I was asked two related questions during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answers on air.
1. With so many businesses competing with each other online, has it become more important to put more personality into your practice?
The smaller your practice the more important it is to allow people to know that it is you who runs it. I am assuming here that you want more clients and that you’re not simply looking to take on those people who want the cheapest possible job.
Your clients know who you are, don’t they? Why hide this from prospects? That’s what you do when you fail to include your name, a photo and something about you (as a person) on your website. It’s really easy to STAND OUT positively from all of your competitors who fail to do this. Let them be the ones who hide behind a business name and brand – with a website that only allows people to contact an unnamed info@ email address.
I’d encourage you to adopt the same logic when you are crafting or updating your Linkedin Profile. (See my free Linkedin Profile Tips here>>>)
And finally on this point, if you’re going to use twitter then ensure you use it in your own name with a photo of YOU. This will be far more effective than tweeting in your firm’s name. Personal twitter accounts always have more engagement and followers than those that operate in the name of small accountancy firms.
The more of your professional personality you show the more you will STAND OUT positively from your competitors who fail to do so.
2. Is there such a thing as too much personality?
I’m sure we’ve all seen people who confuse the idea of evidencing their personality with shouting about their achievements and activities online. This sort of behaviour is a turn-off and rarely helps build a positive reputation or new business leads.
What do you want people to say about you when you’re not there? You want to leave a positive impression whether online or face to face. If you have a larger than life personality that’s fine. It’s not for everyone, but if that’s your style then don’t hold back. Just try to ensure you are aware that some people may find you overpowering and so struggle to build rapport with you. Then again, maybe you want to attract the sort of people who can relate to and enjoy the company of a larger than life accountant with a big personality. You can’t please all the people all of the time.
Be yourself – be authentic – be consistent. And let people take you for who you are.