I’m a big believer in complementary health practices, so when a friend suggested acupuncture, I was excited to try it. I visited a couple of practitioners, but it just didn’t move the needle for me (pardon the pun, I couldn’t resist!). Disappointed, I thought maybe I wasn’t as alternative as I thought, and acupuncture just wasn’t for me. That is, until a friend introduced me to Lida. As soon as I met her, I felt understood and knew I was in good hands. Over the years she has become a trusted support and friend whom I happily refer to others. Everyone wins!
So, what is the X-factor that enables us to connect with some people and not others? And more importantly, how can we mindfully cultivate connection with our ideal clients?
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Align with your true skill or talent
Is there disconnect between what you do for a living and what you’d LOVE to do? Passion and enthusiasm not only feel great, they’re contagious. If you’re looking for more alignment in your career or business, try asking yourself the following questions:
• What advice are you giving away on a regular basis?
• What would you do all day for free?
The answers might prompt a big A-HA moment, or inspire a little tweak. Either way, they’re worth asking.
2) Don’t hide your light
Most of us were taught not to show-off or brag, right? No one likes a blowhard, but I’d like to point out the difference between bragging and owning what you have to offer. In hiding or minimizing your talents, you effectively deprive people who really need them. It’s a disservice to you, and to them, so step out into the light.
3) Focus on the needs of your client, rather than yourself
Our business does not exist so that we may share our process with others. It exists so that we may serve others. When we keep our focus where it should be (on our clients and their needs), the connection will follow.
4) Share experiences and stories
Clients like working with warm, relatable people, so feel free to share stories and experiences that foster connection. After a recent workshop at the Freelancer’s Union, an audience member emailed me to say my anecdotes helped her get over the feeling that she was doing something wrong. She also realized she has far more resources and abilities than she thought. How wonderful is that!
5) Have a social media presence
Whether you’re on board or not, social media is an integral part of our businesses and lives. You don’t need to be attached to a device 24/7, but you do need to have a presence that you maintain. If you’re just starting out, here are a few tips:
• Start with LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Feel free to move on to other platforms once you have those mastered.
• Decide how you want to position yourself. Are you an expert, a taste-maker, a curator of information? Are you visual, or do you love writing? Once you’ve decided, be consistent and post regularly
• Have a graphic designer brand your profiles so a potential client’s first impression of you is consistent, no matter how they find you.
6) Get out from behind your computer
I know it’s old-school, but one of the best way to get out and connect with others is to meet them in person. Find out where your ideal clients are hanging out and attend a couple of events. It’s actually really fun.