Categories
General

Why female entrepreneurs are like the lioness

Picture the Lioness.

A beautiful lioness. Strong, fierce. brave warrior faced lioness, and she’s lying in the sun.

In the tall grass in the African plains. Lying there just bathing in the sun and soaking it up. She’s like a big kitty cat. Lying around licking herself, playing, just chilling.

She’s resting. She’s relaxed.

The cubs are playing over there, she can chill, she’s not got a care in the world. The sun hits her face and she raises her head to the sky, just taking it all in and enjoying her surroundings.

But then she sees an antelope in the distance.

And she’s laser focused.

She’s alert.

She’s watching.

Her muscles tense.

Her gaze is fixed.

She is ready for action!

She’s on.

She sprints fast. Racing out of the long grass and across the plain. 

She’s bounding, leaping, rapidly approaching her prey.

She pounces.

She’s caught it!

 

We can be like the lioness in our businesses.  As women, we can embrace that lightness and embrace the rest.

Embrace the quiet and embrace giving ourselves that time to lay in the sun, literally! To enjoy some time with our family or just take some time out for ourselves because when we have to go, we will go and we will take action.

For so many women, myself included, there is a fear that if we don’t keep doing, we don’t keep going, we don’t keep moving, we can’t take action when it’s needed. That we’ll miss opportunities or lose our skills. That when the time comes, we won’t be able to jump up and go!

However, like the lioness, we need rest!

We can embrace that feminine energy and take some time out to just be ourselves and to recover. Because we have the skills, the knowledge, the experience and we can build the confidence to understand that when we need to take action, we will!

Often with personal branding I talk about consistency, but that’s not the same as constant! We don’t have to be constant, we have to be consistent.

That could mean once a week that you show up and do a post. It could be joining in a program once a week, or once a month. It might mean for you checking your sales at least once a day. Whatever it is for you, it doesn’t have to be all hours of the day, all the time. All work and no rest = burnout!

Know that when you need to, you can make great things happen. Whenever you’ve had a really big goal or a deadline or something you have to  get done, you’ve done it! You make it happen.

Give yourself a break.  Embrace the lioness and take a rest. Have some fun even!And know that when the moment comes, you can and you will take action!

Categories
General

The importance of speaking directly to your audience

Do newsletters still have a place?

Do EDMs have an impact?

Will people actually work with you after reading your emails?

YES. The answer is yes! And I learnt this lesson again in 2020 when I finally launched my own newsletter.

I know I know. A communications specialist who doesn’t have an email newsletter. It seems like it would be the first thing I would have set up, but no. I was one of those people who felt that my audience was hearing from me enough.

I am fortunate to have a lot of work that comes through referrals and word of mouth. Over the years, I’ve focused on networking and maintaining connections in person and online and many of my clients have come to me in this way. So why would I reach out on mass?

Do I really have something to say? 

Do they really want to hear from me, again? 

Isn’t social media enough?

The answers here are yes, yes and no!

There is so much power in EDM and being able to speak directly to your audience through their inbox. Getting to connect with your audience and send a message directly to them is a wonderful thing. And the privilege of them giving you the permission to means that it’s more than ok to reach out through this medium.

What took me so long?

The funny thing is, I actually knew all of this and often talk to my clients about it but wasn’t applying it in my own business. You know, plumber with leaky taps and all that.

But in 2020, I decided that it was time and I wanted to speak to my lovely clients, colleagues and audience directly. 

We set up a template, I had the ideas and all I needed to do was put it together. 

But I didn’t push send!

Something held me back. 

All I needed was to put the content, the ideas and stories I wanted to share with my audience, into the template. But I just wasn’t doing it. 

The fear of the above seeped in and I was questioning:

  • Do they really need it?
  • Is what I have to say really that important?
  • Will anyone read it? 
  • Isn’t there enough content already out there on the internet.

I let these thoughts and the pressure to ‘perfect’ take over and hesitated on sending.

Finally in November 2020, I launched my newsletter (which you may even receive, thank you!) I took some deep breaths, started typing and before I knew it, the first copy was ready and before I could back out again – I pushed send!

That afternoon, I received a reply from a woman I’d met through some Facebook groups and had had the pleasure of meeting IRL (in real life) for a coffee once. I hadn’t seen her name for a while, and actually didn’t even know that she’d subscribed to the blog – but there she was – right back in my inbox!

“I’ve been thinking about my brand a lot lately and your email came at the perfect time. Can we talk soon?”

I had a beautiful call with her the next day and we began work the next week!

So 7 months of hesitation and then a beautiful client to work with! I couldn’t believe the opportunity I had missed and the gorgeous conversations I could have been having, had I just reached out to my audience directly.

Your audience want to hear from you

This little lesson reminded me of something that I speak to m clients about all the time. Your audience wants to hear from you.

They have followed, subscribed, connected, clicked “yes” so that they can hear your message.

Whether it’s an audience of 5, 500 or 5000, they are wanting to connect with you and by not reaching out directly, you are both missing a great opportunity.

Not every email is going to translate directly into a client. If it does, yay! But it can lead to the building of trust and a relationship. 

Off the back of that first email, I also had some wonderful replies from my audience that I hadn’t spoken to in a while. It sparked a conversation and it reignited our connection.

Don’t be afraid to put your voice out there. You never know who needs to hear the message you have to share. 

Points to remember with EDM

  • Add value – share stories, information and tips
  • Be personable – think about how you’d communicate one on one
  • Subject lines matter – this is how you engage your audience
  • Keep it simple – include only what you need, be mindful that people do receive a lot of emails
  • Check your frequency – be consistent but that doesn’t mean spammy
  • Show up – when you connect, be authentic and share you. Build genuine connections
  • Always include your contact information – don’t make your audience work to reach out to you

 

Happy connecting!

Categories
Personal Brand

I don’t even know who I am

Recently I was speaking with a colleague’s mentee about her career future. She’s a bright 20 year old who is about to undertake an internship with an organisation. She spoke well, she was engaging and she was keen to learn. But she said something that totally took me by surprise – she doesn’t know who she is or how to present herself.

I thought this issue was reserved for later in life. My clients tend to come to me in a time of transition in their life. They are usually over 40, and generally women and battling with a feeling of being lost and disconnected from themselves.

But this girl is just starting out! She’s only starting to think about what she wants to do for work, where she wants her life to go, and already she has no idea of who she is. And why is that? It’s because of all the messages she receives constantly throughout the day telling her who she should be. It’s because she is a child of the social media age.

Young women and men entering the workforce now do not know a time without social media. They’ve had Facebook and Instagram accounts since the age of 12. They have been influenced by these channels so much so that it’s clouding their view of themselves.

Feeling lost

After sharing about personal branding and how I moved into this space with my 13 years of business experience, she shared how the connection to self and the confidence in who you are was something that she was really missing. 

“When I was a teenager, the way to get in with friends and the way to be connected was through music. I thought that if I liked the music of the people I wanted to be friends with, then they would like who I am. So I would post all about that music. Then I’d meet new people, and I’d do the same. When my memories and posts come up on Facebook now, my music is so eclectic and so not like me. I don’t know what music I even like. I’ve always just taken on what I think others want me to like.”

And she could see how this influence had flowed into other areas of her life.

She felt crippled when it came to sharing a post on social media now. 

“All I want to do is share a nice photo I’ve taken. But when I got to post it, I thought so much about what the caption should be. Do I just put an emoji (which is so basic! – her words), do I write something deep and poetic, do I describe what it is. I don’t know! I don’t know what I want to say and what people will think when they see it.”

So how do you talk about yourself?

This is something common I see with my clients too. They’re so worried about what others might think of them, they end up trying to tailor their message to noone and everyone. 

I so enjoyed the conversation with this gorgeous girl but I also felt so sad getting off the call. She’s about to walk into a world of roles and titles. Where jobs, companies and fellow employees try to shape her. And without a connection to herself and who she really is, she’s going to get even more lost and disconnected over time. 

Now there is so much good and positive in social media. It can bring us together despite distance, it can help us to build on relationships and it can connect us with like minded people around the world. The downside is that with so many messages coming at us constantly, we can easily get lost in that and lose sight of ourselves. Comparison and imposter syndrome is rife due to being bombarded by other people’s content constantly. Tapping into who we are takes more work and more focus than ever. But it can be done.

Listen to yourself

My words of wisdom to her, and the only thing I felt that truly mattered in all of the advice I would impart from my career, be yourself. To be true to yourself. To not do a role or job because you think it’s what you “should” (a word that ought be banned) do. 

I encouraged her wherever possible to tap into how she feels. 

Does she feel good about herself? 

Does she feel confident? 

Does she feel light, or is it all heavy? 

 

Learning how to listen to our body and to our intuition is the first step in reconnecting with who we really are. Our hearts often tell us more than our heads.

I’m so passionate about seeing people live as they truly are, to follow their own path and to really know themselves. Other people are always going to choose how they perceive and receive us, but we get to decide how we show up in the world and we get to control our story. 

Regardless of age, this loss of connection with self is an issue. It’s something I’d like to see have a lot more focus from an early age. To encourage children, adolescents, and young adults to keep focused on who they are and to allow them the freedom to be that. 

It’s not too late though! You can always take back control and start to reconnect with yourself. This is where having a focus on your personal brand begins. Knowing who you are, showing up as who you are and being your authentic self will help you to achieve the life you want. 

 

I’d love to hear from you if this is something you feel is a challenge for you or if this story resonated in any way. Let’s chat!