Franziska Neumann is the owner of FZK Franziska, a creative agency that helps design-oriented clients grow and steward their online presence.
It’s hard to remain visible when you don’t know what the world is going to throw at you each day. And while it can be tough to anticipate the curveballs that may come your way when it comes to your business, one thing you can work on is the way in which you connect with your audience. Deep, meaningful connections are just one way to navigate these uncertain times.
Times of trouble don’t have to deter you. Rather, they can symbolize a need to take a step back, reevaluate, and go forth with a new plan to be better for yourself and your clients.
During times of adversity, it helps to think about your values. What is really important to you? Not only do values come into play with your business and your customers, but also with how you navigate tough times as a whole.
But how do you get to the place where your values are clear and they provide real direction to where you aim to go as a business, as a creative, as a person? You can start by doing these three things:
Clarify your values
Self-reflection is a necessary part of life. Not being clear about your values, what you stand for, and importantly, what you don’t stand for, will do you a disservice in the long run.
It may take hours, days, or even weeks to finally come to an internal consensus about what truly matters to you and what your brand stands for. When it comes to my business, I decided long ago that creativity, kindness, and relationships are it for me. These three things form the crux of what my business is, the type of clients I want to attract, and ultimately, what I hope to achieve. If you sign up for our email list on my website, you’ll gain free access to a worksheet that can help you better define your brand values.
Evaluate your goals
What goals drive your ambition? Whether it’s to expand your business, acquire that next big client, or sell your original designs and make millions, failing to nail down your goals makes it difficult to see them through to fruition. There’s some truth to the notion that writing down your goals helps them come to reality. By at least clearly defining your goals, you can begin creating a roadmap to how to achieve them.
Find your tribe
Your audience, who you hope to attract with your business, blog, services, is just as important as the services you provide or the products you sell. By being clear about your values and goals, you’ll be able to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can help you grow and ultimately, succeed. Your tribe doesn’t have to be just who you do business with. Your tribe can be the people you attract in your personal life. They are the ones who understand who you are and what drives you to do the things you do.
My friend and colleague Tessa, who runs the popular baking blog Handle the Heat, encountered this in her work. After spending years learning the science behind baking, she encountered a new audience with a keen interest to substitute certain ingredients in her recipes. With a scientific approach to baking even one substituted ingredient changes the entire outcome of the recipe you are following, often resulting in disappointment for those making the changes. One day after discussing the issue of substitutions in recipes with her baking blogger colleagues, she took the plunge and published a candid post on her site discouraging recipe substitutions altogether.
Surely, this would spell disaster, right? Actually, no. From then on, every time Tessa’s audience asked about recipe substitutions, there was another person within the community to pitch in with the encouragement to find another recipe elsewhere that was created using the desired ingredients. She had, inadvertently, formed a tribe of bakers who were connecting beyond just her posts. These types of connections are what distinguish being simply present from being truly visible.
For more actionable tips and tricks to help you connect with your audience, stay tuned. Tessa and I will be hosting a virtual discussion as part of Universal’s Virtual Fall Market 2020 events about how to build real relationships and deeply connect with your audience during these trying times. This topic is something you won’t want to miss.
Register here to join us: https://www.universalfurniture.com/events/growingacreativebusinessonline