Previously published in Success Magazine by H&H Color Lab, 2018
I have a T-shirt that reads, “Walk in Love” that I bought from a company of the same name. According to its website, the message is a reminder to imitate God by loving others every chance we get, no strings attached. I don’t know about you, but I desire to walk in love, but it can be so hard, especially in business. I wonder what would happen if we did a self-check of how we walk in love in our businesses. What if we simply changed the saying from “walk in love” to “work in love”? Do we work in love?
Show Love in Work
Showing appreciation to your team tells them they are valued and encourages them to go above and beyond. When people feel appreciated and valued, they work harder and do more because they belong to something they believe in and are proud of. When your team is happy and growing, your business also grows.
When was the last time you sat with your team, thanked them and told them how much they mean to you? If you’re the boss, don’t forget about the team of people who help you accomplish your everyday duties and keep your business running like a well-oiled machine. Whether they are at the forefront of your business or behind the scenes, they are working for you. Thanking your team is a simple and effective way to keep morale up in the workplace.
Your Clients and Service Providers
We’ve all heard it, and deep down, we know that the handwritten thank-you note has become a lost art in the age of email and social media. At SYNC, we give each attendee and vendor a signed thank-you note. This spark of gratitude is still one of the most raved-about items at the SYNC event. An occasional handwritten note speaks volumes to your team, clients and service providers.
Show Love to Clients
As creative entrepreneurs, we have amazing jobs. We get to create images for clients that will last a lifetime. How many jobs can you think of that can be life-changing? We have a unique opportunity to make an impact on clients, especially when we work with high school seniors.
When working with teenagers, we get an hour or so to connect with them, hear about their lives and create a memorable experience. During the photo session, we have their undivided attention. What will you do with that time? This is an opportunity to not only connect with them, but to make an impact. Treat them with respect and show them that they matter. Listen to what they share—their accomplishments, future plans, concerns. Help build their confidence and encourage them. This time together is just as important as creating amazing images. What lasting impression will they walk away with at the end of their session?
Remember, the impression you leave on your client will have direct impact if they become your social media ambassador. The best compliment you can receive is an unsolicited post on social media talking about your company. An authentic post is more effective than a paid advertisement—and a lot less expensive.
Show Love Online
Social media has become divisive and often rage-filled. If you want to stand out in the crowd, post with love.
To keep a loyal customer, brands must be active on social media, but they also must find ways to get their customer to talk about their product on a social platform. A post that is helpful, friendly and done with love will get more engagement. Next time you head to social media to complain or argue, remember to post with love. Your followers will notice.
Show Love to Yourself
Do you love what you are doing or are you just going through the motions? If you get up every day and feel deflated and discouraged, it’s time to make a change. Too often we go through the same routine day in and day out, and just show up. Your job should be enjoyed, not endured. If you are not happy with your situation, change. Don’t expect change to be easy, but it can be rewarding. New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff writes in his book Do Over, “Great lives are rarely created in comfort.” Life is too short. If you do not love what you do, change.
Walk in Love
It’s easier to go to work day after day with blinders on, not worrying about the impact we are having on our team, clients or ourselves. Working in love is challenging. Next time you have a challenging client or disgruntled team member, or when you want to complain on Facebook, remember that we are all called to love one another. Start each day by walking in love.
About the Author: Darty Hines
Darty is a husband, a father to three amazing girls, a photographer, a social media fanatic and the owner of SYNC. This PPA Craftsman keeps very busy and is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways for small business owners to succeed. He has been a professional photographer for over 20 years and has worked and consulted with prestigious photography studios across the nation.
Darty and his wife, Michele, are co-owners of the educational conference SYNC. They met during college at the Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton, Ohio, where the chemistry was not just in the darkroom. They married a few years after college, have three beautiful daughters and live in Millersburg, Pennsylvania.