Are you scared to be unique?

On Friday, I took my son to the cinema to watch Zootropolis, it’s Disney’s latest offering with incredible animation. The moral of the story is to fight for your dreams and try everything, even if you could fail.  My son is 6 and like many children he is fearless, he makes his teachers nervous with how he flings, jumps and zooms around the place, his energy knows no bounds.  As we get older we see the world differently – something that we did not fear we now approach with tentative steps.  Fear to fight and fear of failure are debilitating things, they can prevent us from becoming who we’re meant to be and achieving greatness.

Starting a business some would say is about facing fears and complete madness.  I know that I was told by several people before starting Citrus Content that I would fail, as my parents would say, I am full of gumption so there was no way I was going to let that happen without a fight!  But after the dust has settled we can get comfortable in the skin of the business we have created, we work hard to drive it forward but we can stop being the fearless child and start being the tentative adult.  You can spot those entrepreneurs who continue to be the child, Richard Branson is the prime example, he is forever challenging, creating new business and pushing himself to the extreme.  To those around him, his lack of fear could be too scary to accept, therefore, he finds a team who are like-minded, ignores his critics and sees each failure as a lesson.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy

Branson has the ability to make his companies stand out, they have a clear brand message and we understand Virgin’s values.  But is this because he has been the face of the company, and that he has expressed through words and actions what he and Virgin stand for? Of course! As consumers, we connect more to a company when we have been given the opportunity to get to know it on a personal level.  Look at Apple, they could have launched new products via a press release, but instead they put on a ‘show’, listening to Steve Job’s passion about a product captivated the audience in the theatre and online.  Do these brand leaders like pushing themselves out there, I have heard many that don’t, to them it’s a performance they need to endure for the great good of their business – they are facing their fears.

Why are fear and uniqueness linked?

In school, that last thing we want to do is be different, the fear of bullying and humiliation keeps many of us from being who we truly feel we are.  This can be equally true in the business world. A couple of years ago a friend of mine launched the first Eco Estate Agency, although many wished her well, she was met with a large amount of negativity.

Are you scared to be unique?

I am always looking at estate agency websites and forever find it hard to see why they are different than their competitors.  When questioned, I often receive the same message – so if I am hearing the exact same ‘unique’ message are they really differentiating themselves as an estate agent?  Yes, you should be looking at your product/service but the biggest differentiator that you seem to forget is that what makes your estate agency unique is …..

YOU!!

Would Virgin be Virgin without Richard Branson?  It might be a successful business but would it be the iconic brand it is today?

So if YOU make your business unique, and YOU have the power to connect and captivate your audience, why aren’t you doing it?

People do business with people, yet does your website show who you are, are you sharing your personal stories and photographs and giving your audience an insight into who you are as a person? It could be as simple as having an About us and Team page.

Are you scared to be seen?

I hate having my photograph taken, but last year I went to a business event in New York with a branding photographer friend of mine and decided to face my fear of being seen and invest in some photographs for which was to be, our new website.  I know I’m not alone, I often speak to business owners who feel the same, we want people to know who we are but don’t like people to ‘see’ who we are.  Again we are scared to ‘fail’.

Be Unique

My quest to you is to shout about your uniqueness through words and imagery, show your personality, share your experiences and allow your audience to get to know YOU.  My favourite quote in our office is; “I’m not weird, I’m limited edition.”  I know every estate agency is limited edition, so why not let everyone else see it too!

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