You Gotta Practise What You Preach

I’m going to share a frustration with you. It crops up on a weekly, if not daily, basis and it irks me greatly.

It’s when people don’t practise what they preach.

It happens most often when someone – more often than not an individual running their own business – sends me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.

My frustration is usually triggered when I find out what they do and see them undermining that through how they convey their personal brand. Let me give you some examples:

  • There was the copywriter who, when I read their profile headline, had a typographical error in it. (Why should I trust you to write my copy when you can’t even get your own right?)
  • There was the person who specialised in writing people’s LinkedIn summaries, whose own summary was littered with over-used buzzwords. (If your bio is devoid of personality, how will you add it to mine?)
  • There was the web designer who, when I checked out his company website, had a number of pages that wouldn’t load. (If your site’s giving me 404 error messages, how will you get my site to shine?)
  • There was the photographer who hadn’t even uploaded a photo to their LinkedIn profile. (How good can your images be if you’re not willing to put one up of yourself?)
  • Then there are the numerous personal branding people who send me invitations to connect but don’t bother to personalise them. (Being personal is a fundamental part of personal branding – what are you teaching others if you’re not doing it yourself?!?)

Here’s why I get so frustrated…

As someone who runs their own business, I know the graft you have to put in to get clients. So I hate to see people making it harder for themselves by undermining their own efforts – especially with things that are so easy to get right. The big question is:

Why should someone pay you for your advice/service/product, if you can’t even apply it to your own business?

So take a step back for a second and ask yourself what it is that people pay you for and whether you’re ‘walking the talk’ 100%. Because if you’re not, you could be frustrating plenty of potential clients.

What other examples of people not practising what they preach have you seen? Does it frustrate you too? Or do you have another way of looking at it? I’d really like to hear your take on it with a comment below. Thanks!

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