A couple of questions that I get asked a lot are, what exactly is a heart-based business and how do you build authentic, heart-based relationships? Having a heart-based business seems to be quite a buzzword for many coaches, therapists and female entrepreneurs lately. They use the phrase ‘heart-based’ to describe the more emotional and intuitive-led, feminine way of running their business – something they can often beautifully illustrate in their general branding and graphics.

What is a heart-based business?

A heart-based business is seen as a refreshing change to the traditional way of running a business. You’re open, honest, vulnerable, non-pushy or aggressive in your general business practices. It’s more emotional and intuitive. Clients need to ‘feel right’ and often, timing and situations are divinely led, with many working on the basis, that everything happens at the right time for you and your clients. It’s a gentler way to build a business – one of attracting, not of pushing.

[ctt template=”7″ link=”vU02C” via=”yes” ]A heart-based business is a gentler way to build a business – one of attracting, not of pushing[/ctt]

However, if you’re not careful, this can lead to problems in your business.

The problems heart-based business owners can face

The biggest problem heart-based business owners can face is knowing HOW to effectively run a heart-based business. They know they don’t want to do business the traditional way – so they avoid those methods altogether. Running a successful, authentic business without those traditional methods is a big issue and can be a major headache in itself – one that is best covered in a separate blog post or series.

However, one of the subsequent core problems heart-based business owners encounter, is they know what they want their heart-based business to look like, but they don’t know how to effectively build a heart-based relationship with their potential clients – something we’re going to cover today.

They believe traditional ways of doing business don’t work for heart-based businesses

Many heart-based business women feel that the traditional way of capturing leads and sending regular emails to those contacts, feels too pushy and salesy. They don’t want to be seen as pushy. They want to attract the clients to them, so they show up predominantly on social media, as this is where they can be sociable and visible. This is seen as so much gentler than pushing for clients and selling themselves via the traditional methods of SEO, websites, blog posts and mailing lists etc.

heart-based businessThey’re often running a business based on the philosophy ‘build it and they will come’. They therefore, throw away the traditional ways of working and stick instead, to just interacting with their potential clients on social media. Many don’t have a website at all, as they don’t believe they need one, as they’re so visible on social media. They don’t see the point of having something that doesn’t have that same high level of interaction. As a result, they end up missing out on the benefits of having one – including that of growing their own mailing list.

They’re blaming the business tools for the problem and not addressing the real issue they have – not knowing how to have a heart-based relationship with their clients, using those traditional business tools.

The tools aren’t the problem

A tool is only as effective as the person using it. If you have a bookcase to make, but give the hammer to your toddler – don’t expect the bookcase to get built. You’re going to get a lot of broken things around your home, as well as maybe a bruise or two on your toddler (and you!). But the hammer itself isn’t the issue. The issue is the toddler doesn’t know how to build a bookcase and they don’t know how to use the hammer.

[ctt template=”7″ link=”1dG4I” via=”yes” ]Traditional tools in your heart-based business aren\’t the issue. The problem is you can’t see how you can use them, in a heart-based way[/ctt]

It’s the same with those traditional tools of mailing lists, lead magnets and websites. They’re not your problem. Your problem is you can’t see how you can use them, in your heart-based business.

What is a heart-based relationship?

If you want to get clear on how those tools can help you, you need to start by understanding what a heart-based relationship is.

In my opinion, a heart-based relationship is one that:

  • Is built on genuine trust and respect
  • Gives real value
  • Shows a genuine interest in your clients
  • Focuses on their needs
  • Allows you to be authentic
  • Isn’t pushy, spammy or salesy
  • Isn’t focused on the money

A heart-based relationship is one that feels right for you. For many heart-based business owners, this means not feeling pushy or fake. They don’t want to focus on the money but, instead, want to focus on being of service to their clients.

And this is something that is totally doable, with those traditional business tools.

How can you build a heart-based relationship with traditional tools?

It starts by changing your view on those traditional tools. Those tools are only as effective as you want them to be. If you don’t want to be seen as pushy or spammy and salesy – don’t use manipulative, salesy techniques in your emails. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask for the sale – but don’t make it the sole focus of your content. Focus on giving value to your clients, through those emails and show them how they can build on that value, via your call to action to check out the products and/or services you offer.

heart-based relationshipsWant to be authentic? Be open, honest and genuine in your written content. Don’t get your clients jumping through hoops, just to find out how much your product or service is. Give them prices, so they’re not on the back foot and anxious, when you eventually uncover the cost of their investment, during the discovery call with them.

Understand that your website and blog are there to help serve your clients too. As with your emails, it’s main purpose is to either build, or start to build, a heart-based relationship with your clients. This can be achieved through sharing details of your products and services, via your solution and benefits-focused sales pages, as well as offering informative, helpful and value-led blog posts.

Being a heart-based business doesn’t mean you can’t be in business to make money too

No matter how you want to say otherwise, you’re in business to make money. We all need money, to be able to effectively serve the needs of ourselves and our clients – and you can do both, in a heart-based way.

Yes, you’re in business to serve your clients in the best way possible and your focus needs to be on your clients, in order to serve them. But the sales, subsequent income and general business growth will come, from being genuine and building on the know, like and trust factors.

The different platforms and tools you use, along with the content you share, all just help you serve your clients more effectively. They give you more of a chance to grow your business in a heart-based way – by giving you the means to be passionate about what you do, give your clients what they need to grow and to build better, heart-based relationships with those clients.

What are your thoughts around heart-based businesses and relationships? Do you agree that traditional tools can be used effectively in heart-based businesses or do you prefer alternative tools? Why not share your thoughts and opinions on today’s blog post, in the comments section below!