Ever feel like your family and friends don’t understand what you do? You’ve explained your business countless times, but they still don’t get it.
That other moms ask you to pick the kids up because, well, you’re just at home all day. Crazy Aunt Edna asks when you’ll get a “real job.”
Sometimes you feel like turning around and telling them how much you made last year. But instead you turn away.
That’s why these groups are so popular. They’re a place we can go where everyone gets it. Get's what it means to run your own business. To give something meaningful to the world. To do it online and at home and alone.
But what if your friends and family got it?
What if they could tunnel into your brain, see the passion and hear your clients’ thank you’s. What if they really understood?
They’d be pretty amazed, I bet. They’d look at you in a whole new light. Respect. Admiration. A bit of jealousy. And the ones who aren’t very nice? I think they’d be humbled.
Now, clearly we don’t do what we do for praise. We do it because we know we have something to share that helps others.
But come on, wouldn't it feel good to be understood?
Well, good news. You can make the people around you get it. But...
You can't keep blaming them.
It's your responsibility to make them get it. It's your responsibility to communicate it properly. This isn't a popular viewpoint. It's easier to blame others. But you can't expect people to understand if you don't communicate it.
How to make them understand what you do.
The trick is to tune into people’s natural curiosity.
What do I mean? Join me as we travel through space and time to the school gates one sunny afternoon…
Despite your best efforts, you find yourself standing next to the mom who's so friggin' "perfect" you kind of want to slap her stupid pig face right into next semester.
Mom you want to slap: “Hi, something boring about the weather, how are you?”
You: “Great thanks. Business has been busy. I'm expecting 100% growth/to hit six figures/to have to expand this year so I’ve been working on my blog/re-writing my website/updating my brand. You should check it out. I’d love to know what you think.”
[You hand her your business card and start talking to someone more interesting.
Her kid walks out looking very boring. I mean, presentable. Your kid walks out with his sweater tied around his head, his lunchbox contents trailing, ketchup stains down his top and only one shoe. You grab your kid and get out of there, pronto.]
Mom you want to slap: [Goes home and looks at your site because she's nosey (I mean, curious) about how you expect 100% growth/to hit six figures/to have to expand this year.]
Why are we sending her to your website? She isn’t exactly your target audience.
Your website is your chance to communicate.
Your website should tell the world:
- What your passion is,
- Why you're good at it, and
- Why it matters.
And that’s what we really want our families and friends to understand. Isn't it? Why our job matters. They don’t need to know what you actually do hour-to-hour, day-to-day. Don’t take that personally; no one cares about a cubicle-dweller’s daily To Do list, either.
But understand this:
It’s up to us to make them understand that what we do makes a difference in the world.
If you write your website well enough, if you communicate what’s really in your heart, your clients will get it. So will others.
Are you a holistic wellness coach? Your friend might not understand how you work, but she should understand the testimonial saying how you transformed your client's world.
Are you a web designer? Does you mom think you just do "something with websites?" After seeing your site, she should understand that your services can make someone’s business skyrocket.
They may never quite get what your day-today involves. They may never get how you find clients. (My mother-in-law once asked why one of my clients “came all the way to Canada when she lives in Florida?” My husband took a few minutes to tell her about the internet.) But they’ll get that your job is important. That you make a difference. That you deserve respect.
Now here's the trick.
When writing your website and blog, please do not ask yourself, How can I impress my mom? Instead, ask, How can I get people who need my help to understand?
Even your ideal clients might not understand exactly how you'll improve their lives. So you have to make it clear. Obvious. Idiot-proof. Write for your client in a way they’ll understand.
If they get why it matters, so will your loved ones. So will the "perfect" mom you want to slap. So will crazy Aunt Edna. But it’s your job to communicate it. And then send them somewhere they'll see it.