving out for yourself? It’s a tall order. An ongoing experiment. And talking about it can make you feel a bit like a mad scientist at times – pouring a heavy dose of over-explanation and a drop or two of self-deprecation into a vial and swirling it around, hoping it doesn’t explode in your face.
We’ve developed a not-so-secret formula for creatives in “mad scientist” mode. It’s a short-and-sweet equation of sorts for sharing content that we live by too. It’s deceptively simple (all the best things are), and something that anyone can “prescribe” themselves to figure out how to blend who you are with what you do, when sharing content. Here’s how it works – no safety goggles required!
Sharing Gifts of Knowledge
Your gifts of knowledge are nuggets of what you know and do best. Maybe you’re a photographer who’s a whiz with light. Or a graphic designer who geeks out over hand-drawn typography. Or a life coach who believes in blending a few different particular philosophies to guide clients to clarity and action. Sharing bits of that positions you as an expert, and gives your dream customers a way to find you – and a reason to want more.
Being A Likeable Expert
Now, when we say ‘likeable,’ we don’t always mean fluffy-friendly; we just mean authentic, and that means something different to everybody. Be 100% yourself when you’re sharing these gifts of knowledge. Get up on your soapbox and don’t be afraid to stake your claim. Maybe you’re a photographer who only shoots in natural light, or an interior designer who rails against generic “room-in-a-box” designs. Own it, share it – and you’ll start to attract it.
If your gifts of knowledge make you sound like an expert, then the voice you use makes you sound like a real-life person that someone might like to actually work with. Because at the end of the day, people want to work with people – so start writing / sharing / talking like the kind of person you’d like to work with (and stop apologizing so much!).
We always use the same formula to guide how creative entrepreneurs blend who they are with what they do:
“HOW TO _____ [a.] _____
FROM A _____ [b.] _____ WHO _____ [c.] _____.”
[a.] Your gifts of knowledge – those nuggets of know-how that draw people in
[b.] Your title or expertise – the simplest way to describe your service
[c.] Your soapbox – your super-pointy point-of-view that attracts your dream customer
Here are some formulas we’ve written recently for other creatives (you can see some of them in action in Kathleen’s recent behind-the-scenes-at-Braid post):
how to bring story and authenticity into your space
from an interior designer who loves curating objects and creating spaces
how to live happier and healthier with pets
from a pet living expert who knows we need them as much as they need us
how to transform communities and organizations
from a CEO who knows leadership has nothing to do with position
how to get work done & even grow a creative business as smart as you are
from a passionate geek-turned-business-owner (who’s been there)
While Braid’s formula might look something like this:
how to shape, share and sell your creative expertise
from creative entrepreneurs who blend who they are with what they do
You don’t necessarily need to share your formula with the world – it can just be a compass of sorts for when you need some guidance. It can help you when you’re brainstorming topics for your blog, and wondering if X makes any sense to write about. Or when you’re trying to explain to your sweet-but-clueless grandma what exactly it is that you do for a living. Or any time you’re about to hit “publish,” or “send,” or introduce yourself, and you want to do yourself justice without launching into mad-scientist mode (no offense to mad scientists!).