When they don’t know what they don’t know

Arrogance + ignorance is dangerous!

This morning a client and I were doing videos for his upcoming weekly Newsletters for the C-suite.

We were providing advice to overcome problems that center on the combination of arrogance and ignorance that occurs in new senior managers when they don’t know what they don’t know.

 “You’re right,” he replied, “what they don’t know they don’t know could cripple them and their companies.”

But it isn’t just the youngsters that have to watch out for that combination. It can happen regardless of your age, your gender, or any other demographic difference.

For instance, Price Waterhouse once reported results of a survey of CEOs of the 2000 largest companies. These executives were asked if they thought electronic commerce would “significantly change business.” Nearly 60% of them said yes.

Problem is, when asked if e-commerce would “reshape how they do business,” only 20% said, “Yes.” 

They believed that the net would impact business but not their business.

Ignorance and arrogance is the deadly combination. How can you avoid that trap? Here are some controls you need to incorporate into your business planning:

  1. Match your use of the web to your best customers and prospects. They will thank you for your concern and interest. You will have to exceed their knowledge just to stay even but it will be worth it as you maintain the relationship that brought you their business in the first place.
  2. Give your customers the choice between people and technology rather than making that choice yourself. The best example here comes from the financial industries where the specialized advice and information to buy and sell securities that was once the province only of brokers is now available to day traders. Yet, some of the organizations which initially offered their services via the net now find themselves opening brick and mortar offices.
  3. Your audience on the web, not you, will determine what they use… laptop, pad or tablet, smart phone and apps. It is critical to your success that your web site work with the lowest common denominator of software and hardware which your client and prospect base have available. If your customers use Mobile and texting, then make sure your web presence can be accessed that way. If, on the other hand, your customer base is confined to a group of web designers apt to have every plug-in known to man as well as the time and inclination to download your specialized software then offer it to them.
  4. Treat each customer individually. Every interaction on the web is one-to-one. That means that you can and should take the time to learn from them each time they contact you. Only in that way can your relationship grow into the trust that will build a loyal customer base. But be careful. Acquiring information you don’t use is just as bad as not asking at all.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people want to know why you’re asking and how you intend to use the information including whether or not you intend to sell it. Take the time to tell them.

Nothing is as important as getting to trust. To become the constant resource for your customers you need to offer useful content. But the context of the site and the service behind that site are the true value to the customer. In the final analysis, whether you do business on the net or in person this remains the same. Make sure your service rewards loyal behavior and that you maintain their trust by honoring it.

Jerry 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

Brand Anew

Woman developing marketing mindset

When is it time to rebrand?

  • If people can’t remember the name of your business it may be time to rebrand.
  • If people can’t spell the URL for your website, it may be time to rebrand.
  • If people recall your name and not the name of your business, it may be time to rebrand.
  • If people start to think of you in connection with one product more than the one you started with, then it may be time to rebrand.
  • If the market is disrupted and your business becomes passe, it may be time to rebrand.

There are other reasons.

Mergers. Acquisitions. Legal hassles. Reinvention of a product line. To apply new technology. To update the graphic representation of the company.

All those are valid. But the difference from that first list is in the viewer. Those first five reasons are all from the viewpoint of the client or customer. They might be asking you to change to build a better communications stream. It is all about them.

Your prospects, customers or clients are the heroes of the story.

Brand happens whether you like it or not. If you believe as I do that brand is the sum of all your interactions with a prospect, client or customer and an expression of their trust in you then you must pay attention to the signals they send.

I learned the hard way.

When I opened my consulting practice in 1990 I incorporated under the name Z-axis Marketing, Inc. like most entrepreneurs I didn’t research the company name. I just jumped in. Bad move.

The original logo

I was slow to learn that people just couldn’t remember the name. Then one day a client and friend told me he couldn’t remember the URL for my website when he was trying to do a referral. That got my attention. But I didn’t do anything about it immediately. I took the time to investigate what other independent professionals did.

A basic rule.

I found that independent professional brands are locked to personal names. Over time the name may be shortened to just the last name of the founder/owner. Or if it is a partnership or ensemble the shortening may be to the first two names on the masthead or the first letters of the names. Examples abound:

  • From the world of fashion: DKNY (which is Donna Karan New York)
  • From the world of consulting: Ernst & Young
  • From advertising: JWT (J Walter Thompson)

This is particularly true for small firms and start-ups. In initial phases of a business, the reputation of the founder(s) is what will lead the way to client acquisition.

Now you know who built this company

An introduction

These days when I’m asked to introduce myself at a networking gathering or even in response to the question, “What do you do?” Here’s how I respond:

“I’m Jerry Fletcher, the Brand Poobah.

You know how people are always telling you that you gotta have a brand to be successful?

What I do is work with independent professionals to craft a unique trust-based brand to build a business, a career and a life of joy.

I’ve found unforgettable brands for 127 independent professionals at last count.”

Multiple Brands

Now my name is a part of all my brands. All? Yes. I began speaking in 1993. The topic I selected was Networking. I became the Networking Ninja. By then, I was smart enough to know that my name had to be part of the brand.

Fast forward to this year and you can see how the logo has changed.

But another change is coming. Over the last two years I’ve been asked about Brand more than ever before. Google Trends shows me that interest in brand far outweighs interest in social networking and has done so over the last 4 years.

That is why you’ll begin seeing this logo. And why I’ve been blogging about Brand now for two years.

Are you ready to brand anew?

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in Colombia
On stage in Bogota, Colombia/

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry 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

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.

____________________________________________________________________

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