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How being yourself is the best thing for your business and here’s why

Bridal Brand Mentor Joanna Southwell knows all too well how important it is to be yourself in business and in this article she shares why it is important for you and your business too.

Professionalism in business

Remember when we were learning about business in the 80’s and 90’s? We were told to be formal, professional, tough and detached. I feel that this was particularly drilled into me as a woman. The successful women in the 1980’s were powerful. Tough, dressed to kill and straight talking. The baby boomers worked hard, lived fast and made a lot of money.

Fast forward 30 odd years the world is far more connected. We are aware of how and why people do what they do in countries across the globe. The Japanese have shared their concept of Ikigai “a motivating force; something or someone that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living”. More generally it may refer to something that brings pleasure or fulfilment.

The Danish have Hygge. The word means “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”. These are just two examples of old and treasured practices that enhance people lives. We in the Western world are obsessed with wellness, self care and slowing down our everyday lives. We are encouraged to live authentically (god I hate that phrase) and not put on a front of life perfection.

So why, when it comes to business are we still stuck in the straight faced and straight behaving practises of professionalism? Why are we encouraged to create a front with our customers, colleagues and industry fellows? To be detached and removed. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not here to preach being completely honest with your clients about how hard your job is and how annoying they are. I really, really did not enjoy this trend in 2021. I think it just plain rude to the people who are paying your mortgage. But why are we not showing what is fundamentally important to us? Why are we not showing ourselves and our personality to our audiences? I think we need to remove that layer of detachment and really, truly connect with people.

This is Lorna Richerby photo credit by Carola Moon Photography

Perfect for your Ideal Client

You see, by being yourself in the way you run and promote your business you are automatically communicating with your ideal client. People who love what you do will love who you are. If they don’t they are not your people.

If you are shy, quiet and reserved then you can show what you have to offer to the world in a way that protects your nature. Create content that shows your talent in a way that does not jar with your personality. Reels and stories for Meta that do not show your face and keep the meaty news or education through your newsletters. Share with your followers what keeps you motivated, what you do to slow down, because your ideal clients will want the same for themselves and will appreciate the way you live.

If you are gregarious, flamboyant and an extrovert then I believe you should unleash that and show your customers who you are. Show your face, chat directly to the camera and collaborate with industry colleagues. Get chatty on social media, use video instead of print to promote yourself and don’t feel the need to make yourself less to fit the professional mould.

Credits: Photos of Joanna Southwell by Sarah Brookes Photography

When personality pays in the wedding industry

When it comes to the fundamentals of how you run your business I believe it pays, quite literally to be yourself. If you are a florist who is personally interested in climate change and the state of the earth, then put that out there to your clients. By only offering English grown flowers, local delivery and biodegradable packaging you are sharing your personality as well as your business ethics. That in turn will speak directly to your ideal client who will fundamentally feel the same as you and therefore buy into you and your business.

Credit: Bouquet Photos by

Similarly if you are an outgoing and colourful personality who makes flamboyant wedding separates for less conventional brides, then it is safe to say that your ideal client will be similar. If they want to buck traditional then the fact that your designs are that way too will connect with her. And if you a party person sharing your adventures to your equally sociable audience will only increase your connection.

There is a reason the phrase “people buy from people” exists. It is because it’s true. Will you spend your money with the anonymous buyer or with the person who represents something you enjoy and believe in too? Will you shout about how amazing your wedding supplier was if you never even knew their name?

Dropping the professionalism barrier and allowing your personality to show will create a happier, richer working environment for you whilst getting you committed customers who buy. And then tell their friends. I know I will be leaning into this way of working more in 2022. What about you?

To find out more about Joanne Southwell and the services and courses she offers – look here

You can contact her here too;

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