Career & Business

Are You Alienating Potential Customers?

September 6, 2011

Hi! I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Sharing who you are, what you believe, and why you’re in business is vitally important. No doubt about it.

But can being “the real you” alienate potential customers?

For example, does being openly gay turn off prospective fans who are outside of the the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?

Today’s Q&A video touches on this important topic in modern business: how to balance being the real you without alienating would-be customers.

In this video, we’ll talk about the “spotlight” concept that helps you stay focused on what’s truly important in your business, without hiding any part of who you are.

But first, a warning.

In this video, you’ll see me sing and dance.  While some may call me a fancy dancer, I’m not much of a singer.

You were warned.

Since this is quite a juicy topic, here’s a bit more to chew on that I just couldn’t squeeze into this five minute video.

1.  Get clear on the primary aim of your business.

What exact problems and frustrations are you solving for customers? What concrete results are you helping your clients get? What exactly are people handing you money for?

Sarah’s business, Queer Vegan Food, is about featuring, as she calls it, weird vegan recipes you won’t find on other blogs.

She focuses on unique recipes to expand vegan culinary beyond traditional vegan cuisine which tends to imitate the non-vegan world (think fake meat, vegan ice cream, etc.).

Sarah’s promoting a healthy, plant-based lifestyle that prevents cruelty towards animals and helps the planet.  And, she’s got a fantastic name with Queer Vegan Food.

But remember, the primary focus of her business is on recipes and veganism, not on being LGBT.

Her potential clients and fans are coming to her for unique vegan recipes that you can’t find anywhere else.

2.  Get clear on who you are selling to.

I’d say Sarah’s ideal customer is someone who is eager to adopt a more healthy lifestyle and who is passionate about veganism.

They could be eager to jump into the vegan world, or they may already be vegan and want more unique, healthy and non-imitation type recipes.

While I’m sure she has many fans in the LGBT community, she’ll have loads and loads of heterosexual fans too.

But with a name like Queer Vegan Food (which is brilliant because it’s arresting, fun, controversial, descriptive and uber memorable), let’s be real here.

Of course she’s going to alienate people… people who are not open to the vegan or LGBT lifestyle!

And those folks, by definition, are not going to mesh well with Sarah anyway. They have different core values and beliefs.

Being honest about this fact allows Sarah to focus on exactly who she wants to reach and not get hung up worrying about “alienating” those who aren’t a good fit for her business anyway.

3.  Get over wanting everyone to like you.

This is essential for all of us to remember if we want to be happy and successful.

Not everyone will not like you. And all potential customers are not your customer.

The faster you get over wanting everyone to like you, the greater difference you will make to those who do.

As the saying goes, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Here’s what I’d like you to do next.

In the comments below, tell me how you can apply the “spotlight” concept in your business.

Remember, it’s important to share your beliefs and values. And your customer should get the majority of the spotlight.

Of course, if you have anything else to add on this topic (not my singing :)), I’d love to hear it.

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