This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Slavish people pleasing is not a professional demeanor. Think through your relationship with your clients, what works and what doesn’t, before a bad one does damage.
I once had the fear that if I didn’t respond to every email or text message as soon as it came through, my clients would hate me. Although I had set working responsive hours for my business, having a client that demanded that I respond to them whenever they messaged me became a prison.
It’s true, every client is different and every client will have their quirks. But I learned quickly that if I don’t set expectations and standards upfront, I can easily be railroaded by demanding clients. Now, whenever I get a new client, an onboarding process is a must. I let them know up front what is acceptable and what is not acceptable when doing business with me. It has saved me a lot of headaches, and my clients appreciate the clarity.
When I was a newbie, I never considered who my ideal client would be. I wanted to make money, and I wanted to make money quickly so whoever came my way, I signed them on! And it was a mistake.
I learned quickly that the lines of being an independent contractor or an employee can be blurred when you’re in the thick of things. I learned the signs that let me know if a prospect would fit my business culture. I learned that being too eager to serve from the highest version of myself simply won’t be enough for some people — and that’s okay.
As a communicator who works heavily in the public relations space, reputation and public image is a must. One can be an Einstein in their industry but if you cannot trust their character, it’ll be hard to accept their message. I never want to be the entrepreneur that everyone loves to hate.
Sure, I’m an acquired taste, but overall, I’ve managed to create an authentic reputation that is driven by results. And even though I am known for being a straight shooter, there is a way to establish my expertise without coming off as crass or disrespectful. People will be attracted to your authentic self, but they will not stick around long if your vibes ward them off.
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