Want to look professional?
We're all experts
All of a sudden, everyone’s an expert. ‘I’ve got a great camera on my phone; what do I need a photographer for?’
Fair comment: the new generation of cameras on smartphones are indeed of very high quality. But it can’t help you with composition or lighting, and they certainly don’t come with PhotoShop.
‘I’ve got a laptop, so what do I need a copywriter for?’
Again, fair comment. But it can’t arm you with experience, won’t increase your vocabulary and certainly won’t improve your grammar. On the bright side (really?), the spell checker/autocorrect may give your text an American vibe, which is quite trendy in some circles. Not here, though.
First impressions count
By far and way the biggest culprits are in the SME sector and in a way can’t be blamed too much for, arguably, such short-sightedness. In a twitchy, volatile trading marketplace, the smaller company is far more sensitive than the cash heavy corporate, a bit like a dinghy in choppy waters compared with a super tanker.
However, Mr I’ve-got-a-smartphone-and-a-laptop SME, don’t forget that corporates were SMEs once. The reason why, of two companies with equally good products, one will out-grow the other is marketing: it can’t be anything else. It’s what we do, you know. Yes, a quality sales team will always help, but it’s how the company is perceived amongst its potential client base that drives the sales.
There is a cautionary note, however. Beware the silver-tongued snake-oil marketing salesman – be particularly wary if all they advocate is social media and SEO – as they cannot promise results any more than we can. What we can, and do, do is take the horse to water, but it’s the client that has to provide the drink.