Nobody likes to get caught with egg on their face, especially not me. It happened to me recently and I felt this was a great opportunity to share my experience, the impact it had on one of my clients and what perceptions it created for them about me and my work. These days with all the social connectivity and ease of information sharing a few small slip ups can have a much larger and faster negative impact on your credibility than you ever thought possible.
Sharing your perspective and thoughts is important. No, critical.
I do a lot of proposal work in my position as Interactive Media Director with FirstTracks Marketing Group. About two months ago I had a final presentation meeting for a website project we were trying to land with a community college in Maine. We ended up coming in second for the proposal. One of the ways I like to deal with my career experiences is to write about them. I do this so that I can explore as many angles of the situation as possible and I also do it so I have something to remind me of how and why we are doing what we are doing. I find it to be a cathartic experience where I can truly absorb all the aspects of what we’ve done and what I’ve learned from the experience, good, bad or indifferent.
So what happened with this post?
I’ve been guilty with my personal website (because I work full time) of thinking of my web site as something just for me because it’s not my primary focus every day. Turns out, it is much more important than I realized.
I got an email the other day from a previous client, Siege Technologies, who I designed their company logo and new WordPress website for this year). They were meeting with another business and showing off the website I had built for them. They noticed that I had written a new post and decided to check it out. Turned out, I had some rather obvious spelling and grammar errors in my writing that left them with a less than favorable impression of the quality and attention to detail I put into my writing.
Here’s what my client had to share with me about my latest post:
“There are people (like me!) that feel that if you either don’t care enough, or aren’t able to write things correctly then you probably shouldn’t get the job. (That’s overly harsh… but the point is if you are in a field (and I would argue there are lots of them) where communicating is important to your brand/reputation, then attention to detail/spelling/grammar is worth the effort!)”
I don’t disagree with anything they said here. In my opinion, if you are going to take the time to write something and make it available to the public you had damn well better take the time to make sure it’s perfect no matter where you are publishing it. I am grateful to my client for taking the time to share their feedback and perception of my writing. They reminded me how critical and important my own digital presence and perception are. Hopefully my experience and sharing will do the same for you as well the next time you decide to publish your next article.
My Key takeaway from the entire situation / experience
Make sure you take equal if not more care with your own personal digital image. People are reading what you write and equating it to what you do and the quality of work you produce. This is how I have always and continue to approach all of my professional work and will now strive to make sure that even my personal musings, thoughts and opinions are always held to the same high standard. So what about you? Have you ever had an experience like this? How did you decide to make amends and move on in a positive way? Please share your thoughts below!