How not to kick off your practice profile

How not to kick off your practice profile

Here is another of my occasional emails in which I try and take the mystery and hard work out of writing…

I’ve lost track of the number of practice profiles which kick off with a history lesson. But when a potential client alights on your practice profile, their agenda is quite different to yours, and it probably doesn’t revolve around you. It revolves very firmly around them.

These are a few questions which are very likely to be swirling around – unspoken – in your potential client’s mind:

Is what this practice does relevant to me?
Will this practice listen to me?
Will this practice understand me?

Here’s a short made-up practice profile which gets it very wrong and provides no answers at all. It’s worse than most, but I’m sure there’ll be something familiar about it.

Founded in 2013 by So and So, Abstract Architecture is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary architectural practice with a wide-ranging portfolio of work across the fields of architecture and interiors. Services are tailored to suit your project and budget, and the practice has worked for private, public realm, commercial and cultural-sector clients in the UK and abroad.

Most of this is likely to go over a potential client’s head, and most of it is trying so hard to appeal to everyone that it will appeal to no one.

Put yourself in your potential client’s shoes and ask yourself those three questions about your existing practice profile. If you’re nodding along, then that’s great and you don’t need to read any further. If you’re not, then it’s time to get back into your own shoes and ask yourself some searching questions. Start with these:

What would your ideal client be like? (Then you’ll know who you should be talking to.)

If you had to say one thing that’s different about your practice, what would it be? (This will focus your mind on the purpose behind what you do.)

What is your practice particularly good at?
(Perhaps this is the equivalent of striking a superhero pose. In any case, it’ll get you thinking about all the great things you do.)

Once you’ve answered these, you’ll have started nailing what should go into your practice profile. But, just as importantly, thinking about your answers will force you to step back and get a bit of perspective. And you’ll realise why a history lesson really isn’t the best way of putting your best foot forward.

Do get in touch if you’d like to talk more about rethinking your practice profile. And if you think you might be interested in a workshop which can kick start the process as well as get everyone re-inspired about what they do, we can talk about that too.

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