Everyone has that special something that makes them oh-so-attractive to the right people. Sure there are the folks that are attractive to just about everyone, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about us–the everyday people who also have raving fans (even if they’re only your moms, or best friends, for now).
Let’s think about your career in the context of dating and relationships.
If you’re looking for your soul mate aka The One, I’m going to go ahead and boil down the myriad of self-help books to two things you’d likely do: First you’d figure out what you’re looking for in a mate, maybe make a list of everything you’re hoping for. Next you’d take a good hard look at yourself and see whether you match up to that ideal partner, or whether you may need to do a little work on yourself before you’re ready for them, or will become irresistible to them.
Personal branding is a lot like that. When it comes to your creative career, whether you’re a writer, a painter, or a blogger–it’s no different. You need people who want your work/you. But you also don’t want to sell your soul, or sell out to get that audience. In order to attract them, you need to understand (and maybe pump up) the traits that will pull them toward you.
So now that you’ve got that, let’s step away from our soul mate metaphor for a moment and talk about your creative work.
Of course, the work you produce has a ton to do with whether or not people will want more of it, but identifying what it is so amazing about both you and your work is essential to tweaking that homing beacon that will attract them.
Without sitting by the mirror pool like good old Narcissus for too long, let’s take a look at a few ways we can focus on that second part of enthralling our “soul mate” audience: ourselves. Here are some quick ways to gather insights into why you’re so kick-ass, without feeling like a total asshole about it.
Take a moment and think back, or even look back at emails or notes, or whatever, from those who have said nice things about your work (or you). What did they say? Usually, there are some common threads. These are often clues to just what things make you and your work so appealing. Make a list. And circle commonalities.
I have a Feel Good folder where I keep nice things people have said to me, cards, art, etc. to help boost my confidence during low moments and remind myself of my strengths. I highly recommend creating your own version.
Listen to Compliments
Instead of eschewing compliments, from now on just start listening when people compliment you, take note of it, and of course, thank them kindly.
More often than not, if someone has taken the time and energy to compliment you, it is genuine. It’s often a lot more awkward to speak up that than we realize, so when someone breaks the barrier of silence to tell you why they love you or your work, for gosh-sakes, listen.
Ask More Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pick a select group of people who like your work, or have said nice things in the past, and ask if you can pick their brain for just a couple minutes. Tell them you’re working on becoming your best self and producing more of your best work and that you’d love to hear their advice.
Here are some good questions to ask:
- What do they like best about you/your work?
- What/how does it make them feel?
- How does it add value to their lives?
Get to Know Thyself
Next, go internal. Get real with the WHY of your work.
Why do you do this stuff anyway? Perhaps, it fulfills you, or maybe it pays the bills. Heck, if you’re lucky, both.
Once you’ve written down a few reasons, go another layer or two deeper and keep asking WHY.
Why does it fulfill you? Why is it good that it pays the bills? You get the idea.
Chances are, as you keep digging you’ll uncover more of the core of what motivates you to create in this world. And the more in touch you are with this purpose, the more it will ring true in your work and life and the more you’ll attract the right people.
Own Your Bad [Irresistible] Self
Your next step, once you’ve begun to understand what makes you so darn wonderful is to start thinking about ways you can serve others with your amazingness.
What actions can you take to help serve your ideal people better?
I firmly believe that when we act on the things that drive us, utilizing the talents and skills we have, to add beauty and insight to our world, the more we naturally step into more effective ways to reach the people who really need both us and our work.
I’ve also created a handy-dandy free worksheet download to help you really dig into this exercise and own your irresistible self.
So go ahead and download the free worksheet & find out what makes you so damn irresistible: