What does it take to build a reputation as a professional image consultant? How do you build a strong client base? How do you make money in this industry?
Would you believe that in just 30 minutes a week, you could become more visible, be more desirable to your clients and make your bank account grow along with your list of happy clients? It can be done!
I know that thirty minutes is tough to find in our busy schedules. But there are practices that can slowly and surely build your business and your reputation. I’d like to share some of them with you. These are things that have really kept me from getting discouraged when things weren’t going exactly as I’d like them to.
See if these career enrichment activities seem like something you could fit in to your business life.
One: Devote 30 Minutes a Week to Planning
Pick the same day/hour each week and sit down with your appointment book or electronic calendar and look at the week and month ahead. If you aren’t busy enough, think about whom you can call who might be ready to do that “next step” that was on their list to do. Then write an email or call those clients in need and fill your appointment book with services your clients will be thrilled with.
Two: Devote 30 Minutes a Week to Client Thoughtfulness
What can you do to let your valued clients know you’re thinking of them?
Send a greeting card? E-mail or mail them a trend tip sheet? Follow-up with them on a topic of interest that you discovered the last time you were together? Your key clients should have no doubt at all that they are on top of your list of concerns. Putting some creative thought into what you can do to let them know they are top of mind will yield all kinds of ideas!
Three: Devote 30 Minutes (Twice a Week) to Your Professional Development
You can learn new things and enjoy professional development activities right there at your desk or on your laptop.
Choose a subject you want to learn more about, do a Google search of it, print out some articles, review them and then adopt tips that intrigue you.
Recently I recognized that I needed help managing my email inbox. I printed out six articles from experts, went to a coffee house, read them all, and circled the ideas that might work for me. At my next opportunity I started implementing the ideas and made huge breakthroughs in my email practices.
For more expert business and career development articles, check out Marty Nemko, a San Francisco Bay Area Career Coach. You can also listen to transcripts of his weekly radio shows. He covers topics like procrastination, self-employment, education and training, negotiation and stress reduction. Go explore his archives on www.martynemko.com.
Another expert, Karyn Greenstreet, is a small business coach and she has an excellent source of business articles that can be very helpful. Her website is www.passionforbusiness.com.
You can also find a mentor or a coach and meet for 30 minutes a week. You can do this by phone, by Skype or in person. Find someone who has “been there” and can offer you his or her experience, strength, and hope. This alone can shave years off your learning curve.
Four: Devote 30 Minutes a Day to Being a Happy Person
What makes you happy? What activity makes you drop your shoulders (ah!!), take deep breaths, and find that attitude of gratitude? You need those activities: A happy consultant makes for happy clients.
Your clients are devoted to you because of how you make them feel as much as the skills you bring to each appointment. Be someone they love being around.
Do activities each day that make you happy. Every day I write (ah!!). First thing. Every morning.
And a few days a week, I take walks in the vineyards near my home. It’s gorgeous! The beauty and the exercise renew me.
Recently Russ and I had a SF getaway and visited museums every day, walked around neighborhoods, and went to the theater. I felt so renewed!
My advice: Make time for you and everybody wins!
What do you routinely do to keep yourself fresh, inspired, and knowledgable? Do share!