(Originally published in 6/18/2010 while writing for Xspond.)
Here at Xspond we have spent oodles and oodles of time improving our partners social media, and our partners web sites, and our partners data bases, and our partners… (you get the picture). We love this work so much and we are so focused that we neglected ourselves severely. If our business identity is our child and we are the parents, we are definitely criminals of neglect.
Practice What You Preach
Many of the ideas we push our customers to address in their businesses have gone long un-addressed in our own. This was a huge problem for our prospects. We show them what we are doing for our current clients, but when they look at our business (previously neglected) they have been a little bit skeptical because were weren’t doing as good of a job for ourselves.
Transparency Requires Vigilance
A recent transition sparked us to gain a sense of urgency in addressing this issue of self-neglect. So, we took a large percentage of the last two weeks and devoted it to Us! This process has not been nearly as easy as we had first hoped. While rewriting web content we had to vigilantly and repeatedly stop ourselves from falling into old patterns of telling instead of showing, of talking to instead of talking with, and of being a business first instead of being people first.
Exposing Yourself Takes Real Guts
Now it was time to tackle who we are as a company. Meaning, who we are as people. To do this we agreed that we had to let it all out there. Our customers need to get a feel for our personalities, our office atmosphere, our silliness, how nerdy we can be, our smart aleck humor, and every other angle of life here at Xspond. So we infused our website with conversational copy. Made fun of our Who We Are section with sarcastic humor, which upon first reading we giggled and loved. Then we hesitated. Then we laughed at it again. Then we hesitated. With a final determined and collective effort we let out a deep sigh of discomfort and just did it.
All Guts, Plenty of Glory
These two weeks have been essential to our branding and our growth; not just from a direct business perspective, but from a relationship perspective. This new found transparency and willingness to just be who we are has quickly lead to multiple opportunities to gain exposure, clients, and most importantly long-lasting connections. We’ve gotten interest from several news outlets on projects we are involved with, we’ve gained invaluable acquaintances that can get help from us and help us in return, and we have grown as a team internally – learning to really trust each others ideas and collectively come up with amazing stuff!
We have a better grip of the reigns and are now leading by example. We revamped our website, kicked off a new round of engagement and have even put some pictures of our ugly mugs on the website! How’s that for transparency? What have you done to push your current comfort level?