Have you ever wondered if you’re riding the line of pleasing people vs. serving people? I’ve wanted to talk about this for a while, and finally have the space to do it. Our desire is to serve people as best we can, but many of us start sliding into the arena of pleasing people. There is quite a difference between the two, and you want to make sure you are maintaining the best client experience you have to offer.
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Most of us start off thinking our role is to please our clients or simply make them happy. And really this topic is one to be looked at by any business owner. The truth is, pleasing people is deceptive. In the moment it seems valid and right. But at the end of the day the raving reviews will fade away and we’re left to ourselves. We have to determine in the height of our careers and in the every day grind that what we’re doing is not just dependent upon another’s opinion.
It can be a tricky thing, wanting people to value your character and slipping over into letting that define you. I will say, it’s not wrong to desire good reviews and response. But it should be because of your integrity! We should want people to think highly of us, not because of how we please them or what we offer them in exchange for their high opinion. But because of the quality of who we are.
When it comes to pleasing people vs. serving people you have to ask yourself, what’s my motivation? Often times, pleasing others is rooted in selfish ambition. I want to please you so you can benefit me. And that will not lead to a good client experience! Every business needs to establish standards and morals. I strive to keep the same standard regardless of what opinion I’m facing. When your motivation is to serve people well, most times you end up pleasing them, but you’re not seeking approval. You’re goal isn’t selfish, it’s for others! When you know your standards you can “judge” yourself based on how you served them. So when you don’t get back high praise your soul isn’t crushed because the goal was to serve clients well. When you perform your standards and do all the things you set out to do it goes far beyond the transaction.
I do understand this is a business. Clearly a standard in my business is to serve clients, but that doesn’t mean it’s a charity. Don’t get it twisted. You don’t have to lower your prices or give things away. Photography is my family’s sole income. That means we need to be profitable if we want to put food on the table. But this business is also my ministry. I want to serve people well and I can do it through the love of Jesus. Youth ministry was actually where I came from. For 9 years I served people in this way and transitioned into doing photography full time. I saw how God opened the door for me and my family to reach people’s hearts through photography.
This is not my typical podcast, but I believe this matters. When we get it right we’ll see a lot less burn out as photographers! The mindset shift in pleasing people vs. serving people can help you set up a long lasting business and provide the best client experience. Stop back next week for a practical episode, and for more resources check out below!
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