Personality & Business – Podcast Episode 2

Have you ever found yourself discussing or reading about business methods and thinking “but that just isn’t me”? We can all make the mistake of thinking that whatever works for us will work for everyone. But, for one thing, our personalities differ and what might feel natural for one person can be a nightmare for another. 

Here at Focused Professional we believe that we should make the most of what is unique about each of us instead of forcing everyone to adopt the same approach. In Episode 2 of our podcast, Joe looks at some of the different aspects of personality & business and how they might affect how we choose to work as professional photographers. There’s more to it than just introverts and extroverts…

We look at:

  • how your personality is linked to your brand
  • different aspects of personality
  • matching the medium to our personality
  • doing business as an introvert without becoming an extrovert

Take our free quiz to discover if you are an introvert or extrovert photographer

Transcript of "Personality & Business"

Welcome to the Focused Professional podcast. This is episode 2, and I’m Joe Lenton. Last time, we looked a bit about motivators, the things that get us going, the things that help us to remain passionate about our business, the things that help us to, in the end, succeed and persevere. Today, I’d like to look a little bit about personality, which is related to our motivators we’ve seen before, but exploring it a little bit more from some other angles. So, talking about our personality and running a business.

Now, when we think of personality, I suppose the first thing tends to come to mind is something like, are you an introvert or are you an extrovert? And that is, of course, an important part of a person’s personality, but it’s not the whole story. It can be a useful thing to be aware of so that we can tailor our business to suit us better. But then there are also other preferences, other things that make up our personality that it’s important to be aware of so that we can harness the greatest benefits possible from them. Now, one of the reasons why this can matter is because we can easily find ourselves feeling like we’re swimming against the tide when we’re doing our business.

We can listen to marketeers and others telling us that we need to do certain things in order to promote ourselves. They’re almost made out as being set in stone. This is the way you have to do it. You’ve got to do live videos. You’ve got to do this. You’ve got to do that. But the reality is that it’s not that simple. Quite often what happens is somebody will find something that works for them, and then they will assume that it works for everyone. But that’s not necessarily true.

Some people are very different to others. Some people are very introverted, some people are very extroverted. Some people are indoor people. Some are outdoor people. Some people love repetition. Others love variety. Some people like to plan carefully, and others like to be more spontaneous. And all these things can feed into our business. They shouldn’t be shut out of it. Personality, after all, is at the heart of what a brand is. Whether we’re talking about a brand for one person running their photography business or a huge worldwide retail brand, it’s all about a personality. That brand has traits that help you to recognise it as that brand.

The colours, the logos, all those things are obvious things we tend to think of when we think of branding, but it’s by no means the whole story. Values matter. Who the brand is aimed at, who the brand engages with, and how they engage – all of these things help to form a personality for a business. So if we are the only person working in our business or the main person working there, then personality of the business is likely to be a lot more consistent, especially if it is a reflection of our own personality. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same as our own personality, but it’s much easier to come across with integrity, it’s much easier to feel as though you’re doing something that is in line with your natural self if you can bring your own personality into the personality of the business, that is, into the business’s brand.

So what do I mean by that? Well, it can be down to simple things like how you might decide to dress when you’re meeting clients. Some people might be very formal, suits and ties and that lot, and others might be very informal. All of these little things about how you interact with the outside world, how you interact with clients are part of your personality, they’re part of your brand. So in order for it to feel right for you so that you don’t feel that inner conflict when you’re trying to do something that feels totally unnatural, you want to harness what you’re good at. You want to harness what’s natural to you and use that to communicate naturally with other people.

People like integrity. They like things that feel as though they belong. If you’re saying that you’re one type of person, and then the next minute, you’re behaving totally differently, people get suspicious. People don’t necessarily like it. So I would suggest, if you’re finding your marketing is not working, have a look and see how that connects with yourself. All too often, marketing exercises can be suggested to us by extroverts. And also, of course, they can become fads, they can become trends. Oh, everybody’s got to get on the latest version of social media and do this, that, and the other. Make sure you have a good think about it before you jump on any bandwagons.

Let’s just have a quick think about a few potential activities that you might do in your marketing or you might do for running your business that might help it to be more in line with who you are. Now, with things like social media, there’s a wide choice that you could be part of. You, quite simply, won’t have time to be on every single channel. You just can’t do it. So instead, what you want to do is choose particular channels to work with that you know your target customers are going to be tapping into, but also that feel natural for you because that’s something that you’re going to find it easier to maintain. If you start trying to do something which is very unnatural and you don’t get immediate positive feedback, you don’t get great results straight away, it’s very easy to feel like just giving up on it. Being able to persevere means harnessing your passion so that day by day, you’ll keep turning up, you’ll keep doing it, even when you’re not getting the responses until eventually you do. So you want that to be something that you can connect with, something you identify with, something that’s an extension of yourself.

So for example, for me, I do freelance advertising photography work as well as my work with other photographers to help them build their businesses. And if I’m looking to connect with potential clients, I’m not the person that enjoys doing live videos and things like that on a platform like TikTok. That’s not me. But thankfully also, I’ve found that by talking to my clients and trying to find out more about them, it’s not the place they would go either. Their children might, but they won’t. So instead, we talk about the places they might go online. And for professionals, for people who are running businesses, often it’s likely to be something like LinkedIn. And they’re more of a business mindset on LinkedIn. They might also be on Facebook, but when they’re on Facebook, they might be just really there to keep up with friends. They don’t want to have work coming at them then.

So for me, by understanding where they’re coming from and then thinking about what’s more natural for me, a platform like LinkedIn can work quite well. But then also I’m somebody who likes to write. So doing guest posts, writing for magazines, those things have been great for raising my profile because it’s something that I naturally like to do and I enjoy doing.

Some people might find that thing really hard. It might not be natural for them. It might be more natural for them just to switch on the camera on their phone and talk for a while. Neither of them is inherently right or wrong. Neither of them is better than the other necessarily. What we’ve got to think about is ourselves and our clients, those that we want to reach. What platforms are going to be the best way for us to do that in a natural way? Something that we can just keep doing over and over again, because that essentially is what marketing is about, is putting out a consistent message over and over again in slightly different ways. And if you’re bored with it, if you’re struggling with it, it’s very difficult to get other people to be interested in it. People are more likely to be motivated and interested when we are motivated and interested. Look at the motivators that we talked about a bit last time. Things that help you with your business. Is it being creative? Is it receiving positive feedback? What – Is it helping in the community? What sort of things do you need to help motivate you?

Can you help to define areas of your personality of your brand using that? But then also start to think about other aspects of your personality. Things like, how do you prefer to work? Are you meticulous? Are you somebody who risks being a bit loose with how you do things? You like to experiment, you like to be spontaneous, but perhaps you need to be aware that you might have a weakness of not writing things down and having a good record of things. We all know what our strengths and weaknesses are to some extent, and it can be uncomfortable looking at these things, but it can really help us to run our businesses better if we become more aware of them. So if you’re, for example, an introvert, you might find networking very difficult. It can take an awful lot of energy. It can be very draining going into a room full of people that you don’t know and you’re not really sure exactly what you’re going to talk about. And that can be hard to keep up. So what do you do? First of all, you might want to think, is this the right place for me?

Am I going to find connections here that will be useful for business? Am I going to be able to build good relationships through it? Or am I just doing it because, well, that’s what you do when you run a business – you network? How about the way in which you network? Does it have to be in person? Does it have to be a face-to-face in a big room? Can it be online somehow? Do you find it easier to just talk with one or two people at a time? In which case, perhaps try setting up one-to-one meetings rather than having big, noisy gatherings where you feel uncomfortable. But equally, if you’re an extrovert type, if you’re somebody who enjoys entertaining people, who enjoys having people around, why not set up your own event? Do something to bring others along. Energise people. Provide something for them. You can tap into your personality, tap into your strengths, and find ways of reaching people that can work. When you’re working on online, when you’re doing your social media, you don’t necessarily have to write reams and reams of text. You don’t necessarily have to post a video every other day.

You want to find who are your audience, who are you trying to communicate to, what are you trying to say? And then find a good platform, find a good way of doing that. Don’t just do things because marketing executives and others tell you, Oh, yes, this will work. This will be a good idea. There will always be possibility of pulling together statistics that make anything look like it’s viable. What you really need to do is discover your own audience, your own voice. This takes time. It takes research. It’s not that easy. It can seem easier just to grab a template that somebody gives you and say, here, do five tweets a day and one Facebook a week, and so on and so forth. That might seem easier in the short term. But in the longer term, getting to know your clients, where they are, what they need, and getting to know how you can communicate best with them, that is going to help you most in the long run, even though in the short term, that might require a little bit more hard work.

So I’d encourage you to have a think about yourself, what you prefer. What is your personality? What is your brand that you’re portraying? Take a look at your website. Take a look at your social media profiles. Where are you most active? Where are you least active? Which marketing activities do you enjoy doing? Which ones do you hate doing? Which ones tend to get a response?

Now, when you look at response, of course, what we’re really looking for is a response from the right people and the right response. It’s all very well saying, yes, that got 50 likes or something. But if that’s from people who are never going to buy from you, and it’s never going to get your business any further forward, it might make you feel nice for a little while, but it doesn’t actually help. You’re much better off getting one or two likes from people who are potential clients than you are getting huge engagement from people who are actually irrelevant to your business. So have a look for where you’re getting the useful engagement, not just in terms of numbers, but the right engagement from the right people. And try and build your voice around those platforms where you find that’s working best, where you’re enjoying it more, where your clients are enjoying it more, and see if that makes it that little bit easier to do your marketing.

It might be a little bit of a flip things on the head to begin with, but if we approach it in this sort of way, it’s so much easier to stick with it because it’s being more natural, as I keep saying. So, take a look at your personality, take a look at your brand for your business, maybe make some notes of key factors, take a look at your motivators and make some notes in there, and find some ways in which you can begin to meet these needs, ways in which you can begin to meet the needs of your clients, but also some of your own needs for communicating. Because especially when you’re on your own in a business and it’s an extension of yourself, if you’re trying to always put on a mask and be someone else, it’s very tiring and it can lead to problems in the longer term. So give it a go. Let me know how you get on. And please do join me again for the next episode of the podcast. I’m Joe Lenton, and this is the Focused Professional podcast. Thank you for listening.

© Focused Professional, 2024

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