(part 1 in a series of 3)
Joe Fox tells Kathleen Kelly, “I’m in the book business.” Kathleen then tells Joe Fox, “I’m in the book business.” According to the movie, both are in the book business, but from opposite viewpoints. Some business owners don’t know who they are, and may not own it until competition knocks on their door. They are the business owner. What does that phrase mean, exactly: “business owner”? More precisely, what “business” or knowledge do they own?
As it pertains to the business, the owner owns all the challenges, all the opportunities, all the risks of owning that business. That seems pretty simple enough. So, then, what part do some owners have trouble with?
Owning who they are.
Part of owning who you are is admitting you might not have been in the right place. I wrote an article a few years ago about the many hats business owners tend to wear. A business owner takes on different roles in their quest for growth and success. They become the visionary, marketer, sales force, accountant, and collections agent — just to name a few. Some business owners aren’t in the right role (or not spending enough time in it), and they don’t know it.
I had trouble with this, too. There. I said it.
By trade and training I’m a graphic designer and have been for more than 15 years. The confusion to my business soon showed to my network as I started asking questions that were more typical of a marketer than a graphic designer. I was also very curious about social media (still am!) and wrote many blog articles about the things I’d learned about SoMe and online marketing. Because of my articles, people began seeing me as a”go-to” person in social media. This caused more confusion; people didn’t know how to refer business to me.
- Clearly define yourself. Make sure your network clearly understands what you represent so they can properly refer the right prospects your way.
- Evaluate your network. If your network has your in lists defining you a certain way, step back and review your actions and words. Ask them why they see you in this light.
- Read what you write. Go back through your blog articles, podcasts, and Powerpoint voice-overs. Does your current passion match what you say you do? If so, great. If not, are you shifting deliberately or unknowingly?
- Promote one business. There are quite a few business owners who own more than one business. It is very difficult to promote more than one business successfully. Step back a minute and ask yourself what you like doing. Focus on your passion.
Through the guidance of my very wise friend and mentor, and some really supportive friends, I have finally decided to own the role of social media consultant and inbound marketing specialist — hence, the birth of Visibly Media LLC!
Tune in tomorrow for the 2nd article in this series: “Do Your Homework”.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.