Consultant Marketing Social Media Differentiators

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Being more memorable

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Just publishing on a host of social media platforms on a regular basis can make you more memorable.

Being consistent in one area of expertise can make you remarkable.

Delivering content in a unique way can make you outstanding.

Pick and Choose

You can’t be everywhere. You wouldn’t have time for the work that pays the bills. Your best bet is to find a way to use the same content across a range of social media. Working with my Virtual Assistant and some scheduling software we can post daily on Linked In, Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram and Pinterest.

The formats we use are video, quotes, questions and lists all of which direct people to my blog site. We chose to use similar formats plus PDF carousels posted manually for the introduction of  ProBrandr that allows you to inject your brand into your Linked In profile in just one evening.

Being unique

Anyone can post in social media. The trick is to build up a following by displaying your expertise in a way that is different from everyone else. Here are three examples drawn from my work with elite consultants.

  1. Leadership myths started out as a chapter in a book written by my client Jim Grew. When Jim was doing the usual round of radio, TV and podcast interviews to promote the book he noted that every interviewer and their audience was interested in the Myths, the short lessons on leadership.

We agreed to translate them into a series of weekly videos with a standard open and close with music. Jim looked straight into the camera and challenged viewers perceptions. Here is a link to Myth 149  When Jim semi-retired in January, 2022 there were north of 155 myths in the can.

  • Handwritten Economists Insights are the best way I can describe Bill Conerly’s regular reports to clients and prospects. Bill can handle well written approaches to the economy both overall and by sector as he is a regular contributor to Forbes.

He is best known for his abbreviated reports that feature short handwritten notes on the charts and graphs published by the US government. Take a look at his website to see examples scrolling up the home page.

  • At the Whiteboard In talking about an upcoming speech to be delivered virtually, my client, Frank McShane mentioned that he would prefer using a white board to illustrate his talk instead of using Power Point slides. His rationale was that he often used the technique in client presentations with great success.

His 30 minute presentation sparked a Q&A session nearly as long and almost a third of it was commentary on his choice of medium to make his points. We have built the standard open and close and selected the music for a video series called At the Whiteboard. View one of our tests here.

How are you going to be more memorable?

These are just three ways that consultants have found to go from Credibility to Cash. is there something in how you operate than can make you stand out from the crowd?

I can help you find it.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com
Product: https://www.ProBrandr.com

Consultant Marketing Website Time

Every marketing conversation I have with a consultant sooner or later gets around to their website. The status reports I’ve hard in the last week fit into these untidy categories:

  • “I’m between an old one and a new one. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around the right words.”
  • “I really haven’t looked at it for a while, besides I don’t get any business that way.”
  • “It needs work, but my webmaster keeps telling me she can’t write for my audience and I just don’t have time and I can’t find anyone who can.”

For consultants it is always time to work on their web site. Always.

Lack of Consistency

When I review sites for clients I find one overwhelming problem, a lack of consistency.

The website is inconsistent in its overall viewpoint floating back and forth between being all about the Consultant, his or her process and certifications and the problem to be solved.

Then, too, there is no consistency with their social media profiles, particularly Linked In.

The wrong conversation

Most believe a website should answer the question, “What do you do?”

WRONG!

The question you should be answering should be “What can you do for me?”

That simple shift will allow you to find the right words, the ones that will generate business and a way for you to evaluate a writer for your site.

Time is not on your side

ProBrandr , the way you can inject your Brand into your Linked In profile in just one evening is based on over 25 years of monitoring how people respond to on-line postings. Time is not on your side. Here’s how things stack up for your website:

Panel 1: You have 3 seconds to tell the kind of people you work with what you can do for them. Here’s what I say:

“Consultant Marketing and Brand advisor

I guide consultants and consulting organizations to become
more memorable and more profitable.

503 957-7901”

The statement you make here should:

  1. Identify the clients you work with
  2. State the outcome(s) you deliver
  3. Give them a way to contact you

Everything else you say on that panel is extraneous. Yes, you need navigation but that is not considered informational in and of itself.

Profitable point of view

Your website should be all about clients and client outcomes. Consider including outcome information directed to each audience you serve, client testimonials, information about you and your team and a way for prospects to contact you.

The question they want an answer to is “What can you do for me?” They are looking for someone who has the expertise to solve their problem for a reasonable fee in a way that is understandable to them, and won’t upset staff and operations.

Your Website should make them feel comfortable in contacting you, not to be pitched but to be listened to.

And so it goes moving from Credibility to Cash.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com Product: https://www.ProBrandr.com

Consultant Marketing Game Change

Change is the heart of consulting.

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.

Proven Publishing

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.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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 Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

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

Consultant Marketing Brand Sound

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Dave and I had lunch Thursday.

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 is incredibly 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

            Cut to product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

Video: Super order link

            Product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

All that can be done in less than 15 seconds.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

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

Copyright 2021 Z-axis Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved

Consultant Marketing Credibility Index

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What is your credibility index?

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:

  • Stopping Power
  • Maintaining Interest
  • Answering their Questions

Let’s take those one at a time.

Stopping Power

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:

  1. Using the first panel of your website home page as the background.
  2. A photo in the background that shows you in action.
  3. A photo in the background that shows product(s) you are associated with.
  4. The addition of your company logo to that background
  5. Your name in that background.
  6. A positioning line in that background (like a headline)
  7. Combinations of the above.

Maintaining interest

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.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

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

Consultant Marketing Digital World Speaking

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I spoke live on Wednesday.

It was only the third time this year. My expectation from the run-up back and forth with various staff members was that this would be a well-managed professional event.

It was. The gal at registration recognized me. She was delightful. The tech in the room was completely efficient. His first question was, “Any change in the slide deck?” I said, “No.” He then efficiently got me into a lavaliere microphone, did a sound check handed me a slide clicker and declared me, “Good to go.”

That’s when things went off the rails.

I sat in on a couple sessions before mine. One was being done by an acquaintance. His topic was: How Brands Can Use NFTs To Engage Consumers And Generate Revenue. (an NFT is a Non-Fungible Token, a unique digital asset that utilizes Blockchain Technology)

Like the preceding session the introducer basically read the session topic, the presenters name and their company name from the printed agenda card. That was it.

You have to introduce yourself.

Each of the speakers I watched had to use the first 2 minutes of their 30 minutes on stage to introduce themselves. I was bemused by the way they crammed all sorts of data on a slide: Name, Title, Company Logo, Web address, E-mail, Social media they were involved with, where they were published and seemingly any kind of social proof they felt gave them existence.

The first line of “Sympathy for the Devil,” Rolling Stones (1968) kept running through my mind:

“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul and faith.”

Whether you are a Stones fan or not you have to admit these lines are memorable.

An introduction sets the stage.

For some reason events primarily directed to digital professionals eliminate solid introductions and in doing so lose benefits to the speaker and the attendee.

A good introduction sets a positive tone, generates enthusiasm and interest. More importantly, sone properly it can make a clear case for why listening to the speaker is more beneficial than grabbing a cup of coffee. A memorable introduction engages the audience and convinces the audience to listen to the speaker.

A good introduction will accomplish three other objectives:

  1. Focus the audience attention on the speaker transitioning them from their current actions or thoughts.
  2. Enhance the credibility of the speaker personally or by citing social proofs.
  3. Make a promise about the presentation that creates intrigue and a need to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

A self-introduction is never as powerful.

Yes, you can introduce yourself powerfully in networking situations. That is what 30-Second Marketing is all about. Or you might like this video.

The fact is, we trust others more than we trust an individual presenter to perform an introduction. Second party information is given more credibility. The human mind does not like hearing someone “Toot their own horn.” And so introducers are used at most speaking events. And in order to accomplish the objectives of a good introduction, most professionals write their own and, in some cases, rehearse the introducer persuading them to read it as written.

Here’s the self-introduction I resorted to:

I’m Jerry Fletcher.

I’m a Master of Consultant Marketing.

You know how people keep telling you that you have to be memorable but nobody tells you how to do it?

Well, what I do is work with individuals and organizations to develop unique trust-based strategies to build businesses, brands and lives of joy.

I’ve been doing it since1990 and stopped counting successful new product introductions at 207 and individual branding for consultants at 147 at last count.

Today I’m going to tell you how to go from Credibility to Cash in the New Normal.

The audience stayed for the entire session laughed at some stories and gave me a hand at the end. I’d like to think this digitally oriented, just give me the bullet points audience learned that no matter how they would like it not to be true, the analog human mind controls all acceptance, belief, trust and purchasing.

Like to see it?

I’ll be doing that speech virtually for IMC NorCal on October 5. Sign up here if you would like to see it.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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 to you take your business up a notch…or two.

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

Consultant Marketing Journey to Success

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No one ever said it would be easy.

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:

  • Ben Franklin
  • Napoleon Hill
  • Dale Carnegie
  • Claude Hopkins
  • Steven Covey

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:

Ben Franklin

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.

Napoleon Hill

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.

Dale Carnegie

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.

Claude Hopkins

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.

Steven Covey

Mr Covey wrote The 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:

  1. A complete model makes a self-help approach more accessible and memorable just as having a junto builds solutions capability.
  2. Being controversial or in disagreement with other self-help classics is probably a good idea particularly if your viewpoint is approachable.
  3. 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.

And so it Goes

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Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

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

Credibility To Cash Information Sign up for the Newslog

Consultant Marketing Diving In

Are you thinking of bailing out of a full-time job to start a consulting business?

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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.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. 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.

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

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Brand and the Placebo Effect.

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Go ask Alice

The lyrics to “White Rabbit” written by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane begin with:

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all…


When it comes to Brand that is correct as far as it goes. Spending to build or maintain a Brand will keep it on track, Cutting marketing to the bone as was done following the merger of Kraft and Heinz reduced the size of the company as well as the shares of all their Brands.

Owners and managers were counting on the placebo effect, that power of the human mind to experience what we expect. Those marketers expected their customers to continue to believe in and buy the brands even if the brands did not reach out to them.

Turns out the customers are on to that trick.

  • You can’t build or maintain share by cost-cutting.
  • You can’t keep customers if you don’t listen to them
  • You can’t convert prospects by solving old problems

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call

To succeed in building or maintaining a Brand you can’t count on where and what you’ve been. The audience is changing. The customer’s methods of evaluating your product or service are changing. The media that reaches them is changing.

Your Brand is the sum total of perceptions held by contacts, prospects and customers.

  • If you don’t keep up the conversation your Brand will weaken
  • If you don’t use social media to get close your Brand will stagnate
  • If you don’t publicize how you are disrupting the category your Brand will lose share.

Small businesses have the advantage here. You can build a stronger relationship with contacts, prospects and customers. You can personalize your communications meaningfully by going beyond using their name and knowing what it is that caused them to build a relationship with your Brand. Once that bond is reached the placebo effect will work for you. They will defer purchase of a competitive product until your similar product is available. They will become your best salesmen.

When the men on the chessboard get up
And tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow

As soon as you begin to have some success you will be accosted by marketing experts who will want to sell you their advice. Stick with the personal touch. It is the shortcut to Brand. Stick with what has been working.

Yes, you’re busy. Yes, you’re getting more business than ever before. Yes, what they say sounds good.

Take your time. Don’t make any long-term commitments. Test their advice. It is your Brand, after all.

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head, feed your head

The demographics of your market are changing. The psychographics of your market are changing. Find out how. Find out by getting as up close and personal as you can. Listen. Really listen to what is going on with your contacts, prospects and customers. Let them help you innovate and stimulate how you can disrupt the arena your product or service is in.

Your Brand is a living breathing entity. Remember you can influence it but you can’t control it. Complete control rests with those that think, feel and believe what is said about it. But if you don’t support it with ongoing marketing it will fade. You need to feed the way you want it perceived or it will lose its luster for fans.

The placebo effect can add to your Brand.

  • The visual appeal of your product or service can make it more desirable
  • A referral from a trusted friend or advisor creates positive expectations
  • Great reviews or testimonials build Brand prior to use by new customers

Here are all the lyrics:

White Rabbit

Jefferson Airplane

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
To call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up
And tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice, I think she will know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head

Songwriters: GRACE WING SLICK


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, 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 for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

Brand Edge On

A friend once described the Platte river (near Denver, Colorado) as a mile wide and an inch deep.

Your brand might be like that.

You have a choice to make:

  • Maintain your broad coverage
  • Dive deep into a select audience segment.
  • Try a little of both

The broad brush

Your target may be portrayed in broad brush strokes at the beginning. Most entrepreneurs believe that broad appeal will get them the most customers.

Maybe.

More often the broad appeal helps those who will become their best customers/clients find the company, product or service. That gives the appearance of a brand that works. But if you don’t regularly probe the information your customers/clients are willing to give you the profiles of your best purchasers will not be revealed.

Edge on

How can you tell? The rule of thumb is that the more niched you are, the better off you’ll be. Generally, that is true. To evaluate your situation, look at the depth of what you know about your client base, the percentage of your sales that cluster in one group, initial and repeat purchases as well as the estimated life time value (LTV) of the individuals as well as where you want to take the business.

The more carefully you describe your avatars, verify them with market research and, over time, add details to their portraits the better you will understand the kind of people that can make you successful. If you’re well-funded, that research can be done by a specialist firm. If you’re little guy, under-funded, or a start-up you may have to do personal interviews to get a handle on that better picture.

What works? I’ve been successful with all three of the choices. More successful with a deep dive. Most successful with the combination and carefully watching the metrics.

Deep Art

The more detailed portrayal of your ideal customer/client the greater the probability of enhanced profits. True, there may be fewer. But each will be worth more in most cases. Repeat purchases are the primary reason as well as a tendency to accept higher prices. The fact that you have found them and are personalizing your approach establishes a large emotional difference from competitors. It makes your brand unique.

Detailed knowledge of two or three groups can not only add to your profits, it can extend the life of your business. A financial planner might open the doors and quickly find that her primary customers are Baby Boomers but that they are referring their children who are in the cohort known as Boomers II or Generation Jones born between 1955 and 1965. They, too, refer other youngsters, born between 1966 and 1976 (Generation X).

The planner may find that Generation X is significantly different from the older clients. But her only way to build the business long term is to understand the differences, speak their language and make the picture familiar to them.

The cohorts are often put into “Buckets.” You could easily identify the three noted above. But the Brand oriented planner will take it a step further using automation software that allows you to “tag” each contact with a full array of ways to sort them into segments within the groups. Here are just a few:

  • Demographics (Age, sex, income, education, housing etc.)
  • Psychographics (Observable personal behavior)
  • Engagement (The degree they respond to your offers)
  • Purchase Behavior (purchases, repeat purchases frequency, recency)
  • Satisfaction (Reviews and testimonials)

Wade in

Keep track of what you learn about your customers/clients. The depth of your knowledge will impact the value of your business every single day.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, 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 for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com