Today I’m talking all about infusing quality into your business, particularly in three specific areas: your craft, your content, and your conversations. Quality should be infused into everything you do as a business owner – this is just good business to provide quality to your customers — but these three areas are practical places we can start to put it into practice. Is that enough P’s for you? This post is a doozy, so let’s get started.
1. Why you should infuse quality into your craft
Your craft is what people pay you for. It includes your products, services, and paid experiences like events or workshops. This is definitely the number one area of your business that needs to exude quality. This is the reason your customers are giving you money, so it needs to have a level of quality that is on par with the price tag they’re paying – and then some. Under-promise and over-deliver.
For example, let’s take a look at two restaurants.
Restaurant A just opened in town, and they have shiny new billboards on every corner, promising the best steak in town. They do giveaways on every radio station, have ads on TV, and they’re blowing up your Facebook feed with details about their grand opening. When the big day finally arrives, they get tons of customers in the door, but the hype fizzles out after a few weeks when people realize the food is pretty lack luster. They can’t keep the momentum going because the secret’s out — their quality doesn’t match their prices.
Restaurant B has been around for decades. Your parents ate there when they were dating, and you grew up driving by the old place day after day after day. When friends come to town, this is where you take them – it’s your town’s best kept secret. You rarely see ads for it, because most of their marketing is through word of mouth. Their food is such great quality and so iconic because of their legacy, that you can always spot one of their plates in your Instagram feed – customers can’t not share about it when they eat there.
Which restaurant would you rather be? The one with the shiny billboards, but meh steak? Or the one everybody talks about for having the best dinner in town?
Of course you want to be remembered for the quality of your craft, not the quality of your advertising. Cause if the quality you’re portraying on the outside of your business doesn’t match the quality of your offerings on the inside, a customer will see through that faster than you can say chicken fried meh steak.
Quality matters. Your craft matters.
take SOME action
Here’s a challenge for you – take a step back from that product or service that you’re getting ready to post about or blog about or send an email about. Is it the very BEST it can be? Is every inch of it tailored to your customer, to solve their problem in a real way? Will customers who buy it today be singing it’s praises 6 months from now, or will they forget they even made the purchase? Take a good hard look at your offerings, whether it’s products or services – your craft – and find some ways to make it even better.
If you need some inspiration to infuse quality into your craft, check out these friends who do it exceptionally well:
- Jason + Caroline Zook and their new uber-valuable and meticulously organized membership community Wandering Aimfully.
- Amber Housley and her high-value, budget-friendly 5 day marketing workshop Flourish.
- For some serious quality design inspiration, check out my recent faves Olivia Herrick Design, Drop Cap Design, and Spruce Rd.
2. Why you should infuse quality into your content
Your content is what people get from you for free. It includes what you share on social media, email marketing, blog posts, podcasts, video content, etc. Anywhere you’re sharing your expertise, you should always be doing it with quality and excellence threaded through. Don’t give cheap, fluffy, shallow free content, because that’s exactly what customers will expect from your paid offerings – cheap, fluffy, shallow.
Think of your content as your first impression. A customer or client may not book your services or buy your product right away – they need to be warmed up to it. They need some flirting. Your content is your pick up line – and this is a case where cheesy probably won’t fly. And your craft is – I don’t know – second base? I’m a single mom who went on a grand total of 3 dates in the last two years, so my dating analogy might be a little off, but I DO know that first impressions are crucial. You want to look your best.
Quality content is well-organized, thorough, purposeful, intentional, and even polished in it’s presentation. Especially if you’re a brand new business starting out, you HAVE TO weave quality into your free content if you want your customers to trust you.
When you give away a content upgrade on your blog, it needs to provide value to the subscriber, not just something thrown together the night before your post went live.
When you share an announcement post on Instagram, think about all the other squares your customer is scrolling through, and what is going to make them stop on yours? How are you going to present yourself in way that stops them in their tracks?
When you put together a free training video for your resource library, how can you make every second of that video a quality experience for the viewer? You could add in an intro slide to welcome them to the video and show what you’ll be talking about. You could include soft music in the background while you’re doing the training. You could include some conclusion slides that give the viewer a next step or a way to put what they’ve learned into action. Make them remember this video long after they actually watched it.
Take some action
Take a look at your free content that you offer your audience. How can you make these pieces stand out among all the other free downloads they have on their desktop? How can you create a high-quality experience — even in something that’s free — that gives them a peek behind the curtain of one of your paid offerings.
How will your audience know to trust you? How can you show them you’re worth it?
If you need some inspiration to infuse quality into your content, check out these friends who do it exceptionally well:
- Regina Anaejionu infuses so much quality into every piece of content she creates, it’s practically oozing out of the screen.
- Haley Burkhead is another recent fave, and she pours everything she’s got into her quality content over at Profit Planner Co.
- Tyler McCall is a quality resource if you need some Instagram help, or even just a pep talk for the day.
3. Why you should infuse quality into your conversations
When I say conversations, I don’t just mean your calls or texts. I’m talking about ALL the ways you interact with other humans in your business. This could be clients, customers, prospects, or even other business owners. The quality of your connections matters, especially when it’s an extension of your brand.
You never want your connections with others to be superficial or disingenuous. You want your interactions to be real, genuine conversations that can turn into lasting friendships.
We can all tell the difference between a quality conversation and small talk about the weather. Not that every conversation you have needs to deep and thought-provoking — but sincerity is a must.
Think about your conversations both online and offline. When you connect with your customer or client in an email, in a comment or caption on Instagram, in a Skype call, or in a handwritten note, make sure they’re seeing the real you. When they can connect with you on a human level, that’s where the magic happens, and that’s what makes this whole running-your-own-busiess thing worth it.
Take some action
Time for one last challenge — think through all the touch-points in your business where you interact directly with customers or clients. Are there conversations you’re having where you can infuse more quality? Are there connections that could be made, but an introduction is just waiting to happen? Are there friends or colleagues that you can cheer on in a sincere way, so they feel supported and known?
The longer you run a solo business, the more you realize it’s not so solo after all.
If you’re on the fence about how to even start taking action with all this quality talk, I’ve got a free resource that can be your first step towards more quality in your business, and more sincere connection with your customers and clients.
As a professional, using the right tools to do a professional job is kind of essential, wouldn't you agree? I mean, a photographer wouldn’t take photos using an iPhone. They’d use a DSLR. A plumber wouldn’t try to fix your sink with a chainsaw. Good luck with that, Plumber.
So, if you need to bump up the quality of your craft online, why wouldn’t you use the software that quality designers use?
I can probably guess why — cause that program would be Adobe InDesign, and it looks preeeetty overwhelming when you click that little pink icon and a swarm of menus and buttons appears. You don’t know your way around, and rather than figure it out, it’s probably easier to just stick with what you’ve been using, even if it’s not the best tool for the job. (Looking at you, Canva…)
Well, good news, friend. You don’t have to worry about the overwhelm any more. You don’t even have to trial-and-error your way through this thing. I’m slightly obsessed with InDesign, and I put together a free resource to help you learn the lay of the land.
It’s called the InDesign Cliff Notes, and it’s a quick 1-week series that gets your feet wet with InDesign. I’ll show you exactly what you can (and can't) use InDesign for, we’ll crack the code on the design lingo, I’ll take you on a leisurely 25-minute video tour, and I’ll even give you my secret weapon for working smarter + faster in the program.