How we market ourselves and our products has changed.
We need to face our fears and insecurities and get comfortable being seen by the customer on screen and in the flesh.
Face And Embrace The Fear.
It’s a whole new world. Flyers, posters and letters in the post, don’t cut it anymore.
Back in the day and certainly when I started out, if you wanted to make an impression, it was all about letter headings and luxury stationary. If you had an event to promote it was about the flyer and distribution. If you had a product to sell it was about advert size, a press release, and a punchy strapline.
NOW, we must all be in the Zoom room with the camera on and knowing where the unmute button is. We need a YouTube channel and to produce endless ‘how to’ videos that we can then repurpose for TikTok, Instagram and Linkedin. We need a blog, podcast, a ‘story’, a signature talk, a PowerPoint presentation, blah blah, bl… AAAAGH!
This transition has been happening for a while but has been accelerated by the pandemic and a year of uncertainty. The long and the short of it is, we still need to sell our products and promote our brand, but unlike those that came before us, we can no longer hide behind our logo’s. We need to step out of the shadow’s and be seen! The customer expects it.
Sales has always been about the customer. They know best, right? Well, yes, and now they expect to know you; see your face, hear your voice and believe what you’re saying. You need to speak their language, share their values and be part of their tribe, i.e., build their TRUST.
The Edelman Trust Barometer produces a report annually, surveying over 30k people across 28 countries. It shows the level of trust given to governments, business and media. The 2021 report says,
“In times of turbulence and volatility, trust is what holds society together and where growth rebuilds and rebounds…” And it quite clearly shows, following this most turbulent of years, that there’s a drop in public trust towards governments and media. Interestingly, though, trust in business and its leaders has grown, with business now seen as the “only institution that is both competent and ethical.”
So, no more hiding. No matter what size your business, if you are a business leader you will need to show up in person to build that trust. Be seen and heard in the marketplace, authentically, with your own ‘voice’, communicating human to human, building rapport.
As my friend, philosopher, Tom V Morris says, ‘Fear is a feeling. Courage is a choice.’
No one said it would be easy! Showing up takes vulnerability, courage, consistency and a message that you believe in.
We are all fearful of putting ourselves out there, afraid of being judged, making a fool of ourselves, or not being good enough. Even after 20+ years I’m still a little anxious that my voice will shake, and I’ll forget or stumble over my words, but that shows I care. I feel the butterflies in my stomach as excitement rather than nerves. I have worked with coaches and teachers to face my fears and build my confidence and with LOTS of practice, I’ve overcome my phobia of showing up. In fact, now, I love it!
Face and embrace the fear. Ok, look, don’t get me wrong, I have a phobia of spiders and I don’t intend to handle one to get over it, but if you want to share ideas or motivate and inspire others with your message or product then you’ll have to ‘handle your spider’ to become comfortable, confident and happy with your ‘voice’.
How we differentiate ourselves moving forward is to unmute ourselves on screen, in business and in life and deliver our message with conviction and humility. It is an ongoing process and an investment. It will take time and commitment but make that commitment and watch your business and life transform.
As we emerge into this Brave New World only the ones that have a ‘voice’ and know how to use it will float to the top of the ever-deepening sea of social media mediocrity.
You are your business. You are your Unique Selling Point. It’s time to show up!