Brilliance on a Napkin

How often have you been in conversation over lunch with business associates and watched as they reached for a napkin to sketch a concept?

Not often I bet unless you are lucky enough to enjoy a meal with a “thought leader.”

Amygdala hijack

Concepts are hard to come by and harder to present in a way that is understandable. Often, years of experience and research come to frustration as the paper blotches and smears you’re carefully contrived graph or sketch. Even when all involved share similar experiences and background it can prove to be truly challenging.

The effort is what Laurie Buxton, the Neuro-humorist describes as an amygdala hijacking. That’s a surge of neurons in your vestigial lizard brain that brings you joy, frustration and sometimes laughter.

Sketchy but beautiful

These ideas when drawn on the porous paper bleed every which way. The lines may be ragged but the intent is quickly obvious from the accompanying explanation. Positive ROI follows when you put them to work. That’s because the narrative is so rich in the vocabulary of first-hand experience.

Brilliance on a napkin

I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to a powerful concept illustrated on a napkin a number of times:

  • The Brand/Direct Scale, invented by a former client and his partner to show the difference in ROI dependent on the percentage of direct marketing versus Brand use in ads.
  • The Consultant Value Jump developed by the Alan Weiss Community and shaped like a ski jump seen from the side that portrays how fees can be increased as engagement time decreases.
  • The Promotional Whirl from the heart of my own Brand Gyro that uses over-lapping circles to make both the new Trust tools and traditional Spin Tools understandable.
  • The Brand Introduction Curve a Marketing director and I put together for a training session with the divisional directors of a Fortune 500 company. The major difference we incorporated was using a full cross-hairs X-Y axis and showing all the time and costs in development before the product was introduced and began (with luck) to generate ROI
  • The Brand Disruption Curve used by a management consultant friend from Toronto to convince clients to begin considering the mortality of their brands and how to be prepared for the shift.

Less is more

Using a napkin as your art board means you must strip away all the extras and get to the heart of your concept. Space can be a concern. Multi-faceted symbols can prove difficult to render. Writing can yield pathetic results. Less is more in napkin conditions.

Radiance

I was rattling on about this over Thai food with a friend. She put down her chop sticks, picked up her purse, searched out a pen and then picked up a paper napkin. The waiter removed our dishes and she put the napkin in the middle of the table between us saying, “All those things about presenting an idea on a napkin you said are true but it also gives you one thing that is less expected.  It makes your imagination a part of the concept. Let me show you.

With that she drew a small box about a quarter inch square to one side of the napkin. Three inches to the right of it she drew another. This one she filled in. Then she said, “Most people see decisions this way…black or white. A few have been taught that there are many greys that separate them.

But I tell my clients to imagine the colors of the rainbow filling that space in the middle. Not only do we have more than two ways to go we have infinite choices, all of which can bring new light into our lives.”

Imagine your rainbow.


Jerry Fletcher­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

3-Second Branding

You can’t control brand but you can influence it.

Brand has been part of the expertise I’ve offered for going on fifty years.

I stumbled into this: the only time you have really powerful influence on brand is when the slate is clean.

If you’re an independent professional—a consultant, coach, financial planner, accountant, insurance agent, realtor, IT specialist (to name a few) this little tidbit is for you.

You’ve got 3 seconds.

How you identify yourself in that first few seconds will determine whether or not you will be remembered. What you say is the “hook.” Prospects will hang all their knowledge of you going forward on your initial utterance. Memorable words will get you a place in their mind and possibly their heart.

The “hook” has been an integral part of 30-Second Marketing since I came up with it to replace that tired old “elevator speech”

The hook, by itself, can establish a Brand. Whichever kind of hook you select, it can do that job.

What are your choices?

There are three that I know work. Each answers the question, “What do you do?” if you work in North America. They work but are less comfortable in other parts of the world.

  1. The Unforgettable Title
    This is a simple way to identify your expertise. Some examples:
  • Captain Crunch (A Certified Public Accountant)
  • Business Defogger (A top-notch Management Consultant)
  • Brand Poobah (A Professional Speaker –moi)
  1. The Beloved Benefit
    This one comes from knowing and understanding the desires of your target audience. It is specific about what you deliver for them in memorable language that comes from their vernacular. Examples:
  • We remove the paperwork from clean water.” (A client company that is bringing digital approaches to water testing record keeping)
  • We reboot employee mindsets to unleash their potential.” ( A client partnership that has developed, tested and guarantees their ability to help individuals find balance, eliminate stress and overcome addictions)
  • We build websites that make rain.” (I used this one in the years that websites were key to new consulting engagements for me.)
  1. The Shock Style Connector
    Sometimes to stand out from the crowd you have to be a little shocking. This approach moves from shock to service and gains credibility along the way.
  • I’m a Marketing Whore” (A possibility offered in a workshop by a woman who explained that she was looking for a job, had many years experience in multiple companies and had many “satisfied customers” along the way. She got a round of applause for her effort plus two job offers)
  • “I traffic in human flesh.” (An adoption attorney during a 30 Second Marketing workshop. She said it was the intro she used at cocktail parties to “break the ice.” It worked. Two workshop attendees asked for her help.)
  • I’m a pick-pocket.” (A professional fund raiser who goes on to explain how he identifies donors and how to make them make charitable contributions. The non-profits that hire him never forget him and keep asking for his help)

Think about it.

None of those hooks take more than 3 seconds to set. None of them are easily released. None of them are easily associated with someone else once used.

Most importantly, when you are just wading in they give you memorability that might not come your way for years in any other way.

What is your Instant Brand?


Jerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Do you Look Your Brand?

Your logo is the least of it.

Part of my job as a consultant and speaker is to help independent professionals and small businesses see how important every graphic, photo and video is to their brand.

Adults relate to people not symbols.

It is easier for grocery shoppers to pick Newman’s over a host of competitors. Which do you lean toward, General Mills or Betty Crocker? Given the choice so you opt for coffee grown, picked and shipped by Juan or one of the raft of others on the shelves?

Animals come in second.

Can you believe a Super Bowl with no commercials featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales? When it comes to batteries do you want the Energizer Bunny ones or the other guys.

Cartoon Personalities come next, particularly with kids.

Four out of the top five cereals are hyped by a cartoon character (Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles). Ever wonder the King Kong of movie production in the last few years is Marvel?

Here’s how that impacts you and your business.

  • If you are an independent professional, your name and your image should be part of every way you promote your brand. For example, recently I decided to do more speaking. My new card reflects that in the visual which is a photo taken during a keynote. If you’ve ever been to a conference the impression is that this is a keynoter.If you can manage it, use a photo that allows the person viewing to make eye contact with you. Spend the money to have a professional photographer capture your essence. Selfie’s just don’t get it!
  • If your business is a separate entity providing a product or service not tied to your name or professional capabilities consider using an animal. I’ve known a very successful writing instructor that built her identity around her Newfoundland Retriever. At one point one of the most successful speakers I know had a blog “written” by his dog.

Be careful how you choose. Not everyone likes insects, or snakes or a mélange of other critters. Usually you need to stay away from the scary ones but sometimes the fear factor can make you more memorable. Or, you can do a switch up by using a comforting story or image. One of the highest readership blogs I’ve ever written was about a Mama Raccoon.

  • If you like cartoons, consider the expense. There are a lot of low cost logos that are cartoons. The problem is we are trained very carefully from youth to expect cartoons to be animated. Full scale animation is costly in terms of both time and money. Some amazing things have been done recently in software that may help you overcome this difficulty. Check into it before you walk away from the potential.

The key is to keep it consistent.

Every time you produce anything that will be seen by your customers, prospects, connections and referral sources make sure the visual reflects the image you want to present to them. That includes looking in the mirror as you leave your lair. Even if you are just running out to get an item at your local grocery, you need to look your brand.

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Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Personal Brand Out Of The Dark.

I went dark back in mid-November.

Shift happens. I put my house on the market and it sold. The condo I wanted to buy had not received FHA approval. The mortgage company bureaucrats demanded data at the last minute. Mom was in the emergency room so I flew back to the Midwest.

Then, not only Murphy but his minions decided it was my turn in the barrel. I figured my Personal Brand was going to take a hit.

Keeping your personal brand means you have to:

  • Constantly keep it in mind.
  • Unceasingly support it.
  • Always keep it visible.

That is especially true when Murphy and Minions grab hold of your life.

I’ve just come through three months of coping with the Murphy clan.

According to Google:

Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. (January 11, 1918 – July 17, 1990) was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He is best known for his namesake Murphy’s law, which is said to state, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

How do you sustain your personal brand when everything you do seems to diminish your ability to look after it?

For me it started with three apparently unrelated decisions:

  1. I would assist Mom in getting the eye surgery she needed by being there.
  2. I’d sell my house, downsize and bank a little cash on the way.
  3. Speaking appearances would get more attention in 2018.

I wrote about how Murphy and his Minions started changing my life regarding the first two decisions in my Personal Note Series (Best Laid Plans, To Market To Market).

Little did I know back then.

You are who you are and that will not change catastrophically unless you run afoul of the law in a major way.

I went dark for three months. My last Small Business Marketing Blog and weekly commentary last appeared in mid-November. Updates to my Brand web site and Facebook page stopped about the same time. My regular contributions to BeBee became a trickle of comments and then just stopped altogether.

I did maintain my consulting business clients but had to discontinue most of my new business activities. I flew to Cincinnati, Ohio from my home in Portland, Oregon four times in two months Two of the trips were unplanned because Mom was in the Emergency Room.

There were a few concerned business phone calls but It wasn’t until I cancelled the land-line phone service that I got any major reaction. I only have one phone number now: 503 957-7901

Be yourself. Don’t allow the events of the day to muddle how you connect.

Base your personal brand on your core competence, convictions and confidence. Stick to it through thick and thin. People understand that your professional abilities can be impacted by emotional situations. You need to be transparent about how Murphy and Minions are impacting your emotions. They will give you credit when you are candid.

Honesty, candor and your web site are the night light you need when Murphy and Minions force you to go dark.

My consulting site continued to generate leads and proved to be the primary resource for clients that were referring prospects. The comment, “I felt I knew you before we met in person because your web site gave me so much information.”

Over the next few weeks you can look forward to updates in my speaking site (www.NetworkingNinja.com)

_______________________________________________________________

Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Is Your Brand Singular?

UniqueAre you:

  • Focused
  • Unique
  • New
  • First
  • Defining

Successful brands are at least one of those.

Focused

The problem with most entrepreneurs is that in their rush to please customers they keep adding products or services and confuse people. Big companies are notorious for making this mistake. Automobile companies may be the best example of the worst behavior. Can you even begin to name the cars that Chevrolet manufactures today?

However, if you stick to one thing, then people identify you with that singular product or service or category. Examples: Starbucks, H&R Block, Subway.

Unique

There is only one Alan Weiss or Taylor Swift, or, for that matter, you. There is something unique in every individual. What is it about you that identifies you in other’s minds? One of my clients, a management Consultant is known for his ability to bring clarity to leadership of mid-size companies. He is known as “the Defogger.” Another is branded by her ability to help you see the psychological reasons you get tangled up in with managing money. When it comes to money knots, she is known as “the Untangler.”

If you are a professional or consultant your brand is a mixture of your skill set, your personality and how well you succeed in getting to trust. Ask your clients or patients or customers how you are different in their eyes. Use what you find out to let new connections have a better picture of you in their minds.

New

Brand spanking new, never seen before is not common. More often, yours is a new entry in an existing category. Every Salon that opens is new to the neighborhood but not to the category. Every young man or woman that passes the bar is a new lawyer but does not yet have a brand. Just because you are certified as one kind of professional or another doesn’t mean you have cachet. It may take years.

New is easier with products or services or even how people pay for your services. A former client (WingVentures) trained people to become pilots. The standard pricing in the industry is an hourly rate payment for the instructor plus an hourly rate payment for the aircraft plus the fuel cost for the aircraft each time you take a lesson. When he offered an all-inclusive price to go from novice to a pilot’s license he was not sure it would work until the first time he tried it and the client handed him a check for the full amount. The new approach netted him executive clients from not only his local area but from across the USA and Europe.

First

Don’t confuse being first with being first, ever. You can be first in your geographic area, first in your category or first to jump from one prospect audience to another.

Being first ever means you have to have a completely new product or product implementation. For example, false fingernails have been around since ancient times but Acrylic finger nails were invented in 1954. Fred Slack, a dentist, broke his fingernail at work, and created an artificial nail as a realistic-looking temporary replacement. After experiments with different materials to perfect his invention, he and his brother, Tom, patented a successful version and started the company Patti Nails.

Today, acrylic nails come in do-it-yourself kits. Professionals continue to offer them along with other kinds of false nails.

You will definitely not be the first to offer false nails but you could be the first to offer your own designs in your neighborhood.

You could be first to offer the service in the local barber shop with special nail designs just for men. Just thinking.

Defining

Sometimes a brand becomes the definition of product or service. Ever ask for a Kleenex or a Xerox? Ever specify a brand because they own the word that defines the solution to your problem? For instance, if it absolutely positively has to be there overnight you would probably call FedEx. Have a small cut? Sounds to me like you need a BandAid.

Remember my client the flight instructor? He offered Executive Flight Training. We oriented all discussion of the service and ancillary services to busy executives that wanted to get licensed on their schedule. There was a Private Pilot’s package, an Instrument Rating package and even a Jet Transition package. We even put together special deals for lodging for out of towners to come in for up to 21 days of training.

You can define your Brand with a word. It is best if it is a name but just hooking your brand to a specific word in the prospect’s mind can make you singular.


Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

 

Your Brand is Your Secret Funnel Story

Story FunnelYou can’t sell anything if they don’t buy your story.

You can talk at people until you are blue in the face and it won’t do any good.

You can “logic them” and “feature them” and even “benefit them” but your results will still be negative.

If your Web site or landing page starts with an “I” you are going to lose.

If you don’t make yourself memorable, communicate the problem you solve in their terms, tell them how you do it in their language and explain how to get your help in a couple minutes or less, you lose.

If you don’t make it easy for them every way you can, go back to your day job.

The secret is your story.

It makes no difference whether you are doing e-commerce for a product or a service. The distinction doesn’t matter.

Passion is what matters.

Why are you passionate about this thing you are selling? How did that happen? Want to bet that your experience is similar to other folks that might be interested? Have you watched someone’s eyes as you tell them the concerns you had about it? Have you noticed how they start nodding when you talk about how the change it made in you made you feel about yourself and your family? Have you noticed how you don’t have to sell but rather just take orders.

Your passion plus your story plus a formula.

Imagine you are in a room with a crowd of other folks that are entrepreneurial– consultants, coaches, professionals, guys and gals starting companies and people charged with launching a small company’s new product.

The speaker says:

Target “Are you the one that has to be sure that there is paying business in the pipeline? Do you find yourself looking for another place to network or a trade show to attend just to meet a few new prospects? Are you tired of waiting for leads from your web site or all the social media stuff they told you would work?

And even if it did isn’t that little voice in your ear saying things that make you doubt you’ll ever get this thing off the ground? Makes you feel like a failure that doesn’t take care of his family doesn’t it?

Ever wake up in the middle of the night worried about money to keep the business afloat and to be able to give your kids a college education?

We all know that people do business with people they know, like and trust.

Problem Would you say that your problem is building trust fast enough especially if your budget is zilch?

Guide I know what that’s like. I was the CEO of an ad agency dealing with national and international clients but my board and I agreed to disagree and I went from the corner office, the BMW and the expense account to a makeshift office in a spare bedroom.

I felt rejected. Put out to pasture. Trapped. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills.

I knew that I could help the little guys, the small businesses that couldn’t afford a big agency. I knew I could help them do it without breaking the bank.

First I had to get to trust. I had to find a way to reach them without looking desperate. But I had more bills than money.

I resorted to asking those pearls of contacts I had to help me get some business.

I sent a letter to just 60 golfing buddies. Six responded. Two wished me luck. Two referred me to prospects. And two gave me engagements.

That was in 1990.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. The most important is this:

  • What you know is significant
  • Who you know is important
  • But the single most critical factor in building a business, a career or a life of joy is who trusts you.

You can do what I did.

I can show you how.

It’s called Marketing Without Money.

Would you like to hear more about that?”


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

 

 

3 Tricks to Take Face Time From Awkward to Zoftique

3 Face Time TricksAbout mid afternoon, my brother in law pulled out his cell phone and then his pad computer and announced, “It’s time for some face time.”

I thought, “Do I have to?”

Today there are a myriad of ways to use technology to see who we’re having a conversation with. The results run the gamut from awkward to zoftique.

You can use:
An app on your Smart Phone
An app on your Pad Computer
Your Laptop or Desktop computer via Skype or meeting software.

Is there a device that doesn’t have a camera and microphone on it anymore?

Here are some things to consider before you opt to call or receive a call using “Face Time”

No matter what device you are reading this on, I want you to turn around and look at what is behind you. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

  • Would you be comfortable with an unannounced visitor seeing that?
  • Does the view of you and your surroundings convince people of your expertise?
  • Will the prospect have a better impression of you?
  • Will they remember you or your background images?
  • Most importantly, does the background meet their expectations about you?

Face Time used to mean an in-person meeting. You knew it was going to happen. You dressed for it. You got ready for it, reviewing information and honing your observations and questions.

Today, you could be face to face in a heartbeat. Here’s how to be ready:

  1. Plan for these calls. If you know it is going to happen you can be ready. If you plan for it you can better control what is going on around you. You won’t wind up talking from the back of cab on our way to a costume party which is where we connected with my nephew.
  2. Be aware of the background. In your office take the look suggested above. In the field, try to find a quiet place with a neutral background and a low probability of people wandering through it.
  3. Look at yourself before you answer and make sure to disconnect. Too often people that work from home simply forget where they are and the fact they are in their pajamas (or less). Then, too you can stay online with some technologies and not know it. Just disconnect if someone forgets to do so. You probably don’t want to know what you might see or overhear.

As Humphrey Bogart would say, “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

The Skin in the Game is Your Brand

Success All the e-mail said was, “Being successful developing and commercializing technologies and start-ups is a given or I wouldn’t have contacted you. I appreciate your offer but I don’t do business with people or groups that don’t have skin in the game.”

Skin in the Game according to Investopedia

A term coined by renowned investor Warren Buffett referring to a situation in which high-ranking insiders use their own money to buy stock in the company they are running.

Your Brand is at stake every time.

Every consultant puts skin in the game every time they accept an engagement. If their recommendations fail they will lose Trust with that client and with every one that client tells. The skin they have in the game each time is the lifetime value of their brand. That value is always greater than being allowed to invest in the startup without having legal control.

Value, like Brand, is perceived.

Your value to clients depends on their situation, how much information you can elicit to make a proposal and how strongly you believe in yourself.

Here’s the suggestion that was rejected:

“I’m not a stranger to new products. I stopped counting successful introductions at 207 and that was years ago. I’m willing to invest an hour on Skype to determine how viable I think the product is. But, full disclosure, I’m too busy on paid retainers to take on any additional work without getting paid for it. If I believe your product has the positive value that Digimarc had (I named the company) I will give you the same deal I gave them, a monthly retainer plus a stock bonus. Call or e-mail if you want to take the next step.” 

Skin in the game is a two-way street.

In my experience, the proposition is always essentially the same: Give the start-up the benefit of your time, knowledge and wisdom for a percentage of the company in the future. In other words, we want all your value for as long as it takes but we don’t want to pay for it and, oh yes, you’ll have no say in how the company operates.

Does that sound fair and balanced to you?

Without candor there is no trust

In a conversation with any entrepreneur or start-up if they do not believe in their offering it will show. If they are not cognizant of a marketing problem I may be able to help merely by pointing it out. Should they have been short-sighted about how the company will be run as it moves into the future I may be able to suggest both interim and long term solutions. My initial conversations with start-ups are based on both of us being truthful with each other with the objective of making them successful.

The skin in the game is your brand… and theirs.

Your Brand has established value or they wouldn’t be talking to you. Theirs has little or none. In my view the fees for services is a negotiation.

They need to build a business. You need to be paid.

How you get paid is another matter. If you believe in your brand you should be able to determine the value of your services to the prospect and be paid at that level via any combination of cash, stock or ownership you can agree on.

What say you?


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

 

 

 

Brand Is Not Talking To Yourself

161119-blog-talking-to-self

Brand development for coaches, consultants and professionals of all kinds is not easy.

You don’t have big bucks for advertising. You aren’t comfortable “tooting your own horn”.  But you have to convince prospects to trust you, hire you and pay you for your services.

You have to talk about yourself.

You have to have a vision, the “why” of your organization even if there is only one of you. You need to spell out your mission so you can stay on track. You need to find the “only” in your practice. But first you have to understand who your potential customers are.

Seven keys to building profiles of the customers for your brand:

  1. Don’t try to come up with a single profile. It doesn’t work because you know they come to you for different reasons.
  2. Pick the top three reasons they come to you. Build profiles for each noting the percentage of income each generates for your business. Not enough experience to rate them? Put them in order by your preference. Then talk to folks you think will fit the mold.
  3. Do the research. Learn as much about them as you can. Have coffee with a few of the individuals that have hired you. Ask them the same questions. Note the similarities.

Get the Profile Checklist. Sign up to get our updates at www.BrandBrainTrust.com

  1. Determine how many more of them there are within your neighborhood, city, state or region, the geographic area where you are willing to provide your services.
  2. Estimate the time and cost commitments you will have to make in order to reach them. Time must be estimated because you will probably have to spend time that is not billable to bring this off. Cost of items you absolutely must have should be determined as well. That includes well-designed logotype, business cards, letterhead, web site and social media pages at a minimum.
  3. Start connecting by networking on and off-line. Attend local chamber and other association meetings they frequent. Become active in groups where they cluster on Linked In, Facebook and in the real world.
  4. Listen to them first then talk about what you’ve done for others. People want to have a conversation not hear commercials at networking events. Give them the time to tell you what is on their mind. Then if they have a problem you can solve, offer your services. That is the guiding principle of 30-Second Marketing

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Jerry Fletcher is the founder of www.BrandBrainTrust.com  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year, is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Briefs. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

The Power of a Personal Touch

As I put my laptop on the table and fired it up, Chris asked, “Should I go get some popcorn for movie time?”

Gail our resident good-mannered grammarian said, “You know, for a digital marketing type you know how video has become so pervasive, it seems to me that you might have a little more patience if not respect.”

Pesonal Touch VideoVIEW
“Easy,” I said. “I brought this along so all of you could comment on a video I edited this morning. It’s about trust. I’ve done a couple speeches recently and I was reviewing the video of them and thought it might be helpful to people to see how you can handle the same material with no technology or a full tilt animated Power Point. I just cut part of the two different appearances together.”

Rob, aka the Brand Buddha welcomed the opportunity to niggle me saying, “Minds me of the way gramps ‘splained the difference between a Yankee fairy tale and one from Dixie: Up north it starts out Once upon a time… Down home it’s you ain’t gonna believe this…”

Kate turned to him and said, “Even I couldn’t sell that notion without looking at the video. You know he’s been talkin’ about Trust on three continents for a lot of years. Besides, I think the presentation differences may be the point he’s making but first we have to watch.”

Bubba replied, “Crank that thing up Fletch and let’s have a look at A Personal Touch.

About 9 minutes later it was quiet at the table.

Then Kate said, “I love the pearl at the end. The video works. I kind of like the way it goes back and forth. The message comes through either way.”

Gail agreed. She pointed out, “If there were no live sequences the Power Point with voice over would tell the story but wouldn’t be as friendly or real or powerful.”

Chris said, “And that is the point. Video we keep being told is the most powerful way to get a point across no matter where someone is on the pathway to purchase. Yes it is powerful but the real power comes from giving it a personal touch.”

Fletch just smiled.

The Takeaways:

A personal touch is the shortcut to trust.

The more personal a video is the more powerful the message.

What you show is important. What you say is critical. But the most important thing is who trusts you.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

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