I think we can all agree that I’m from the “let’s call bullshit” school of thought. I like to think I’m fairly no-nonsense, and I’m certainly not afraid to get controversial.
Unfortunately, in this online world we live, those qualities have become synonymous with being a dick. And today I’d like to call bullshit on THAT.
I have another value, which I cherish just as much as my brutal honesty. KINDNESS. Now I’m not talking about sugar coating your hogwash, because, to paraphrase the fabulous Bushra Azhar, ice cream flavoured poo is still poo. I’m talking about being considerate and helpful. It really isn’t that hard.You can be a strong, independent woman AND a nice girl. Click & Tweet! Nice girls are allowed to swear, right?
For the sceptics out there, bringing an element of kindness into your business also has its benefits. Rants and rages may have people nodding along with you, but being nice to them turns them into the raving fans we all crave.Think about how you can use not-so-random acts of kindness to boost your blog, build your network, and help others have a good day Click & Tweet! . Here are my suggestions:
Visit other people’s blogs and leave them a thoughtful comment – think about how much it brightens your day when someone says something lovely about the writings you’ve been slaving over. Be specific about which part of the article you enjoyed, and why.
- You’re laying the foundation for a deeper relationship with that blogger.
- You’re indirectly pointing them back to your own site.
- You can take note of what’s working (and what isn’t) on other people’s blogs, and feed that back into your own strategy.
Create free stuff for your audience. Add content upgrades to your popular posts. Run a free challenge. Host a no-strings webinar. Offer a free one-on-one session.
- You’ll build that list like billy-o.
- You’ll strengthen the community that surrounds you.
- You’ll develop a really brilliant library of resources.
If you’re launching a big programme (online OR off) consider taking pity on someone that can’t quite afford to pay for it, and offer an apprenticeship.
- You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve transformed someone’s life.
- You’ll have true, loving, fan in that person for the rest of time. Just wait for those referrals.
Share content and/or offerings created by other business owners in your industry.
- They will love you.
- They will reciprocate, and you’ll reach their audience.
- You’ll fill your social media queue with a nice pipeline of curated content – which will stop you from seeming too salesy.
Donate branded merchandise to a community event – everyone loves a free pen. If you don’t have any branded stuff, or products you can donate, just source something lovely (and cost effective) to donate instead.
- You’ll build a much stronger network in your local area – just make sure the event is somewhat targeted towards people you would like to work with.
- Your contributions will get you a mention in the publicity materials (online and off).
Partner with a charity you’re passionate about and donate a percentage of your sales. This could be the sales of a particular product, or sales made in a particular period of time if you’re really worried about your profit margins.
- Warm and fuzzy feels?
- You’ll be able to promote a cause you really care about.
- You’ll have even more motivation to do well.
Run an in-person session for a local charity or community group. You can make this work for both product and service-based businesses.
- You’ll have space to test out new ideas and iron out the kinks.
- The face-to-face interaction may inspire ideas for new products or services.
- You might just leave with a new paying customer, or at least a killer review.
Offer to mentor a young person interested in your niche, and show them the ins and outs.
- You’ll be priming the perfect new member for your team (if you’re in the market).
- In the process you’ll probably discover new ways you can streamline and expand.
- You’ll free yourself a little to work on your “thing”.
Listen, validate, respond. When someone’s struggling with something and they ask a question (either directly or on social media), don’t just roll your eyes and keep scrolling. Take the time to leave a thoughtful, pitch-free response.
- You’ll establish yourself as someone who knows stuff.
- You’ll make yourself memorable in the eyes of the person you just helped.
- You may just walk away with a new content idea.
Go all out and use your existing info products to raise funds for a charity you advocate for. Melyssa Griffin recently did this to great success, and managed to raise $119, 227 for Pencils of Promise in only two weeks. Check out the case study on how she did that, here.
- You’ll get new buyers through the door, even if you aren’t making any money from them this time around. If they enjoy the products they’ve bought from you this time around, at a low price point, they’ll be back for more.
Buy something! Ok, not strictly an act of kindness, especially if (like me) you just love stuff. But it’s how I like to justify investing all my pennies in Kickstarter campaigns. I needed those Chameleon Pens, ok?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on bringing more kindness into your business (even if it’s the selfish kind!) – leave me a comment below.