The bulky and sophisticatedly written articles, lengthy texts, and sensational headlines bombard our vision every day. I want something different, which is why I set out to speak in a simple and practical manner, drawing from my 20 years of journalism and 2 years of PR experience. Whether you’re a businessperson, an employee, an artist, or a freelancer, the guide you’re reading now can be highly beneficial if you simply want to capitalize more on what you do and who you are.
I’ve come to realize that regardless of our age or professional experience, it’s important to know how to communicate effectively, how to react in public, and what to say on certain topics. We all need advice on how to build healthy personal or brand awareness.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet
Here are the essential elements that I consider crucial for each of us when deciding to step out of anonymity, as well as for those who want to popularize a brand, a company, or a product.
It’s clear that gaining notoriety is a challenging process and can be lost quickly, but if we apply some strategies to present ourselves correctly to the public, we will reap long-term rewards.
In this first part of the guide to breaking out of anonymity, I provide some useful suggestions about:
- How to tell your story and have an impact with it.
- How and why to speak directly with clients.
- Why you should acknowledge your mistakes and how to make a plan to recover from a crisis.
- The impact of saying “Thank you!”
– TELL YOUR STORY:
We all love stories, and we remember people, places, and events best if their stories have impressed us. The best way to promote yourself and become quickly known is to tell that part of the story that will linger in collective memory.
“Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film. They advertise memories.” – Theodore Parker
Tell your story, the business story, the product story, the stories of colleagues, the most challenging trials, and the turning points in business or personal life. Tell the success story, but also the story of life lessons learned.
“If success looks like a multi-tiered cake with whipped cream and glazed chocolate, then advertising is not the cherry or the icing on top, but half of the syrup-soaked cake.” – Michelle Rosenberg
Prepare in advance how you tell your story, how you package it to be more attractive, which details you use, and which steps you omit to mention.
Start with a joke, a proverb, a rhetorical question, or a surprising statement to capture attention.
Talk about how you came to do what you do now and the paths you thought you would take. Inspirational stories are always captivating, so use part of your journey to turn it into lessons for the younger or those just starting out. What were the first challenges and successes? It’s a question that should find its answer in your story, where you can also include details about the first product or service launched, how it was received by the public, or how you reconfigured because reality was different from the plan you had made.
Insert into the story figures, comparisons, descriptions of events, but also talk about the key people involved in your journey, whether colleagues, partners, or family.
Honesty is an important hook in any story. Be honest about the difficulties encountered, but also about the thoughts and feelings that tried you in overcoming obstacles. The most important thing in such moments of honesty is to also say what you learned from these experiences.
It’s important to highlight the challenging moments that tested you but made you stronger or changed your thinking for life or for the product/business.
Any individual or business journey becomes more interesting when we learn how major decisions were made and how they influenced the course of things.
We all want to know the key to success and the factors that influenced or were decisive for it. Therefore, it is recommended that any story provide a strong conclusion, emphasizing how your experiences have contributed to your personal and professional development, the development of the business, the team, the brand, or the lives of those around you.
Keep in mind that everything you say must contain emotion, thoughts, and feelings because that’s the only way to build an emotional path that makes the listener remember the story.
Be authentic, don’t try to imitate, exaggerate, or downplay certain situations, and always think before telling the story that this speech, if well delivered in writing or spoken, can create a significant impact and emotionally establish the best and simplest connection between you, your business, and those who listen or read.
– SPEAK DIRECTLY TO CLIENTS:
Clients like the store manager, factory owner, or restaurant owner to talk to them and take notice. A customer who has spoken directly with the boss will return more joyfully to that place and buy the recommended products.
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” – Zig Ziglar
Listen carefully, show that you care about customers’ opinions and needs, but also ask questions and encourage customers to share their experiences. This strategy will bring people closer to you.
A secret in the dialogue with a customer is to use their name in conversation and make personalized recommendations or special offers that could bring them back to your store, restaurant, or business location.
Involve the team in this way of working, where interaction with the customer is a rule and not an exception.
Show empathy to customers, and if problems arise, show that you care and want to find the fastest and best solution.
It is useful for you and your business to ask for feedback from customers and thus be able to improve what needs improvement or highlight the good things that your customers talk about. In return, you can send customers thanks or wishes and gifts on special occasions (anniversaries, holidays).
– ACKNOWLEDGE MISTAKES:
If you made a mistake and were criticized for it, admit the mistake and present the good things you have done.
“Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur.” – Zig Ziglar
Be honest and openly admit the mistake. Avoid too many excuses and don’t blame others for the mistake. Placing responsibility brings distrust and shows that you are not responsible for your own mistake.
Apologize for any inconveniences or problems caused and show that you understand the impact of the mistake. The person you’re interacting with often expects to see the steps you have in mind to remedy the mistake.
Show that the mistake does not define your activity and emphasize the good aspects, which can have positive effects even for people who have noticed a mistake.
Certainly, the rules of etiquette for mistakes apply in social media as well.
No one likes negative comments on posts, but they need to be addressed. Certainly, a response requires attention and diplomacy. Never respond in kind.
“Statistics show that when buyers complain, business owners and managers should be excited. The complaining buyer represents an extraordinary opportunity to grow your business.” – Zig Ziglar
Have you received negative comments? Thank them for their point of view, say if you don’t share it, and provide arguments for why the situation is different in reality.
“Stay true to your values. That’s why you’re a success and how you make incredible things happen.” – Rafe Offer
– SAY THANK YOU:
Thank as much as you can. The power of “Thank you!” is greater than any sales and marketing campaign. Additionally, surprise your clients, employees, and collaborators with thank-you notes or calls. “Thank you” is the word with the power of multiplication for your brand.
Thank your employees for their efforts and contribution to the team’s success.
You can organize special thank-you events or offer awards and individual recognition.
Send personalized thank-you messages to those who have chosen your products or services or those who have congratulated you on an achievement.
When you thank, there is no need for complicated messages. Always use simple but authentic messages.
- Senior PR Consultant since April 2022.
- I am a journalist specialized in economics, business, finance, banking, and tourism, with over 20 years of experience in the most important press institutions in Romania.
- Since 2017, I have been the creator of the Romania Fast Forward project, where I produce extensive reports about successful Romanians, business people with beautiful stories, and top local companies.
- Over the years, I have hosted business, travel, and entertainment shows. I have over 12 years of experience as an accredited news reporter at the Government, and I had the opportunity to be a director and assistant director for several television documentaries.
- I worked for 5 years in radio, where I was both a radio show host and DJ.
- I am a graduate of Economic Studies and have pursued a master’s degree in Journalism.
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