That’s obviously not the only factor I consider, but it’s a big one.
There are plenty of ways to determine whether or not a company is competent and its people are trustworthy. But if a company practices what it preaches, it shows me two things.
First, they really believe in the value of the services they provide, and it’s not just part of an empty sales pitch. Second, it’s a sign of sound decision-making and good judgment.
For example, I wouldn’t hire a personal trainer who sucks down a triple cheeseburger for lunch and chases it with a chocolate milkshake, and I wouldn’t go to a dentist who has crooked yellow teeth.
When it comes to marketing services, the excuse for not practicing what you preach is usually the same.
I spend so much time working on client projects that I don’t have time to:
…redesign my own website.
…write my own blog posts on a regular basis.
…update my Facebook business page.
…tweet more than twice a year.
My response is usually the same, too.
If the service you’re providing is critical to the image, credibility and growth of my business, isn’t it equally critical to yours?
If you don’t have time to make these improvements or updates in-house, shouldn’t you be willing to invest in having these tasks completed externally – just like you expect me to invest in your company?
I think these are very fair questions. I also think the “I don’t have time” excuse is incredibly weak and borderline hypocritical.
Would you hire a social media consultant who doesn’t have a kick ass, regularly updated business page on each of the major social platforms?
Would you hire a SEO consultant who you can’t find on Google?
Would you hire a web developer to create a responsive design website if that company’s website isn’t optimized for mobile?
Would you hire a web designer whose website looks like it was designed by a high school kid when Clinton was in the White House?
Would you hire a copywriter who doesn’t consistently write and share great content?
Personally, I wouldn’t. Unless that company is highly recommended by someone I trust, I probably wouldn’t even contact them. When you don’t practice what you preach, it immediately creates doubt in my mind and makes me uncomfortable.
As someone who spends a lot of time each day ghostwriting blogs, it would be difficult for me to justify someone’s investment in my services if I didn’t consistently update my own blog. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect a copywriter to have a track record of writing and sharing his or her own content on a regular basis.
By the way, it’s no coincidence that I began to land more of these blog writing gigs when I started blogging more consistently.
The people you hire should practice what they preach, regardless of the type of service being offered. Period.
Do we all have the right to expect service providers to practice what they preach, or are there acceptable reasons for not doing so?