Go ahead. Take a spin through your LinkedIn contacts sometime. Look at people’s summaries and descriptions. What do you see? Is the focus on results people have achieved on behalf of clients and organizations? Or, is the spotlight on awards and self-recognition?
Visit your favorite agency’s Web site. Sift through the biographies. What do you see? How they made a business difference for the clients they counsel? Or, do you see a long list of EFFIEs, WOMMIEs, Silver Anvils and other industry accolades?
I tell you what, I see an awful lot of the latter. And, I might add, I’m among the guilty (to an extent).
Sure, accolades and awards build credibility. And, we need that credibility as consultants to earn new business and establish trust out of the gate. But, at some point, we need to hold ourselves accountable. We need to be able to promote ourselves based on the results we’ve achieved–not the number of statues we’ve won.
Look at it this way. If a potential client is visiting your site or LinkedIn profile in an attempt to research you or your firm, what would they find more useful? The number of Silver Anvils you’ve won? Or, the number of leads you helped drive last year? The increase in Web traffic that came as a result of the campaign you spear-headed? Or, the uptick in share of voice online you helped facilitate while working for your last employer?
You tell me.
Note: Photo courtesy of armatoj via FlickR Creative Commons.