Chutes & Ladders To Build Your Brand.

 

They didn’t have the game when I was a kid.

We got it for my daughter when she was in grade school. It is a counting game where you move from the bottom of the board to the top. Where you land determines your progress toward the goal. A Chute, like a playground slide takes you down while ladders take you up.

It is all about mindset.

Yours. Others. Whether we go along or not is dependent on the convictions in place both before and after individuals engage. Chutes are pre-engagement. Ladders are once we begin attempts to influence another.

Chutes, in the real world turn out to be positive or negative according to Robert Cialdini in his new book Pre-Suasion. His first book, published 20 years ago, (Influence) was about the six key “ladders” that marketers, advertisers and sales professionals use to convince and persuade.

A chute is my way to describe Pre-Suasion.

It occurs:

  • Before you are in a position or situation to be sold.
  • Before the discussion of features and benefits.
  • Before the emotional appeals.

It happens when you or your prospect are in a frame of mind that will color your reaction to all the ladders. You are on the chute and what you feel, think and believe in that moment is predictably what will make the difference in your reaction.

This is behavioral psychology finally exploring the complexity of factors that control acceptance of advertising, marketing and sales techniques.

Too often we use a Ladder approach, stacking up all the features and benefits of going our way and at times yielding to the hard-won knowledge that decisions are emotionally, not logically based. Yet we fail because the chute our prospect was perched upon ran counter to our approach.

The power of setting the stage.

Shakespeare noted that “All the worlds a stage” Before you, as a player, utter a single line, consider the stage. Is it conducive to the outcome you hope to produce? If you can control them, how would you change the trappings? Could you change the speech that precedes yours? Is there a musical or sound note that could be injected to change an attitude? Is there a lighting or art effect that can change the mood?

30-Second Marketing TM, the technique I teach for self-introductions is a powerful example of how the elements revealed in Cialdini’s book set the stage.

Why 30-Second Marketing TM works.

  1. You wait until they ask, “What do you do?” that shows focus on you.
  2. You hook ‘em. You respond with something memorable like, “I’m a Networking Ninja.” That generates curiosity and puts them on a chute because they want to solve the mystery of the title.
  3. Next you hold ‘em with a statement like, “You know how you, like most people, are really uncomfortable introducing yourself…” A nod or other positive response will tell you that they are with you and that you have now personalized this conversation to them.
  4. Then you pitch ‘em. You say something like, “What we do is teach you how to have a conversation instead of doing a commercial. We help you mothball that elevator pitch and use a technique that is a shortcut to Trust that you can do in 30-Seconds or less.
  5. You close ‘em on a date and time to sit down in their office to work out the details of how you can work with each other. You set the stage.

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Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry 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

The Registration Plus of the Personal Touch

Late today I got a call from a young man striving to get the same sort of business levels here in the Pacific Northwest that he and his wife had been enjoying in Texas. I agreed to meet with him and immediately turned to my files to see if there were tips I had passed along in articles that might help him.

This was first posted in 2013.

Bill got right to the point. He asked, “You’re the expert at on line marketing how can I put my half of the seminar attendees in their seats?”

“Back up,” I said. “Your half?”

Bill explained, “I’ve worked out a deal with a client to host a seminar and they will put 10 people in the room and I have to provide the other 10. I’ll present and they will host the room and the lunch. It’s a win-win if I can get those other seats filled without having to buy the room.”

“Buying the room is a theater expression for providing free tickets to an event to fill the room so it looks like it is a hit.”

“So,” I asked, “Why are you buying me coffee?”

He reviewed his plan to send out e-mails to his list of connections that had opted into his newsletter and even showed me the rough outline of his message.

Bill got a blank expression when I asked him, “What is the subject line?”

He was so wrapped up in the message that he forgot that you have to get the e-mail opened. There are two things people look at before opening an e-mail:

  1. Who it is from
  2. The subject line

The more personal the message appears, the more often it is opened and the easier it is to accomplish your objectives.

I told Bill, “If you have to put 10 people in the room the process they are going to go through is:

  • Open the e-mail (Open rates from a Newsletter list are good, up to 50% but don’t count on more than 20%)
  • Read the offer. Reject you, look for more information or register (Rejections—80% at least. The measure here is click-throughs)
  • If they look for more their options are to reject or register. (About 20%, with luck will register).”

Bill, who is a numbers guy said, “So if I hear you correctly, if I went out to 100 people only 20 would open the message. A best 4 would look for more information. Of those maybe 1 would register.”

“Right, “I said, “so the number you go out to is critical. With those analytics you need to go out to 1000 to get your ten. BUT I can increase our odds. Put their name in the subject line and you get a 15% to 25% increase in opens.

Do the math. That gets you 40 opens, 8 click-throughs and 2 registrations per 100 e-mails sent.”

Bill said, “Thanks, with the personal touch it now seems possible.”

How you handle the click through (CTA) to more information and the page which that delivers can also increase your odds but the single most important factor is getting them to open your message. Personalizing does 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

 

 

Personal Brand and Charisma

Either you’ve got it or you don’t is not true.

Anyone can be more charismatic and anyone can build their personal brand by doing so. The question is: Are you willing to pay the price?

The price may be a shift in your emotional quotient (EQ) because charisma is judged by observers, not you. You may have to change the way you present yourself to the world… all the time.

Behavior dictates how you are judged.

As Shakespeare said:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;”

Your audience, whether you are a speaker, manager, politician or a member of the C-suite, instantly makes decisions about whether or not they can devote themselves to you and your vision. Instantly.

They look at:

  • Your movements and stance—if you appear open and move with sureness you will be seen as charismatic.
  • Your confidence—research indicates that if you are perceived initially as having confidence, that perception will not change over time for the viewer who will see you as charismatic.
  • How you present your ideas—using emotionally powerful stories and images that reach into the psyche of your audience makes you charismatic.
  • Your focus—when you are engaged with an individual or a group you are absorbed in them. Nothing breaks that concentration. And you will be seen as charismatic.
  • Your competence and friendliness—which they are judging from an emotional intuitive basis rather than using their logical faculties. Check your charisma score on these tow elements here

Trump is an example.

In his book Charisma in Politics, Religion and the Media, David Aberbach delineates historical pivot points that occurred due to charismatic leaders. He contends that charismatic leaders release the individual of the pressures of life under stress. They seek protection in a group. When individuals feel vulnerable there is a possibility of a charismatic attachment. This can be very dangerous in certain circumstances.

So was Hitler

Charisma can be used for good or for demagoguery. Hitler employed his power to give people a target of hatred, which gave those who felt broken their own sense of superiority.

Is Trump, like Hitler, targeting a group for hatred?

Why does he continually say, “No amnesty and no citizenship.” Why is he trying to destroy NAFTA?  Why are immigration cops being allowed to operate like Hitler’s Brown Shirts? This is not the the kind of positive charisma and leadership displayed by Franklin Roosevelt, Ghandi and Nimitz.

Use your charisma for good and stay tuned.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry 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

 

 

 

 

Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry 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

Brand Begins With A Plan

Cathedral Architect

Entrepreneurs may be male or female. Either way investors want to understand the business architect. It is your job to show them the cathedral. (Read to the end)

Ken asked me to do a telephone consult with a start-up.

I’m willing to talk to anyone for an hour or so and usually request any documents they have which will give me a clue as to what they do. The conversation always starts with an open ended question.

I asked, “What seems to be the problem?”

The guy’s answer, which took about five minutes, could be summed up in a couple words, “I’m stuck.” Translation: His advisory board had directed the entrepreneur to write a simple plan that would tell potential investors what the company’s vision, mission and plan to go to market was with an eye to generating the $500,000 needed for product development. They weren’t asking him to put down all the financials in spreadsheets. They just wanted a coherent document, possibly a slide deck that could be reviewed with potential investors.

“I kind of get your vision,” I said, “But what is the mission and position of the company?”

He replied, “I have tons of material and information and as much as I work at it I can’t seem to put it together. Every time I try I put down reams of stuff on paper and I imagine eyes glazing over as people read it. But it is all good information, stuff they should know.”

“Right,” I said, “so you are having difficulty being concise. And you are trying, even though you don’t realize it, to make your audience as knowledgeable about what you are trying to do as you are. Is that right?”

He said it was which caused me to go off on this rant….

There’s a plan to raise money and a plan to make money.

Just about any kind of product or service company built from scratch requires both. Your business plan is your plan to make money. You want it to work. You will have to make it work when you go to market. Your plan to raise money is another plan altogether. This is a different target audience with different interests, desires, concerns and a much shorter attention span. The men and women that provide funding come in three flavors:

  • Friends & Family (depending on the circles you are a member of, up to $50,000 a round)
  • Angel investors (Anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 per round)
  • Venture Capitalists (From $500,000 to Millions per round)

Investors want to be sure you’ve done your due diligence, understand the market you are entering, have reasonable expectations and have the staff that can make it happen.

Your plan to raise money must be more concise.

How? Here are 3 ways:

  1. Develop a positioning statement, incorporate it in the logotype of the company and display it on the cover of any document or opening slide. If it matches up to your mission it is two thirds of what I call Lightning in a Bottle. E-mail me if you want to learn more.
  2. Have staff signed up that investors will believe can get the job done. Experience performing the same tasks in other ventures is always a plus and as the investment increases becomes more important. At the high end, it is not uncommon for a position on your board to be part of the negotiation.
  3. Make your executive overview just that. Keep it to one page if you can. Investors are busy people.

Investors make decisions on whether to read further based on three pages:
Cover which done properly can start an emotional connection (Positioning),
Staff where bios can convince them you have a winning team in place and
Executive Overview which can convince them that you know the market, the competition, the value of your product/service, how to get it to market and how to manage it to a successful future.

People that invest money in ideas want to see the cathedral on the hill.

They have no interest in how you craft each stone to build it. They know it can’t be done overnight. They know it takes the combined labor of many to make it real. They want to be sure you are really the architect you claim to be. Help them trust you. Help them visualize it, completely built, and let them decide.


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

 

 

 

Brand Isn’t Blind Like Justice

Sccales of JusticeI agreed to be a mock juror last weekend.

Six attorneys gave abbreviated versions of their openings for real cases.

I can’t discuss the cases but I can tell you a little of what I learned.

What I learned was a little scary.

  • The American system of civil justice does not include a way to stop a professional from continuing to practice.
  • The American system of civil law only includes one way to punish an individual or a company for a wrongdoing.
  • The American system of civil case law can’t force the fix of a product problem.

Being sued can cost you a bundle but you can keep your license.

You can’t take a doctor or other professional to court to cancel their license. The licensing body is the only one that can do that and they tend to protect their own. So your civil suit is about money.

It’s all about the money.

One thing attorneys were practicing in this mock jury presentation was how to explain that the only recompense available was money. One young man stood before us and put his hands out to his sides like the scales. As he put it, “Here in my left hand is all the things I’ve told you happened to my client,” he said, lowering that hand while his right crept upward.

His left hand continued to descend as he said, “My client’s life has been changed forever. The years without will add to that pain and suffering. The only thing we can put on the other side of the scale is money. How much will it take to bring those scales level? That will be your decision.”

The better the lawyer is at getting a client’s case across to a jury the higher the monetary award can be to balance the scales.

Justice is blind.

She can’t see what you put into the compensation side of the scale (or the other for that matter). Whether you call the money reimbursement for a loss or damages or an additional award for pain and suffering it is one and the same to Justice. She just wants the scales to balance.

With Brand, money is only part of it.

Your brand is how your customers see you. If you screw up badly it will be reflected immediately. Your income will go down. Repeat purchase will diminish. New customers will slow to a crawl. Referrals will cease to exist. Your reputation will be in the toilet. Negative word of mouth will increase and because of human nature could become viral. The value of your organization will be depressed.

Brand depends on trust.

The more your clients, customers and patients trust you the easier it is to overcome a single event. If you  are constantly seeking and posting testimonials and positive reviews the better off you will be. Every time you deliver beyond expectations you are building your account to balance the scales. Don’t wait. Start adding to your brand value today.


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

 

Brand Demands Focus

Brand FocusFor starters who is really the customer?

That sounds like a simple question but it isn’t. The world is more complex today than it has ever been. The way products and services are delivered today, especially digital products, is revolutionizing industries.

They call it disruption.

The digital transformation is rolling across industries like a tsunami. Businesses that don’t recognize the possibility are disappearing. Blockbuster is gone. Uber and Lyft have become the go to transporters for a new generation.

Complexity makes it hard to Focus.

Southwest Airlines operates in what would seem to be an easy to understand market. Passengers are the obvious customers but founders of the airline understood that in order to compete and build a brand they had to instill a love of passenger service in everyone that worked for them. They said their employees were their primary customers. They “luv’d” them and changed the industry. Success is why, in 1977, their stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LUV.”

Airbnb is an alternative to hotels and bed and breakfasts and so the customer at first appears to be the person looking for an overnight or multi-night stay away from home. This disruptive service works because it handles the infrastructure of advertising space availability, booking the visitor, paying the owner of the space and taking a commission on the deal. The real customer is the person with space to book, like a Silicon valley investor on vacation with his extended family in Europe who earned enough through an Airbnb booking for part of his home to pay for the trip and make a profit at the same time.

Where the money is defines the customer.

A client which must remain nameless because of non-disclosures is a good case in point. It requires a distributor and allows contributors to provide content and is used by consumers delivered in the form of an app for smart phones.

Who is the customer? Is it the distributor, the contributor or the consumer?

  • We know that the consumer is not going to pay for the app even though it could have great advantages. The consumer is not the customer.
  • Contributors would have to distribute the app in order for it to be of value to them. Could they recoup that expense and make a profit? Possible, but a tough sell.
  • The distributor can use the app to generate additional revenue from current users and expand their service to new users. At the same time they can recoup the costs by charging a small fee to implement the app for their users. This is the customer.

Focus your business and your brand to succeed.

The more laser like you can be the better. Strip away the complexity. Figure out which of the parts of how you get your product or service to market has the most profit capability for you and for them. Go where the money is. Target them first.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry 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

Brand Survival of the Social Media Conspiracy

Social Media ConspiracyFeel like you are “behind the curve” on social media? Every professional I know is concerned that they may not be able to maintain their position, that their brand might slip.

Each day there is more in printed media and on-line assuring us that we are quickly getting passed by if we’re not up on the latest changes.  The dire warnings continue on and on.

Did you get used to the internet and go back to “business as usual”?

You got a website for our business even if you had to hire your nephew to do it. Things were pretty good for a while. You had an internet presence you could brag about. But then things started to change again.

We a pretty sure now that video and texting and smart phones is where it is at the moment but who knows what wondrous devices or “apps” are lurking in the technology woods? (Block Chain Technology is coming!)

We tackle this social media thing head on and wind up trying to find out what a “hash tag” is and why we should care. Regardless of what happens the press and the pundits will continue to tell us we have to keep up if we want to maintain our businesses. They will use arguments like, “If you don’t get savvy now…if you wait too long…the learning curve is getting steeper.” They could be right,,, if you buy into their viewpoint.

Social media applications are engineering answers to instinctive human urges to network including our fear of the unknown.

Every human being feels the need to connect with others. Some are shy about it. Some are forward. All feel the need to a greater or lesser degree. Yes we have concerns about “talking to a stranger.” The perpetrators of these arms-length attempts got it half right in my view. You can’t  substitute quantity for quality. For me, Social Media looks like an awful lot of work without a lot of connection with real people.

Be a survivor. Step back from the social media onslaught.

Stop listening to the hullabaloo. Take a deep breath and look at reality. All professional businesses need a steady flow of work. Small businesses need an ongoing revenue stream. The successful ones do it by satisfying a slowly expanding group of customers with whom they have a personal relationship. Even large businesses need a stable base that they add to over time.

In other words, each successful business needs a personal network of satisfied customers, a core of clients or customers that trust you and your brand.  They need to trust you at least enough to keep coming back to you for your product or service. A few of them, never more than a select few, will refer you. Their trust will be transferred to a new customer.

The core of trust is at the heart of building a business and a brand.

Initially, that core of trust is you. If you operate solo it will always be. With a partner or an ensemble or partners you all have to subscribe to the same central beliefs. In a larger organization each person needs to be driven by the same values.

You can’t fool customers for long. They see your brand from the outside in. They rely on how your decisions impact them to make judgments about you and your firm. If you are true to them, they will be true to you.


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