Traditional outbound marketing and advertising tactics are dying a slow death, increasingly devoid of ROI. This type of outreach continues to place a heavy emphasis on the brand name of an organization, as if the gravitas of the title on the wall will deliver results.

A name is largely a table stake unless you’re perennially one of the most respected brands in the world. So if you’re near the top of the list with Apple, Coke or Google, then as you were. You don’t need anyone’s help.

But consulting and professional services business models (like ours) are tasked with making thethoughtleaders intangible tangible. Lawyers and accountants don’t manufacture or design a product, but no one argues the importance both have in our daily lives. So why do clients choose a particular firm?

You can’t establish brand recognition in those fields without first building trust by delivering positive results for your clients. Certainly, once you’ve established a brand, the name is meaningful and will engender future good will and business opportunities. The steps you take in building the brand, however, are dependent upon the skills and expertise of those you employ.

The outcomes we’ve been able to achieve for our clients tell us that a professional services organization’s people, not its name, give the organization its luster.

Thought capital, not brand name, matter most to in-house counsel, CIOs, CFOs, etc. seeking outside experts. They don’t just search the web and make a decision primarily based on how cool your logo looks. No, they want to know the qualifications of your team. Your name, assuming it’s been around for at least a few years, is secondary.

Consider it in terms of the movement of lawyers or accountants from one firm to another. Competitors don’t raid the top talent at their rivals because they like the firm’s name. They recruit their people because of the capabilities and the results they’ve demonstrated for clients. The name of the firm doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Its value is rooted in the currency of those working there.

Our experience with the media is similarly grounded in the belief that who we position to our contacts in the press as a thought leader is vastly more important than the name of that expert’s organization. Our credibility with the media relies on the credibility of those we provide them with to use as sources, just as their credibility as a news organization to their audiences is dependent on the reliability of the people they quote, profile or publish.

The New York Times hasn’t been regarded as this country’s paper of record for more than a century because its name is The New York Times. The New York Times is the most-respected, comprehensive news organization in the country – if not the world – because of the individuals validating and verifying the information it reports in individual stories.

A marketing brochure or a glossy ad won’t seal the deal with prospects, but a well-placed quote, op-ed, byline or media hit for your team in a reputable news organization just might.

This also holds true within the burgeoning field of online content creation. If you can demonstrate thought leadership and the ability to solve your clients’ complex problems in blogs, case studies and white papers available on your website and social media channels, then you increase your ability to get found and hired exponentially.

Highlight your expertise in quality content created by third parties or internally. Share it in the spaces your target audiences occupy. Engage them in a two-way conversation. Convert them into clients. Then repeat, repeat and repeat. Make the intangible tangible. We’re happy to help show you how.