Picture the scene: you walk into an office’s lobby to conduct business, perhaps pay a utility bill, and you hear loud voices before you open the door. When you open the door, you see employees bickering with one another. The discussion is heated. You hear a door slam, and then someone, with a rueful expression, turns toward you and says: “may I help you?”

You’re tempted to ask: “May I help you?” It’s an uncomfortable feeling to end up in that environment. How much do you trust that company to efficiently take care of your needs?

Or you are a funder and the nonprofit you have funded seems to be falling apart. Your emails and calls go unanswered, and the turnover at the nonprofit is a revolving door. How comfortable are you with funding them in the future?

An organization’s dependability is imperative to maintaining trust. And as much as they might like to think their internal issues stay internal, they are sorely mistaken. The problems escape and in this social media age, the images are ugly.

As writers, if we are not careful, this can happen to us. We remain focused on our craft of writing, yes, but our efforts should be more on our business rather than our skills. If you are writing to build a business, build clientele, and make a profit, you are an entrepreneur. You wear a lot of employee and departmental hats — marketing, sales, promotion, customer service, accounting — and each hat has to be the epitome of professionalism.

The foundation of our business must be solid. If it is crumbling, we need to give it attention before we can focus on our external efforts in branding and marketing. A stable foundation breeds confidence and productivity. It attracts loyal customers and clients.

What problems should we look out for and how can we fix them?


Stabilizing your company and your image

Our company face is our face. While our skill, service or product we offer might appeal to our audience, what attracts them more is us. People buy from and work with people they like. So, are you likable?

How is your professionalism? Ethics? Are you respectful? Kind? Do you know your “stuff” but offer it in a way that inspires people to want to be a loyal customer or client?

Whether we run a Fortune 500 company, a nonprofit, or are a solopreneur, the way we operate our business is going to affect our external image.

Remember, it’s not what you do, but how you do it that counts.

If there is disunity among your team and employees, you need to target the problem and fix it before it gets out of hand. Is management the issue? Are employees in the wrong roles? Do you need to shift responsibilities? Taking a hard look at the root of your problems is a step toward repairing the damage to what is cracked.

As solopreneurs, we might think as an operation of one we have everything under control and we’re certainly not fighting with oneself. But, if you don’t have standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, if you don’t have your own company policies, if you don’t have systems in place to run your business, then you are jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Eventually, your landing is your last one.

It’s not what you do, but how you do it that counts.

Reputation and brand are linked 

Our company’s reputation is linked to our brand. Our values, who we are, and what we say we are, should be visible to the public. If they see something different from what you tell them, there is a breakdown. And your brand is suffering.

Think about your objective. What do you want to be known for? How does your passion come into play?

The key is to reflect on the end result you desire and work backwards. What goals will you set in motion to reach your result?

By focusing first on your company and the reputation you seek to build, the interest in your services and products will grow organically.

Once you’ve stabilized your business, you can look at building your brand’s story.

Your internal image will affect your external brand image. Before you can think about your brand story, work on your foundation — your business — before you consider focusing on your skills, services or products. Your business is what builds trust and loyalty. The way you run your business speaks loudly to the audience you are trying to attract.

(Photo by Yan Krukau from Pexels)

Need help telling your business or author story? My brand training helps you live your brand by recognizing your story and learning how to use it effectively to enhance engagement and increase sales. Find out more here and book a call with me!