I left this idea for the end because it deserves its own article.
Remember when you first had the idea to start your business? It was such a beautiful, delicate idea with its rough edges and sand-like surface. It had no flavor but it had the potential to take on any flavor there is. It was haunting you through the day and it would creep up in your dreams during night.
Its presence was felt every second of every moment. It made you impatient. You wanted to see it in action, flourished and amazing as it was in your head.
It wasn’t easy. There was doubt around every corner, irritating administrative work and days when everything felt like there’s no way out of the chaos.
You pulled through day by day and at some point you realized — things worked out. You are actually doing what you wanted. You are your own boss. You make all the decisions. But most importantly, you are… happy.
Do you remember the beginning, the struggle, the breaking point?
Those are your stories. Those are stories worth telling.
People bury themselves in work so much they forget what it took to get there. They forget to share the bad as much as the good. You see, to connect with our audience, it’s not enough to show them the polished smooth end product and glorify our business.
Not everything is perfect. Hell, almost nothing is perfect. Even nature is not perfect — the beauty is mostly hidden in its imperfections. Life is not perfect, the good is good because the bad has proven itself. It’s about the contrast.
The main problem with creating brands is that companies take away the human side of it. They take themselves out of the equation not to show vulnerability. They push the perfect product and hide the imperfect mind that created the product.
What To Do?
Be transparent in your business if you want to be authentic. Your audience can only connect with something that is relatable to them. They want to see they are not alone in life’s struggles. They want to see what is possible when you are determined to succeed. They need someone to lead by example and not just say what they need to hear.
So don’t forget to tell your story. Over and over.
Explain how and why you got the idea for your business. Tell them about the rough surfaces and desperate days. Teach how to become resilient and move forward. Connect with them by sharing the process of your work.
Take them behind the scenes and introduce them to the tools you are using to create what you create. Show them sketches, ask them for their opinion, include them in decision making. What you are doing you are doing for them. Why not asking them what they want and create a product formed on their input, ideas and feedback. Reward them for their contribution and celebrate small wins together.
Build and grow your business with them, not just for them.
Learn to listen and create products by demand. They will tell you what they need.