Over the past several years, I’ve noticed a massive shift in the business world. Some may think business is getting too informal. I’d call this a surge in bringing yourself to work, and I think it's critical to a business' success.
Here’s what I mean. Do a web search for accounting services, and here’s what you’ll find. The majority of the websites will say something like this: “we are a full-service accounting firm dedicated to providing our clients with professional, personalized services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs.”
If you spend enough time looking, you’ll even start to notice that many of the websites are the same. And I don’t mean similar, I mean the same. Yes, the window dressing may be slightly different, but the text is verbatim. Accountants choose to use prepackaged sites because it’s easy, the language doesn’t offend anyone, and the accountants are reaching a broad audience which will result in more engagements, right?
You’re sending a neutral, ho-hum, snoresville message to the world, and you look like every other nameless, faceless accountant out there… and there are a LOT of accountants. Why in the world would a prospective customer pick your firm? They might as well throw a dart at a local area map and choose the accountant on the closest block.
Now that social media has grown in popularity over the past several years, customers are beginning to expect you to tell them who you are. They want someone they can trust. They want someone who knows their stuff. They want someone who can help them understand what the heck is going on with their business. And you don’t need a suit for that. In fact, in today’s virtual world, many accountants are doing this in jeans, pajamas, and/or with pink hair. And they might even inadvertently throw in an F-bomb every now and then. Because, you know… they’re real people.
You can be a professional without being a cookie cutter version of what you think people want you to be. In all honesty, people want you to be yourself. Bringing yourself to work makes you human, likeable, and relatable. When you do that, you stand out, and your future clients will work hard to join your tribe and get the pleasure of working with you.