Many marketing companies or agencies are concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses.” Companies think they need to have a big brand name on their list of clients to look credible and that is just not the case. If your company has made a difference for small to medium sized businesses that is something to be proud of too.

If a possible client is a small to medium-sized business owner they want to know that you know how to meet their needs, right? What does the big brand name in your content and on your website do for you? Make you look too expensive?

Questions to Ask Yourself

Which audiences are you wanting to attract? What types of businesses will invest in what you offer? Who do you need to impress?

Do not be focused on having the “biggest” names on your website, because the truth is there is a lot of money to be made working with non-recognized names. In fact, many of the marketing agencies that I know that have many small/medium businesses on their client roster are making more money than the folks that truly get work from big brands.

Deception in Content and Images

One of the best ways to kill your credibility with your audience and your industry is to lie about who your partners are, what businesses you have done work for and where you have been featured.

Business Partner/Associated With

I cannot tell you how many agency sites I see that have massive brands listed on their site. They will have something like, “Business Partner” or “Associated With” and then have images of brands like Adobe, Microsoft, Google and Apple. When you talk with them you find out the only way they are associated with these companies is they invest in their products or services.

I have to say that when I see this I am immediately turned off and want nothing to do with the company. This is clearly deception in my opinion and if you are going to deceive to get clients you must be the type of company to deceive after you get clients, right?

Work Performed For

I have also seen many smaller marketing companies claiming they have done work for large brands and then when you talk to the companies they explain that they were a contractor of a contractor of a company that actually had the contract with a big brand. Again, this is deception and disgusting. Don’t lie.

I would be more impressed if you told me that the marketing company that had the contract with the large brand used you for contract services.

Featured On

Another thing I see in all forms of content marketing and websites is “featured on.”


  • Paying to have an ad on a site does not mean you were featured on a site.
  • People that are featured are those that were interviewed, written about or have written for a site.
  • Having your business name in a comment of a particular article does not make you “featured”.

Again, this is a form of deception that makes people lose trust in your company/brand.

If you have truly been featured on a site and you have their name and/or image on your site you should link to where you were featured so people can check. This is helpful in the trust process and as I have said many times, trust is the first step of the buying/conversion process.

To Sum it All Up

If you lie and deceive you lose trust. When you walk into search conferences and people look you up at the bar, after you have given them your card, and they see the “deceptive” content and images all over your site you have just lost a valuable connection or possible client.

To be really good at what you do you don’t have to work for big brands. There is so much to learn from working for small/medium businesses that many people have never heard of. What you have done to improve the bottom line for a company is what should be featured all over your site. Your proven skill set is what you should brag about.

Focus on your achievements and be proud of them.