This is my slightly-too-artful re-creation of a sign on a truck I drove by on Tuesday. I have to say, it was really hard to make my lettering look as bad as his, and it doesn't. In addition to the haphazard application, some letters were peeling off and barely adhering to the car.
Giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, I could assume that he bought the truck from someone else and is not actually a handyman, but has not yet removed the lettering.
Whoever applied these letters, however, surely would not get my vote for attention to detail. If he can't even be bothered to put the letters on his truck straight, how on earth could I expect him to paint or repair anything in my home with any amount of care?
It's like an image consultant who is always in disarray, a professional organizer who's constantly late to appointments, or a teacher who misspells his lessons on the chalkboard.
Think about how you portray yourself as a professional, whether or not you're a regular speaker.
Are your e-mails full of typos? Does your website have a different size font on every page? Are your voice mail messages missing important information -- like your phone number?
Are you not clueing in to how your clients and prospects are dressed, and wearing the wrong clothes to meetings and presentations?
Are your reports or marketing materials hastily put together, sloppy or incomplete? (My recent pet peeve: the billboard or newspaper ad that has a Facebook logo -- indicating the business is on Facebook -- but no Facebook URL. How exactly am I supposed to find them on Facebook?)
All these actions (and more) give people around you a certain impression, an impression that you don't care. And if you don't care about something like sending an e-mail without typos, where first impressions might prompt you to be on your best behavior, why should they expect you to care about other things, bigger and more important things?
Don't be a slacker. Details matter. Show prospective clients and audiences that you care.
Here are a few more posts on impressions and image:
First impressions follow you everywhere
Is your image consistent with your message?
Customers don't always enter through the front door