How Do I Make You Feel?
The Single Most Important Question You Have To Ask When You Want To Make It As An Entrepreneur
Can I ask you to be honest with me? Will you look at the photo.
This is Paris. I’m the woman in the black dress, the guy with the red hair is my son. This is not a stock photo. I’m a real person, with a real 12-year old son who sees the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I am not asking if you like what I’m wearing. This is not about that.
I just want to know how I make you feel.
Why am I asking, you want to know?
Because your answer provides me with invaluable information and if you are an entrepreneur longing to create an authentic connection with your audience the answer to that question will be very valuable.
But okay, you are right. You have no idea who I am.
You just see a woman with a phone and big glasses and a kid with red hair standing on a bridge. But bear with me and imagine —for five minutes — that you do know me. For instance, because you are my friend.
Imagine we grew up together and you are that special friend I turned to when that ‘stupid guy in 8th grade told me he didn’t like me anymore’ and I needed a real friend.
Imagine you are my client. Imagine being a female entrepreneur, somewhere between 30 and 70 years old, a tad weird, often the odd one out, super bright, multi-passionate, sensitive and on the verge of success.
Or imagine we worked together on a project for a big corporate client many years ago. And we spent hours drinking white wine, after-work-complaining about the stupid projects we had to work on. Remember how we would do everything differently once we were the ones in charge?
Are you still with me? Are you seeing us?
So now we know each other and out of the blue, I ask you: ‘Hey, I’ve got a question. How do I make you feel?’
You most likely will look at me and stammer something like: ‘Uhm, why are you asking.’ Yes, I get that. You’re trying to buy yourself time. So I will tell you: ‘Well, I need to know because I’m creating a personal brand. I want to reach out to the right audience. But in the most authentic way. That’s why I really need to know how I make people feel. It’s hard you know!
I need to hear what you feel when you look at me — or when you think about me — it’s something I don’t see myself. I need you to help me so I know what sets me apart from other entrepreneurs.’
Is this a scary question? Yes! Because many of us fear the answer. We fear that the people in our lives think we are nothing out of the ordinary, sort of plain. Maybe they don’t even like us!
Or we fear that we are too loud. That we never care about others. That we take up too much space. That we are not trustworthy enough and that friends and relatives will tell us so when we ask: ‘How do I make you feel?’.
But when you are an entrepreneur you NEED to know stuff like this. A client told me: ‘I know you keep telling me to stop hiding, but I’m Super Afraid that people don’t like me.’
We are So Afraid of what other people think about us that we rather hide than listen.
In reality, however, the answers clients get are amazing.
- ‘You make me feel secure.’
- ‘Even though we don’t speak all the time, thinking about you makes me instantly feel lighter.’
- ‘You make me feel that anything is possible for me.’
- ‘When I’m ready to wear something that makes me blend in and I think about you, I wear my red dress so I can stand out.’
- You take such good care of me. You make me feel safe’
The last one was my son, and like many working mothers I struggle with the ‘I’m-never-doing-enough’ fear and still I make him feel safe!
Knowing how you make people feel will help you to emphasize that unique part of you in your personal brand. Because this is how you will help people without even thinking about it.
So how do you use this in your own business?
- Find at least 3 people who know you well, but all in different capacity. A partner, a colleague, your children, the neighbor, an old friend. Ask the right question. Do not ask DO you like me? Or do you think I am okay? Also be prepared to really listen.
Just ask: ‘How do I make you feel?’ Maybe the answer will be something like: ‘Well you are a handful!’ In that case, do not walk away. We’re dealing with people here, right? Ask what she or he means with that.
Does it mean she feels you’re lively, or talkative?
Every scratch of information is meaningful! You might be deeply suprised by the answers you get.
Creating your brand forces you to take a good and honest look at yourself. And when you do that you often run into some pretty old very limited beliefs.
2. Look at your business, your personal brand, your visual identity, read your copy, look at the way you communicate. Look at your photos. Do you see yourself in it?
If three people have told you that you make them Wanna Dance And Sing and Wear Pink Scarfs and you show us as Ms. Moneypenny, something is off.
4. If you have asked people and you got your answers, share them under the article. I wish you many wonderful conversations and get ready for some big surprises.