One of the fundamentals in any business is to truly understand what it is you are here to do and how the world will be a better place as a result of your business.
Let’s be honest, the world isn’t going to be a better place just because someone has a new amalgam filling! So this is more than what you do day-to-day… It’s about making the world a better place and making it a better place for the local people.
If you ask that question of yourself and your own business, what would the answer be?
I’m going to give you a template by way of a personal example of myself… yes, I want to explain to the world how it will be a better place for me having lived in it… And at the same time I want to give you an example so that you can use this in your own business.
I’ve been reflecting considerably over the past 6 months or so… And this is what I have discovered.
Mark Oborn Ltd… Indeed ME… is all about connection.
Marketing isn’t Something You do, It’s Something You Are
Marketing isn’t simply a function of your business, it isn’t something which gets done for half an hour once a month or which gets discussed at your monthly marketing and business development meetings… No, it’s far more than that.
This is what I mean.
Fundamentally my business is about connecting dental practices with local people that have a dental problem and are looking for a solution. It’s simply presenting the dental practice in the right way and communicating with the right people at the right time and in a way that makes sense to them.
And yet, this connecting isn’t something I do when I’m working day-to-day, it’s something I truly am.
- I dance. When I dance (at least twice a week for 3 hours each time) I’m dancing with a single person for a three-minute track, during that time I have a deep connection with that person and in that dance. Such joy.
- I buy locally. When I buy locally I looked the person in the eye that has taken to the time to source these amazing goods for me, I truly connect with them and an able to thank them. Such joy, in their eyes and mine.
- I ride my motorbike. When I ride my bike I am connecting with the world around me and the road, without the safety blanket of a metal box around me. Such joy.
- I’m a member of a local Community Supported Agriculture scheme. When I buy my vegetables from Adam and Dee I’m able to connect with them and look them in the eye, and thank them for sustaining me. Such joy, in their eyes and mine.
Connection to other people, the planet, my work, my friends and family and the world around me is incredibly important.
Marketing isn’t something I do, it’s something I am… And what I am is about connection…
What is important to you? How does this come out in your business? Is your business just something that you just do (like dentistry), or is it something that you are?
Making a Practical Difference
So, you’ve taken some time to think beyond what you do day-to-day and have begun to think about who you are (and I don’t mean a dentist or a marketer) and you now know how the world will be a better place as a result of who you are…
How do you make a practical difference?
Again, I’m going to use a personal example. I suggest, as I did, you then begin to look at the world around you in terms of:
- How will you impact the people you work with?
- How will you impact your customers?
- How will you impact your suppliers?
- How will you impact the local people?
- How will you impact the local economy?
- How will you impact the local environment?
- How will you impact the wider environment?
- How will you impact the planet?
Knowing who you are (remember, I’ve said I am about connection) you can then look at this as a frame of reference for the questions above.
Here’s what I came up with… And I’m going to share these images on social media over the coming weeks and months.
What is really important to note is that some of this may not resonate with you… And that’s fine, the point is that you use the following as an idea and as the starting point for you to think about your own business and yourself, and who you are and what motivates you…
If I am to truly connect with my clients I need to have a code of honesty with them, if they upset me it doesn’t benefit either of us for me to keep quiet… And the same works the other way round, if I upset them it doesn’t benefit either of us.
With gentle and honest communication, even through difficult subjects we can truly connect with our clients and the people we work with.
Like I said, honesty is important, and that includes money and pricing. I have never and will never offer any form of discount on my services. I want to be totally honest all of the time and transparent, this then enables me to connect with not only existing clients but prospective clients.
Everyone knows they pay the same and that the whole pricing system and structure is fair, honest and open.
My personal belief is that the planet around me sustains me. I eat a very healthy wholefood diet which is predominantly sourced locally. This doesn’t mean I’m going to take a horse and cart everywhere but it does mean that I will do what I can to limit my footprint and include the environment in EVERY business decision, thereby connecting more with the planet which sustains us.
What is the local environment like in which you live?
I live 0.8 miles from the sea and I’m painfully aware that if I put lots of chemicals into the sewerage system they could easily make their way into the sea. If we connect to the damage we can so easily cause we can find ways to help prevent it.
I do what I can to limit the amount of electricity and gas I use at home and this has to be the starting point… Just use less fuel!
I accept I need to use fuel so I buy it from an energy company which produces energy in the UK (and thereby helps to sustain the local economy) which is also renewable and/or carbon neutral.
I’m a digital marketing agency after all! But going digital means we can cut down on envelopes in the post, cheques going backwards and forwards, letters being sent etc. I’m about 95% digital at the moment and am committed to getting this to 100%.
A finally… This is the really big one for me. Dentistry is about connecting a local business (YOU) with your local community…
Like I said, marketing isn’t something I do… It’s something I am…
… and connecting with the local people in my home and personal life when I purchase from them gives me a deep sense of joy…
Where is the joy in what you do… Indeed where is the joy in who you are?