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Building Online Credibility

What Is Your Unique Factor?

By | Building Online Credibility, Inspiration and Encouragement | 18 Comments

For #FBF, originally posted October 6, 2011

What Is Your Unique Factor?

Virtual Hired Hand - What Is Your Unique Factor

When you think of the word unique, what comes to mind?

  • Different
  • Unusual
  • Weird
  • Uncommon
  • Only one of its kind

This list could go on and on. Are you aware of what sets you apart from everyone else who does what you do?

What do your clients, friends, or family say makes you stand out from the rest?

If you and I were selling a widget on opposite street corners and had been given the same sales training we would still sell the widget differently.

Why?

Because we both bring a unique factor to the product.

Your unique factor is….YOU!

One of my favorite quotes is “No one can beat you at being you.”

So why are so many people copy-cating the way someone speaks, writes, or does whatever it is that they do?

I’m perplexed at why we’re not okay with our unique factor.

Remember when being different was cool. But we still weren’t quite sure what it meant so we looked to others to show us the way.

In the 80’s it was banana clips, one lace glove thanks to Madonna, and mismatched earrings. And for Halloween you may have dressed up like Tina Turner with wild hair and a big sweatshirt dress. Oh how different we were!

Were you a fan of the Cosby Show? The sweaters, the “Gordon Gartrelle” shirt Denise made for Theo, the funky hairstyles were our guide to being different, unique.

The 90’s brought big hoop earrings with a key hanging from it thanks to Janet Jackson. Did you have a pair of parachute pants aka MC Hammer pants?

The guys wore high top fades. One guy in high school used to wear bowling shoes instead of the typical oxfords and I’m sure he was copying someone else. Salt ‘N’ Pepa had us wearing our hair asymmetrically, one side was long and the other short. It took forever for the short side to catch up when you got tired of the haircut. My poor cabbage patch doll also was a victim to this hairstyle. And I cannot forget the mile high stacked bangs. Either way, we all had our own “unique” style.

Welcome to the 21st Century! We’re all grown up and have replaced our favorite singers and TV show characters with our favorite peeps online. We’re copying how they talk, wear their hair, and how they write.

We’ve some how missed the fact that we’ve been uniquely and wonderfully made by God. Unique – different – only one – limited edition – none can match it, yet unfortunately we’re too afraid to be just that.

In school we were told how to write and in what voice to write. We were even told which pencil to use and how to shade in the circle just right so your answer would get counted on the test.

As much as we want to break free we struggle, afraid we’ll be judged or won’t get hired or selected. We want to be social on social media, yet aren’t sure if we should separate and hide our real friends from our online friends.

God forbid someone find out I enjoy loud music dancing and singing and that’s just at church.

If you knew I was a Jesus freak would you still love me? Would you still ask to work with me? Would you still like me, follow me, and retweet me?

Ever felt like you were behind and the more you try to catch up the farther behind you got. It’s because you’ve gotten out of your lane and are trying to run someone else’s race. Of course it doesn’t have to be that way when you’re being yourself in all it’s uniqueness. Including the tattoo you got sophomore year in college because your roommate and her friend were going to get one so you tagged along.

Too often I’m seeing carbon copies of things I’ve read or heard. It’s real easy to do with information being available so freely online.

My desire is for you to stand strong, stand up, and be the person you’ve been created to be. It’s tempting to follow the crowd and copy someone else and on the surface appears to be so much easier. In reality, it’s not. It’s hard waiting to see what the Joneses are going to do next so you’ll know your next move.

Get your voice, your style, and your own abilities. If I were to act like you and you were to act like me, the world would be a mess because we’d bump into each other. No one would ever start after the ‘mark, get set, GO!’ We’d all be stalling waiting to see what the first person was going to do so we’d know what to do.

It seems crazy to think that being ourselves could some how turn people away. And if it does, what? If someone doesn’t think you’re for them you shouldn’t change, instead seek those made just for you and build a fun and happy community.

Can you believe some business owners are hiding behind their logos and stock photos because they’re concerned people will find out what they look like? And people are sitting in seminars and paying money and fed this crap. It makes me upset because in some way shape or form we’ve all been affected by it.

Let’s run the race we’ve been given and run it swiftly gracefully and seek guidance when we need it. And then go right back and continue the flow again and again and again.

I challenge you today, take a look at your website, your product, your social media profiles. Is it a reflection of who you really are, what someone told you would work, or what you thought looked good on someone else’s so you put it on yours? If it’s not you, it’s time to make it yours.

Lots of people are counting on you to show up. Not the person you’re copying or presenting as you, but the real you. The world is waiting in earnest expectation for the uniqueness of you.

This post was written prior to hearing about the passing of Steve Jobs. If there’s one thing we can all learn from him, it’s to: Embrace YOU, crazy and all!

Now it’s your turn. Please share what it means to be yourself in your business and in life.

“E” Is For Enthusiasm And It Shows!

By | Building Online Credibility | No Comments

Editor’s Note:

I watched The Santa Claus movie last night and got bit by the Christmas bug. Well actually it happened before that so I was able to sit and enjoy the movie without thinking “bahumbug.” This post is inspired by some very special guests. They’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity all year to spread their good cheer to all of the online business owners we serve. And since I’m learning to delegate when I need to, I gave them carte blanche to do their thing in today’s post.

Much love,
Tiffany

Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive. — Elbert Hubbard

“E” Is For Enthusiasm And It Shows!

inspired by S.C Elves:)

Take a six-foot tall adopted elf named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) who wants to find his birth father, make that father the prickly James Caan, and throw them together in the midst of New York City and see what happens. Buddy wants a warm and cuddly family reunion; his father Walter wants nothing more than to make this new found son disappear, preferably with a pair of cement boots on him.

Ah, but this is Christmas, so not only does Buddy convince his new family that syrup tastes good on everything; he also wins the heart of his stepmother, half-brother, and the cynical Jovie, his new love. And yes, Walter eventually sees the light.

So business owners, here’s your business lesson from Buddy the Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

So… what if you’re not Santa? Buddy would tell you it doesn’t matter. Enthusiasm is catching. No one is going to be more excited about your business, your product, your podcast, your class, your blog than you are.

Sometimes we feel a little hesitant to show our enthusiasm. It can be risky to show how much we care about something. But if we don’t show our passion, we’re not going to convince anyone else to follow or act on our recommendations.

Think about the last time you went out to eat. If the waiter or waitress gave a lackluster endorsement to the daily special, you likely took a pass. But if she or he said, “I just tried it before my shift and it was delicious!” you’d be a little more likely to partake. Enthusiasm sells. Period.

Here are a few tips to make like Buddy the Elf without sounding like a used car salesman (or an escapee from the North Pole):

Be honest. Don’t sell or promote something you don’t believe in. It never works – people can tell, and you’ll damage your reputation.

Be yourself. You may be the understated type who isn’t going to jump out of a helicopter a la Richard Branson to promote your latest business venture. You don’t have to be! (One Richard Branson is enough for this world.) But do show your energy in a way that is natural for you.

Be realistic. If you promote every new thing that comes down the block, or have a new solution du jour, pretty soon no one is going to listen to you.

You don’t have to dress up in pointy shoes to get people to buy your new e-course. But hey… if the shoe fits… why not?

Random Thoughts, EBooks, Products, and Stepping Out of Who You Think You Are

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Random Thoughts, EBooks, Products, and Stepping Out of Who You Think You Are

How often do you have random thoughts? Daily I’m sure. And how often do you write it down somewhere and then go back and look at it once you’ve come back to yourself.

I say come back to yourself, but I’ve found the things I think when I’m just writing and allow words to flow end up being exactly what I need to say or was looking for.

It’s when I try too hard and sit thinking and thinking when nothing comes. That’s why words flow freely in the shower, while you’re driving, or anywhere else that’s a real inconvenience for writing.

Your mind is relaxed and not concentrating on whatever it is you’re working on.

Most of my clients are preparing for Black Friday and if you didn’t get a chance to see the post where I talked about shopping carts and your black friday offer be sure to check it out Click Here.

I also talked about it on my BlogTalkRadio show. You can checkout the archives to your right. (total coincidence that this sentence lines up with the exact location of it in the sidebar. Whew! I love you God:))

Here are some not so random thoughts to get you moving and out of what’s comfortable. When you’re free in life, you can be free in your business to do the thing that others are afraid to do and that’s be themselves.

We’ve talked ourselves out of success by saying:

I get bored easily

You have to hold my attention

I don’t get it; I can’t get it

I’m a slow learner

It takes time for me to understand something

This is stupid

I give up

This doesn’t make sense anyway

I didn’t like it anyway

It’s just not for me

Whatever!

All of this gives us permission to quit, fail, or not try. When we change what we say to ourselves then we’ll see the difference we’re looking for.

I said all of this because I then wondered:

What are you saving “that” for?

I wrote a blog post that so inspired me I had to pull over and write it on a napkin called Must Love People. I was so compelled to write like when you’re dehydrated and take a long drink of water. When I got finished I’d written on every side and corner.

I was over thinking later that day when it was time to do my newsletter. Of course it hit me to send the one I’d just written already, it was still on the napkin and had gotten crumpled up. I was going to save it for a special time. Maybe a Saturday post or something like that.

I know it seems strange, but we all do it. Save our content for the right moment the exact time in space whatever that is. The reality is when writing and creativity strikes it’s time to move.

What have you been saving for the right time?

  • Is it that ebook that’s saved on the old laptop or flashdrive that you’ve been meaning to have edited?

  • Or is it the audio you recorded while in rush hour traffic where you spoke for a full 8 mins into your smartphone?

  • Is it the videos that aren’t so perfect but give us a peak into your fun-loving and bubbly personality?

Whatever it may be I challenge you to put it out their for all of us to see. And once you’ve done so come back to this post and share your experience and the link to what we would have missed out on.

If you plan to take on this challenge, let me know now in the comments below so I can bug you, in love until you do;)

Understand the Power of Influence You Have And The People Who Connect With You

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Understand the Power of Influence You Have And The People Who Connect With You

If you’re like me, you have your favorite peeps online. More than likely they’ve shared their life with you in some way and given you a glimpse of what it would be like to hangout with them. Or maybe you’ve thought about it on your own and determined hey so and so would be so fun to hangout with or shop with or have a quick chat on the phone maybe even meetup at an event.

Has it ever occurred to you, that someone is looking at you in that same way? Whether it’s someone you know online or someone you’ve met where you live, you are a power of influence to someone. They may be in your home, church, work, who knows.

How would you feel if the person you admired online revealed they weren’t really a man but a woman? I’m not talking about an online dating situation just your favorite blog for example?

Or if you thought the person was single and then one day they reveal they have stepchildren which means at some point they were married.

What if you learned they smoked and you’d pictured them being more of the healthy type?

How would you feel if you learned I was married with three children? Would you think I’d somehow lied to you because I never said anything about them?

I would feel shocked and wonder why didn’t you tell me. And then I’d have to tell myself, Tiffany you really don’t know them. It’s okay. It would take a minute to get past.

On the other hand, if the person were completely open and spoke about their family, pets, neighbors, extended family members and anyone else who crossed their path that would make great material for their writing. This person you’d feel close to and comfortable with because they were sharing about themselves.

Knowing how you would feel in this situation are you meeting those expectations on your own website or are you over educating your readers like a teacher rather than a friend? When you were in school, how many teachers did you call friend? There’s a reason. They usually kept things strictly business, strictly to the information.

It amazes me how close we get to those we read or watch on a weekly basis. Those who are offline more than online would argue something is wrong with that or not really understand. And that’s okay. I’ve decided to not convince non-Internet people to get online. Instead I share the reasons why. When you can give someone an experience through your own they’ll eventually catch up. And in the meantime share, no longer teach. But guide like a friend would guide.

Oh, and by the way I don’t have a husband and 3 kids, but one day I will. I am trying to think of a creative name for non-mommy-blogger. If you can think of one let me know.

Now its your turn. Have you ever felt duped by someone who enjoyed reading online?