I had a friend tell me once that starting emails with "Hi Love," and ending them with "Big love from SF," wasn't professional. I remember hearing and feeling into her words when she shared them, and in my mind I softened them with the fact that she comes from a corporate world where these thoughts and phrases aren't used - often, or at all.
I walked away from that criticism holding fast to the idea that these terms and intentional words WERE professional to me, because they are authentically how I address people in my business and how I want to convey my brand, its story and the work that I do.
Many, many years before this, gosh it must be almost two decades ago now, when I was creating my very first business ever, called "social butterfly," I had a similar moment in time with my business mentor. He cautioned me not to use ".net" when I realized that .com was taken but I was hell-bent on the name. And, I called myself a "wedding muse" at the time and he suggested I choose a word that was more widely known. I remember him saying "no one will know what a muse is."
I held on to both of these then too. It turned out that the .com social butterfly was a weddings and invitations business and it complimented my .net social butterfly of wedding planning perfectly so we actually made gains over the years, with people accidentally going to each other's websites. And, I was an English teacher at the time and loved the word "muse" for many reason so I held on to that too thinking at the very least people would be intrigued enough to want to know what a muse was and they would look it up and learn. I was right.
I've been a trendsetter, unknowingly, for a long, long time. Not because I'm choosing things for my business that are "on trend," but because I'm thinking outside the box, in ways that set me apart, and always, always, always being authentic.
In each case when these things have been brought to my attention it was a beautiful moment of gaining clarity in my intentional choices and direction. Dropping my forward and affectionate language in lieu of something more "professional" didn't feel real to me, settling for a different business name because the domain was already taken didn't feel right to me, and changing the word I used to describe what I was, and what I planned to do, to something most people knew wasn't me.
It is important now more than ever to find ways to be intentionally authentic with your brand and what you are creating - this will single-handedly set you apart from the rest, in a big world full of "authentic" brands and brand stories.
Even more than this, when you do get clear and you do decide to be different and be you, you are deliberately aligning with similar energy and calling the exact match to your energy and brand. I will never forget that shortly after my friend's critique about her opinion of my business correspondence salutations, I landed a big, beautiful client FRÉ Skincare based in Tel Aviv. On our first call together the owner Mickael pointed out that it was refreshing to receive a letter that ended with "Big love from SF," and that this was one reason why he chose to answer my letter and work with my agency. This was the perfect affirmation that I was being seen for being me, and that being intentional in this way is indeed attracting the brands that I love and want to work with.
For more about how you can create a unique, authentic and intentional brand story to attract and align with your perfect clients please consider my branding academy. I'd also love to gift you a 30-minute strategy call if you have questions about the work that I do and the help, wisdom and support that I offer...with lots and lots of love.