Philip Morgan

I enjoyed this interview with our guest Philip Morgan about how freelancers or web agencies, should position themselves online. Philip has some strong ideas connected to positioning, and I would highly advise you to listen to his thoughts.


Our episode this week is sponsored by Liquid Web. Liquid Web is offering a 33% discount for 6 months. Head over to and use the code WPTONIC33 at checkout for your discount.


More About Philip

What Your Favorite Motivation or Business Books?

“The Brain Audit” by Sean D’Souza

“Start With No” by Jim Camp

“Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

“Lean Customer Development” by Cindy Alvarez

“Selling to Big Companies” by Jill Konrath

Can You List 3 to 5 Life Success or Leadership Principles?

The smaller your focus, the bigger it is.

Hardwood grows slowly.

Easy does it.

Have You Got Any Special Promotions or Offers At the Present Moment That Our Listeners or Viewers Would Be Interested In?

Everybody should give the idea of becoming a specialist a closer look. The best way to start with that is

Positioning Your Business

The majority of web development shops are generalist firms. But being a generalist firm is increasingly difficult for lead generation, and most firms that remain a general development shop become a commodity.

To avoid being caught in a race to the bottom, it is imperative to choose a vertical and/or discipline in which to specialize. Specialization allows a consultancy to sidestep the question, “Why should we hire you instead of your competitors?”

Positioning is a choice that you must make continuously. Content is one way to establish a position, but it takes a long time to differentiate. The longer you produce original thought leadership and the more original research you publish, the stronger your position becomes.

Owning a Word In the Buyer’s Mind

What all buyers are looking for is the confidence that your firm can complete the business objectives they are hiring you to accomplish. Having a track record in a vertical helps a great deal, but what if you don’t have a lengthy track record with a certain type of client?

Focusing on a specific problem over time will help establish trust in the buyer’s mind. Most sales are done before the buyer picks up the phone. They are looking for trust in your firm in their vertical or type of problem. Have you displayed an understanding of the type of problem, and the ability to solve it?

Why Doesn’t Everyone Embrace Clear Positioning?

Scarcity mindset is the reason that most web shops remain generalist shops.

When they consider choosing a specific vertical or discipline to serve, instead of seeing abundance , they focus on the business they might lose. The truth is if you do not specialize in something you are indistinguishable from every other web design company in existence.

Even if you choose something arbitrary, it is better in the long run than trying to be all things to all people. Buyers do not believe that you are good at twenty different things. They would rather you be excellent at one or two things.

Choosing a Focus

There are a couple of guiding principles for choosing a positioning statement. It should be in an area you are passionate about. It’s difficult to maintain energy for a vertical that you care nothing about.

If you have demonstrated some ability to understand the problems in a space, even if you don’t have a ton of those in your portfolio, that is better than being undifferentiated.

Links Mentioned During Episode 163

The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms

Clutch: B2B Research

Build a Better Agency Episode 20: Define Your Mission, Vision, and Values, with Drew McLellan

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Positioning Crash Course

163 WP-Tonic: Interview with Philip Morgan on Positioning Your Business was last modified: by