The Word for Trust is Confianza

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaPlunging down the mountain side in a cab from the airport in Medellin, Colombia, Don Pepper and I were comparing notes on our careers in advertising.

He didn’t mention the fact that I had excused myself early from the luncheon attended by the sponsors and their key prospects.

Neither of us commented on the fact that the same translator that was working the lunch was also the translator for my after-lunch keynote.

I found out the hard way.

About half a minute into my opening comments a gentleman about 6 rows back started waving both arms in the air.

I asked him in my best high school Spanish, “Que pasa?”

He said in heavily accented English, “No translator!”

I said without thinking, “I will speak v e r y   s l o w l y.”

The audience, some 600 strong, joined me in laughter. About a half minute later the translator was ready to go.

Tener Confianza

The key thought in that speech was Trust (Confianza) plus time = success. I talked about what it takes to be successful in business today, on and offline:

  • Trust in yourself
  • Trust in your staff
  • Trust in your company
  • Trust in your customer

That trip, I was to learn, was all about Confianza.

Because I was scheduled to speak at a convention in Reno, Nevada the following day, the meeting planner and I had tried every trick we knew to get me back there on time. It came down to having to leave for the Medellin airport as soon as I came off the stage.

The cab was ready, I wasn’t. 

There had not been time to change to traveling clothes before heading for the airport. I figured I could change before boarding.

Nope. I was hustled onto the plane as the doors were closing by airline staff that had been alerted.

Tener Confianza

I had to change planes in Bogota so I figured I could slip into a bathroom, pull my jeans and sweatshirt out of my carry on and be comfortable for the remainder of my 16-hour commute.

The Bogota Airport was being remodeled.

The only bathroom available near my gate was a standard stall. The rest of it was under construction and open to the waiting room.

Contortionists have it much too easy. I’m not that supple. But I managed to change and make my flight.

Now I know why superman wears his costume under his suit.

Tener Confianza

When I changed planes in Houston I called the meeting planner at the conference in Reno and let her know I was back in the USA and my arrival information.

There was a limo driver holding up a sign with my name on it when I arrived.

The meeting planner wanted to make it easy for me. She knew how arduous it can be just getting there. That gift of not having to rush to find a cab, check in and don my suit to make it to the platform on time is one I will never forget.

Tener Confianza

  • En ti mismo
  • En su personal
  • En tu compañía
  • En su cliente


Jerry at Cafe in VeniceWebsites:
(Personal Brand Network beBee Featured this week)

Brand is an Action Plan

Brand PlanDuring a guest appearance on a radio show for entrepreneurs this week a caller asked, “What can I do to brand myself?”

I asked him if he was talking about his Personal, Professional or Product Brand.  He replied, “Professional, I’m a solopreneur.”

I suggested he visit and then this is what I told him:

“You are going to have a Brand whether you want to or not. The reason is that brand is not a process you can control. It is the sum total of what all the folks who have knowledge of you think, feel and believe about you.

Brand is the outcome of Trust. Being trustworthy leads to having a good brand. If you can’t be trusted…well, you get the picture.’

But what can you do to become a trusted Brand?

  1. Put lightning in a bottle.
  • Know what you are trying to make of yourself or your business and what you’ll stick with regardless of how things change. (Vision)
  • Know why your business exists (Mission)
  • Be able to explain how you are different. (Position)
  1. Stay consistent but accepting
  • Always tell your story the same way (Value Proposition)
  • Love the customers for their differences as well as their similarities (the Magic of Contact Relationships)
  • Remember that your brand advocates want to belong to your group (Social media)
  1. Be “in it” together
  • Get involved on a personal, bunch and group level (Tribe or Cult)
  • Hide your membership in plain sight visible only to other members (logo, tattoo, sticker)
  • Listen to what the common enemy is and stand against it in word and deed

If you want people to act, you have to do all that plus inspire them.

You inspire with a Vision and a Mission and show them how you’re different.

But inspiration is not enough. To help them break through fear and inertia you have to tell them what to do. Once you’ve told them the tactics that apply give them a symbol plus words of encouragement.


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.


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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

Brand is Not a Get Rich Click

Brand is not a get rich clickDo you remember your first customer or client?

What did it take to get that business? If you’re like most, it wasn’t a matter of someone just walking up and saying “I’ll take one.” You had to introduce yourself to that customer if you were selling tube steaks or Toyotas. If you were running your own business it was even tougher. You didn’t have a big ad program sending people into the store.

You stuck with it. You introduced yourself to one person after another. You maintained your enthusiasm about the product or service. You connected with a few people. Then one of those prospects hit the Trust tipping point and made a buy.

You built a relationship off line.

You begin the dance anew seeking relationship 2, 3 and 4.

But then you succumb to the get rich click temptation.

You think it will be easier, faster and just as rewarding trying to sell online. You’re convinced by all the commentary and the continuous e-mails that offer guaranteed full-proof ways to make a six-figure income and live anywhere in the world working half days. Your expectations are never met.

Before you put all your efforts into web sites, online stores and content marketing find out who is really doing that well and model what it took to get there.

Don’t try to take on major corporations using their techniques.

Each day we are hammered with ads on Facebook, Google and the rest of the zoo parade of social media. Once they were easy to skip past and ignore but not anymore. There are all kinds of names for it but I guarantee that if you search for a product or service on line you will be bombarded with ads for that product or similar ones for weeks.

You can’t win against the mechanized marketing they use if you try to go head to head.

Build a relationship with another customer (or two or three) offline.

Offline you have the advantage. You can look into your customer’s eyes. You can hear the tenor and the tension of her voice. You can understand why he is hesitant and learn why she is looking for another option.

Build relationships with customers offline before you try it online.

Imagine how much more powerful your copy can be when you are writing to people just like the ones that have come to Trust you already. Think about the ways you can better define targets for your ads online. Consider how much easier it is come up with key words. Can you visualize the other products they want and need?

Go offline to build better relationships with on-line customers.

No, don’t do an e-mail survey. Pick up the phone and talk to some customers. I guarantee you will learn from them and you will establish stronger Trust and Brand. When you travel to where they live, take time to visit with them. It will pay off. (One online marketer reported a 13 to 32% increase in sales from abandoned carts when his company telephoned customers that had abandoned their cart in mid-transaction).


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.


Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at