Katina and I were able to attend different tracks at the conference, allowing us to see everything and share our learnings! It also allowed us to get out of our comfort zones and network with different people across the conference. It was a fun and insightful day. Today, I’m going to share my top 5 takeaways just like Katina did!
Fake it ‘til you make it.
We’ve all heard this a million times but sometimes we need a reminder. No one started at the top. But, acting like a success and treating your business as a real business will help you get there. You should be taking everything you do for your business or work seriously. Of course you can have fun with it but, for example, don’t make deprecating jokes about your company just because you haven’t made money yet!
I listened to a number of panels including podcasters, social media influencers, and major brands and they all consistently stated that you should always act like you have a large following. Someone out there is listening and you don’t want to lose them because you aren’t treating your business or work with the respect it deserves. If they are coming to you or listening to you, it’s for a reason. Something you are doing is resonating and it will grow as long as you foster it. Don’t hinder your own growth by putting yourself down or not believing in what you are doing. Remember, you are a success! Now go show everyone that fact.
Quality over quantity.
Again, this is not news to anyone but it’s very easy to forget. Often we strive to have the most followers, the most projects completed, the most clients, etc. However, having the most of anything does not necessarily make you a success. It is more important to have quality. If you have a million clients that are disengaged and not that invested in what you are offering, you will lose those clients and have to spend the energy and money to find new ones. If you have only a handful of clients but they believe in what you are offering and are invested in your work, they will return to you and provide you consistent business.
The same can be said about your work. It was interesting to hear this coming from certain social media influencers. It’s not about how much you post, but how those posts resonate. Are you proud of your posts? Do they tell the message you want them to tell? This can obviously apply to any task in any job. You want to make sure you are proud of everything you put out there. Maybe you won’t have the highest number of completed projects compared to others on your team, but your stakeholders will be the happiest. If you are a new business, make sure you are putting out quality products or services. Start with a few and make those great before you consider expanding. Don’t launch everything at once just because you feel you need quantity. Your new customers will appreciate the high quality and return to you when your offerings do expand.
Niche is queen.
This is related to the focus on quality. You should focus on where your strengths and expertise lies. When starting a business, for example, you should be as specific as possible. Instead of doing general HR consulting, you focus specifically on recruiting. Maybe you want to expand eventually but it’s better to start focused. Be specific in what you are doing and find that clear target audience. A smaller but more specific customer base will be more likely to invest in your business than focusing on a larger base. If you are making something for everyone, then you are really making it for no one. Understand exactly what you are doing and who you are doing it for and you will be much more successful.
This also applies outside of starting your own business. Think about your career. When you are starting out, you want to be as specific as possible. Becoming in expert in something will help you get a good job where your skills are valued. As you move up the corporate ladder, you may need to become more of a generalist (when managing teams, for example) but you want to start with a ‘niche’.
Don’t be afraid to get personal.
This is a hard one for many of us. Well, maybe it’s just me – I’m not sure! The panelists at the conference spent a good deal of time discussing the need to be authentic and personal in your brand. People want to connect with you. They want to relate to you. This applies in every type of business. Very few people want to work with a person who is robotic. We hire consultants, for example, because we aspire to be like them. You follow people on Instagram because you feel intrigued by them or relate to them. Leaders hire people that will fit well with team – not just skills-wise but also personality.
I think this is an important thing we often forget about business. People run businesses. People work in businesses. We can’t take the person out of the work so why should we be hiding our personalities? Of course there are some basic ‘rules’ around the way you behave, but being a person with emotions and needs is ok. Don’t be afraid to show a little of yourself. All of the presenters spoke about how this helped them. Investors invest in people, not just ideas. Companies promote people, not just their skills. When you sit down and think about it, you know that social skills and personality are important in getting ahead in business. Don’t be afraid to show it.
Practice your elevator speech.
We hear this all the time. You need to be able to explain who you are, what you do, and why it matters very quickly and simply to capture people’s attention. No panelist said this while at the conference but I experienced it. I had to explain Workr Beeing to so many people and I noticed that my description continued to get better and more engaging as the day went on.
I also heard a lot of elevator speeches. Some were engaging and others were dull and confusing. I noticed myself wanting to disengage from those women who were unable to explain their purpose and business easily. I felt awful about it but it really made me see how important that elevator speech is.
Honestly, you need to practice your description of yourself and what you do. This is so relevant across any job or business. If you want to get a new job, you need to explain what you’ve been doing quickly and easily and tie that to the job you want. When starting a business, you need to explain yourself to potential customers or investors. If you want to build a network, you have to describe who you are to the people you meet. There are a hundreds of different scenarios in which your elevator speech would come in handy. Practice it! Don’t be the person that loses someone’s attention because you don’t know how to sell your skills and talents.
Overall, we had a great time at the conference and are so glad we went. It was also amazing to spend time together and work on Workr Beeing in person again. We have so many fun and exciting things coming in the future! We can’t wait to share it with you!
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on these learnings. Have you been to any great conferences lately? What did you learn? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you!