Last Friday, I saw three companies talk with absolute passion and authenticity about what they are doing and why.
Every company had a story to tell – a story filled with drama, anguish, tears, laughter, breakthrough and conviction. It was the kind of communication that leaves you feeling humble, inspired and, yes, ready to buy!
It’s a fascinating experience. One of these companies had been through a process of reinventing their business with Carolyn Tate, a woman who reinvented her own business in the past two years, and is now determined to overturn the old paradigms of marketing and promote “conscious marketing”.
Tate leads her clients through a deep, year-long process of reflection and questioning of their business purpose before even discussing marketing material such as websites or brochures.
It’s easy to see why.
Each company – Marque Lawyers, Nudge Accounting, and Edwards Executive (soon to be rebranded) – has found clarity of purpose arising from their courage to challenge their own industries’ ways of working.
As a journalist, it’s rare to find company leaders who have the courage to speak out. Most are too busy trying to be all things to all potential customers to dare saying what they really think. Hearing leaders talk about the ways their industry fails its market is enormously exciting.
As a customer, I know where I will turn when I need the services these three companies are offering. They may or may not be able to provide what I am after, but that will be immediately clear. Saying no to the wrong work is easy for companies that have discovered exactly what they are on about and why.
I’m still searching for that clarity of purpose myself, to be honest. I encountered these companies during a day-long workshop, Reinventing Your Business, which Carolyn Tate has started running. The experience was both exciting and terrifying.
Since I left the mainstream media nearly a year ago, I’ve had to rethink so much about what I do and why. As Tate points out, reinvention takes time, and is much a personal process as a professional one. Tate no longer fears sitting around a table with her clients and finding herself and everyone in the room in tears, she told us. Such things happen when we realise we need more courage, that we can do more, and that we have something important to offer.
When we find that purpose, we can tell our own story with the kind of authenticity that attracts people to work with us. It’s not marketing, it’s not content marketing – it’s just a conversation between people about what matters.