Consultant Marketing Mindset

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Take a hard look at the photo.

What do you see?

Me, I see a very confident young woman. My impression is that she knows who she is, has mastered some capabilities and expects you to acknowledge her expertise.

How can I get all that out of a photo?

You make your mind up about anyone, in person or in media in the first 3 seconds.

How do you want to be perceived? What do you want your personal brand to project? How do you introduce yourself? How “Real” do you come across?

Currently, there is a commercial that portrays the danger of hiring someone that is “just okay.” The series is, in part, humorous but if you want to get hired you need to be perceived as more than barely competent. As the commercials say, “Just okay is not okay.”

You need to convince four groups:

  • Your Associates
  • Your Prospects
  • Your Referral sources
  • Your clients

But first you must convince yourself

All of us fear rejection. Somewhere north of 98% of people are afraid of public speaking. Most of them would prefer death to doing “the talk.” What about less-open appearances or interactions with strangers? Not quite as death-defying but still seen by some as a disaster about to happen. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert makes no difference because just about everyone has a fear of being seen as inadequate.

Self-doubt must be erased.  

Whether you’re applying for a job, presenting in a corporate conference room or trying to get a consulting engagement over breakfast or lunch you need to be confident in your skills and how you present yourself. That 3-second judgement capability is something you can control. It is not logical. It is emotional. With powerful people it is a skill that has been carefully honed.

Overcome the impostor syndrome

All of us, on occasion, feel we are impostors. We judge ourselves more harshly than all those with whom we come into contact. The key here is to listen to the concerns and take steps to overcome them. Here are three suggestions that will allow you to stand tall, command the room and be memorable:

  1. Disconnect before the meeting. Look at yourself through the eyes of those you are interacting with—individual or group. Can they possibly know more than you do about your special expertise? It is truly doubtful. The more years of experience you have, the greater your practical knowledge. They simply don’t have the experience you’ve compiled. Do they know more about another subject or arena? Probably. But not yours.  Their view of you will be that of the inferior. Their expectation will be that you will teach them as you advise. They will incline towards respect.

Walk your talk. Let the confidence reek. They will sense it.

  • Practice positive self-talk. Do what it takes to know your audience. Check them out on social media. Understand their way of thinking based on their writings, interviews and appearances. No time to prep or a networking situation? Say, “Self, you’ve got this. You’ve thought yourself through 30-Second Marketing TM https://vimeo.com/358198046  so you know how to Hook ‘em, Hold ‘em, Pitch ‘em and Close’ em. More importantly you have honed your ability to listen, react and really be interested in them. 

  • Stop trying to close. The worst advice I’ve ever heard for a consultant is, “Close early and often.” Put yourself in the prospect’s position. They are anywhere in the process of deciding from just starting to think about it to shaking hands on an agreement. The better advice is, “Agree to work with them after they have sold themselves.”

That brings us back to erasing self-doubt. One of the best ways I know is to keep track of your successes. Prepare a case history https://vimeo.com/352835268 or success story after each engagement. Note the key outcomes. Review those files on a regular basis. If you are going into discussions in a similar industry you’ll have the facts at the ready should you need them. More importantly you’ll get the self-confidence boost you need to overcome any residual impostor syndrome. About to step into the unknown? If you follow my direction on your success stories you’ll find that your regular reviews will give you buoyant assurance in your abilities in your chosen field.  

Being at the top is a matter of mind over matter.

If you trust yourself, it shows. If you’re certain you have the experience, it becomes apparent. If you assert your convictions you will garner respect. The confident get the contract. Those with self-assurance do it again. And again, And again.

And so it goes.


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 on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy.

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

Building Your Brand Catch Phrase

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Catch Phrases Round 4

To establish your brand, to build your business, you gotta be memorable. If people can’t remember your name or the business name they won’t buy. The best way to generate awareness varies by type of business, the number of employees and available promotional budget:

  • Solopreneurs, particularly independent professionals like consultants, and coaches must find away to become known on little or no budget. Usually, they establish themselves through networking and direct sales. Even when you get past 6 figures in income the promotional budget may be limited. The most successful tend to use 30-Second marketing techniques (whether I’ve trained them or not) to present themselves with a Hook.
  • Small businesses, whether they are product or service oriented, early on will probable also use networking and direct sales to build sales. When your company is building, moving from 3 to 5 people to 25 and more the advertising budget will be constrained. That’s true even if you are running a successful on-line business (Pay Per Click ain’t cheap!). Because you will, in all likelihood, have more media opportunities you’ll be able to position the company, product or service with a tagline.
  • Larger businesses, those that have reached the size where they have sales and marketing staff tend to rely more on advertising and direct sales to generate the cash flow necessary to keep the business humming. Because they usually offer more than one product or service it is necessary to separate the corporate identity from that of the products (or services) offered. If a product or service is promoted on its own, the Corporate logo and tagline may be included in any advertisement but given less emphasis than a slogan.

Familiar Slogans and taglines

MasterCard:

  • Slogan: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”  Created in 1997 Used in a campaign that appeared in 98 countries in 46 languages. The first commercial ended with an observation describing the time shared by a father and son at a baseball game that became the
  • Tagline: “Priceless”

Dollar Shave Club:

  • Tagline: “Shave Time. Shave Money.” This direct marketed subscription razor service was started by two young men from Venice California with their own savings. It turned heads when it introed in 2012 with a YouTube Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI&feature=youtu.be ) that went viral.

Today, that video has been viewed over 26 million times, the company has grown to over 1 million subscribers and was acquired by Unilever for $100 Billion in cash in 2016. Not bad for a five years work.

Nike:

  • Slogan “There Is No Finish Line”   Remember, a slogan is used by larger companies to differentiate products or services in a memorable way. This is the Nike slogan that has ben employed on a host of advertising campaigns starting in 1977. This unique message reflects what Nike is all about: the next challenge, and the one after that, and the one after that. It leads directly to the
  • Tagline “Just do it” is the better-known Nike message. “Just Do It” hovers over every product and event Nike creates or sponsors, and that’s exactly what makes it the company’s official tagline. It embodies a state of mind and encourages you to think that if you want to do it, just do it. That’s all it takes.

Hooks that work

Hooks are for little guys (& gals). Whether you are starting up or have reached a plateau in your business and feel you need to take it up a notch, 30-Second Marketing might be the solution.

It starts with a hook. Yes, you need to learn to Hold ‘em, Pitch ‘em and Close “em as well but start with a Hook. A hook is a short phrase that answers the question “What do you do.” Because it is part of a conversation it should not sound like a commercial. Later, you may adapt it and use it as a tagline but right now concentrate on making it memorable. Link it to the solution you provide for the problem for which 60 to 80 percent of your clients have engaged you.

Here are some tips to make your hook stand out from the crowd

  1. Use an analogy Here’s a recent example from my client files:

Larry Briggs is Leadership consultant. His response to “What do you do?” is Sticky Leadership. He described it in his speaker one-sheet like this:
Sticky Leadership is what comes after vision.
Sticky Leadership is what it takes to get to the next level.
Sticky Leadership is how you take the business you built one step higher.

Sticky Leadership is how successful entrepreneurs get their leadership to stick in the heads, hearts and actions of others.

2. Be specific

The world’s first consulting detective– Author Conan Doyle never claimed this for Sherlock. It is the hook offered by a screenwriter.

Contact Relationship Magician—One I’ve used when pursuing engagements in “Automagic Marketing.”

3. Keep it under 7 words

Imagineering—from the Disney organization. Short for imaginative engineering I’m told.

Defogger and Accelerator—For a management and leadership consultant and coach that brings clarity and speeds up processes.

I take the fear out of Queer—developed by a transgender speaker in a 30-Second Marketing Workshop. Think how powerful that is when directed to a meeting planner planning an “inclusive” event

Need help? Just about everyone does, particularly if you want folks to take action. Even if they remember you there is still the requirement to convince or persuade them to buy at least once if you are to be truly successful. Just call or e-mail.


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 Slogans, Taglines and Hooks

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Catch Phrases, Round 3

Professional Brands are living breathing things. Logos are the visual representations, slogans, taglines and especially hooks are the verbal. Both formats grab consumers’ attention along with the name of the product or individual involved. At best, a slogan is simple to understand and remember. With luck it becomes a catch phrase they remember if nothing else from an ad or commercial.

What Makes a great slogan, tagline or hook?

  • It’s memorable.
  • It differentiates the brand.
  • It imparts positive feelings about the brand.

Slogan vs. Tagline

Although both “slogan” and “tagline” tend to be used interchangeably, they serve different purposes. 

A slogan often encompasses a company’s mission Slogans tend to be more serious, longer than taglines and, in my view, less catchy.

Taglines are often placed in proximity to the company’s logo on official advertisements, and are dedicated more specifically to brand awareness than slogans. A tagline is used to Position the product or company.

Independent professionals need a hook.

In fact, adhering to the precepts of 30-Second Marketing and finding a Hook, I believe will prove more rewarding. I recommend that it appear as part of a firm’s identity (as opposed to an ad slogan) — so it usually appears in conjunction with the firm’s name and logo.

Memorability is the reason for all three but the hook is the best option because it is intended to be delivered by principals of the firm in person and in media. 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. A Hook answers the question, “What do you do?” it provides the essential component of a video introducing a firm’s founder or principal. It is a key element in all presentations and appears with the logo consistently.

A Hook is an invitation to a conversation rather than a commercial.

How you identify yourself in the first three seconds will determine whether or not you will be remembered. 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, your catch phrase?


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


Use Your Brand or Lose It

A man tries to fix a broken hour glass in the forest.

I can still hear his voice in the gym echoing slightly off the plaster walls,”Use it or lose it.”

That memory floated up from the nether reaches as I listened to a client again delaying business cards, letterhead, etc and also deferring publication of his web site.

Whether you are in start-up, refresh or rebrand mode once the development is done, you need to take action. YOu cannot reverse the sands of time.

  • You gotta put it out there
  • You gotta observe the impact
  • You gotta adjust based on experience

Navel gazing doesn’t work

Not publishing a web site dampens your ability to generate credibility. If you are an elite independent professional (like I work with) you know that before you get hired that potential client is going to check you out on Linked In and review your web site at bare minimum. Failure to launch a web site is a failure to engage with what folks might think, feel and believe about you. In short, new prospects will pass you by. Your competitors will lap you.

Perfect doesn’t exist

The major reason for hesitance is that entrepreneurs, and professionals want their company/product/service offering to be seen as “just right.”  In their view, there is always time to “fine tune” the logo one more time. A website must, they believe contain multiple blogs at launch. That on-line presence should, from their perspective, have everything they believe a prospect would like to see.

How do they know what that ideal client wants?

It is the owner/manager/ professional perception, not confirmed data.

It’s a conversation, not a commercial.

The single biggest mistake you as a business owner/operator can make in marketing is thinking you can control the situation. You control only part of what goes out there. The words you use to describe your products and services may have complexly different meanings for prospects. But you won’t know if you don’t put it out there.

What if you are writing to what you perceive to be your ideal client but you’ve never talked to them? Seriously. This happens way too often, particularly in start-ups. The cure is to have solid research. Too expensive? Go talk to some folks that might be buyers. Beware of “lip service.” That’s when they wax poetic about your product or service until you ask them to make a purchase. Suddenly they are extremely busy but wish you the best…

Why do you think you know what they are looking for? Again, what is your research? Been in business for a while? Sales not as good as you hoped? Does your sales compensation program give those guys and gals a reason to defer client activity to the end of the month or quarter? What, if anything, can rebranding do to change that? It could open a market you haven’t tapped into as yet. It could start a new dialog in your client base. But you won’t know if you don’t activate it!

Will you refuse to sell to them if they are not what you imagined your customers to be? (I witnessed this in a multi-national corporation!) All of us dream of our businesses being well received and running like clockwork. We have this fixed idea of who our buyers are and the way they use our products and services.

Have you looked at the inordinate number of ways Excel is used? At last estimate from a friend at Microsoft, over 90% of the uses were not planned. They can’ keep up with the ingenuity of customers. But they continue to listen, learn and adjust the product to meet the new uses. Marketing is messy. User encounters drive it. But you can’t get the experience to adjust your approach without launching.

How to unconfuse it

  1. Pick a name that has a URL you can purchase
  2. Develop a memorable title, benefit or shocking statement
  3. Say that in words the customer uses
  4. Ask them if it makes sense
  5. If they agree, make that part of the logo
  6. Incorporate the problem you solve how you solve it and key statistical support in a value proposition.
  7. Include the value proposition in every communication starting with your web site.

All of those can be done with the proper application of 30-Second Marketing TM. It isn’t easy but it will get you to the point of involving customers and potential customers.


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

What the Heck is a Brand Poobah?

Glad you asked.

You know how people tell you that you need to have brand for your new company or product or service but don’t tell you how to build one?

What I do is show independent professionals, Entrepreneurs and small business owners how to instantly craft a trust-based brand they can use on and off line.

Practice makes perfect.

I’ve done it hundreds of times. Some examples:

  • Business Defogger and Accelerator Jim Grew, Management and Leadership consultant
  • When you can’t afford to lose Don Douglas, Negotiator
  • The Untangler Shell Tain, Money coach

Each of those has a full identity connected to it. Each is built on a Vision, a Mission and a Position unique to the individuals involved. Each targets the heart of their ideal clients. Each can be delivered in words, graphics and combinations that never lose their singular qualities on and off line. Knowing how to do that across multiple businesses or products or services is essential. I believe if you have more than one, you need to keep your Brands separate but equal to the task of building a trust-based relationship with the buyers or end-users of the product or service being offered.

What is a Poobah?

I thought it came from the Middle east like Vizier but the Wiktionary says:

  1. A person who holds multiple offices or positions of power at the same time.
  2. A leader or other important person.
  3. A pompous, self-important person.

Friends tell me I qualify on all three.  It goes deeper than that. This is one of those memorable phrases that has lost it’s meaning in antiquity. It comes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado first performed about 1885. It is an entirely fictional title initially meant to puncture over-inflated egos. That has changed in the century since, I think.

I probably learned of it from a less exalted source: the Flintstones where it was the title of a senior official in the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes, an ongoing spoof of secret societies and men’s clubs in this cartoon series.

Go for the positive!

I’ve been lucky enough to qualify for number 2 above having been a CEO successfully building an Ad Agency, PR firm and later leading operations in a world-class direct marketing firm.  Multiple offices or positions? Only because I had to give memorable names to the multiple businesses I was involved with at the same time. Over time I’ve been promoted as:

  • Marketing Rainmaker
  • Networking Ninja
  • Contact Relationship Magician
  • Brand Poobah

Why Brand Poobah?

I’m trying it on for size. I want to know if others believe it sets me apart as a leader. I need to find out if it makes folks believe that I have expertise in multiple areas. I used it in front of a room full of consultants not long ago. It stopped the incipient buzz. Every ear in the room was on me when I said, “You know how” down through “What is a Poobah.”

I’m looking at building it out but before I do I need to hear from you.

What do you think?

Vote for __ Leader/Expert or __ Pompous Twit.

Just hit reply and send either of the above. I promise, I will listen. And I might even contact you.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry 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 is Built on Moving Parts

I finished the on-line training for 30-Second Marketing TM and posted it on Ingomu. It is just one element of the four in Secrets of a Networking Ninja.

Brand is trickier

The second element I’m adding is called No Budget Branding TM but I’m combining parts of other products developed earlier to make this one as complete as I can. Some of the things I’ve learned over the years get in the way. This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) product and so I’m working my way through some of the expertise I bring to a one-on-one session and finding ways to incorporate the benefits without a physical presence.

I believe Brand can refer to a company, product or service. Sorry, I don’t include Personal as the only time, in my view, that Personal enters the equation is when it is linked to a company product or service offered by an independent professional. In other words, John Q. Public is not a brand. John Q. Public Accounting could be.

Trust keeps it spun up

Funny how teaching can help you see things you hadn’t before. As this video explains. Brand is an expression of Trust. But, building this program has confirmed that once you’ve set out to build a brand and spun up the promotional whirl, the thing that holds it all together is the Circle of Trust. Without it, it all comes crashing down. With it and judicious inputs to influence it you can keep it building. Trust allows you to influence Brand but you can never completely control it.

A flywheel instead of a funnel

Jon Dick, in a blog for Hubspot, explained how a new model, the flywheel replaces the familiar funnel putting a new spin on customer acquisition and retention. Jon relates the strength of the flywheel to how it maintains and increases trust as well as the momentum you need to keep things spun up.

A flywheel approach forces you to align all your marketing and sales efforts because any friction can slow the flywheel and wear trust down. In Jon’s words: “…your flywheel produces more growth as your customer count increases. If you can add ‘density’ to those customers, by getting them to adopt more of your products or be more ‘sticky’ even more momentum and growth can be achieved.”

Brand is Built on Moving Parts

Brand is the sum total of perceptions about your company, product or service from all the publics that are aware of you. It is an expression of trust built on a complex set of factors that must be considered. Here are the elements that will make up the program I’m preparing:

  • Vision (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Mission (from Lightning in a Bottle)
  • Prospect Viewpoint
  • Value Proposition
  • Profitable Niche
  • Position
  • Persona (a core of Trust wrapped around with Product, Price and Passage (Distribution) encased in a Name
  • Promotional Whirl (Trust Tools and Spin Tools)
  • Performance
  • Perception
  • Prospect Feedback
  • The Circle of Trust

You can see my dilemma. But I’m doing my best. In a week or two this program will be available. Will it be easy? No. Will it work? Yes, as well as the user wants it to. The key here is that I’ll be right beside you in spirit and the program will be changed over time as we find the difficult parts that need more elucidation. And, if you get really hung up the folks at Ingomu will make it easy to contact me direct.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry 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

Peeling the Brand Power Onion


It’s difficult for some folks to develop the hook, the instant brand, in their 30-Second Marketing approach.

It ain’t easy being green.

Today, a client described getting to 30-Second Marketing as “peeling the onion.” Like so many he has difficulty in finding his way into the mindset of his ideal client/customer. Achieving a level of empathy gets more difficult the further you are separated in terms of gender, color or culture. “It ain’t easy being green” is the way Kermit the Frog summed it up

My way or the highway

Often a CEO or President has become so entrenched in her/his way of thinking that they assume everyone thinks like they do. They believe that prospects don’t have the problem they state if it doesn’t match their perception.

If you can’t see the problem as a prospect sees it your solutions will be invalid. It could be you, Mr. or Ms. CEO on the highway instead of the other way around.

Pareto’s 80/20 rule was right

In developing 30-Second Marketing with clients over the last 20 years I’ve found that successful independent contractors find that about 80% of those who hire them report the same problem. Yes, they have other problems but in the target population there are only two others that creep up in importance. Neither is as important as the first.

The secret is to use their words

Listen. How do they describe the problem? Is there a single word that gets at the heart of it? How do they go on about what is bothering them? If something is truly bothering them the deeper you go the more you hear the despair. They start with frustration and wind up somewhere around hopeless. Your job is to capture the words they use because those words are the ones that will touch their emotions. Decisions are made and action taken based on emotion. Sure, you might rationalize it later but the emotional trigger is the one you need to get to.

Let ‘em off the hook

Have a client look back on why they hired you. Emotions will come out that didn’t before the engagement.  Emotions you’ll hear: Fear, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Surprise. Compare what they say now to other’s comments. Look for the pattern Frustration can be substituted for anger. Frequently, in lawsuits folks want a “Pit Bull” because they don’t want to be surprised. . If you identify an emotionally loaded word as the real problem, you may have to be cognizant of their feelings and instead of using the word refer to “some people” or “others”  when describing the situation.

Don’t try to impress me with 50-cent words.

You won’t. And you won’t convince or persuade your prospect either. To be successful, your brand must be presented in words a 5-year-old can understand. Keep it simple. Instead of describing yourself as a Digital Device Technician try being a member of the “Geek Squad.” Become the CPA who says he is ‘Captain Crunch.” Describe yourself as the Networking Ninja and have people remember you for years. The secret is to use their words.

If you are a scientist, dumb it down for me. If you are a lawyer, do not obfuscate. If you use language that is part and parcel of a lexicon shared by only a small fraternity of people, get real. The more difficult it is to understand what you do the less successful you will be. It really is that simple.

Here are the kind of results you can expect when you peel the brand power onion:

  • Defogger and Accelerator Management Consultant. Doubled his revenue.
  • We take the paper out of water testing Founder. Sold the company for north of Five Million dollars
  • The Untangler Money coach. Tripled successful client intakes after each speech.

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Brand 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

Marketing: The Edge to Late Entry

I’m running late today. Usually my Saturday morning posts are in your e-mail box by 3:00 AM

Not today.

Gone but not forgotten

Yesterday, the Toys R Us stores across the USA closed.

At its height it had 1,690 locations around the world. Ownership of the stores changed hands multiple times but it dominated toy sales pushing out smaller, local toy stores wherever it opened.

Toys R Us first lost is market dominance to Walmart in 1998. It struggled unsuccessfully to maintain, it’s position. The last time it had an annual profit was 2013.

The lesson learned

Smaller toy stores simply could not match the variety, volume and pricing of the larger Toys R Us that used the big box strategy to build an iconic brand. Big box based companies can easily supplant a single category competitor. You can have a competitive edge when you are late into the market but that edge needs to be honed continually.

Tilting toward the internet of things

Looked into Best Buy lately? Just about any electronic gadget you need can be found on their shelves including a lot of the items that qualify for the soubriquet: Internet Of Things. The sales force is being trained to understand buyers versus final users and to optimize their Geek Squad brand for completing the sale.

I heard through the grapevine that their Geek Squad has been trained in installing and servicing scads of new household gadgets. More importantly, they are being trained in how to deal with seniors.

The moral of the story

Someone in the marketing department has realized where the biggest market for these digital goodies is, how they get sold and the skills required to build a trusted brand. A friend tells me that a sensor that detects whether an aging relative is in bed, accessible across the net, is sold to a son or daughter as a way to check in on Mom or Dad. It is one of the items the Geek Squad is ready to install! Staying on top of market shifts can extend the life of your organization even if you are late to the party.

Better late than never

I spent most of the last week doing an inventory. A couple new Strategic Partnerships caused me to dust off productizing plans for the intellectual property I’ve developed over the years as a consultant and professional speaker.

My partners and I have looked at the offerings for independent professionals and small businesses and found them generally wanting. Most are rehashes with little or no relevant statistical support. Proven processes, tips and techniques are hard to come by.

The edge to late entry

Marketing Without Money TM products we deliver (learn more) will be thoroughly tested and adapted to the life style of the owners of professional practices and small business. What that means is that they will be available in Video, Audio and PDFs. It will be a subscription service with small cohorts. Regular webinars that are heavy on Q&A will highlight program keys and provide bonus materials. The programs will be continuously refined with new additions available to all subscribers.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Brand 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

 

 

Brand is a Matter of Time

In an instant.

You can brand yourself, a product or service in an instant. That’s true, but only when you are making first contact. When you are not known by that contact you can be whatever you decide to be. Your product or service can be positioned so that is clear and presents you memorably.  That’s the “hook” in 30 Second Marketing.

For a short time

After the conversation engendered by your “hook” which gives you a chance to explain the problem you solve for about 80% of the folks you work with, the “Hold” and how you, your product or service is different from others in the market, the “Pitch” they will remember what you told them if it is relevant to them.

Or it could be “Sticky Time”

Deliver your Hook, Hold and Pitch believably and they will remember for themselves, Keep you in mind as a referral and literally come back to you years later. I’ve been speaking as the Networking Ninja since 1993. People that saw me as much as 20 years ago still seek me out.

Ripple time

It is like dropping a pebble into a pool of water. The ripples move out from the center and engage with someone. If that person buys in it sets up another set of ripples that keep expanding.

Bunch time

Every brand starts with just one advocate. That one refers you, your product or service to the next and the next until you have small bunch of fans. For some, that small bunch is all that is needed to be successful. For others it is the beginning of a tribe. Still others need a nation to stay in business.

Fallout happens. Our clients or customers will turn over in time. Their loyalty is a matter of how well their needs are met. You need to look at these items to be sure you are on the right track:

  1. frequency of purchase /Loyalty–average length of engagement
  2. Referrals over time to maintain the business
  3. Compensation Method and LTV (Life Time Value of each client/customer

Counting down to Success

Too often, independent professionals bill hourly. Product oriented companies think only of single sales and service organizations think in terms of projects. Here are some direct comparisons using LTV as the key decision point drawn from my files:

Item       Frequency         Loyalty         Referrals              Payment              LTV

Product  1-time               Product Life        0                        $20                         $20

Product  1-time               Product Life         0                       $20
with refills 10 x /year       $5 per time                                   $50                         $70

Service 1-time project    1 to 3 months      5-10% will refer $2500                    $2500

Service on
retainer   Annual Renewal  Avg 3 years     up to 20%           $1000/mo            $36000

Intellectual
Property  1-time               Product Life        up to 10%           $150                    $150

Intellectual  Subscription  Avg 1 year         up to 10%            $150/mo             $1800
Property

Intellectual   Retainer +    Avg 1 year          up to 10%           $1000/mo
Property      Subscription  Avg 1 year                                     $150/mo            $13800                                                  

What time is your brand operating on?


Jerry at Cafe in Venice

Jerry at a cafe along a canal in Venice.

Jerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Brand 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

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