#PersonalBranding – What’s The Big Idea?

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. This is a concept that’s been addressed so many times in so many different ways, yet there are so many businesses that continue to describe what they do in the form of a convoluted data dump that leaves the prospect struggling to figure it out. You’ll hear some form of this just about everyday in any given commercial stop set on any given local radio station.

Salespeople do it all the time, and whether you like it or not, if you’re out trying to get your businesses in front of more eyeballs and ears, congrats! You’re a salesperson. Better yet, you’re the personal brand within your own business brand.

So what is your personal brand?

Who are you? What do you do/sell? What’s in it for me? Can I trust you? These are some of the questions that immediately run through my mind whenever I meet people at networking events, showrooms, trade shows, hear/see their commercials, etc.

Lately I’ve been coming away from meeting different people or hearing commercials and wondering, “okay, what the #$%@ do they do again?”. At any given networking event, I’ve often wondered how one insurance guy differentiates themselves from another insurance guy at the same event. Realtors, you’re not exempt! What’s going to make me remember you? Are you considering your differentiation on a personal branding level? Believe me, I’m not exempt either. There are many times that I wonder what word(s) I own in my friend’s/customer’s minds. Let alone if the words are the kind to not repeat in front of children and the elderly!

How clear is your big idea? When you tell people what it is that you do, do they look like they get it? Is there a clear “aha” moment for them? Do they understand what’s in it for them? The quicker they get what it is that you do, the better they will be able to make the decision to investigate further, or better yet refer you to someone who needs what you do.

Here’s a great business example:

Cordell and Cordell. A law firm who specializes in defending men in a divorce. BAM. I got that the first time I heard their ad and I referred them to a friend yesterday. It’s not the most pleasant of circumstances under which to refer a business, but they came to my mind almost immediately. That’s the kind of brand recall we all should strive for on a regular basis!www.cordellcordellnashville.com

Here’s a horrible business example:

A radio commercial that I hear just about everyday that’s written as a contrived dialogue (that’s another blog for another day) that talks about business information systems, whatever they are. I don’t remember the business name nor do I have a clear idea as to what they do, but I do know they can demo their product for you by having you log in somewhere. I don’t have a reason to investigate them any further simply because they didn’t answer “what’s in it for me?” www.whothehellisthis.com

Great personal branding example:

Monte Mohr. He’s runs one of the most successful real estate groups in Nashville and I know he sells homes for free. www.wesellhomesforfree.com

Horrible personal branding example:

Almost anyone representing the latest MLM or Network Marketing fad. I have no idea what or why to buy from you.www.whichadvocarepersonisthisagain.com

When I write ad campaigns for my clients, I want it to be clear as to what their big idea is for themselves or their company. What’s their positioner? Did they come up with it? Are they willing to bake it down into layman’s terms? If I can’t swing the hammer for your business in 30 seconds or less, than what’s the point? Your prospects only have so much time to process your big idea. Make that time count.

Don’t fret if you think you might have this problem. There are ways to get outside of your own bottle to see what your label really says. For my clients who couldn’t, at first, clearly tell me about their big idea like I was a 4 year old, I would advise them to ask their customers how they would describe what it is that they do. You would be amazed at the common thread that will begin to develop about your business after asking 5-6 customers to describe you in the most simple way possible.

There is a human yearning to beat our chests and make sure our prospects know everything our businesses can do for them in a 30-60 fell swoop. The important thing to remember is to build upon your big idea and ultimately build a relationship. When I tell people what it is that Magic Apple Technology does, I say, “We’re Nashville’s Premier Business Phone System Firm”.

There are folks who immediately have the “aha” moment. Then again, there are some people who get the familiar crinkle in their brow which is my cue to throw out my secondary positioner, “We do phone systems”. #wedophonesystems

That’s usually when they go, “ahhhh, okay”. We also provide many other services, but I usually save those until I can sit down with my prospect/referral partner over coffee or lunch. I have found that when the opportunities present themselves to bring up some of the other things I can do, my prospect (which by now might have become a good business partner or friend) may introduce me to so many more of their friends and business partners with the zeal of a flaming advocate.

So keep your big idea at the forefront and keep it simple!

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