Customer Relationships Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Customer Relationships"

Why social media for business

So what are the latest tales of woe you have heard about social media and business? I usually hear, “Facebook Reach is dead”. I’ve heard, “They’ve changed the way posts appear on Facebook”. I’ve heard, “Twitter wants to allow us to edit tweets”. I’ve heard tales of woe about IGTV and stories. I’ve heard grumbles about the increased use of video on LinkedIn. They all complain of the same thing, social media isn’t working for us any more – it’s the technology’s fault.

Hang on just one minute! Have you heard the saying, ‘A bad tradesman always blames his tools’? Sure these platforms are free and we get what we are given. But did you ever stop to think that it’s also a matter of we get what we give?

Here are some other things I’ve heard non-business owners say about social media lately. “I went to restaurant XYZ’s Facebook page, they hadn’t posted in 18 months. I wonder if they’re still around?” “Why am I just seeing ads, I can’t see my friends?” “I always feel like they’re after my money” “I know I saw it here somewhere *scrolls endlessly* but I can’t seem to find it, it was really good but I’ve forgotten where it was from” Think about your time on social media personally, what do you think and say?

Now think again.

Why is your business on social media?

Is it to sell to a person? Yes

Is it to gain new customers (people)? Yes

Is it to educate people about your business so they will either buy from or recommend you? I’d hope so

When you look at these three questions the central theme is PEOPLE. This is ‘why’ businesses get on social media.

Somewhere we’ve lost track of this and focused on the ‘how’. The how being the social media platform.

But there are so many “hows” out there and they change. The why remains the constant.

Simon Sinek tells us to start with why.

Why not focus your social media efforts there first.

Why does the person you want to buy what you’re selling use one social media platform over another?

Why do they use social media at all?

Why would they choose you over any other business and not just your competitors? Why should they spend $20 with you rather than spending $20 on their pet/child/partner?

To reduce customers to numbers, even social media ones, is to turn them into conquests on a bedhead. We are not numbers nor are we conquests. We are people. Just like you.

The skill in this is realising this has nothing to do with you and your business and everything to do with the customer and their “why”. Do not make this about you, remember that you do not have to convince you to buy from you. So make it about them.

 

Not sure how to do that?

You can read this article.
You can download this free checklist.
You can book a FREE 30 minute strategy session.
You can access my hour long training.
Or if you want something more personalised, we can work one on one in a deep training to help you connect &engage with your client on social media.

Customer satisfaction improvement tips

So the customer satisfaction survey results are in and Management come back with the standard, “Customer Satisfaction is slipping. YOU need to get it up!” How often have you been told that you need to lift the customer satisfaction rating for your area, team, or business? Then shook your head and wondered just how to make it happen. There’s no magic wand or crystal ball for this one. It’s totally out of your control if they’re happy with you because you’re doing everything you can; special offers, follow up, personalised service. You’ve pulled out all the stops for the customer. You’re giving it all you’ve got!

Traditionally, improving customer satisfaction takes on the form of “What else can we give them?” or “What else do they need?”

What if I was to tell you that there were 2 more effective ways of improving customer satisfaction than throwing more money and things at the customer. (metaphorically speaking)

What if instead of concentrating on just improving the product or service we focus on improving the people involved? I know it’s a bit odd, but hear me out.

The customer’s role in improving customer satisfaction

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go back and ask them exactly what they want because we all know that if you asked 100 people you would get 100 different answers. So rather than asking them what they, let’s look at what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there. This is the aim of customer satisfaction – customer retention. We know it’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.

So what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there, or better still, turns them into a raving fan?

There are 3 parts:

  • Appealing to their self image
  • Exclusivity
  • Incentive

The beauty of these three things is that even exclusivity and incentive require no financial outlay. We often believe that exclusivity and incentive mean giving more or offering discounts.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines exclusivity as:
1. the quality or state of being exclusive
2. exclusive rights or services

And incentive as:
- something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action

Neither of these definitions imply the need to offer a discount or bonuses. In fact, research shows that the best incentive is to tell people the action you want them to take.

I’ve developed a simple checklist and you can download it here.

Staff’s role in customer satisfaction

Now this one digs deep into psychology, so I’m going to ask for a little patience as I take you on a journey backwards in time. If you think it’s all about the staff making sure that the customer is always right & giving them what they want, I have a surprise! It’s not! Let’s get started!

Research shows that happy staff means happy clients. Seems logical right? So what makes happy staff? I promise you it’s not pay-rises, free food, basketball courts, or beanbags. Sorry staffers!

Happy staff comes down to staff seeing a clear relationship between what motivates them and what motivates the business and what it achieves.

So if it’s not money and perks that motivate staff, what is it? Well I’m sorry to say that it is different for each person. We are all unique! But through time & experience, I’ve brought it back to a set of five key motivators. Understand these for your staff & align them to your business and you will not only have happy staff but you will also improve customer satisfaction.

So what are the five motivators?

- Fears
- Needs
- Beliefs
- Values
- Desires/Goals

Yes we are all driven by these 5 things, yes they differ between people, yes they matter to us. Yes it seems stupidly simple but research is research and when you think about it, it makes sense.

So how do you work these out? Well you do have to have conversations with your staff and you do have to have a very clear idea of the motivators of your business – so it takes work. But here’s another thing to consider…

Happy staff are more productive. Happy staff have less time off. Happy staff become raving fans. Happy staff stay with your company saving your on churn and labour hire costs.

So there’s an added benefit to increasing customer satisfaction. Not only will the want to buy more, and will buy more. (Oh didn’t I mention that research?) Your staff will be happier and you’ll save money & make more money.

If you’d like to know more about these motivators and how I used it to improve staff happiness, productivity, & customer satisfaction; I have a short instructional set available on my website.

If you would like to speak to me more on this and how I can make it work in your business, you can book a FREE consultation here. Additionally, I am available to speak on this topic to your team or at your conference.

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Why Client Avatar work fails and what is missing

Until a bit over 2 years ago I had a real problem with the standard client avatar work available. Many many years ago, in my previous business, I did a beta test of an online coaching program and had my first introduction to writing my ideal client profile. I hated it! I had to name them, detail their demographics, outline their day, it was even suggested that I found a photo of them and print it out. Something felt wrong.

Here’s the thing. With a degree in psychology, I know that we are more than what we do. I understand that diagnoses and labels give us meaning and structure to our lives, it makes things easier. But labels are just that, they stick on top of a number of behaviours and/or symptoms which make up the labels.

So what's the problem with traditional client avatar work?

Standard client avatar work reduces people to a list of labels. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than the labels society puts on me. Yes I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, graduate, business owner; but so are many other women I know. Does that mean that we are all the same? Does that mean that all of our behaviours are the same? No!

What about my other demographics? I am a woman in my 40s with two teenage children. I’m married. Does that mean that I behave the same as any/many/most married 40 year old Mum of 2 teens? No!

So why do marketing experts and business owners still believe that these client profiles based on labels work? At best they are generic, but how are they used and what lies behind them?

These avatars are used to help business owners with their marketing and messaging. They exist to help with what words to use, where to focus marketing efforts; but where does this come from? The business owner’s interpretation of the labels. And this interpretation comes from their lived experience and opinions of these labels. This interpretation comes from our biases. What if they’re wrong?!

So what happens when a business does a standard client avatar exercise and finds it doesn’t work, and I have had many business owners in tears because this is the case but they were lead to believe it would work and was crucial. Their marketing efforts are misguided, they don’t make the money they feel they should, they are demotivated, and some even close their businesses believing they were a failure.

All because they relied on labels rather than what sat behind them.

Deeper than the client avatar

So what sits behind the labels?

Behind the labels are the behaviours, the actions. What drives these behaviours and actions? Our motivators. What drives our motivators? Our culture, our education, our lived experience.

The old ‘nature vs nurture’ conundrum has puzzled scientist for decades. Why can identical twins raised in the same home behave so differently? Researchers ponder why two people experience the same event differently, even down to developing trauma as a result of the same event. It’s individual differences.

However, marketing believes that demographics and labels is enough of a definition for a client avatar… even though scientists have grappled with individual differences for decades.

A new type of client avatar

So how do we account for individual differences in our client avatar? Can we individualise and yet be able to speak to a group?

I believe the key is in defining what lies beneath the labels. Looking at the unique behaviours of that particular mother of teens you have in your client avatar. What motivates her? Look deeper into her behaviours than how she fills her day, that’s what she does. Look deeper into why she does it, why does she make a particular choice, where does that come from?

When businesses are able to define and speak to these deeper motivators, they connect to their audience at a deep interpersonal level. You speak to your ideal client in words they understand at their core because you are using words that drive them to take the action they do, make the choices they make. You connect to them as an individual not a set of faceless demographics.

That was what I felt was missing in the client avatar work I did those years ago. Connection. A connection at a deeper interpersonal level. A connection like we were sharing a moment where commonalities were found and friendships were made. A place from which strong connections grew. A place to build a long lasting and expanding connections. A place to communicate from. A point of connection from where I could motivate a client to action because I showed them that they were understood, that they could know me, like me, trust me and then they would work with me.

 

What is human-centred social media?

Over the past six months I’ve attended a few social media conferences and there’s one consistent trend – human-centered social media. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that this is actually nothing new to me. In fact, I first wrote about this back in 2014. I have to be honest, I didn’t think I was that much of a ground-breaker and I hoped that it would take less time for the idea to filter through. Clearly I was wrong. Anyway, what is human-centred social media and why should we care?

Human-centred social media is more than benefits and WIIFM

Guy Kawasaki quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologySay what now? Ok, so some of you might be surprised and others will be scratching your head wondering what I mean and some will be high five-ing me. Let’s start with those scratching their heads.

WIIFM, or what’s in it for me, is the principle of perspective taking and looking at what the client gets out of the transaction. Benefits are a business looking at the features of their offer and telling clients what they will get out of it. It’s essentially two sides of the same coin. However there is no guarantee that they will match or align in any way.

I have to be honest there are two main flaws in this approach:

  • Who has time to assess benefits against needs as a customer?
  • It seems a little shallow.

The vast majority of the time I hear this, businesses will talk about outcomes and benefits. I really don’t believe that’s putting the client at the centre of their social media, I feel they are putting their offer at the centre. As clients, there is so much more that drives our decision making than outcomes and benefits and in fact, there are a lot of things which go into these alone.

As a customer, when presented with a list of benefits, I still have to match them with what I want to achieve or what I want. I’m still trying to work out if the offer is the right fit for me. I’m not at the centre of this transaction.

At this point, some of you might think that this is awfully self-centred of me. But stop and think for a moment whose money you’re trying to acquire. It’s the customers. Do you want to raise doubt in their mind? Do you want to make it hard for them to part with their money? Then it also raises the question of how you even come to understand them anyway???

Personally, human-centred anything comes back to putting the following at the centre: what drives us to do what we do, know what we want, make a decision, spend money, like/comment/share. I believe that human-centred social media is more than what we are being told it is. In fact, I know that it’s more than what we are being told because there is a whole heap of psychology which drives what we define as a benefit or ‘what’s in it for me’.

Matt Goulart Quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologyI want human-centered business practices, not just social media, to be a strategic focus. I firmly believe that it’s good business practice and not just some fluffy feel good add on or differentiator. We rely so much on people, people power, and goodwill. The thing is, I believe that taking the approach I advocate is a strategic focus as it looks at people at their base level, their psychology and their motivators.

I believe it’s time to move social media marketing away from a focus on the platform and the tools, to the person you’re aiming for who is using the social media. This is human-centred social media. By focusing on the person, the platform becomes somewhat irrelevant. By focusing on the person, we can address them the same way across platforms. By focusing on the person, we can continue conversations more fluidly between platforms and off of them. By focusing on the person, we reduce the overwhelm felt by business owners trying to understand the platforms. By focusing on the person, our message becomes clear. By focusing on the person, they feel understood. By focusing on the person, they don’t have to guess how we serve them. By focusing on the person, they are more closely aligned with our brand. By focusing on the person, they are more engaged. By focusing on the person, they are happier with the service they receive. By focusing on the person, they are more likely to buy from us. By focusing on the person, we grow raving fans.

How do I define human-centred social media? I define it by looking at what motivates us. I believe that there are five key motivators of any and all human behaviour. I’ve put together this 30 minute training package which outlines precisely what these motivators are and from there you can use them in your human-centered marketing to align and motivate your clients to action. You can purchase access to the training through the online shop. If you have any questions or would like to interview me on this, please contact me via email at kara@karalambert.com.

social media content calendar

So you would think after running social media for over 7 years now I would have a social media content calendars and I would have that thing down pat. Nope. Not me. In fact, I used to believe that that made me unstrategic in my content. That couldn’t be further from the truth either. I am in fact quite strategic. Perhaps it’s that I’m not much of a planner and more a seat of my pants kind of gal, a la Pretty Woman. Nope, I am a certified Type A personality. I am very organised (don’t confuse that with neat though) So why don’t I use a content calendar?

It’s quite simple. I’ve never found one I liked, not even some I could mash together and call my own. I’ve often heard people talk about content calendars and to be honest I had a little fomo because I didn’t have one. Then it struck me why.

Social media content calendars are way to plan out your content. Some have some method and pattern to the types of content you post. This could be vlog, image, shared content. Or it could be quote, testimonial, blog, sales pitch.  It’s telling you the type of content to post not the topic.

Some people develop content topic lists. I’ve looked at these lists, hey I even developed one of my own for blogging a few years ago, but I find they fall sort. Here’s why.

Content calendar topic lists fall short in my mind because it’s one person’s opinion on what topics suit my business and my audience. Sorry, but that’s not going to work for me. I know I’m not the only business and social media coach in the world but I’m pretty unique in the way I think about things. I bet you have your own competitors but you also have your own unique position and proposition in the industry too. So why would a generic list work when you’re individual? (to an extent)

The lists of topics are often written from the business perspective. This means that the topics are there to serve you as the business owner and the business as a whole. Last I checked businesses were there to serve their audience, not be self-serving (sadly too many still are).

If there are topics that are written from the audience perspective, how many of them address the individual and specific motivators of your audience? Do they consider what motivates your audience to choose your business over another? Does it consider the key objections and what drives these objections? Wouldn’t you want your content to answer these questions for you? They are in fact your silent salesman.

The other issue I have with social media content calendars is that they generally don’t tell you how to formulate the post nor do they tell you the best time of that particular day to post it. So I wonder what the benefit is in having these lists of topic that may not meet the needs of your target audience, a schedule of the types of posts to publish, but no idea of what time of day to publish them, and how to write them up?

So what do I recommend?

Well now you’re aware, you can make a more educated choice.
Put your client first. Meet their needs first.
Look at the psychology of an engaging post.
Look at the statistics of when your people are on social media and post then.
Yes, I do have one that I sell, but it’s part of my Organic Facebook Course (because winning content is so much more than the topic).
And if you’ve done all of these, then it’s time we talked about your social media content and how you connect with your audience.

The three things I’ve learnt in 4 years of blogging

In the start of June 2014, I started blogging for this business. The business was very different back then. I was a proof reader, copy editor, and website auditor. I don’t provide any of these services any more but one thing I still do is a weekly blog (during school terms). Now that has meant that the subject matter has varied ever so slightly, I have learnt a fair bit about blogging in this time. So what have I learnt and how can you use it with your blog – in fact any time you create content?

It’s not about me in my blogging

A good proportion of my blog is me imparting knowledge to others. This could be things I find, it can also be the stuff that rattles around in my skull. This stuff is definitely not about me. Like this blog, it’s about you – the reader. None of this is self-serving. I do this to answer questions I see and hear. I do this to remove overwhelm and angst I see.  Even if I get something out of it, at most an email address, I still come at this from a place of service.

Here’s the kicker. Even when I am the subject matter, it’s not about me. When I’m writing about my experiences, I do so to show you that you’re not alone. I don’t want to be the guru preaching divine practice from the mount. I’m human and I want you to see that I fall and get up again. I want you to learn from me. That means holding a mirror to my actions and showing you the lesson.

 

 

Be vulnerable with your blogging

I know, it’s hard. It’s not just emotionally hard to be vulnerable. It can also be professionally hard to be vulnerable. In fact, it’s this second space which held me back the longest.

Here’s a secret when it comes to both blogging and vulnerability. Most people read blogs to connect with the blogger. They want a little insight into them and their lives. This is precisely what being vulnerable does. It allows the reader insight into who you truly are.

There is a benefit to this. Other than the fact that it can be quite cathartic. Being vulnerable in your blogging gives that ‘like, know and trust’ factor a massive injection of all three.

Blogging content comes from the strangest places

I will raise my hand high and  proud to say that I am a bad blogger. I do not have a content clanedar. In fact, I’m very much the uni/high school student blogger, who blogs at the 11th hour. Now does that mean that I have crappy content? I hope not. Does it mean that my topics are often not strategic? A lot of the time. Does it mean that my blogs come together quickly? Now they do. Does it mean that my blogs are raw? They sure are!

That’s the thing. I am a bit of a life blogger, you might say. I blog from my life, from what I see and hear. I blog the topics which whizz around me. I’m a bit of an intuitive blogger. I take the topics which I see appearing repeatedly in my life and I blog RIGHT THEN!

Here’s the gold in all of this blogging knowledge

You can take these tips and apply it to any content creation. You can apply it to your emails. You can apply it to your videos. You can apply it to your Instagram. And you can certainly apply it to your Facebook Posts.

Being focused on your audience, being vulnerable, and being relevant is just good content creation. And I hope I give that to you.

2 steps to handling business overwhelm and the 1 thing we’ve lost

The other day I was talking with a lady who told the story of a friend who was struggling with business overwhelm because of the smallest decision for their business – what URL to choose. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve had consultations with business who are overwhelmed with not getting anywhere with social media. But it’s not just where we show up in our business, we can be overwhelmed with how we show up.

I’ve helped a number of business owners through this. They come to me with a particular tool they are struggling with, generally Facebook, and they feel utterly overwhelmed. Like with most of life, what we think is the problem rarely ever is. But the thing with overwhelm is that it is all encompassing and that so often we are unable to realise that there is more to the problem that meets the eye and if we only looked a little further the answer would be so clear and so simple.

So often I see this overwhelm and it’s characterised by any or all of the following things.

 

Sounds simple right? Too simple to answer the issue of this overwhelm! It’s not and here’s why.

Humans are hard-wired for connection. Connection to our family, our friends, our community, our tribe. When we lose these connections we feel lost. As lost souls we grapple and grasp for things to give us direction and meaning. Much like connections do.

In business we have three connections. Connection to self (our passions). Connection to business. Connection to clients (audience).

When one or more of these are out we feel out of whack and the more disconnection we have, the more overwhelmed we become.

 

So what is some of the overwhelm I see in business?

  • Social media overwhelm – which channel, what to call things, group/profile/page
  • Niche overwhelm – what to niche to
  • Email overwhelm – to send newsletters (or not), how often to email

These are tools. The ‘what’ to do in business. Unfortunately they’re often made to be the should do in business too.

Connection is the deeper why we do things in business. Remove them and we feel off kilter.

So what is the one thing we’ve lost other than the connection which is contributing to overwhelm in business?

We’ve lost that all of this connection is about people. We have lost that the ‘whats’ and ‘shoulds’ are actually about connecting to people. This is where I see the overwhelm sitting and this is where the relief comes when I show it to my coaching clients.

Now for some this might seem simplistic, but I have to say that there is a tonne of science behind people, connection, and how they interplay with social media, communication, and business. And this fascinates me.

If it fascinates you, use the link below to find a time for us to chat more. https://bookme.name/karalambert

Stay true to your passion

I didn’t start out this business as a business coach. In fact I started out as a proof reader and website auditor. How I got here is a story for another day but there was a point, not unlike where I’m at now, where I pivoted. I decided that I was more interested in coaching in the psychology beneath your business and your social media. Psychology was my true passion.

So in the early days in proof reading & auditing, like any business, clients were few and far between so I relied on a fair amount of free advice. One of them said to me not to use the term ‘psychology’ because it was confusing to people. They also suggested focusing on social media as that was popular and I was good at it, so an easy win. (but not true to my passion)

So I did that and I had some success but I still felt torn. I kept blogging about the psychology behind social media because it was my passion but I never spoke about it. I didn’t promote it. If I did it was haphazard and somewhat apologetic. I was divorced from my true passion.

I kept on working, more and more in Facebook and kept trying to grow the business coaching. All the while I was slowly and subtly bringing in psychology. I was having some introductory (free) calls for Facebook coaching and all I could see was overwhelm as business owners were disconnected from their audience and their ideal business. They had come to me for social media help but needed my true passion.

You could say that the Facebook changes on 11/1/18 gave me the chance to talk more on the psychology but that was only Facebook, it still didn’t consider the psychology in business. I was getting closer to my true passion.

I still felt lost and I knew I wanted to do more. I had to do more. I couldn’t leave these business owners and their clients disconnected. Social media was only a method to connect it wasn’t the basis of how connections are built, developed and maintained. I wanted business owners to have that sense of satisfaction I had seen in the coaching clients I had. They were building the business they dreamed of, they were getting the lifestyle they loved, they were flourishing financially. All because we had worked on the connections in their business. Between themselves and their business, themselves and their staff, their staff and the business, and the business and the client. This was my true passion & incidentally I had written it on a lanyard in 2015 for the local TEDx conference.

So what’s my advice. Stay true to your passion. It will stay true to you if you want it to or not. It will stay with you through thick and thin and when you need it it will be there. Stay true to your passion, it will help you find the right words to say. Stay true to your passion, it will not confuse others as you will speak clearly on it. Stay true to your passion.

Binary beliefs and business

Over the last week I have seen many conversations, and been in arguments, where people were so bent that their opinion/belief was right and the other person was wrong. It’s made me wonder what has happened to make us so binary in our beliefs. And what has happened to us that we think it’s ok?

While this is mostly a personal issue, it’s noteworthy to consider binary beliefs when it comes to customer service in business. This is where it’s going to cause the biggest problem. The next issue I see is when dealing with staff and then suppliers.

So what do I mean by binary beliefs?

Let’s start with “I’m right & you’re wrong”, that’s what sparked this. (Generally followed up with, “Let’s agree to disagree”.) We are starting to understand that sexuality and gender aren’t binary (male/female, gay/straight). Why is it that we think beliefs are binary?

Ok, so I suppose that my belief is mine and yours is your own, the classic ‘them and us’ scenario. And that in essence makes them binary, what I’m looking for is a discussion on understanding and tolerance. Or even some perspective taking. There’s benefit to both parties if they are willing and want to learn.

When I teach motivators, I use the definition of a belief as assumptions we hold to be true. Beliefs are contextual: they come from learned experiences, from the cultural and environmental situations we face.

Here’s the thing, we forget that beliefs aren’t actually truths; because we hold them as true, it doesn’t mean they are. While they might be true for us, they are not always someone else’s truth. Beliefs draw on our experience, including our culture.

The thing about beliefs is that not all our experiences become beliefs. Generally they have to align with other beliefs we hold before they are adopted. Then, the other issue with beliefs is that we search out information etc to reinforce our beliefs. (Attenuation Bias)

So how is this binary belief a problem for business?

Well if you’re aware of it, this is the first step in changing. Then the next is taking action when you’re aware that you are falling into this binary belief scenario.

Don’t get me wrong (pun intended), there are times where standing by your beliefs is necessary, this isn’t about that. But what happens when you’re faced with a customer who you can’t agree with?

What I’m suggesting is that businesses look at their own beliefs and check in with how beliefs form . Perhaps, it’s that this person has a different lived experience and so their beliefs differ. That doesn’t make them wrong, but different. (And I hope today we are better at embracing differences)

How do you feel when instead of hearing how wrong you are, according to someone's beliefs, they took time to listen to you. I can tell you from dealing with hostile clients, feeling listened to is enough to calm a customer down. We all want to be heard.

So you’ve heard what they have to say, now what?

Most people would react by telling them how they’re wrong or going back and reinforcing their belief. But this takes us back to the binary belief problem. So what to do?

You reinforce that you’ve heard & understood what they’ve said by repeating it back to them and then you look for common ground. Again, beliefs can change and we are hard-wired for connection. Finding common ground puts you in a position of peacemaker rather than dictator. In business I’d rather have a win for both than one or none.

The beauty of beliefs is that they come from our lived experience. Moving from a binary belief set and having experiences to challenge our beliefs allows us and our beliefs to grow. And I’m all for personal and business growth.

Whose opinion matters to your business?

So the other week I went and had new branding photos taken. It had been 4 years since my last ones were done, I was still happy with them, they matched my colours, I was still using them, but I had the redone all the same. Why?

I went to a coffee meet up and a number of the women there, who I had never met before in person, said they didn’t recognise me from my photos. That’s odd, I hadn’t changed, my hair was only a slightly different cut but not colour. Why didn’t they recognise me?

So I stopped and asked my friends, had I changed or did I look any different? They all said I looked the same and these other women didn’t know what they were talking about. Now I could have taken my friend’s advice but I stopped for a second.

In business, whose opinion matters most? My friends who know me, trust me, and recommend me regardless. Or someone I don’t know, who I am starting to build a relationship with, who I need to develop that trust with. If they don’t recognise me from my picture, is there a problem.

You bet there is!

I could have stuck with the feedback which confirmed my belief, that I wasn’t that different from my photos, or I could look at it from my audience’s perspective and have new photos which reflected what I look like now, regardless of how small the change is.

Here’s the thing, we are all built with a perception bias. We will all seek to reaffirm our beliefs. However it’s when we want to do something different or move somewhere new or become someone bigger than who we are that we need to change what we do.

We can not expect different results from doing the same things.

When it comes to business, we need someone who will challenge us and not always tell us what we want to hear, rather they tell us what we need to hear. They hold a mirror to ourselves and make us see things differently. They challenge us and guide us through new things so we can have different results. Even when we want to stay doing the same things and those closest to us are reaffirming that.

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