People in Glass Houses…
Have you heard the story about the accountant who has to file an extension for her own tax return, the lawyer who’s behind in his own billing, or the photographer who hasn’t printed his family photos yet?
Sad, but true, many professionals who make their living encouraging clients to pay attention to various aspects of their businesses often neglect their own. Look at me… I certainly haven’t kept up with the minimal standard of one blog post per month, and should spend more time reviewing and updating my website. Social media is easier, because it’s faster, but it’s important to be consistent across all communications, print and digital.
It’s easy to justify neglecting one’s own business. “My client work comes first.” “Not enough hours in the day; I’ll work on my own stuff later.” “I tell my clients to do as I say, not as I do, LOL.” Yes, I’m certainly among the guilty. In my zeal to provide attentive customer service, Pinch Hit Prose usually takes a back seat. I can’t tell you the last time I attended a business networking event; I usually spend my evenings drafting and editing copy, or dealing with last-minute requests.
What service providers, including myself, often forget is that consistently marketing your own skills and products is critical to growing your business – whether you’re a consultant, freelancer, entrepreneur, mom and pop shop, community organization, . civic group or small business. Yes, there’s advertising and word of mouth, but exploiting all communications channels – social media, digital presence, collateral materials, events and sponsorships, media relations – goes much further in cementing your niche in the marketplace and broadcasting your value proposition.
It’s hypocritical for me to urge clients to focus on communications and ignore my own marketing needs. I, too, am growing a business, and can’t sit back and wait for people to find me. Marketing is an integral part of every successful business plan. So, let’s make a deal. I’ll make a better effort to reach out to you and you commit to developing professional messaging that effectively positions your organization. Together, we can accomplish great things.