Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I don’t know about you, but that definitely sounds like an important skill to have as a creative small business owner.
Relationships are key to building a small business, whether that’s relationships with your clients, customers, partners, or anyone else that plays a role in your entrepreneurial journey.
So it only makes sense that in order to maintain healthy relationships and see success in your small business, you exercise empathy whenever you can. But how exactly can you do that?
Here are a few ways you can harness empathy as a creative business owner and use it to improve your business.
Empower your clients
When you lead your creative small business with empathy, potential clients will feel confident and comfortable coming to you. This eventually leads to a better overall client experience, more loyal clients for long-term growth, and ultimately more impactful business outcomes.
One of the most important ways to weave empathy into your creative business is to develop messaging that resonates with your dream clients through empowerment and understanding rather than through shame or fear.
For instance, the term “pain points” often has a bad rap for having the world pain in it. Where some copywriters might take “pain points” literally and use them as an opportunity to pour salt in a wound, an experienced copywriter understands that empathy is the key to developing messaging that actually resonates with your dream client. Messaging with empathy flips the script. Instead of creating messaging or services around the fears or insecurities of a potential client, empathy sounds more like a friend saying, “I know this sucks. I’m here for you. Let’s get through this together.”
Empathetic copywriting should create a sense of ease and inspiration that will empower your dream clients to take action and ultimately build trust with them to create more sustainable relationships down the road. I like to use positive calls to action (CTAs) when I’m crafting website copy to emphasize the desires of potential clients and meet them where they are.
Another way that empathy can be beneficial to your creative business is that it helps you cater to a more diverse audience, ultimately allowing you to be more inclusive of differing needs, backgrounds, and experiences. And why is this important? Modern entrepreneurs are different from the traditional (read: dated) idea of what a business owner should look like. Creative small business owners today represent a wide variety of people from all backgrounds and representations. And your business should celebrate that by speaking to your diverse audience in a way that serves them.
For example, we’ve all read or seen an advertisement that targets women but is clearly created by a male. It’s immediately obvious that the messaging lacks a true understanding of the buyer and was developed with a perspective that isn’t aligned with how the intended audience actually feels. This is what happens when there’s no empathy involved in the copywriting or brand messaging process. Copy without empathy risks coming off as disconnected and not inclusive — or worse, can even feel alienating.
Instead, focus on empathy early on in your business, especially when it comes to brand messaging. By understanding your target audience and developing your messaging with empathy from the beginning, you can better tailor your product or services to a more diverse audience.
Tailor your offerings to exactly what your dream clients want
Every creative business owner wants to create an offering that speaks exactly to their dream clients’ wants and needs. But to do that, you need to harness empathy. With empathy, you can deliver products and services that are in tune with the very real needs of your clients.
When you use empathy to craft your offerings and communicate them to clients, you develop something designed to deliver maximum value. Empathy takes the guesswork out of developing successful offerings. When you have a deeper understanding of your client’s pain points, you can create solutions that address their needs to a T.
Long story short: empathy helps you serve your clients better.
It’s important to mention that having empathy does not mean you don’t have strong boundaries. In fact, the two can coincide. Because you care about your clients, you can help them to the best of your ability while still being clear about expectations. Open and honest communication and respect — to both yourself and your clients — are all a major part of running an empathetic business.
Interested in weaving more empathy into your business? Whether you partner with a copywriter or if you’re a DIY queen and want to take it on yourself, crafting your brand’s copywriting is a great place to start.