Would you hire a contractor to renovate your kitchen because he uses a Cobalt 750-S Belt Sander?

Or would you prefer to see his impeccable craftsmanship in recently completed projects, read testimonials about how he handled unforeseen challenges (think Property Brothers vs. asbestos), and know he cares about the impact his work will have on your quality of life for years to come?

Okay, I clearly had HGTV on in the background while I wrote this.

It’s surprising to see companies take the former approach.

For example, I see a lot of ads for this industry (website designers, social media marketers, etc). I’m often visiting design-related sites or using Google for keyword research, so I’m served up ads based on those topics.

Recently a design firm ran a whole campaign about securing your site with https. That’s the little green padlock (and the encryption behind it). While https sits somewhere between great and vital, it seems like an odd focus for selling design services – unless that’s their front-end offer for a larger funnel. Kind of feels like an architectural firm running ads for deadbolts.

Capabilities are important, but there’s a fine line between conveying qualifications and smacking customers over the head with jargon. “We run your CMS on Linux split-shared accounts with PHP 7.2 and a 256mb memory limit on script execution.” Cool, but most business owners aren’t programmers and this means nothing to them. They just want more customers and a site that looks good on iPhones.

If a poor craftsman blames his tools I’d also venture to say that a poor craftsman markets on his tools.

Also, I made up that sander.

I don’t know anything about sanders; belt, colonel, or otherwise.

Make sure you’re focusing on your craft when you speak to your audience.

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Don’t just survive online. Thrive.

No spam, just quality content on getting the most out of your web presence – and maybe an occasional mention of something cool in Portland, or a book / podcast mention if we’re impressed and think you’d get genuine value from checking it out.