Remember the famous quote about not being able to please all of the people all of the time?
It’s true. You can’t do it, so why do so many people try?
You see these sad attempts to please “everyone” on many company websites. Pick a sector, any sector. Accountants. Law firms. Real estate brokers. IT providers.
Most of them say the same darn thing.
An online search for accounting firms yields several companies that boast “committed financial professionals who specialize in building long-term, client-focused relationships, tailored to meet your unique needs.” (Feel free to see how many of the above buzzwords you spot on the home page of a dozen random firms.)
To be fair, accountants aren’t known for their winsome personalities and sparkling wit.
So if you saw a website for an accounting firm with a glimmer of personality, you might do a double-take. Heck, some people might even pick up the phone, thinking they’d rather discuss their tax planning with someone who didn’’t channel Ben Stein’s character from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
But some people would click away, because they feel more comfortable working with a buttoned-up chap in a starched white shirt, yellow or blue tie, and pinstriped suit.
That’s fine. On several fronts. Fighting the desire to be all things to all people yields the following benefits:
- You stand out. Whether the brand is an individual or a company, it should be unique. Embrace and communicate what makes you special. Otherwise, you’re wasting your resources—and your visitors’ time—looking and sounding like everyone else.
- You attract the right audience. When someone says, “I work with anyone,” he’s admitting a certain desperation. Most businesses serve a specific clientele. While a commercial printer can work with someone who needs 500 business cards, that job doesn’t make sense if the presses are already running 24/7 on larger projects.
- You create stronger connections. Connecting with the right people is a two-way street. If you have a quirky sense of humor or a love of punk music and prefer working with similar souls, showing your true colors will attract like-minded people, which sets the stage for stronger relationships.
Seriously, you don’t have to be vanilla in your marketing. In fact, it’s better not to be. Besides, some people despise vanilla. So why not be yourself?
What’s your top tip for standing out in a crowded competitive field?