Thursday, August 25, 2016

"We Never Know Who Might Be Looking At Us ..."


For most of us, our image and personal brand is everything - not image in the sense of creating a persona that isn't genuine but in terms of demonstrating a consistency and continuity to the marketplace.

In working with seniors and others that require and need our aging-in-places solutions, it's important that they believe in and trust us - that we are interested in helping them and that we really can provide what they seek.

We devote years to acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to help our clientele, yet our reputation can be gone very quickly. It only takes a few missteps to ruin a lifetime of good works.

We spend a lot of time and money on advertising, blogging, website design, search engine optimization, and generating leads and referrals, yet all of this can be seriously derailed through thoughtless actions that have nothing to do with out ability to provide aging-in-places solutions or our knowledge of how to create them.

Take for instance driving on the freeway – in our company’s branded vehicle (car, truck, or van). Every time we cut someone off, shake our fist, yell at someone (even if they can’t hear us), blow our horn out of disgust or frustration, weave in and out of traffic, or seriously exceed the speed limit, it’s not just us doing it – it’s our company. We never know who might be a witness to our reckless or thoughtless behavior. It could be a colleague, a referring professional, or a potential client. There's no way to tell except by avoiding such behavior in the first place.

In town, if we run through a red light (or stretch the yellow), roll through a stop sign, or beat someone out of a parking spot, people see that as our company doing this because that’s the name they see on our vehicle - or the name they read on our company shirt that we are wearing.

Social media has greatly complicated our ability to maintain a solid and clean image because so much is captured as a photo image and posted that we may not have even been aware of. It's one thing for us to post activities on various social sites. It's quite another for someone to tag or include us in a photo that we were unaware was being taken or that we did not know included us.

The safest practice is to always be aware of our surroundings - especially when we see someone pointing a phone, tablet, or camera in our general direction. we can't always see this happening, so our next best line of defense is to always be on our best behavior in public. we never know who is watching or who may eventually see what we are doing.

We need to be mindful that little acts that we may not pay that much attention to can make a big difference to others who see or hear about us do them. It only takes one or two really stupid acts to blow a whole lot of positive advertising and intentional branding.


Our businesses are built on integrity, trust, and instilling confidence in our clients and consumers. Let's be extremely mindful of that each time we are out in public where anyone might see us or note our actions.

We truly never know who might be watching us.

____________ 

Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.