If a hamburger can set itself apart so can you….

Andrew Neitlich

This weekend my wife, kids, and brother-in-law are driving 3 and a half hours across the state of Florida just to eat a hamburger.

Technically, we are also doing some siteseeing, but the catalyst for the trip was a hamburger.

We are fortunate to live in a state that boasts the best hamburger in the country, according to GQ Magazine and Oprah Winfrey. It’s at a place called Le Tub, in Hollywood Florida, in case you are interested. The service is supposed to be horrible, but the burgers are supposed to be incredible.

Why do you care? What does this have to do with web design and development?

Simple: If a hamburger joint can cause people (and my family is not alone in our quest) to travel 3 and 1/2 hours to buy its products, then web designers and developers can figure out ways to set their services apart to be equally tempting.

How? You have to become more than a commodity. You have to find, and then communicate, ways to set your services apart. You have to reach the top of the pyramid. You have to become the “go to” professional, or guru if you will.

Strangely enough, there is no absolute science to doing this. You know as well as I do that Le Tub may not offer the best hamburger in the world. But Oprah and GQ magazine have enormous credibility. As the humor newspaper The Onion recently noted, millions wait eagerly every day to hear Oprah’s newest instructions and orders. (BTW, if you don’t already visit The Onion, bookmark the site: http://www.theonion.com or get a subscription).

You can build similar credibility (although perhaps on a less grand scale) by getting opinion leaders in your market to rave about you. You can write articles in respected publications. You can collect testimonials. And you can get visible in ways that show your expertise.

Once you reach the top of the pyramid, amazing things happen. Actors in Hollywood, Sports Figures, and Fortune 500 CEOs receive off-the-charts pay because they have reached the top of the pyramid. They don’t work any harder than we do; some may work less. But they have achieved “agreement” that they are special. In some cases, as in sports, this agreement is based purely on performance. But in other cases, especially in marketing/business, how the agreement is arrived at is much more fuzzy and subjective.

In professions, this “agreement” is partly based on substance, and partly based on communications and marketing.

So you can build your credibility right now, with proper marketing.

You too, can be the best hamburger in the world.

See you in a few days, with a few more pounds added to my belly!