You would think that this tag-line might be from a comic strip, but it’s not. It is proudly emblazoned on a business sign (the business shall go unnamed) which I saw a few days ago while driving back to the office from a meeting.
That tag-line made me laugh at first, but then once it me that it was an actual statement made by a business, I thought of the very industry that I am proud to be a part of, and it got me thinking-perhaps I shouldn’t be so proud.
In the world of web services (i.e. web design, development, search engine marketing, etc.), everyone seems to be an expert in everything, which brings the saying ‘Jack of all trades…master of none’ to mind. Everyone can’t be an expert in everything, just as a business cannot make the claim to ‘specialize in everything’. So, then why does almost everyone who offers any kind of web-based service claim to be an expert? It is the lack of expertise that is the case of this phenomenon.
If you have nothing to offer that is different, from the competition whose site is just one click away, but boastful talk, then you have to resort to hyperbole. This not only does a disservice to the client, but also to the person masquerading as an expert.
If you tell a lie often enough, you will start believing it yourself. So be very careful of how you speak of yourself. Better yet, let your work speak for you. Let your knowledge of the industry speak for you, and if you have little precious knowledge about the industry then admit it (at least to yourself) and remedy this shortfall.
Many people speak of integrity and honesty when it comes to business, but very few people practice it. There is a great quote from Mark Twain which is a good guide for anyone, but especially business people; it says, “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Try to do the right thing; don’t claim you are an expert if you know you aren’t.