If you are creating an “Our why” page for your accountancy firm website based on Simon Sinek’s concept of the same name, you may want to rethink it.
It seems as though almost every accountant I talk to lately has seen the video, or read the book, and somehow this has translated into “we need to explain our why on our website”.
I’m not sure how that message has come across – perhaps Simon himself mentioned it (although I don’t remember it), or perhaps other consultants to the accounting profession encouraged it.
I have all the time in the world for Simon Sinek. I heard him speak at Infusioncon a few years ago, I’ve read some of his books and content, and the Start With Why concept is second to none. (I even got a personal reply when I emailed him directly. True story.)
But if you think you’re achieving “having a why” by creating a website page, you’re missing the whole point.
Here’s the type of thing I’ve seen on “our why” pages lately:
- “These are the principles that guide our philosophy and are the foundation for our belief that…”
- “We help clients achieve their business and personal goals. We understand every client does not require the same level of service…”
- “We are a modern, forward-thinking, proactive, online, cloud-accounting firm that specialises in helping clients improve profitability and growth….”
Aren’t these all looking remarkably the same?
And if they’re the same, is that a true ‘why’?
It’s not really a why. It’s more of a ‘who’.
It’s a great effort at starting to identify who you are and who you help….but a why goes much deeper, and I’m concerned that people are simply taking the “start with why” phrase and using it to have an About Us page that purports to be different (but isn’t really).
As an example, a firm we’re working with in South Africa is rebranding their entire company. New name, new website, new logo, new everything. It’s going to be insanely cool. (You heard it here first.)
And every single page of their new website (which is under construction now) is literally dripping with the why – but we never use the word. We won’t have an Our Why page, or a “mission statement”.
After all, we’ve got a 4 pillars page here on The Profitable Firm, because we do want you to know who we are and how we work. That’s not our why, though.
You’ll notice that Apple itself (one of the companies that Sinek mentions as an early adopter) doesn’t have a why page. Certainly the Wright brothers (also mentioned by Sinek) never even had a website, much less a why page.
“You see, the early majority will not try something until someone else has tried it first. And these guys – the innovators and early adopters – they’re comfortable making those gut decisions. They’re more comfortable making those intuitive decisions which are driven by what they believe about the world, and not just what product is available.”
– Simon Sinek
It’s about taking decisions and doing things which appeal to the right kind of people. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” Sinek says. “And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
When that’s the case, your services and your website will truly BE different, because they are a reflection of what you believe and why.
When that’s the case, you don’t need to state your why.
Your ‘why’ will be visible in everything you do.
So what can you actually DO that will stand out? Build a web page about that.