If one word could make a significant difference in your business and marketing, wouldn’t you want to use it? Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. Those powerful words could work magic in multiple aspects of your business. Imagine an inspired staff that works to give you their best and guests and clients that feel confident in choosing your business for its product or service. To encourage is to own what you do, fill your own cup, and use your leadership and knowledge to pour into those involved in and around your business.
The highest form of encouragement is encouraging yourself. Digging deep into your own worth to build your spirit and inspire your confidence can be one of the most effective tools in your business. You may be thinking, “How does building my spirit, knowledge base and self confidence benefit my business, and ultimately, my profits?”
John Maxwell says it best with his well-known book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Law #1 is the Law of the Lid, which states:
"An organization can only grow as big as its leader. Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.”
With this truth in hand we can leap into action to fill our personal growth cups full. However, sometimes it isn’t so simple. Getting out of bed early to exercise, going into a meeting even if you don’t feel like it, or putting aside your personal troubles to listen to an associate can be difficult to some, and this is where encouragement steps in. Encouraging yourself and inspiring your own action will help you grow into a leader worth following with a solid team, profitability, and growth in your wake.
Encouraging your associates is so much more than occasionally complimenting their work. Encouraging requires a leader to make an investment in their associates and motivate them to reach for their highest potential. By inspiring, praising, coaching, and working with your associates, you’re showing them that you truly care about their success. Encouragement shouldn’t be forced, it should be ingrained in your leadership style and business practices. Building that kind rapport with your people will have them not only respect you, but follow you. In the words of John Maxwell, “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”
Encouragement can also be an invaluable tool to use in our marketing. For instance, you encourage your guests to engage in a conversation on social media when you create content that asks questions relevant to your target market. By encouraging a conversation around your business, you cultivate relationships that turn into the most valuable marketing tool of all: word of mouth advertising. On average, consumers discuss specific brands 90 times a week. That is 90 times per week that each guest or client could be talking about your business! How do you develop relationships with your target market? By encouraging sales, encouraging brand awareness and encouraging conversations about your business through your marketing.
The beauty of the Social Landscape is that is allows us to sow relationships with our market online and reap the benefits in profit! Instead of reaching one person face-to-face, you can reach thousands of people in a space that has now become a part of our every-day social experience.
Encouragement is a multifaceted word that is so much more than a simple “good job,” or thank you. Encouragement flows through every aspect of your profession. Whether it’s by encouraging an associate, a conversation, yourself or an action from your consumer, this small concept can change the way you view your team, business, and life as a whole.