Welcome to The Appreciation Club.
A place where EVERYONE is invited to collect praise to catapult ourselves into a place of being more confident!
You may have heard people talk about ‘social proof’. For more on how to create your very own feel good club, you can fill in or print this google worksheet.
Social Proof and You… give yourself permission to ask!
When I built my website, I made a list of 15 people I’d worked with. I imagined them one by one and us working together and how happy I was.
I then wrote to them and asked them for honest testimonials about the time we spent on projects together.
They’ve all worked with me in slightly different ways and for different amounts of time over the course of my 17 year career.
The process I followed to ask in 4 clear steps
Working out HOW you want to do something is nearly as hard as just getting it done sometimes.
I would have found it a little overwhelming and impersonal to email all my work contacts at once.
- Made a check box list of names in my draft emails.
- Drip fed personalised emails to each of them over the course of a month or so, writing tailored hellos and some background into why I was asking for a testimonial right now.
- Ticked each one off when replies came in
- Set an alarm on my phone to go off every other month to check in on my ‘appreciation club’ project and think about more people to ask.
This process enabled me to build a bank of over FOURTY different paragraphs of praise. (Yep I often read one or two on a bad day). You can read some of them here…
If you don’t ask for feedback, can you really know what someone thinks of your work?
*** Be ready to receive a tonne of praise!! ***
Testimonials are such a great insight into your skillset and offer.
In my client coaching, I’ve seen SO many creatives give themselves a hard time and do just that (me included).
Going over and over when they were treated badly, used as a stepping stone or dropped as quickly as they were picked up.
Sure, it can feel a bit uncomfortable to ask for praise but ask yourself what’s the worse that can happen?
Work through or print this google worksheet. if you’d like more clarity on this topic.
Why I believe we need to ask for this information…
- Reading testimonials impacts positively on your self worth. Yes, YOU deserves all those kind words and so much more! Your creativity, vision and brilliance deserve to be celebrated and understood at a deeper level!
- Other people’s opinions and praise helps you understand WHAT your offer. This enables you to sharpen your awareness of where you really fit (your niche). Everyone is unique in their offer and to build the best business you can you need to get really good at one thing – BEING YOU!
- Praise can be a catalyst for creativity! It just makes you feel good and perhaps a bit more pro-active that you might have before it flew into your inbox.
Who’s in your appreciation club?
Who springs to mind? Who is ALWAYS supportive of you and your work?
Indulge me for a moment?
One testimonial I received back from a client I mentored stopped me in my tracks and I actually filled up when I read it.
I was in the car with my husband and read it out to him. He was so proud of the catalyst I’d created by giving my time and energy to the project and it was like really hearing what I do and my offer reflected back twice…
Long and short of it is – I never knew Sarah felt this way, not on this level anyway until I asked… and I’m so glad I did for so many reasons…
Here is a (long-ish) extract;
“I was so close to giving up…
….before I met Claire I felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew, like I was kidding myself.
I was going through a time where I felt like an imposter and everything I’d worked towards was a pipe dream. I was so close to giving up.
Claire told me about a Scottish poet called Darren Loki who had lived a similar life to me, suddenly I didn’t feel so alone.
When you have lived a life I have you can’t help but think;
“you’re only talking to me either because someone is paying you or you pity me”
…but Claire didn’t make me feel like that, she made me feel like she was there because she wanted to be. She even bought donuts!!”
(*) continued at end of article.
So what do you think? Are you going to join your own appreciation club? Who’s in it with you?
Because I’m self employed, my last ‘appraisal’ was over 12years ago…
If I’m honest, I used to find it quite odd that someone in HR told my boss to fill a form in with me and give me positive and constructive feedback every 6 months.
I knew how well I was doing and my areas for improvement and I really only used the appraisal meeting to ask for a pay rise! Career progression felt slow and linear.
Do you do the sort of work where you can ask for testimonials or regular feedback? It’s SO motivating! Who are your biggest fans in life/ in work/ at home?
If you do go ahead and get ready to have your little world lit up in a shower of rainbow coloured praise!
I’d love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know about your appreciation club here or come find my post on instagram and tell me all about it.
Sarah’s quote continued… “Human interaction is something almost everyone takes for granted but sometimes that is the antidote for someone to listen to you and tell you; “you can do this” without being patronising but still being honest.
She told me it was going to be hard and I had to be committed, which at that time I didn’t see the point in. But, Claire put a clear achievable plan in place and suddenly things started to look real and possible again.
I have now had my writing performed on stage, receive payment for something I love and have a great bunch of brilliant mentors and friends.
Along with New Writing North, Claire opened doors for me that I never thought possible. She gave me the mindset and confidence needed to go forward and achieve what I deemed impossible and for that I am eternally grateful.”
You can find Sarah on twitter here and follow her journey as an artist and playwright in the North East.