Let’s talk about something that’s become perhaps a taaaad cliché in the online business space: Brand values. Typically, you’ll read a section on a company’s website that lists values like integrity, respect, inclusivity, and trustworthiness.
And all those are well and good (who doesn’t believe in those things?!), but they don’t really tell you much about the way they operate as a company or live them out, particularly in the context of client/customer relationships. They leave a lot to be desired.
When I wrote my brand values, I wanted to make sure they were a bit, well, ~different~. I wanted them to stand out against others and to be actionable for me as a business owner. Here are my brand values and a quick explanation of what they mean to me:
- Generosity of time and spirit: Of course I set boundaries around the work I do and the scope of projects, but if I can lend a listening ear for a client’s angst or struggle, I will. If I can send an extra email to ease their concerns or fill them in on the status of their project, I will. If I can’t help you but know someone who can, I will spend time sending you recommendations and connecting you with other professionals. It’s pretty simple, but it makes a big difference.
- It pays to be kind: I try very hard to set healthy expectations, but to be kind in doing so. I always reread through my words MULTIPLE times before hitting send/publish to ensure I’m communicating my point in a kind, professional, heart-centered way—even if the message I’m conveying is difficult.
- Follow up, follow through: I am all about communication. I proactively communicate project expectations, deadlines, and desires to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then, I do what I say I’m going to do when I say I’m going to do it. Full stop.
- Listen to understand first, not to fix: I try to let the client do the talking on our initial calls, so I can get a true sense of who they are and what they want—not who I want them to be or what I think they should want! I don’t offer solutions right away or think about what I’m going to say while someone is talking. I genuinely try to LISTEN to their meaning, not just hear their words.
What do you think? Do these resonate with you? If you’re struggling to write meaningful brand values for your business, check out this blog post I wrote with 10 helpful questions to get you started. And remember, don’t be afraid to be bold, quirky, and specific!
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