STANDSTILL agencies think it’s about WHAT they know.
STANDOUT agencies appreciate it’s about WHO they know.
My grandad had a favourite saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. He drummed this into his son (my father). They both recited it to me throughout my childhood.
Whilst my dad and grandad encouraged me in my education (I was the first one in my family to go to University), when it came to passing down some wisdom, it was a familiar mantra:
”Remember, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know Gareth”.
The sad thing is their efforts were in vain. Despite my degree, I completely missed the point.
For over 30 years, I misinterpreted what they meant. I thought they were encouraging me to embrace nepotism. That they believed in asking for “favours” and “jobs for the boys” (or girls of course). I thought they were encouraging me to try and schmooze my way through life. None of these things are really my style. Some conflict with my values.
I achieved a great deal of success and helped to build a great agency without following the family dictum. But about 5 years ago the penny finally dropped…
They weren’t talking about gaining favours or preferential treatment, they were talking about the benefits of networking. Or more specifically, the power of profile. Sadly my grandad has long since passed, but I now tell my dad I’ve updated the Healey maxim:
”It’s not just who you know, it’s who knows you”
Knowledge and expertise are extremely important, but they’re not much use if nobody knows you have them. And no matter how good you are, or how nice you are, if you don’t keep yourself in people’s minds they soon forget about you.
Profile is the 7th step of the STANDOUT R.O.A.D.M.A.P. in my book STANDOUT OR DIE. Raising your agencies profile is one of the most important jobs you have to do as an agency owner.
No matter what level of skill, knowledge or expertise you and your agency has. Make sure people get to know about it (and keep reminding them).