How To Practice What You Preach
One of the interesting things about life is that it’s easy to become a walking contradiction.
You probably have a person in your close circle that is always telling others how to live while not really following their own advice.
It’s usually no big deal. You just kind of shake your head and brush it off.
The reason that we can fall into the trap of being a hypocrite is that, for the most part, we all know what’s good for us. We know what we should do, but knowing and doing are totally different things.
And it’s easier to tell others what they should be doing instead of doing it ourselves. It’s part of the issue with holding others to higher standards and not realizing it.
Studies have found that children learn a lot simply by looking at others for examples. And I don’t really think that changes as we get older.
We can listen to instructions, but we usually learn much more by watching and paying attention to the examples of others.
Practice What You Preach
In business, as in life, it’s important to practice what you preach.
When a business reaches out to me to sell their service or product I like to do a little background and see if they believe in what they’re selling.
For example, if a website designer reaches out I go and look at their website and see how up-to-date it is, how well it works to sell me on their service, etc.
It works in just about any situation.
You would expect employees at Ford to drive Fords. You expect Apple employees to use an iPhone.
Whatever you’re selling, it’s usually good to follow your own advice. There are some cases where it might not make sense, when you’re not the ideal customer for the business or product, but in general it’s good to practice what you preach.
I’ve always tried to do that with Ghost Blog Writers. I figured that if I was selling the benefits of blogging to other businesses then I better commit to blogging myself. So we’ve had a consistent blog now for several years. It makes it easier to sell the service when you’ve experienced the benefits yourself.
Potential customers actually kind of do some of the selling work for you. They look at what you’re doing and they can pull their own information from that and determine if it’s right for them.
Here are some other thoughts on how to practice what you preach.
1. Do A Little More
Whatever you’re selling, do a little more for yourself than you would do for customers.
For example, most clients at GBW do about 1-2 posts per week. So we’ve stuck with doing 3 per week. We used to do 5 per week. We might go back to that frequency at some point, but I’ve always tried to stick with doing a little more.
Some of our clients 3-5 per week, but for the most part we’re doing more than what our clients request.
If you’re setting an example it’s good to always do a little more. It doesn’t have to be much, but usually when you’re doing a little more your potential customers will see that you’re really committed to what you’re selling.
This is just a good way to go about life. Always look to do a little more. Do a little more than what people ask. Do a little more than the competition.
A little bit goes a long way.
2. Your Own Case Study
Case studies are great for showing potential customers how your product or service can help them. A good case study usually has a little bit of a story to it. Storytelling is a great way to communicate. People often pull all kinds of little nuggets of information from a story. you don’t have to point all the takeaways. Just tell the story and the listener or reader will take things out themselves.
When you practice what you preach you can also take it a step further and create a case study of your own. You can publish it on your site for potential customer to see. And going through the process of creating it will help you really understand what you’re selling from the customer’s perspective. That will help you tweak how you sell to customers and you should close more deals with better customers.
For example, let’s say you sell Ford F-150 trucks. You buy one yourself. You drive it and discover that one of the things that you really appreciate is how stable it feels when you’re driving off road on your farm. You can even keep coffee in the cupholder without a lid while driving around in a field.
That’s not something they would put in the pamphlet. But because you’ve experienced it yourself you can use that as a selling point to potential customers.
The last point on this topic is that when you’re practicing what you preach you need to do it everyday. Or you at least need to do it consistently.
If you’re selling social media services and you sell the idea that a business needs to post everyday then you need to be posting on your own channels at least everyday.
If you’re selling email services and telling a business like yours that they should send out one newsletter every month then you should be doing at least the same.
It’s like telling someone that they should eat healthy when you only diet once every year for a few weeks.
The truth about life is that we are what we do every day.
There’s no way around that fact.
So if you’re selling something then make sure you’re doing it for yourself. If you’re telling someone that they should be doing something then make sure you’re doing it yourself and doing it consistently.
When you practice what you preach people are more likely to pay attention.