Brand is Your Voice

Every sense you have is how you respond to Brand.

Sight is a major input. It streams graphics and color and your name.

Smell, the most deeply rooted and emotionally stirring perception entry can lead you to incredible savories, repulsion, fear and fornication.

Taste can trick you or send a trickle charge to your amygdala.

Touch will be rewarding whether you deliver or receive it.

Sound. Your most used natural sound ability is your voice.

It can be raised in song.

It can whisper. Or scream.

It can be broadcast, recorded and played at will.

Your voice can be memorable or drab.

It is part of your personal brand, like it or not.

Why your voice is important:

  • The most common way we communicate today is via telephone.
  • The internet gives us all the possibility of being on-air personalities
  • It is one more way to separate yourself from the pack

A Speakers Bureau Owner once told me, I go to bed with your voice every night.” That left me a little non-plussed so I asked her what she meant. She replied, “I like your Networking Ninja tapes and your modulated delivery. I listen to one lesson each night. I learn something. Your voice calms me and I turn the player off, roll over and go right to sleep.”

All this came back to me as I listened to a Pod Cast I guested on recently. You can hear it at any of these links:

Training Unleashed Website: http://www.trainingunleashed.net

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/training-unleashed/id1274213431?mt=2

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/training-unleashed

iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-Training-Unleashed-28643038/

C-Suite Radio: https://www.c-suiteradio.com/shows/training-unleashed/

Record yourself.

Listen.

Is your voice distinctive? Is it memorable? Does the way you turn a phrase get attention? Is your chuckle infectious? When you laugh do people laugh along with you. Do you pause to give people time to digest your ideas?  When you get nervous do you sort of spew?

Take the time to make your voice distinctive.

Make it part of your brand


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

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

 

Your Brand is Trump

Charlie asked me to write a letter.

He purchased a list of high wealth individuals in the suburbs near his office. He has about 50+ years experience in wealth management. He no longer sells, trades, manages or otherwise represents clients in investing matters.

These days he keeps his hand in by providing second opinions. He can give you a true cost analysis of your investing plan and can tell you who you can trust.

The sample letters he passed along were atrocious. They were supplied along with the list and were all about selling products like annuities and combining funds into IRAs and consolidating everything with one broker. Little if any of the information provided was really what prospects wanted to see. I proposed a series of letters or notes that centered on the concerns of the prospect rather than products.

Stop selling, listen and start taking orders. Too often financial professionals get wrapped up in showing us their deck of cards. They forget that we want to know that we can win with their help. When they stop selling, listen and provide the assurances we need we begin asking them to purchase for us.

Your Brand is not based on the products you offer. I’ve watched certified financial planners change organizations they work with regularly to get better commission rates. It is infrequent that they change to get a better deal for clients. (but that does happen with the best of the lot.)

Your Brand trumps all the products.

  • If the prospect thinks that you know your stuff, your brand is trump.
  • If the prospect feels comfortable working with you, your brand is trump
  • And, if the prospect believes that he/she can trust you, your brand is trump.

Your Brand is the questions you ask. Chuck’s questions, which we put into an ad for the city symphony program are like these:

  • Are you really set for life?
  • Will your retirement be a walk in the park or a long slog into the sunset?
  • How much is your financial adviser costing you?

Your Brand is the answers you give. Being set for life depends on how long you live. In today’s world that could be longer than you think. Staying healthy makes a crucial difference in what you can afford for that last mile. Too often, your planner gets a commission continually buying and selling charging fees each time. Charlie gets no commissions, no payments out of your principal. He charges a fixed fee for his review.

It all comes down to integrity. You’ve got to have it to get to trust. Trust is the trump card and Trust is the outcome of 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

Agree to Disagree

My daughter and I agreed to disagree.

Neither of us felt that risking our relationship was worth going for a singular opinion.

In part, it was the topic. We ranged over the efficacy of firing non-performers in what she calls “the private sector” versus how difficult it is to fire a government employee to the protections for women provided by working for a government particularly in the Pentagon.

We skated into a debate on monetary policy as well. I contended that the political view I preferred was fiscally conservative while socially liberal even though the combination currently does not exist.

Her view was that the USA had been bailed out of a deep recession by a strategy totally at odds with all the historic conservative approaches. She pointed out that it was liberal over the top.

I had to concede her point even though I still believe the bankers responsible should somehow pay for their misdeeds.

Will that ever happen? I doubt it. However, I still hold hope that our gutted Department of State will be resurrected. She pointed out that Congress could help that by pulling some of the funds awarded the military and putting them into diplomacy instead of supporting chest thumping.

Neither of us think Congress has the cajones for that. It would take a commitment similar to that required to fire a government employee. She tells me that the paperwork involved quells most interest in that solution. Instead, employees are advised that their position is being phased out and they should look for a new position. They are not required to meet any requirements during that process and are paid even though in some cases the office or cube they worked in no longer is available.

And they wonder why civilians detest them!

The flip side of that is the protection afforded the employee. You can’t lose your job just because the boss doesn’t like your looks, attitude, etc. You can only be fired for cause and the paperwork, warnings, and legal wrangles mitigate against speedy dispatches. As a manager in private companies less complicated requirements still made my blood boil.

I’m a little old fashioned that way. In my view, you should get to keep your job if you do it. If you don’t, I don’t think it is your right to claim payment. If you are holding back the productivity of a team or group I think you should be replaced.

Should you be dispatched without a warning? No.

Should you be tossed aside if you are ill or hurting? No.

Should you be given a chance to meet the mark? Yes.

Should all the exchanges be covered with paperwork? I suppose.

Would I change that paperwork? Yes. 

I believe that we should borrow an idea from organized labor. The person being fired should have a representative—one that is not aligned with management.  I agree with my daughter, that is particularly important if it is a woman in the crosshairs.

 What do you think?


Jerry FletcherJerry 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

 

Raise Memorability of Your Personal Brand

The word lever was absorbed into English from the Old French levier. In essence it refers to making something light by raising it in a specific manner.

You can raise the memorability of your personal brand at three times in your life:

  • When you launch
  • When you are building your business or your career
  • When you’re established

Let’s take each in turn.

When you launch. Our first rockets had gyroscopes in them built by Honeywell. They were the size of softballs and were specified to be able to correct the lean of the rocket on the launching pad up to 10 degrees. The engineers built them to specification but because of extraordinary care added miniscule improvements which gave the gyros greater resilience than anticipated. The rocket made it into space. The gyros had worked even though the lean exceeded 13 degrees

Small, well-focused actions can produce significant enduring improvements. The elements of vision can engender incremental improvements just like that.

Your vision should include these elements (courtesy of Cascade Software www.executivestrategy.net )

  1. Output No matter what you do the output is the effect it has on customers or clients. For Example: A bakery makes bread, pies and cakes but the outcome is customers enjoying those goodies.
  1. A Unique Twist Define that Unique twist which you (or your organization) bring to that outcome. Express that different approach, the something that will make you (and your staff) successful where others have failed. Returning to our example: Because we only use premium grade locally sourced ingredients.
  1. Quantification Find a way to let folks know what you are talking about in terms of who you are trying to impact. Make it a little more down to earth and easier to visualize. Back to our example: Every customer within walking distance of the store.
  1. Human Connection Add a human “real world aspect. Help people conjure up a sloid mental image. The more tangible you can make it the better. In the example: Ensure that every customer who leaves our store does so smiling.

What is your vision statement?

Our wordsmithed example would be: Producing and selling locally sourced bread, pies and cakes that are so delicious and satisfying that every customer that leaves our store does so with a smile.

 

On the way up Whether you operate solo, have a partner, add staff as an entrepreneur or within an organization as a manager you need to have a mission that can be shared with your familiars. They need to understand what drives you.

        “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”
Simon Sinek

Here’s the worksheet some of my clients have described as “fiendish.” But it works. Give it a try.

  1. What—what one or two words describes what you or your business do in terms of what you deliver? Example: Delivery (for a package service)
  1. How—add one word that says how you provide it. In our example: Overnight which gives us Overnight delivery
  1. Where—Tell people where you provide the service or product in just a few words. Back to the example: in the USA which adds up to Overnight delivery in the USA.
  1. Who—Tell me who it is for. Be brief but paint a picture with one or two words.In the example we might say: for businesses hence Overnight delivery for businesses in the USA.
  1. When—In a word or two, tell us the need use or occasion that helps make your offering special. Example: on a deadline yielding Overnight delivery In the USA for businesses on a deadline.

Given all those answers, Why is it you do what you do? What is the reason you and your team get up each morning?

What is your Mission Statement?

Our example, if you haven’t guessed, is Federal Express when the mission was; Package delivery in the USA when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

 

In Orbit

You might think that once you’re established that you can rest on your laurels.

You can’t.

Now is the time to truly make a difference. If you have lived up to your vision and your mission you will have made some contributions to the knowledge in your area(s) of expertise. You will have been at times a contrarian and a cheerleader. Look back at those considerations.

Now look forward. Will the approaches you championed hold up into the future? Have you assured that your knowledge is available to others? Have you shown them how to put it under the microscope?

Here’s a brief checklist of actions you should consider for this part of your Brand journey:

 

  • Mentor someone in my organization or the industry
  • Speak on controversial subjects in print, on-line and in-person
  • Back your opinions up with facts (especially when the facts point a different direction) and don’t be afraid to reveal your process.
  • Ask others, especially those younger, their opinions and listen.
  • Learn the tricks of futurists and practice them.

What’s on your list?


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

Your Customer Service is Your Brand

Brand is an expression of Trust.

That means that every contact you or your organization have with an individual can impact how much they trust you and just what they think feel and believe about your brand.

A recent experience with a company demonstrates how to screw this up:

If you are a senior they offer a wonderful service.

They are there when you’ve fallen and can’t get up.

They are there when you need to get to the emergency room now.

You would think they would be there for the relatives after a loved one passes on.

Wrong!

First they call and demand the equipment. Then they dictate how you are going to return it.

Yes, they will have UPS pick it up at no charge.

No, it does not have to be returned from the address of the user. Your business, your home or a neighbor is acceptable as a pick-up point.

Maybe you could leave it on the porch if you can’t be there.

You can’t get a prepaid label sent to you so you can take the equipment to a UPS Store on your own schedule. Explaining that you are in another state 2200 miles away from the equipment and not available to wait for a driver to get around to you does no good.

You must take time out of a wall-to-wall schedule when you are in Mom’s home town because sending you a prepaid label to take to a UPS store “can’t be done.”

Never mind that you’re grieving. You must to do it their way.

I won’t be held hostage by having to wait for an unscheduled pickup.

I won’t accept responsibility or liability for goods left on a porch at their direction.

I will cooperate with a customer service person who listens and tells me the truth. (So far, I’ve spoken to at four and my situation is off their scripts and it is obvious that management has no Trust in their staff.)

I’m done, except for a letter to the Chairman and CEO of the organization.

My letter will detail the multiple telephone discussions and refusals to listen. More importantly I will reiterate some points I’ve made on platforms across the country.

  • Your brand is an expression of Trust.
  • Your brand is a reflection of all the trust points in your organization.
  • Your brand strength requires Trust in yourself, Trust in your company, Trust in your employees, and Trust in your customers.
  • Your brand is the sum-total of all those points of trust. If they diminish your organization will wane and die.

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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

 

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

 

 

 

Your Personal Brand as a Eulogy

I hadn’t intended to be there.

My daughter and I had agreed to fly in for weekend meeting with Mom to make sure we were handling her finances as she wished as she moved to long term care. We wound up at Mom’s funeral.

There was a small turnout.

Some family, a few from the neighborhood but the greatest attendance was the ladies of the sewing circle. They are a group of women that sew quilts for infants and children at the local Children’s hospital. Mom was a founder of the group and a member for 55 years.

Kelly, my daughter, led off.

She began the eulogizing by telling us how her Grandma responded when she had told her that she could only visit once a month. Mom just looked over her glasses and said, “Honey, you’ve got a life and a career out there in D.C. That’s where you need to be.”

What single word describes you?

The minister asked the crowd to describe Mom in a word or two. The ones that stuck with me are: Feisty, Kind, Ornery, Caring, Live Wire, Listener, Direct, Open

In every case, the initial zinger was followed with a modifier: Feisty but Kind, Ornery but Caring, Live wire but willing to Listen, Always Direct but Open to other views.

What my feisty Mom taught me about building a brand.

  • Speak your mind…gently. You need to have opinions and you need to voice them. But even if you differ from everyone around you, your manner can be respectful. And it is okay to change your mind if it makes sense to do so.
  • To challenge social stupidity, ping pong ‘em. Find a partner that shares your viewpoint preferably for different reasons. Team up and come at the numbskulls from two directions. Use both emotion and logic to argue your case. Stay with it until you win.
  • Walk your talk. Though she spent most of her life as a homemaker, Mom thought women should be independent. She may have been the neighborhood, “cookie lady” but she could and did lead the charge for social changes she believed in. She lived alone after Dad died until she was 95. She surprised her sewing circle members by purchasing a new car when she was 94!

You can be frank and beloved.

You can’t convince or persuade if you are inconsistent. You can’t be seen as on top of it if you aren’t. You can’t build lasting relationships if you don’t really care.

You can be feisty but gentle. You can be a little ornery if you soften it by caring. You can be the live wire of the group but also be the one that gets even the most reticent involved.

Your personal brand is the considered perception of you and all your actions.

What are the words they will use in your eulogy?


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

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

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

 

Do you Look Your Brand?

Your logo is the least of it.

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

Adults relate to people not symbols.

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

Animals come in second.

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

Cartoon Personalities come next, particularly with kids.

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

Here’s how that impacts you and your business.

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

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

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

The key is to keep it consistent.

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

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

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

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

Personal Brand Out Of The Dark.

I went dark back in mid-November.

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

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

Keeping your personal brand means you have to:

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

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

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

According to Google:

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

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

For me it started with three apparently unrelated decisions:

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

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

Little did I know back then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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