Whose Best Friend Are You? [A Letter]

As a brand and a conscious business, you want that feeling of being admired. Here are 4 questions to ask when you want people to fall in love your brand.

My Dear Reader,

I was just looking at a Facebook memory (I have a love/hate relationship with those) from 7 years ago. It was a picture of me and my Middle School best friend, reunited for a day in Asheville after 27 years. It was so great and easy to sit and talk over coffee – and not at all awkward as I feared it might be.

Whose best friend are you

Me an my middle school bestie, many years later in Asheville.

As I look at that post again and read the words she put in the comments, something shifted immediately.

What a great day….spending the afternoon in Asheville with my middle school best friend!!!!”  

Awww, shucks, that felt damn good! As I look at this simple line of text, I notice I’m holding my body straighter, I’m smiling, and feel a bit of a rush – meaning some serotonin or whatever happiness juice makes my brain do this has surely been activated.

Lately, when I have a shift, positive or negative, I’ve been consciously taking a minute to observe it to understand where it’s coming from. In that moment, I realized how much I like having been labeled as someone’s “best friend. We all do, don’t we?  Just that feeling of love, acceptance, and admiration. Who doesn’t want that?

This of course brings me to you… and your brand.

As a brand and a conscious business, you want that feeling of being admired, accepted, loved. It’s okay to want that. And if you are in this for the good of all, then you deserve that, no?

Ok, you’re thinking, “Really? I’m just a person running a business (sometimes it barely feels like I’m even that)…. How can you really say that I,  can be like a best friend to someone I’ve never even met?”  

I get where you’re coming from,  because I’ve also thought this. But to bring this down to our planetary level and make it actionable, think about this:

What if you can actually be a great friend to your followers and clients? You know, the one who’s always there for you no matter what, especially in times of need;  the one who doesn’t judge, and has the advice and solutions you need at that very moment?

What if you can be that “essential” friend?

My point in bringing this up is that I don’t think we see things this way when we set up our business and our marketing. And I think it should be part of the process.

I am not saying, bend and flex to meet everyone’s needs and be liked. Not at all.

But when it comes to communicating, try getting very clear on what it is that would make someone consider you to be that “essential” friend.

Here’s the quick and dirty 4 questions to ask when you want people to fall in love your brand and put you in their “best friend” zone: 

 

1. How do you show up and support your prospects and clients, and how do you communicate and demonstrate this?

This is all about how you communicate your value. Which means you have to know what is stand-out crazy good about your business, how this helps your clients, and a way of communicating this (subtly) in all you do.

It also serves as some very nice core values to have as a strong foundation for your business

 

2. How are you going to be there for your prospects when they need you most?

Your friends know you and know how to reach you. Who says you can’t be there for your prospects too? This can be tricky, but less than most think. To do this, you need to do some digging and find out where your prospects are – are they Facebook fans or Instagram junkies? What online groups are they in? Who do they follow?

Spend some time figuring this out and create a plan to place yourself in the right place at the right time. You can do this by joining the same groups, following the influencers they follow, and just start talking on there. Not pushy, not annoying, not selling… just talking. You know, like a friend.

 

3. How will you communicate to them in a way they understand and relate with?

This is all about understanding the language your people speak. Don’t think this is super easy. This is actually the hardest part for some people because as experts we can get stuck in our shop talk.

I’ve had to coach all of my clients – therapists, acupuncturists, pharmacists, executive business coaches… all of them – on how to use the words that their prospects will understand. It takes them a while to get it, but once they do, it’s pure magic. Suddenly people begin to listen because they can understand what in the world you’re saying.

This also means learning to understand the biggest pain points your people have and nailing down the exact phrases they are Googling. Then you use these phrases in your writing, your titles, your Facebook posts… everywhere.

 

4. How are you admirable and damn lovable?

I saved the best for last. In the spirit of my Facebook memory that brought this all on, let’s go back to Middle School for a moment.  

Remember those kids who would do anything to be liked? I do… because I was one of them much of the time throughout my teens, and felt pain being witness to the other kids who acted this way.

These were the ones who try to get into your conversations but are super awkward because they had no idea what to say – because what you’re talking about really just wasn’t their jam. Or maybe they were just socially awkward. Either way, they were trying too hard.

Don’t be that person.

I’m not saying don’t be the geek or the socially awkward kid. I actually love them and have many friends who fit this category. What I’m saying is BE YOU. If you’re awkward, own it. Let us know – it’s very endearing when a business is transparent and they let us see their vulnerabilities.

Rather than trying so hard. Don’t try anymore. Just allow. Allow this to happen. Allow the quirky, weird, fun, sad, delirious, creative YOU to come out to play. Do that, and I bet you that people will start to bookmark your page, sign up for you offers, and actually feel happy to see their “friend” in their inbox.  

Ok, but…

Is this all BS and fakery that is involved with marketing?

It depends.

Depends how you do it and where it comes from. If you’re doing this from a place of need and greed, it can get ugly. I stay far away from this not only because it’s bad juju, but because it makes me unhappy – and makes me question why I am doing something where I cannot be totally 100% ME.

What if you can be yourself, pull the value that you and your business bring, and learn to communicate that naturally, authentically, vulnerably?

Give it a shot. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it can be.

Let me know, in the comments below, what makes YOU so lovable to your clients? (bragging rights!)

Your friend,  😉

Michelle Rabell

 

 

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