I’ve been reading a biography of Fred Rogers, the guy behind ‘Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’- you know, the children’s t.v. show we all grew up watching on PBS- entitled The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King. In reading this book, I came across a quote from Dr. Margaret McFarland who was one of Mr. Roger's professors at the Arsenal Center of the University of Pittsburgh that has made me do quite a bit of thinking.
Dr. McFarland was a professor of child development, and often had her graduate students observe meetings with parents of the children who attended the Arsenal Center. After one such observed meeting, a student commented on the amount of time Dr. McFarland had spent getting to know the parent. Dr. McFarland responded, “How could I ask them to trust my competency until I showed her that I trusted hers?”
She was of course explaining to the student that the parent needed to feel trusted and valued before she could expect that the parent would trust and value her, but I’ve been thinking about the application of that quote in my own life and business. It made me realize a lot of things:
Clients need to feel that I trust their judgement
Clients need to feel that I love and respect them
Clients need to know that their faith in me is not misplaced
Clients need to know that I am competent
Clients need to know that they are safe with me
In realizing this, I began to think about how I can show you guys all of these things. So far, I haven’t figured out how to show you any of these things, unless you decide to work with me. I know how to do so once we’ve entered into a relationship as Client and Photographer. I do my best to show you how much you’re valued by responding as soon as I can, by answering questions to the best of my abilities, by making things happen for you, and by spoiling you as much as I can with gifts. Once we’re beyond that, I try to keep in touch with you through our private Facebook group, and if there is any way I can help you in life, I try to do it. For me, my clients are much, much more than a paycheck. I love you guys!
But that still doesn’t help demonstrate these things to all of you BEFORE you become a client, and for that I am stumped. I want you to know how much I love, respect, and trust you. I want you to know how competent I am (I always feel like I’m bragging when I talk about my achievements or like I’m being judgmental when I try to write How-To posts which is why I avoid them!), and that you are safe with me. I want you to know all of these things, but I am stumped as to how to show you them without actually working with you.
Anybody got any suggestions?