In the event planning world, as in most other entrepreneurial industries, the field is crowded with people trying to make a name for themselves. With so many people doing the same type of work that you do, how can you distinguish yourself from the pack and become known for the unique things you have to offer?
Focus on Doing Your Best
One of my favorite recent quotes on this very subject comes from the conversation I had with magician and mentalist, Max Major, at this year’s techsytalk LIVE. When I asked him what made him unique, he had this to say: “Well, I could tell you the differences between me and other people, but the bottom line is that actually it doesn't matter…You're not competing against someone else. Someone isn't hiring you or them, they're choosing to work with you because they have a personal relationship with you and believe in the work you do, so you do good work, and you have your own client base. It has nothing to do with other people.”
The most basic way to shine in your industry is to do fantastic work. Plain and simple. We can talk about your website, your social media platforms, your beautiful graphics and your messaging until we’re blue in the face. But if your work stinks, who really cares? The rest is just window dressing. Do your best. Let your good work speak for itself.
Build Authentic Relationships
When people choose to work with you, they understand that you are going to be logging some hours together. This means they’d better like spending time with you, or at the very least, be able to get along well enough to negotiate terms, discuss job parameters, and depending on the nature of your work, collaborate and/or problem solve as needed.
Successfully navigating these kinds of experiences with a client is the foundation of building a strong professional relationship. Keeping a positive mood, managing changes and unexpected circumstances with patience and a cool head and in general, keeping the stress level to a minimum are all skills that will help you in this regard. If you find yourself getting into arguments with clients or experiencing frequent or uncomfortable moments of disagreement, then you may have to brush up on some of your interpersonal skills.
It may seem like overstating the obvious to say this, but if people don’t like you, they probably won’t want to work with you. Unless you are the most brilliant and sought after person in your field, in which case, you don’t really need to be reading this article, do you…
Accentuate Your Quirks
Be yourself, in all of your strangeness. To really shine in this world, you’ll need to embrace who you are and be proud to share it with others. No one expects you to be perfect. There’s no such thing, anyway. We’re all a little weird, and hopefully we’re all growing and learning, all the time. The important thing is that you engage others with confidence so that they can truly evaluate what you bring to the table. Once you decide to move forward as the real you, all of that other stuff – the graphics, the messaging, the online identity – it will all flow naturally. Give it a try and see what happens. You might be surprised at the results!