A few years ago (2009) Simon Sinek wrote a book called Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,
He spoke about it in a TED talk which kind of went viral.
In that talk he did a great job of publicizing the idea but never got around to describing how to determine your why or that of others. In 2017 he got a around to publishing Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.
A dentist in New Mexico. Gary Sanchez saw that talk and became fascinated by the concept, worked with Sinek to find his own WHY and for five years worked out a manual system to figure out other people’s WHYs, their way of approaching life.
The Why Discovery is what he called it. It was slow, taking hours for each discovery and required a certified coach to help determine how to apply the findings in your life, in your team and in your company.
Now it is the WHYos. After years of the manual approach Gary taught himself computer coding and wrote a program that has proven to be over 99% accurate and only takes minutes when you take it online. Get it FREE. just let me know.
Learn your WHY, your HOW and your WHAT in minutes. You’ll have:
· A better grasp of how you operate as an individual.
· A better connection in every relationship
· A discovery of the joy of being fully engaged
Understand your brand. Once you discover your WHYos you will have a firm grasp of your purpose and the perceptions that make you unique. The consistency you bring to your relationships will make you more memorable and more profitable.
That’s what credibility to Cash TM is all about.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. and a Certified WHYos Coach. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.
Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two. Get the Newslog at his consulting site.
You don’t have to be sure your marketing is going to work.
But if you don’t take action you will never know. That idea will always just rattle around in your mind. It will stagnate and die never having seen the light of day. It will be resigned to the scrap heap having never been tested. It will die, stillborn.
Action is better than inaction.
We learn from our mistakes. Even if we don’t have a process in place we absorb what works and what doesn’t. We understand what is effective versus what is not. We gather information to formulate new approaches and discover connections we had not perceived before.
Rules for Failure as a strategy:
Take action. Don’t wait. Do it now or forever lose this chance.
Note trial components. Write down the strategy and expected results. Reduce the test to as few elements as possible. Use multi-variant design if you can’t reduce things to A-B split testing.
Analyze results. Look at what happened versus what you thought might. Do not wear your rose-colored glasses. Delve into the fundamentals and scan for hints of affirmative outcomes while quantifying both positive and negative consequences. Look for both strategic and tactical effects.
Build a winners file. Make note of what works whether it is graphics, words, colors, sounds, video or animation. Look at the combinations that work and how changes in one of them impacts your outcome.
Assemble your findings. Build a check list or diagram or a process report that incorporates what you’ve learned. I’ve been doing this since I opened my consulting firm. When you sign up for my Credibility to Cash Newslog you get the benefit of what works by avoiding 25 years of failures.
There is not a lot I remember from my High-School French class.
One phrase is stuck in the little gray cells:
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
That translates to “The more things change the more they stay the same.”
When it comes to marketing, you need to adapt to the Normal particularly the New Normal.
You can’ keep doing the same thing and expecting a better result. That won’t work. (Some people say that is the definition of insanity!)
What has changed and what stays the same?
The ways of presenting your message, carving out a brand for yourself, your service or your product are increasing and morphing on a daily basis. Even the internet is enduring continuing change. Successful Marketing acknowledges and uses new technology (Pepsi is betting on Web3.0 and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)
BUT, human nature is slower to change than technology.
Today I read some research that shows the younger generation prefers face to face over on-line to build relationships. New technology comes at a premium in terms of money and time but since we humans are slow on the uptake, smaller firms can orient to the customer, stick with earlier technology and still compete.
Exploit the changes while maintaining client/customer Trust.
Watch the “big guys” as they experiment with Web 3.0. Learn from their mistakes but do not commit staff, funds or time until you can see a clear path to changing tactics that stays on the winning strategy to stay connected to your customer.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is an international speaker with clients from Singapore to Spain.
He guides elite individuals and organizations to become more memorable and more profitable.
The key element in building a brand across multiple platforms is consistency.
You cannot change the words and pictures willy-nilly. It is particularly important to say things the same way as often as possible because we operate in a digital world and the search engines use words to find things. Your Linked in Profile and your website must deliver the same message .They can thanks to Pro Brandr.
Digital and Analog
Both play a role in building your brand. Words are initially most important because they are how people and organizations are differentiated both by digital search and when a referral source needs to convey your capabilities.
Graphics are the main analog elements. Photos, illustrations, art and logotypes all can play a part in making you memorable. Visual elements of your brand can have enormous impact.
But words and pictures have to play together in each presentation and across mediums to be effective.
One of the greatest industrial designers ever understood this. His approach still makes sense today:
“People gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. Loewy called his grand theory “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”—maya. He said to sell something surprising, make it familiar; and to sell something familiar, make it surprising.”
Raymond Loewy, Industrial Designer
Bold but instantly Comprehensible
Loewy practiced from the 1930s to the 1970s and some of his designs live on and are familiar today:
Air Force One livery Coca-Cola bottle and fountain dispenser Greyhound Scenicruiser bus and logo JFK postage stamp Logos for Exxon, Shell, International Harvester, Nabisco, Quaker, and the U.S. Postal Service
His iconic designs for aircraft interiors, railroad locomotives and automobiles are why we enjoy marvelous changes in vehicles today.
Surprising but familiar The element of surprise gets people’s attention. The familiar allows understanding. This is not a new concept. When the automobile was first introduced it was called the “horseless carriage.” Positioning for a specific market versus competition is best exemplified by “The Uncola” for Seven-Up. Or for the adults in the house, Miller High Life as “The Champagne of Bottled Beers.”
Familiar but surprising
We live in a world that is constantly changing. There are examples of this approach in every product category. For example, an automobile called a hybrid which runs on both gasoline and electricity. Once that truly differentiated the vehicle but now you have a choice of brands. Or how about foods that have Zero Calories. Sugarless desserts.
We need to quickly and surely put things into the matrix between our ears in such a way that we can first understand the item and then quickly recall it.
Impact at speed
Remember that when folks first come upon any new page on the internet that you have just 3 seconds to get your brand across. You have at most 15 seconds to connect with words a potential referral source can use to tell someone about you. Your graphics must connect with that part of the prospects brain that responds to emotion and has no words.
Your web site can serve up a great deal of the information you put into your Linked In profile but in greater depth. Make sure your visuals and words build your credibility to cash. Need help? Check out ProBrandr.
You are going to have a brand whether you want one or not.
Some consultants say that you’re only as good as your last success.
That’s true as far as it goes.
Some believe your brand is about hiring a graphic designer to make you look good.
Not a bad idea but only as good as your brief to her/him.
Others hire branding consultants to find a way to tell their story.
Again, considerably useful but not the complete narrative.
Brand, is not what you want it to be. You can present your case. You can use graphics that set you apart. You can declaim your differences in words that flow gently or stridently. You can muster staff and close ranks. You can posture and pose.
But in the end your brand will be the combined perceptions of all who have been exposed to you.
There are three major phases to your branding:
Your vision for your practice leads you to select a name. With that in hand you seek out a graphic designer to find typography and art that reflects what you want people to think of you.
You are striving to be memorable. Within 15 seconds of receiving your card or landing on the home page of your website the initial perception of you will be formed as will the language used to refer to you in subsequent conversations with other business people.
With a little luck you can become memorable Just don’t assume it will happen automatically or that the initial perception won’t change.
2. Back Story
You find that you need to build a web site and materials for sales and marketing of your services not to mention report formats and word heavy documentation of what you do. Case histories and client quotes can help tell your story.
Within the curve of your growth as a consultant you will need to establish what makes you and your organization unique. That is done by developing a consistent approach to all the elements that lead to trust. Extreme variation will make prospects question your honesty. Lack of imagination will push them to look for alternatives. Being true to your word will move you toward unforgettable but the major factor in that assessment will come from outcomes desired by clients.
3. Battle Hardened
You enjoy multiple engagements and find that you really can help businesses with the concerns and problems they are having.
Suddenly, you are viewed as indispensable. Clients turn to you for advice on every part of their business. Honesty about the extent of your capability and a willingness to find resources that can solve the problem put a shine on your brand.
And so it goes .
For a few of you that find a way to change the way your clients think your brand will go from Credibility to Cash to Legendary.
Without change we would be out of a job. Change is perceived by clients as a problem and they go looking for someone to solve it with expertise or experience they don’t have. We wind up working with them for a single engagement or, over time, for either multiple, linked engagements or just providing services in a single expertise on an ongoing basis.
Most of my interactions with clients are in the latter category. I tend to stay with clients for a while. I’ve worked with a current client now for over 25 years, celebrated a ten-year anniversary with one and I’m coming up on 3 years with another.
I still do singular encounters when I believe I can be of real assistance within the client’s time frame. I’ve come to the conclusion that Contact Relationship Management is no longer an arena I want to work in. Why? Management doesn’t understand it and more importantly does not understand that tasking sales-people with upkeep is a losing proposition.
For the future
I’m shifting my emphasis so that I will offer these services:
Marketing Consulting for consultants and coaches (Solopreneurs, Partnerships and Ensembles short and long term)
Strategic Marketing Counsel for entrepreneurs and start-ups
Speaking on topics that make individuals and organizations more memorable and more profitable. (Keynotes, Breakouts and Trainings for associations and businesses)
NEW Products that offer quick and easy branding, positioning and sales development. Example: Consultant Brandr for Linked In which allows you to inject your brand into your Linked In Profile in just one evening.
NEW The Credibillity to Cash Junto (named for the group Ben Franklin formed– a continuing conversation about establishing and maintaining your six-figure practice—a mastermind group limited to just 8 consultants that want to take their business up a notch.
That means I will continue publishing information on what works and what doesn’t in Marketing in general and consulting in particular.
Blogs I intend to publish blogs both in the USA and internationally on a regular basis every two weeks at a minimum. The topic will continue to be Consultant Marketing and will cover subjects from Practice Management to promos, PR and Premiums. The emphasis will continue to be branding across all the media available and how to move from suspect to prospect to client.
The Newslog, newly named Credibility to Cash will continue on a weekly basis. The new version will have the same information in an article, a video and an audio as requested by the current recipients. The first quarter for 2022 is in production now
The annual Consultant Marketing Survey is now in the field. This year’s results report will be available by New Year’s day! Sorry, no results tabulated as yet so I can’t provide a single finding! And yes, we will do it again next year.
Speak your Way to Business Riches A step-by-step guide to Get Booked, Get Heard and Build Your Business is in first draft. Look for it as a print on demand book from Amazon about the end of the first quarter. (Junto members and Newslog subscribers may receive webinar invitations as well as chapters in PDFs prior to publication)
In all we do in the coming year, the emphasis will be on showing you how to move from Credibility to Cash.
It was good to hear how the little golf product company he founded was doing. He has come a long way from when we met in his kitchen to put together the promotional material for the annual Golf Pro Trade show for the USA.
He had already committed to that show when we started working together. It was only one of the areas he needed advice in. Like most entrepreneurs, particularly inventors, he had no idea of what it takes to start a business from the ground up.
Marketing Consultant/Start up Consultant
I came onboard because he wanted a marketing consultant. Very quickly I turned into a start-up consultant. He had worked through and solved his production problems in way that turned out to be scalable. He was handling fulfillment personally pulling, assembling, packaging and shipping product on an as needed basis.
Sales was how he tested whether the product was something that would work in Golf Pro Shops. On-line marketing was being tested, but not in an organized way.
I squired him through getting a distributor sales organization, acquisition feelers from several companies and finally finding a pro to handle his on-line marketing.
These days he tells me he is negotiating a new distributor deal that includes fulfillment and has come to the conclusion that being able to dial advertising on Facebook up and down to manage sales is what he really wants.
Video is what sells is what he believes.
He asked me to respond to some of his ideas generated by comments on his ads and social media. His ideas (did I say he is an inventor?) tend to take comments about alternatives to the product seriously. None of the alternatives were shown side-by-side with his product in his ideas. Then he kept wanting to add things to the product like speaking digital readouts etc.
What does the product get the buyer?
I stopped him in the middle of how he could measure the degree of deflection between a direct line to the hole and how an individual putted the ball. My response was “So what?” Knowing the degree of deflection doesn’t mean diddly if I don’t know how to correct it. If I read the directions on the current product I’ll be able to see exactly how off I am without having any fancy digital sensors. I’ll be able to correct my putting and practice the perfect stroke. I’ll be able to take strokes off my game which is what I want.
The sound is the promise.
Somehow we found ourselves talking about why golfers would buy his product. It all comes down to sinking putts of any length. We were envisioning a dark screen like a golf course green in the twilight. He talked about a point of view video on the putter and ball as it is stroked, following the ball and then seeing it fall in the hole. I told him that vision was nice but it was no good without the sound effects. The putter clicks when it hits the ball. The distinct sound of a golf ball falling into the cup is unmistakable to a golfer.
The 3 second sale
I pointed out that when someone lands on your web page or clicks on your ad you’ve got no more than 3 seconds to get their attention, become memorable and build desire for your offer. Three seconds.
The speed of sound
You can recognize a sound in one half of one second (0.05 seconds). More importantly, for branding purposes, auditory reaction time is four times faster than visual reaction time. Hearing is the fastest of our five senses.
“Sound isincredibly powerful because of the speed at which you can capture your audience’s attention and ‘cement’ your brand in their mind.” — Gary Vaynerchuk.
I told Dave that the sound of the golf ball falling in the hole should be his singular audio brand component. Sound can sell his product. That sound is why a golfer will buy. That sound is the payoff for every golfer.
Imagine if you will
Video: Point of view (POV) Camera looking down on putter lined up on ball
Putter strokes ball.
Sound: Click of ball being putted (SFX)
Video: Fade through black to product at same angle as putt.
SFX: Ball dropping in hole
Video: POV product demo once with deflection once corrected
If you are a consultant it is a pretty good bet that you have a profile on Linked In.
How credible does that profile make you to your prospects? Here’s a simple way to evaluate that will take just minutes.
What to consider.
People, I’ve been told, do not give you a lot of time when they come across your information on any page on the internet. The last research I saw said you have 3 seconds to get their attention and brand yourself. Three seconds!
So you have to first stop them and once you’ve done that maintain their interest and provide the information they are looking for. Here’s the short list of considerations:
Answering their Questions
Let’s take those one at a time.
If your Linked In profile looks like this you are in trouble:
We live in a visual world. If you want to stop people you need to take advantage of every bit of visual stopping power Linked In offers. The absolute minimum is a headshot. Consider also:
Using the first panel of your website home page as the background.
A photo in the background that shows you in action.
A photo in the background that shows product(s) you are associated with.
The addition of your company logo to that background
Your name in that background.
A positioning line in that background (like a headline)
Combinations of the above.
Why are they searching on Linked In? In all likelihood, someone gave them your name or they came across it looking for an expert in a specific industry or they have heard about a specific skillset you have. You have to speak to their concerns and interests in their terms in order to keep them in your profile.
Your name Start with your name. Use the name you are known by amongst colleagues and people that might refer you. Do not use an initial for your last name. Initials are okay, however, if you regularly use them. If folks call you DJ or JJ or BZ then use that moniker but include your last name.
Your title Since most consultants are independent professionals operating as solos (nearly 70% in our last survey) you can call yourself anything you like. But instead of massaging your ego consider what that prospect is looking for. Do you think they want one of the “normal” titles like President or CEO? Research shows that they want more of a positioning statement that fits with the expertise they are looking for. You have space to use a positioning line, a generic/industry descriptor for what you do and a normal title.
Here’s an example from one of my clients:
Answering Their Questions Whatever brought them to your Linked In profile in the first place will now come front and center. You stopped them with professional looking graphics. You intrigued them with a positioning line that will get them to read further.
There are different approaches prospects take from this point on. Some will read everything on your profile. Others will say, “That’s who I was looking for, How do I get in contact?” As consultants we know the men and women who have the clout to hire us don’t have a lot of time. So why do so many consultants make it so hard to contact them?
There is a reason the words Contact Us are in blue. Unless you’ve been kidnapped and held incommunicado for a decade you know that clicking on that phrase will get you a way to contact the profile owner.
Yes and no. In a random check of that capability I found that 90% of the profiles did not include a telephone number. Many of them had only the Linked In Profile listed. You need to make it as easy as possible to contact you. Prospects want to know how to connect NOW
Here is what Jim includes:
What you say on your profile is important but these three things will make you one of the few that stand out.
Then again, only a few folks, over time, explained what it takes in way that was completely accessible to those ready for the advice. Some of the best known are:
One thing marks them all: Best Seller Self-help books.
But when you study how they came to be so admired you may find you were unaware of some things that might change your beliefs. In fact, the lessons that can be learned from these men might stretch your imagination and put a new spring in our step on your journey. Let’s take them one at a time:
He signed all four of the documents that are the basis of formation of the United States was scientist, inventor, diplomat and the originator of a form of peer groups called a Junto.
Ben seldom wrote under his own name. First, he wrote as Silence Dogood for his brother’s newspaper. But his best known work was Poor Richard’s Almanack. The book, filled with proverbs (many of which he invented), was published continuously for 25 years and became one of the most popular publications in colonial America, selling an average of 10,000 copies a year.
Old Ben was his own ghost writer and not afraid to present his views and ideas as inherited from the ages.
He wrote Think and Grow Rich. To date, over 80 million copies have been sold. This may be the top selling self-help book of all time.
It is captivating and clear. It consists of 13 principles that he derived from conversations with some of the wealthiest men of his day. It turns out that there is science to why it works which may explain its longevity.
But the thing is that Hill was not able to think, grow rich, and then write a book about it. Instead, he thought of a book, wrote it, and the riches followed.
We know him best for his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. He said:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you”
This pioneer in the field of public speaking and the psychology of the successful personality built an organization that continues to this day
Dale was born Dale Carnagay in 1888 in Missouri.
He changed the spelling of his name only after his first book Public Speaking and Influencing Men of Business was published.
He is a personal hero of mine, one of the great advertising pioneers. Hopkins wrote Scientific Advertising which has sold 8 million copies (It is now available free on-line)
His basic premise was that testing all components of marketing a product was essential to overcome the risks inherent in advertising. That meant looking at product distribution, sampling, copy and graphic split-testing as well pre-empting product specifics benefits and personalities to establish a brand He was a total advertising man.
Even though he was one of the highest paid ad men of his day he resented the fact that he had made his clients significantly wealthier than himself.
Mr Covey wroteThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. At last count it had sold more than 30 million copies since it was first published in 1989. One of his lesser known quotes speaks to what I have found to be true:
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Covey presents a viewpoint that is based on his idea of where principles and values intersect. He sees values as internal and principles as external and disallows conflation. In his view, values are responsible for human behavior whereas principles control results.
His ideas strung together in pithy statements intended to empower and inspire are seen by many as cryptic and requiring significant additional information.
My takeaways after a morning’s research:
A complete model makes a self-help approach more accessible and memorable just as having a junto builds solutions capability.
Being controversial or in disagreement with other self-help classics is probably a good idea particularly if your viewpoint is approachable.
Personal/ individual Marketing is really what self-help is all about. Getting there means understanding what works with the audience.
I’ll be keeping these things in mind as I build out Credibility to Cash.
Are you thinking of bailing out of a full-time job to start a consulting business?
Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane isn’t a good thing to do on a whim. On the other hand with a little pre-planning it can prove to be exhilarating. I’ve known folks that parachute from airplanes that were airborne in the Military and those that just wanted to check off a thrill on their bucket list.
Both took a lot of precautions. But the bucket listers all enjoyed it more.
What do you need to consider when you are taking that side hustle to full time? How do you get from unknown to memorable. More importantly what does it take to become Credible?
How do you go from Credibility to Cash?
Stay real, honest and authentic
Scrupulously avoid individuals and organizations that are not trustworthy.
Pay it forward. Practice relational networking not transactional.
Never stop adding to your expertise.
Tell it like it is (even when your view is different from the “common view”).
People hire consultants, not companies.
Too often this is overlooked. The new consultant is so intent on becoming a branded entity that they overlook this simple fact. Really big companies may hire consultants by their company name but mid-level and below organizations are looking for experts and look for them by name. If you want to have a fancy name and elegant logo that is fine but sooner or later you will find that if prospects remember your company name it will be associated with your name.
In other words, if you are an independent professional of any kind such as a consultant or coach, you might as well append your name to your company name because your clients and prospects are going to do so whether you like it or not. Your name adds credibility and that credibility leads to cash
Trust is the single most important business development attribute.
Having enough in the grouch bag (reserve funds) can help you with this. If you are not extremely concerned with providing for you and yours it is easier to stay on the straight and narrow. You find that you have the ability to say, ”No” to those deals that just don’t smell right. You will be able to be genuine and be plainspoken. Yes, your expertise is important. The connections you generate via networking can lead to being considered for engagements. The folks you add to your CRM (your list) become, in a way, investments. You invest your time and capabilities in them and they return the favor. Over time you will find that who you know is not as important as who trusts you. Your credibility, the trust you have generated leads to cash.
People are like Pearls.
Years ago I wrote a blog that likened the friends, associates and colleagues each of us has to pearls strung together into a magnificent necklace. If you think of your contacts that way you will want to show them off. That is what relational networking is all about. Transactional Networkers tend to look for tit for tat exchanges. They are much more about “What have you done for me lately?”
Relational networkers pay it forward. They refer the experts they know to fill a client or prospect’s needs. They constantly seek out opportunities for those they believe in. It pays off. Their credibility as a referral source leads to more assignments and better cash flow.
Know it all or at least more than others.
It is called lifelong learning in some circles. Continuous learning fuels creativity and innovation, helping the learners use their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways. The more you know about your area of expertise the easier it will be for you to diagnose situations and prescribe courses of action that will get to a positive resolution.
But don’t limit yourself to only your specialty. Explore subjects that are just to the side of it. Look into things that might have no connection at all. Because of the way our brains are wired those seemingly unrelated areas of interest generate connections that lead to creative connections. Challenging the little grey cells can make you more believable and inspire prospects to cash in on your unique abilities.
Controversial gets you seen. Results get you paid.
People respond to what is different. They actively seek out better solutions that are positioned and identified in ways that make them stand out from the crowd. Being controversial in your writings, speeches and other public appearances will get you noticed. A portion of the people that can hire you will listen in depth. Others will not. Both will have become aware of you in a way that is memorable.
Get the outcome stipulated in an engagement and you will earn the testimony of a satisfied client. Do a joint presentation with her or him at an industry gathering and you will generate another circle of admirers. Like dropping a rock in the water you will cause a small wave to press outward leaving a recognition of your knowledge. Each time your insight is touched your credibility increases. The more prospects that hear about your approach, find it ingenious yet plainspoken, the more will engage you.