stop leading with mission statement

Why You Need to Stop Leading with Your Mission Statement (And What To Do Instead)

By Princess Jones

Recently, I was working with a client on her website and she asked me to include her mission statement on one of her sales pages. I put it off hoping she would forget but she reminded me just as I was finishing the final revision of her website copy. In the end, if a customer insists on something, I try to give it to them. So, I added it.

This had been a client who basically wanted a carbon copy of her old website on her new site through WordPress. By this point, I already realized that she didn’t want any guidance in what appeared where on her site. She wasn’t paying me for my professional opinion. She was paying me because I knew how to use WordPress and she didn’t.

If she had been open to hearing my advice, I would have told her that the mission statement at the top of the page hurt the flow of the copy and made the layout awkward. And that this was too much to give up for a mission statement because no one cares about it anyway.

The Only Real Mission Statement

A mission statement is just an objective for your business — why you’re here and what you intend to do. You usually develop it during the business plan development stage of your company planning. Most of us pretty it up with some nice wording and try to mention how much we love our customers in there.

Give your customers some credit. Reading a platitude riddled mission statement is not going to convince them that you really care about their wants and needs if you don’t. The thing is that no matter what you put in your mission statement, your customers know what your real mission is. It’s the same as any other for-profit organization. You’d like to make money by doing whatever it is your company does. You’ve just got to work very hard to show them that’s not your only concern.

Things to Do With Your Mission Statement

Do more than plop your mission statement in the middle of your marketing materials. Reading your mission statement isn’t the same as experiencing it. Your mission statement doesn’t belong on your website or in your brochure, but in the way you do business. Instead of showing it to your customers, show it to your staff.

Make sure your staff understands what you’re trying to create with your business and where you want to take it. Ask them to come up with ways you can honor that mission statement in every way you do business. Give them the power to call out any time your business is not honoring its mission.

Use it to guide your business decisions. Always go back to your mission statement when offering a new product or striking out into a new industry. Just ask yourself if this is in line with the mission you’re working toward and walk away from the things that aren’t.

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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