This is an astonishingly perceptive quote, and worth unpacking for anyone who operates and advertises a service business.

So let’s break it down Barney Style and see what we can learn.

Beckwith makes 2 incredibly important points:

  1. Your ads aren’t (or shouldn’t be) selling expertise because:
    • Your expertise is largely assumed, and
    • Customers can’t intelligently evaluate your expertise, even if they had the desire and time to do so
  2. Instead, your ads ought to sell customers on a relationship

It’s not uncommon for people within a profession to have a very definite sense of who really knows what they’re doing and who doesn’t among their colleagues and competitors.

And they lose sight of the fact that the average person has no idea about that and no legitimate way to judge who really knows their stuff.

In fact, they probably assume that if you do it for a living, you know what you’re doing.

So all they can really evaluate you on is reputation and intention.

What do other people say about you?

Better yet, what do other people like them say about you

And what is their sense of your real motivations and values?

In other words, they tend to evaluate you in exactly the same way that they’d evaluate a potential friend or romantic partner.

This is why I write so much about the advertising power of:

For maximum effectiveness, your ads ought to be inviting listeners and viewers into relationship with you.

Once you understand that, you’ll change the way you see your branding campaigns.

In fact, you’ll probably change who you want to create and manage your branding campaign.

And that’s a good thing.