Personal Brand is Who You Ain’t

Personal BrandQuite frequently your personal brand is not what you feel, think or believe in your heart of hearts. It is not your dream.

Brand is the sum total perceptions of all those people who think, feel or believe they know you. Your brand is the outcome of the trust they have in you. It is their dream, not yours.

Sometimes what you want to be is at odds with everything they know (or think they know) about you.

How do you:

  • Use what they believe about you to change their view?
  • Give them reasons to believe the difference?
  • Provide visual, verbal and implied touch experience to convince them?

How do you persuade them to believe who you ain’t?

There is an elegant example of this currently being revealed on social media. Here is the video: (Click here to view)Malkovich Video stillAs Mr. Malkovich says in the video, “I am always the figure in someone else’s dream. I would really rather sometimes make my own figures and make my own dreams”.

Personal Brand is about how you control that dream. They won’t change unless you show them a different picture of yourself. They won’t have insight into your real character until they’ve observed it. They won’t change their opinion until they experience the new you.

Details of the John Malkovich story are at I’m sure we’ll see Mr. Malkovich in conjunction with another film or stage play but will it be as actor, or director or costume designer? He has been all three. But now, it appears he wants us to see him as a men’s fashion designer.

This is not some stunt dreamed up by a publicity agent. It is a well-crafted high-budget brand development campaign on a good-sized budget that incorporates video, a social media campaign and a connection with a design-oriented do-it-yourself website development company.

That connection is with SquareSpace and is the first entry in their “Make Your Next Move” campaign.

According to Ad Age, David Lee, chief creative officer, Squarespace said, “The campaign is a reminder that you don’t have to settle for anything less than anything you want to do.”

Squarespace worked with JohnXHannes, a creative collective based in New York, to develop and produce the campaign. The campaign was produced by Smuggler and Flower Ave., directed by Miles Jay and photography by Zach Gold.

What is important here for you is making the commitment to be your Personal Brand.

Decide if you need to shift the way you dress or the look feel and photography of your on-line persona.

Think through how you might extend your reach among the people you want to convince with joint promotions or strategic partnerships.

Most of all, be sure the “why” of what you’re planning is something you can wear consistently until it is time, once again to make a change.


Jerry Fletcher is the founder and Grand Poobah of

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


Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at

Is Brand Personal, Professional or Product?

Grand PoobahYes.  It is those three and more. You’ll find brand sorted into these groups on

  • Personal
  • Coach
  • Professional
  • Consultant
  • Startup
  • Product
  • Business

Those seem to cover all the permutations that displayed significant differences in my analysis of brand development and outcomes as I organized the site.

Personal Brand

Each of us has a personal brand whether we strive to do so or not. Each of us is perceived by those who know us well as having specific traits views and quirks. Folks that don’t know us as well have opinions about us based on how they come into contact with us and how important the interaction is to them.

The outcome of your search for love, a job, a new career or all three is predicated on your Personal Brand. You have one and it has a numeric value. It is called a Klout Score. When you share on social media you build your social influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score. Then, too if you are active on Twitter and Facebook you’ll have a Kred score. I’m more of a Linked In kind of guy who tweets only when I take a bus (and I never take buses) so my scores are not that great.

The point is, you can build a following and generate measurable results on-line. Google’s infinite memory adds to your perceived credibility, believability and, over time, whether you are trusted or not. But on-line is only part of how you need to change and adapt to satisfy your desire to get a better paycheck, ditch that boring routine, or just change climates.  Your Personal Brand will make or break you. Here are some books that might help:

  • Strengths Finder from Gallup (includes access code to assessment and website) Worth the price to assure that you know the talents that make you unique.
  • Stand Out by Dorie Clark subtitled: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. You may have heard about “thought leaders.” This is a road map to becoming one.
  • Reinventing You from Dorie Clark. This is a “step by step guide to defining your brand and imagining your future.” Solid advice.

Professional Brand

Lawyers, CPAs, Doctors, Dentists Naturopaths, Financial Planners, Insurance Agents, Realtors, Coaches, Consultants, Beauticians, Contractors and a slew of others make up this Brand category.

Professionals work with individuals or companies or some combination of both. Coaches tend to provide one-on-one assistance but in most cases are not required to be certified or licensed. Consultants on the other hand are often comprised of a full team that works with organizations. Professionals regardless of how they connect with clients tend to be certified or licensed. Lawyers have to pass the bar. Accountants and Insurance agents need to maintain a state certification. Financial Planners must adhere to state and federal regulations. Contractors, Beauticians and Realtors are licensed.

Networking is not the only way to develop a Professional Brand.  It can be a major part of your marketing plan. It can get you in front of potential clients but so can all these approaches:

  • Speaking (including on-line video)
  • Writing (including on-line content marketing)
  • Teaching
  • Sales Promotion
  • Direct Marketing
  • Trade Shows
  • Edutorial
  • Sales Materials
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Social Media

Professionals have more ways to influence their Brand Development than ever before.  Legal and/or cultural restrictions have been skewed nearly beyond recognition by the advent of the internet. There are law firms currently spending millions on internet advertising. There are specialists in content marketing for financial planners. How could you better reach your ideal clients?

Product Brand

Familiar. Intriguing. It’s your favorite beer, the batteries that keep on working, the heels you lust after and the perfect tech goodie. It’s the thing you’ve never touched yet feel you know intimately. Or you’ve been a customer for years and wouldn’t think of trying something else.

Product Brand comes in three flavors. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been there in startups when a Brand was born, suffered through the naming debates, bellied up when it was christened and helped get it on its way. And I’ve worked with the companies that a Product Brand can become. The three flavors I decided to keep in are Startup, Product and Company.

If you’re an entrepreneur, all three of these classifications are ones you might want to follow. If you find yourself trying to figure out whether to put your brand budget into the company or a product or some combination we will have outcomes you can study and compare. But, if you are like most you will want to know the behind the scenes stories of products that have become more than the widget in the box.

We’ll show you how in the box thinking that makes the box bigger is a better way to go than thinking outside the box. Stay tuned. It will be worth it.


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


Get all the Brand Briefs. Sign up at


Trump Brand Won Because of Trust

161110-blog-photoThere are at least a hundred definitions of Brand but only one that in my view encompasses all the possibilities:

Brand, any Brand, is the outcome of Trust.

Fail to get to Trust and you lose.

A Brand that has a singular vision, a mission articulated in a few understandable words, promoted consistently with words and pictures that touch the emotions will triumph if it gets to Trust. (See the video)

Sometimes it is a matter of how the Brand is positioned:

  • The Clinton tagline was: Hillary for America
  • The Trump tagline was: Make America Great Again!

In hindsight we know that he won because the people supporting him were the disenfranchised middle class that are opposed to the elites that they perceive to have hamstrung the government for so many years yielding control to the moneyed interests—the banks that took their homes, wall street and the big box companies that wiped out main street and the manufacturers that off-shored jobs.

The Trump brand was, pretty much, self-funded. It was Republican but not beholden. It was outrageous remarks followed by others saying “what he really meant.”

The Trump Brand was not a voice crying in the wilderness. It was heard by all the citizens out there beyond and within the big cities.” It didn’t matter what your party affiliation was. Your “tribe” was more important.

The Trump Brand is, for about half the population in the United States, a way to Make America Great Again.  Their belief is that an outsider and a business man can clean house in DC. and “straighten out” things that have “been done to them” over the  years, They Trust that they can “Make America Great Again.”

The last word of that phrase is the most important. The target audience, the people that voted in droves for him in the fly-over states are not looking forward. They see the USA as diminished. They want to go back to a different time. Their desire is to get “government off our backs.” Their hope is that the America they believe in, proudly serve, and honor can rise up and “do the right thing.”

Look at the difference:

  • Hillary for America (What’s in it for supporters? “I’m with her” was just as flawed)
  • Make America Great Again (It is what they want done and it implies the supporters will be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.)

The Trump line was carefully emblazoned on every item offered including the signature red baseball caps (and once or twice a camouflage cap). Hillary’s campaign offered nearly a hundred different designs, comments and reasons why. Little, if any of it, stuck to the wall.

They trusted Trump because in his bellicose way he said to them, “You’re right, we need to go back and I will keep shouting for you as long as it takes.”

They Trust him.

As I said, Brand is the outcome of Trust. I evaluate Brand development and report on it at If you’d like a neutral professional to review your Brand, call me.


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


Get all the Brand Briefs. Sign up at

Time and Lessons Learned

Dad died Wednesday, just after noon. Black Iris

Mom called at once. Then I began to cancel meetings and obligations while rushing to get ready to catch a red eye from the upper left corner to the heartland.

He was a quiet man, not given to any kind of rhetoric. Gentle, too, for a man who stood 6 foot two in his youth. As a child I was amazed at how those huge hands of his could touch like a moth’s wing.

Though he never finished high school he had an abiding interest in figuring out how things worked. If it was mechanical, he could fix it. Before printed circuit boards he was the guy in the neighborhood that fixed radios and TVs for spare pocket change. He taught me what I know of auto mechanics including the fact that the job is not done until the tools are cleaned and put away.,

Dad was passionate about three things: His family, being a railroader and his tinkering. He loved Mom. You could tell by the way he looked at her, especially when she didn’t know it. Loved me, too. Never missed a game when I was playing high school football. Always found  a way to encourage me.

He found a way to help me finance a college education and got me a railroad pass so I could work in New York on my co-op job while studying advertising in college.Black Iris

But the defining thing about him was that he was a railroader. My first memory of him was running down the railroad platform at Norwood station when he came back from the war and leaping into his arms. I was 4. He was 25.

For the next 40 years he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a fireman and then an engineer. He was proud to wrangle those big steam locomotives and later, the sleek diesel engines.

After he retired, he and Mom camped all over the United states, at first with a tiny tent trailer and later with a big fifth wheel unit. They had just started home from a visit to see their granddaughter, Kelly, when Saint Helens blew for the second time. They drove through eastern Washington into the night to escape the falling ash.

But time catches up to us all and at the last he had difficulty remembering. In a way, I think that may have been a good thing as he had lived such a full life and could no longer.

I will miss his gentleness, his passion and his advice that ” It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s what you do that counts.”

Jerry Fletcher

Consultant Trust Floats

“Any of y’all have somebody contact you several years after you pitched ‘em and they turned you down?” asked Bubba, Georgia’s answer to branding’s high court.
Trust floats on the stream of time

Rob, even though we call him Bubba is sharp. When he asks a question like that in this group you know there’s something he is really curious about.

As the rest of our crew settled in I responded, “Why do you ask?”

It takes time to get to trust.

“I had lunch the other day with someone I knew had worked with other marketing and sales consultants.” Said Rob with only a hint of drawl. “I listened when he told me why he wanted to talk to me now after this many years. I pointed out that he had hired someone after we last talked and that fellow had exited stage left a few months later and that I knew at least two other consultants that he was familiar with that could and had given him good advice.”

Kate, took a sip of water and said, “So you asked him why me?”

“Precisely, Madam Sales,” said Rob. “George’s ansuh threw me. He started back when we’d met before.”

George, the prospect said, “Back then I couldn’t see any reason to have a branding consultant. I figured that a marketing consultant would handle that as part of his or her job. I assumed that branding was sort of an automatic thing…get the right logo and tag line and you’re done! I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”

Our direct marketing expert Rick observed, “This George sounds like a really bright guy and one that leaves his ego at the door. Seems like he’d be a good client.”

Prospect knowledge in your area of expertise leads to trust.

Thas probably true said Bubba but what I learned by listening to his whole story is why I brought it up today. The more I thought about it the more I kept comin’ back to how Fletch is always goin’ on about Trust being the be all and end all ‘specially for consultants. It ‘minded me of that Yankee fella Thoreau who said that “Time is the stream that I go a fishing in’ The way George described how he came back ‘round to me is just the same. It was a matter of time and his knowledge about marketing and communications growing.”

George said, “I quickly found out that my perceptions about branding were way out of line. I figured out that branding was a real problem for us but I still kept going to general  consultants to help me solve the problem. It didn’t work. One wanted to make me the spokesperson/hero of the organization. Another couldn’t comprehend that even though each of our divisions had to stand on its own sales results it is still one company.”

Rick pointed out, “So your prospect moved from someone that didn’t know what he didn’t know to figuring out what his company’s problem was and then started bangin’ around trying to find the expertise he needed to solve the problem.”

“Right,” said Bubba.

So how did he come to pick you?” asked Kate.

Prospects need time to understand why they should trust you.

“It‘s that fishin’ thing. I just keep my bobber in the water waitin’ for a tug on it. Meanwhile down there just like a fish risin” to the bait George was slowly but surely headin’ back my way. He started asking some of the folks he had confidence in who he should talk to ‘bout his problem. A number of them mentioned me. And then he saw me doing a presentation that he said showed him I was an expert. So he called me.”

Kate said, “And now all you have to do is help him get to know and like you.”

“I musta done that,” said Rob. “He asked me for a proposal.”

The Marketing Takeaway

Getting clients is all about trust. To get them to come to you, you must:

  • Stay consistent

  • Establish your expertise

  • Assure that others refer you

  • Be willing to educate if they want to learn

  • Get to know them

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

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

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.

Our Thoughts Are With You

I’m on the road making arrangements for my ailing father.

Fact is, I would much rather be reporting on one and of our usual lunches.

For a change I’ll simply voice a few of the things on my mind as I sit here in my mother’s cluttered kitchen.480_3116847

Thanks to all of you that said things like, “Our thoughts are with you.” and “You are in our prayers, and “I will light a candle for you”

I‘m not a religious man but sentiments like that assure me that there is more to friendship than acquaintance. Much more.

That additional thing , whatever you call it can and is felt by the recipients we direct the universe to honor.

Although each of us goes on with life and business and filling our days with activity, for a moment we pause and direct an inspirational thought to making things better for someone we may only know through a slight connection.

Their loved one becomes important to us. Their concern be it brief or on-going becomes something we would absolve.

There are other unsung heroes in this confusing end-of-life dance with the grim reaper. The gerontology specialist who has become Dad’s doctor told me she is one of only 10,000 in the USA. It matters not to me that she wears the scarf of a Muslim woman.

She leads a team of nurses and aides and physical therapists who spend their days and nights trying to bring dignity and comfort to men and women afflicted with the one thing that gets us all —aging.

Take a moment of your time, if you will, to think positively of all those folks as well. Whisper a prayer or light a candle or two.

I do appreciate your kindness.

Jerry Fletcher.

The Gift of Memory

Welcome back! It is good to see all of you again. How were the holidays?

Memory helpers for Consultants

Gail said, “We had a wonderful time. My son managed to get back for a few days and his kids connected at our place so it was quiet but filled with warm memories.”

Chris jumped in saying, “I finally had some time to work on my house and I’m now ready for the new year.”

Rob said, I ‘member how the holidays were such a big thing at home when I was growing up and how y’all just kicked back and got into Granny’s pies and the gatherings with cousins and aunts and uncles and everybody. Wasn’t so much that way this year. Getting everybody to fly back home gets harder and harder.”

“I know what you mean,” I said. “My daughter and her husband came for Thanksgiving but for Christmas they took their annual sunshine vacation and went diving in Central America.”

“We went to Phoenix’” said Kate, “and I only made two sales calls.”

“New York for us,” put in Rick our Direct marketing master.

“I got back to work with a bang. A client who will remain nameless was having a heck of a time uploading some videos we had put together for her blog and other purposes. I was so frustrated by trying to solve the problem via telephone that I made a house call. She’s a Mac user and does everything from her desktop, doesn’t use the filing system on the computer and doesn’t know how to access it.”

I suggested to her that she should learn how to access the filing system and keep everything there. She told me she wouldn’t be able to find it if she did. The simple answer I gave her was to date every file to take advantage of how the computer reads file names. It reads from left to right, numbers first then alphabetical. So to be able to find a file I date it with 2 digits for the year, 2 for the month and two for the day. So the file for this blog will be 160109 Gift of Memory. The visual will be 160109 Gift of Memory Visual. I can always find a file if I know when I was working on it.”

Rick, our Digital Director said, “You know that the computer puts a date and time stamp on each time you open a file, right?”

“Yup, but it doesn’t keep the original date just the most recent time the file was modified, I replied.

Kate said, “Knowing that saved me a bundle of time in organizing my files. For years I kept them based on the kind of program like Power Point and Word with no client information except in the titles. Had to hire an intern to sort everything out by client. That made one heck of a difference. Now I can find stuff. I’m still figuring out how to find my desk.”

Laughing, Rick said, One of the most difficult lessons I learned early on was that you need to not only put dates on things but you also need to organize by client and project. When we opened we had no idea of how to keep track of things so we just had one list of project numbers. Client A Project 1 would get a number and then Client B’s project would get the next number and so on. Imagine what it was like trying to find anything in the real world much less on a computer. The way we solved it was to designate each client with a three letter code, each project with a number that was assigned serially that included the year and a letter for each version. You wind up with a file name like ABC 16-001 A. Works like a charm.

“You just made my day,” said Chris. “We’re at the point where we have so many projects we’re having difficulty keeping track of them. We can put that in place right now and I can put the new intern to work sorting out last year’s stuff that we may want to access for this year.”

Gail cleared her throat and said, I’m old fashioned. I like paper. I used to have a tough time finding my desk, too. Then I discovered colored file folders. You can get them in a bunch of colors. The key is to designate a color for each major part of your business. Like you guys I speak and consult so I color code this way:

Outreach      Purple

Speaking      Green

Travel           Blue

Development Yellow

Prospect       Orange

Client            Red

Personal       Blue Green

Use your own code to make it work for you.”

Kate said, “Now I have to stop at Office Depot!”

“And don’t forget to put a CRM system in place in your business,” I said. That will save you more time than you can imagine. You simply can’t maintain good files without it…there is a reasonably priced system that will work for you. As you know, I recommend integrated systems so you have the capability to use digital marketing.”

Rick injected, “And it is good idea to make sure you can sync all your devices. That, and the security it provides is a good reason to look into Office 365 from Microsoft even if you use Apple products.”

I replied, “Good addition. That will also get you more cloud storage than you can imagine for a small consultancy and new capabilities to connect with others on your team and clients.

Bubba, our Buddha of Brand clapped his chubby hands drawing everyone’s attention. He said, “Y’all are talkin’ about all this inside stuff. H.G. Wells understood that is only part of your business. What he said was:

We all have our Time Machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.

Don’t forget about branding. Build on the memory of your brand. Make your dream memorable in 2016.

The Takeaway: The better organized you are the easier it is going to be to serve clients with imagination and innovation to make your brand memorable. Always find a way to be able to recover documents, graphics, presentations, etc. a year or two from now.

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

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

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.

With A Song In My Heart

Launch Music trtion“You did what?” Rick said.

“I had a song composed for me,” I replied.

“I could sweah he said he had a song composed for himself,” Rob said. “Is that some sort of branding thing you’re trying?”

“In a way I guess it is. You all know I speak on three continents to entrepreneurs and business owners. Since I’ve been doing bigger audiences I figured that having a theme song would be good thing. It’s called Launch.”

Kate, who is always looking at how folks make sales, asked, “So how did you find someone to compose a song for you?”

“It wasn’t that hard. I came back from the annual convention of the national Speakers Association and the next weekend a friend asked me to a house concert where the composer was playing and explaining how he worked. At the end of the performance he said he was looking for projects. I was first to volunteer.”

Our digital director wanted to know, “So what does it sound like? Can I hear it online and how do I find it?

“I’ve put it up on my speaking web site, Chris, in the resource section,” I replied. “Here’s a link to the page.

I tried to use it last week at a speaking engagement with a small group but couldn’t get the speaker to work with my laptop. I had the music synced to a slide in the presentation.”

Chris asked me, “Technical problem?”

Yes, I said, two:

  1. Never try to set up in the dark when the headphone and microphone jack points are right next to each other.
  2. Try turning on the on/off switch.

Bubba was laughing so hard he blurted out, “You’re about as good at technology as my cousin Joe Bob who never could figure out how to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time.”

Kate came to my defense. She said, “As long as he has sufficient time to practice with the technology and it works the way it is supposed to he’s okay. He’s even bailed me out a couple times when I couldn’t get a projector to connect up.”

“If you give him a little time, he gets it right said Rick.” I just tuned into his web site on my phone and the music sounds good in my earphones. The high sounds at the end match up to the way my heart used to lift when the Space Shuttle would get safely to escape velocity. You put the volume up on that music in a room and you will most definitely get some elevated heartbeats.”

“That’s why I did it. Music is a way to set the emotional stage. We are so used to it we don’t think about it. But it is there in every TV show and movie and on line game. I want people to be ready to take their business up a notch when I take the platform.”

The Takeaway

Music is a way to reach out and touch people. It can set the stage and take them from boredom to exhilaration in a heartbeat. It has the power to energize the passions and plans we hold dear.


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

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

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.


“My Composer tells me that sometime this week my new theme music will deliver,“ I said to Kate as the others wandered in.

Our sales specialist asked “Why do you need theme music?” and then said, “Oh yeah, you told me you were going to have something written and arranged to use for opening speaking keynotes… you were calling it Launch as I recall.”

Rocket Launch

I responded, “It will deliver in the same week as the final results of the national launch for my client’s referral marketing program. That has turned out to be successful beyond my greatest expectations.”

“Well, there’s success and there’s success,” said Rick, the Direct Marketing Pro in our midst. “If you get it off the launching pad that is success but can it climb out of the gravity well? What kind of numbers do you have?”

“In this case I said, we had a list of the top 200 clients of another firm and their backing as strategic partner recommended to all the companies on the list. Going in they had 5 or 6 folks that were referral partners. We dropped a letter to the 200 and then called the list down.”

“You’re the expert Rick,” said Gail, our business writing doyen. “What kind of results would you expect in that situation?”

He said: “A letter and a call down will get you 1 to 1.5% but since you had a tight list and a referral of sorts that would get you from 2.5 to 5% in my experience. Anything more is remarkable. So how did your campaign do?

“We added 40 new referral partners to their list,” I said.

Chris, the digital marketing guy that meets with us whistled. Everyone turned to him. “Guys,” he said, “That’s a 20% response. That is incredible. You don’t get that unless you’re sending out a package!”

Rick said, “I totally agree. I haven’t seen anything like that since we did some very expensive packages for Disney. Are you sure it was just a letter and a call down?”

“Certain. The letter was solid and built to display a box that had an implied testimonial and recommendation. A copy of a card with an offer for the referred end users was enclosed. It offered a telephone or on-line method to get quantities of cards for the customer local sites.”

Rick said, “So you got it launched. What’s next Fletch?”

“Now we’re going to build out a sales program that touches those from across the country who have raised their hands to become referral partners. They, along with the remaining folks on the list will get a monthly newsletter. On top of that they will get two or three other touches a month via phone, letter, handwritten notes and e-mail to build the relationship so we become the automatic referral. But we need more referral sources to reach escape velocity.

We will continue to promote to the entire list we have with html e-mail messaging as only 8 of the titled individuals we’ve gone out to have opted out and those were because they could not use our services.

My guess is that we’ll have about 50 ongoing referral sources by year end.”

Rick said, “I hear it in your voice. That won’t be enough will it?”

“Based on the current data the company will be profitable at the end of September but just a few additions won’t matter. They need to invest in broadening their referral base by buying, mailing to and calling down another list of 1500+ with the titles we need to be effective,” I said.” If we can get just 10% of that list to sign up we will have escape velocity.

If they agree to buy the list and mail to them they can soar. If they don’t they will go down in flames.”

The Takeaway

The launch isn’t over until you have escape velocity. Invest to reach sustainability.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Learn how to profit from all his publishing at

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

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.


Music Maestro

My questions, as I took my seat at an alfresco table where the others were already gathered was, “What is the musical theme of our group? Do each of us have a couple of notes that might identify us? What is the melody of this group?”

Piano for Music MaestroKate, our sales doyen put a hand on my forehead and said, “His temperature feels normal, but crazy doesn’t generate a fever, does it?”

“I’ve been thinking about this for a week,” I said. “I had my ears opened last Saturday. Arthur is one of my valued resources. He runs a very successful web site development company.

He is also a composer. (listen in here)

Last Sunday he revealed his work for a composer’s contest to a group of friends in a home concert. About 25 of us squeezed into his living room around a baby grand and were taken into his creative process.”

Rick asked, “What do you mean, taken in?”

“He literally walked us through how he developed a composition for this contest. This was one of those fortuitous situations when I was already thinking about music because a friend asked me what one thing I was going to do as a result of attending the National Speakers Association meeting in Washington D.C.My answer was I’m going to add intro music to my speaking website and my speaking introduction.

I’ve already got Arthur working on it.”

“Y’all know I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it, said Rob, our branding wizard. But there’s things that music can do for a brand you cain’t do no other way. I may be a child of the south and I do like country rock but every kind of music can put a hex on you if it matches up with your perspective on a product or service. If it’s right, jus’ one or two notes touch the “wareness and preference centers in your brain.”

“You’re right on, Bubba,” I said. Arthur did variations on the theme that included a ragtime immediately followed by a tango. He made it silly and sad and joyous. In just a few minutes his composition took us on a life journey. Along the way he used that elusive ability of music to take us to places all of us have been and to show us how those emotions can be tapped into with as little as two notes.

”Gail asked, “Did he prompt you or just let you guess about the scores?”

“No prompting was required. He played two notes and all of us could see the fin breaking the water. He talked about how Star Wars had re-introduced the idea of a full movie score. He let us hear why we knew something foreboding was on its way and how music could help us envision someone on screen thinking about another character.”

Kate leaned back, took a pull on her iced tea and said, “So you’re suggesting that each of us has a theme and that somehow they combine to make a mini-symphony each time we gather.”

“No, I wasn’t but if I were producing these blogs as radio plays that would be a brilliant idea!”

The Takeaway:

Music has the ability to use your emotions to build memory hooks that resonate regardless of how long it has been since you heard as little as two notes.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

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

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.