“Good afternoon, ladies…”
My mother held two tables of bridge at our house weekly for easily a decade when I was in grade school through high school. For Dad and me, it was great because Mom usually went big in the dessert department and the ladies rarely ate it all, leaving plenty for Dad and me to consume after dinner that night. What Mom required from me in return was the proper greeting to her bridge club members. The verbiage was not left up to me. It was simply, “Good afternoon ladies,” proclaimed seconds from entering the house.
When Mom passed away two tears ago, many of bridge club friends reached out to me with condolences. What resonated most was that to a person they remembered my greeting. Nearly 40 years later, they were still affected by my simple greeting and remembered me fondly because of it. Little did they know – or perhaps they actually did – that Mom was the strong impetus behind those greetings. Nearly 40 years later, I’m grateful she made me do it.
This week’s message is really pretty uncomplicated. In a communications age featuring sophisticated digital technology, the simple act of cordially greeting people; engaging in a conversation; and genuinely caring about building a relationship with another human being is important. The straightforward acts of courtesy, manners, and civility – often lost in the slog of social media tirades and rhetoric – will last longer and have more lasting and memorable value.
When this happens, we all benefit both personally and professionally. It’s easy to forget when things get chaotic and time is short, but a friendly “good afternoon” will go a long ways. It might be a good time to check your own business and behaviors to make sure that you’re creating the relationships and building the legacy you strive to leave.
Do you or your company need to improve your and messaging? Give me a call or email to discuss how I can help you.
Quote of the Week:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Was it just me, or were the Super Bowl commercials as a whole this year disappointing? Now let’s not mistake my personal point of view (POV); I’m a Super Bowl viewer for the football and the food. That being said, I’m always interested in watching the commercials because this is where the best of the best marketing campaigns are supposed to be launched, right? Apple, Doritos, Budweiser, e*Trade and others have made splashes with their highly expensive time slots on national television. My response to this year’s crop was a resounding….”meh.”
The vast majority of the commercials focused on something other than their brand. In some cases, you were left to wonder what the product or service was. Marketing execs seemed to go out of their way to make social statements rather than stating their own POV to their target audience.
If I were selling beer, I’d focus the viewers attention on people drinking beer and having fun. If I were selling cars, perhaps a wise strategy is focusing on creating a desire for said make and model of transportation. Bottom line, politics impacted thinking around branding this year. The problem is people watch the Super Bowl to be entertained both by the game and the commercials.
Alternatively, Lady Gaga left no doubt about her brand. Her performance for the halftime show was brilliant because it showed off her main talents – singing and entertaining. There were no overt statements made; the focus was on her music and style. She sang her most popular songs to expand the net of those who only occasionally here her music. I admit I don’t know all her work, however what she sang at halftime, I did.
She added surprise to her routine by starting the show on the roof and then repelled down to the stage. She concluded by jumping off the stage while catching a ball and disappearing to raucous applause. No one watching was left uncertain of her POV or brand.
So what’s this mean for you as a business owner?
It’s very easy to become confusing to your target market, if you’re not careful. If a beer manufacturer can lose it’s POV of what it does with a scattered marketing message, then the same can happen to you. Your marketing focus should be more Lady Gaga than Budweiser. Here’s how…
Be clear about your market. Ideally, who will purchase your products or services? Are you B2B or B2C? This is important because B2Bs write a company check based on a budget; B2Cs must be influenced to part with a portion of their paycheck. You’ve got to start with this because your marketing will be focused on this buyer.
Be clear about your image. Lady Gaga’s wardrobe and stage was consistent with her brand. What’s your image say about you? Image is portrayed in style (old school vs. contemporary); language (bold vs. tempered); platform marketing (Social media vs. word of mouth); or any number of other characteristics based on your industry. The key question is – are you consistent?
Create curiosity and engagement. There was a lot of pre-halftime buzz about what Lady Gaga would do based on her penchant for being unpredictable (which is in itself consistent). No matter what you’re marketing, there has to be some allure, some area of curiosity, and some engagement where your customer interacts with you. She had a live audience; what do you have?
Be you. Don’t try to copy others; be yourself. Be clear about your value and how you’re the company (or individual) best suited to improve the condition of your ideal customer.
Be bold. If Lady Gaga is one thing, she’s bold and a risk-taker. However, she has a plan. It’s all done for the benefit of her customer, the audience (whether in person or watching on TV). If your marketing message is boring or white noise, it gets tossed in the virtual trash can, never to be retrieved. You might think you are bold, but how do you know your target customer thinks so? What kind of analytics do you run? What type of metrics do you use? Have you ever even asked?
Leave them wanting more. Lady Gaga left the stage with pizzazz and her followers can’t wait for the next performance. Does your marketing strategy motivate people to contact you or do they even care? You must be innovative around the idea of getting people to take action. That action is engaging in some way with you.
And she told two friends. And so on, and so on…. If you’re my age, you remember that shampoo commercial exhorting the power of name brand and referrals. The Lady Gaga brand is best spread through social media. Not only did she “trend” on social media platforms for days afterwards, it actually converted into big revenue. According to USA Today, her sales spiked by 1,000%!
Nielsen Music reports she sold 125,000 song downloads. That’s up roughly 960% compared to the day before the game. She sold over 23,000 albums on Sunday, representing a 2,000% increase.
Wouldn’t you take those kinds of returns? Bottom line is this – if you want to avoid having a Bad Romance with your business, increase your revenue, be wildly successful, and have more fun doing it, be more like Lady Gaga. Be clear on your value and messaging, and then pack the house!
Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps small business and middle market business leaders and entrepreneurs to grow more profitably and create a better life. He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his web site at http://www.DanWeedin.com.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch “announced” his retirement on Sunday during the second half of the Super Bowl. And he did it in consistent fashion….without words. The entire staging of this whole event just goes to show how smart Lynch is when it comes to business.
It’s all about the brand, boss.
Here’s the deal – Lynch knows that today’s athlete is more than just someone who competes in a team or individual sport. Each athlete – especially the high visibility ones – are a brand. Brands have longer life spans than athletes; they can be forever. Brands are critical to obtaining endorsements, creating intellectual property, manufacturing and selling proprietary products, writing books, giving speeches, and a multitude of other things. The real “action” here is about advancing the brand. Here’s why BeastMode is so brilliant:
- He stayed consistent with his persona. Instead of holding a press conference with throngs of reporters, he tweeted out his signature green cleats hanging up – i.e. “I’m hanging ’em up.”
- He used only visuals. Heck, even is “peace out” was an emoticon.
- He “announced” during the biggest sporting event in the world – and it happened to be his world. Right in the midst of the Super Bowl, where everyone in the sports world in on Twitter, he subtly announces his intentions and it catches fire.
- Just days earlier, he had the grand opening of his new BeastMode brand store in the Bay Area (the same location as the Super Bowl).
- In the following days, both the team and his agent confirmed his intentions. No words from him…just the people in the know, assuming that the speculation was completely valid.
- Suddenly, there is a just a ton of buzz – gratitude overflowing on social media, highlight videos being created and promoted by the team to honor his accomplishments, and national stories circulating about his greatness.
Finally – and maybe most importantly – the timing is perfect. Let’s face it, Lynch will be 30 next year (ancient for running backs that have endured the pounding he has over the past 9 years). He just had his first major surgery and all signs indicate the team was moving on with a younger running back. Based on his personality, it’s unlikely he would find a good fit with any other team that has any Super Bowl aspirations. He’s saved his money brilliantly – reports are he hasn’t spent any of his nearly $50M earned from salary, living off his endorsement money.
Waiting one more year would not have advanced his brand; in fact the opposite was more likely. If he had an injury-riddled year, played poorly, was viewed as a malcontent, or even was just mediocre, his BeastMode brand suffers. If he walks away now, he’s still BeastMode. he’s a legend in Seattle and his hometown of Oakland and a sports figure that’s last memories are basically from the 2 Super Bowl runs where he played a dominant part.
Here’s your BeastMode lesson for the day – Build your brand. Be consistent. Make waves. Have others talk about you and your products or services. Create a buzz. Be visual. Be innovative. Be bold. Have good timing. Be BeastMode in your world. Be Unleashed.
Download the Periscope app on your mobile device and follow me @danweedin for videos and quick hitters to help you to achieve higher performance and stronger resilience.
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
18 minutes, 55 seconds
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved
Unleashed Leadership LAST WEEK to Pre-Order at 40% Discount
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I just completed a 3-part virtual workshop experience with nearly 40 consultants from around the country on branding. The culmination yesterday actually started getting culinary…
Here’s the deal on banding for any business or practice… You have to have both the steak and the sizzle in order to be significant, interesting, and ultimately successful in promoting your unique brand. The steak is your content and the sizzle is your delivery. Here’s my recipe…
- Defrost the steak. Take your talent and skill out of deep freeze and that it. Specifically, truly understand your value and how you improve the condition of others. Define who those “others” are – CEOs, Presidents, or the retail buyer. You are marketing your brand to people, not organizations. Understand and believe in your brand and know clearly who benefits from it.
- Season the Steak. Make your content powerful. Make it unique to you based on your experience and “smarts.” Create categories that will be valuable to the readers and listeners of your intellectual property. Create content that will rise above the rest of the “noise.”
- Sizzle. Alan Weiss has said that if you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music. You’re responsible for branding yourself through the distribution of your intellectual property, your marketing, your networking, and your value. Here;s the thing – boring never works. You must be interesting. You do this by being contrarian; by being edgy; by being bold; by being creative; by being fearless; and by being clever. You’re genius will never be fully tapped – fully unleashed – if nobody knows you exist.
Bottom line – you can cook your steak inside that fence, but the sizzle will be the thing that unleashes the value to the world. Make no mistake, you need both. It’s a process that requires discipline, creativity, and guidance. I know Betsy and I needed help from our mentor and community….and we still utilize it!
What are you doing to make a great steak and sizzle in your business and career?
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Important – My new book is out and ready for pre-order at a 40% discount. Purchase Unleashed Leadership today and it will be sent out to you (signed by me) in October. Sales are already brisk…buy yours now! Buy here
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This week’s focus point…R.O.I. of Y.O.U.
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I recently held a live discussion and debate on branding for consultants and entrepreneurs. It was the topic of my Extra Points last week. However this week, I’d like to take a closer look at our actual concept which is how strong branding produces remarkable ROI (return on investment) in you. But not in the way you might think…
Here are a few red flags – you fear being “found out;” you fear what others might think of you and your ideas; you fear being rejected for those ideas or opinions; you don’t take bold risks; you avoid tough conversations around your decisions; and/or you procrastinate making any decisions at all when they relate to advancing your “personal” brand. What do people think of you when you’re not in the room? I bet often more than you might. In order to maximize your personal “brand” and truly “unleash” your potential, then you might want to start getting the biggest ROI on YOU as soon as possible.
© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved
This week’s quote –
“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
You are the “brand.” Even if you work for a larger firm or company, or are a sales professional for a company you don’t own, you are still the desired “brand.” The key question is, “How do I advance the brand of me?”
Here are 3 things that you can immediately do…
1. Create gobs of intellectual property. Be ubiquitous. Publish, speak, blog, utilize social media, and produce videos.
2. Talk to not only your desired prospective clients, but to those people that can refer you to them. You can most easily get in front of person that can use your services when they are referred to you.
3. Be consistent in the distribution of your intellectual property. Blog regularly; send newsletters consistently; network with the right people all the time so they know your name.
It’s really just like one of my favorite shows from the 1980s, Cheers…where everybody knows your name.
Who knows your name? What to do they think of you when you’re not in the room? Are you clear and concise on your value? Are you “tight” on your publishing and speaking?
If you want to watch the 60-minute broadcast for free, all you have to do is register. You will be subscribed to the next 2 broadcasts as well. Click here to register and get the recording, so you can hear everything we talked about!
© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. and Accelera Consulting Group. All Rights Reserved