Everyone’s experiences are unique. One of the keys though is to ensure that the way you reference your experiences is relevant to those who are hearing or receiving your message. This is a point I often stress during my talks and mentoring sessions.
There is another related issue that few people discuss openly. This relates to the quality of their experiences as a professional adviser. When you claim to have built up, say, 10 years of experience, do you ever consider whether this has been truly cumulative or simply repetitive? Have you been building on what you know and what you can do, or simply repeating that first year’s experiences time after time over the ensuing ten years?
In some respects this is as much a question for prospective clients to ask before choosing a new adviser. It’s also one of the reasons why they might notice a big difference if they move from one adviser with limited experience (despite their years in practice) to another adviser who has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience through a varied client base that has prepared them for all manner of issues, challenges and problems.
Whether this distinction is important to you depends on what you do and who you look to serve as clients. Where clients want a pretty simple service they may well prefer someone who has done that for dozens or hundreds of clients over the years. Such clients may not be prepared to pay extra for someone with wider experience.
It can certainly help to highlight specific examples from your past as to where you had to address similar challenges or issues as those being presented by a new or prospective client. This will invariably be far more compelling than simply referencing your generic years of experience – just like everyone else does.
This is all quite distinct from the question of whether to focus your marketing on a specific niche. Although if your experience is quite limited then maybe you could reference this as a strength when pitching to prospects who fit the same criteria as your previous clients. Another solution could be to collaborate with someone who has wider experience than you – or seek out a mentor who can help you to fill in the gaps.
How much experience do you have, really? What’s important I suggest is to be honest with yourself, honest in your marketing and honest with your clients. Also to know what is your back up plan if a client should require advice that goes beyond your experiences. That, in itself, can help you to STAND OUT from competitors who are less trustworthy and who will found out eventually.