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Are you just polishing the knob?

Are you just polishing the knob?

By Jim Thompson

There is a lot of time effort and money being spent out there on marketing activities that are basically just attempts at making firms look shinier and brighter than the next one.

New websites, new brands and brand statements, new office fitouts, brochureware, magazine ads etc, the list goes on.

A kind of professional services version of keeping up with the Jones’s and what I call hygiene marketing – making sure everything is polished, smells, looks and sounds good.

hygienesmallYes maybe some of this is necessary but in reality all you are doing is keeping the needle around zero or slightly above and not moving the knob past 1 on the dial.

Sorry but you are never going to move the needle past one let alone to 10 by more polishing and even if it does give you an edge it will be unquantifiable and fleeting as everyone else is polishing their knob too.

For most the number one outcome from your polishing will be – that you feel better which is fine but that’s not why you market – self-gratification has its place but you market to win more business or if you’re at capacity to replace your worst client with a better one.

Should you not be attracting new business based on your expertise and not shiny subjective queues or what other people say about you?

Yes your clients want you to meet a certain hygiene level but they don’t just want a shinier looking you, what they really want is your expertise.

If you and your firm really are better than the rest then why do you spend so much time, effort and money on polishing the knob instead of demonstrating your expertise?

How do you do that?

Through your positioning, your content and your visibility – education through content is the only marketing left – the rest is just knob polishing.

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