Extra Points: Greetings and Salutations

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40“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

Lessons in Branding from Lady Gaga

LadyGagaWas 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 dan@danweedin.com or visit his web site at http://www.DanWeedin.com.

BeastMode Branding Brilliance

BeastModeSeattle 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:

  1. 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.”
  2. He used only visuals. Heck, even is “peace out” was an emoticon.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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

 

My Recipe for your Professional Steak & Sizzle

58842033-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-21My 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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

Important Again – Want to make sure you are kept apprised of future Betsy & Dan events? Visit my website and subscribe to my mailing list under “Betsy & Dan.” Website for Betsy & Dan

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Extra Points: The ROI of YOU

This week’s focus point…R.O.I. of Y.O.U.Dan Weedin Unleashed-40
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…

Brand is what people think of you when you’re not in the room. Apple, Google, and Starbucks have strong and valuable brands in the corporate world. Betsy and I posit that small businesses and professional service providers can accomplish the same brand ROI for themselves. One of the problems we see in our work is that too many people might believe in their business brand, yet don’t believe in their own personal one. They haven’t made the sale to themselves yet.

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.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific. Please consider joining the discussion! LINK to join.

Branding R-O-I for Y-O-U

Betsy and Dan 1Betsy Jordyn and I just finished our debut broadcast for branding strategies for consultants. Here is one highlight from today…

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

Alan Weiss Endorsement for Betsy & Dan Sound Off!

Alan Weiss endorses Betsy and Dan: Sound Off! It’s just 1 week away. Registrations are piling in. If you’re not one of them, what are you waiting for?

Take Alan’s advice and join us. You will be glad you did!

© 2015 Accelera Consulting Group and Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

New Free Digital Experience from Dan Weedin

NEW EVENT!!!!!

Betsy and Dan 1Join Master Mentors Betsy Jordyn and Dan Weedin to help you find success and significance in your consulting practice. This digital experience is free and will help you to quickly find solutions to your most important questions and issues for your business.

This is a 3-part video broadcast that is offered for free and will also be recorded for your future use. The only thing you have to do is register. All broadcasts start at 9:00 am Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. Registrants will be emailed the recording. You can watch Betsy and Dan discuss and debate topics that are important to you and your career, ask questions that they will respond to, and walk away with valuable tools, techniques, and best practices that you can implement immediately.

April 30, 2015 – The ROI of YOU – Benefits of a Clear Consultant Brand

In this show, we will discuss:

  • What is a brand in general and why companies brand themselves?
  • Why consultants should brand themselves?
  • What are the critical success factors of a strong consultant brand? How you know it is working?
  • Why the consultant themselves are the core of the brand?

May 28, 2015 – Brand Building: Uncovering your Unique Brand Promise
In this show, we will discuss:

  • How do discover your unique brand?
  • How to describe your brand to others in a way that helps them either know if they are a prospect OR know someone who is?
  • How do differentiate the value you create in comparison to other consultants?
  • How to use your brand to address the real competitive threat to consultants, which is the client doing the work themselves!

July 24, 2015 – Brand Activation: Using Your Brand to Draw in and Win Business

In this show, we will discuss:

  • How to ensure all ways a client forms an impression is aligned to your brand
  • Manifesting your brand in powerful products and services
  • Using content marketing as a means to use your brand to draw in business
  • How a powerful and clear brand translates to increased compensation

Register for all three events – CLICK HERE.

What do you have to lose? This free series will help all consultants, coaches, speakers, and writers to maximize their talents and offer tremendous value to their clients. By doing that, your business will grow exponentially.

Betsy and Dan are Master Mentors in the global consulting community of Alan Weiss. Alan is the “Rock Star of Consulting” and the preeminent authority on solo practitioner consulting. Alan has personally trained Betsy and Dan to help consultants like you reach your maximum potential and value to clients.

betsy-jordynBetsy Jordyn

Throughout her career, growth-oriented senior leaders and entrepreneurs have considered Betsy the ultimate think partner – she is known for her ability to draw out the hidden potential in leaders and organizations and catalyze strengths for maximum performance. Betsy’s expertise in leadership, strategy, organization redesign, inter-departmental coordination, and executive team development has helped numerous organizations create environments where there is alignment between desired and actualized results.

Betsy founded Accelera Consulting Group in 2006 after working as an internal consultant for Walt Disney World. In that role, Betsy was instrumental in the success of significant business growth projects, such as a total redefinition the guest/cast experience worldwide and a refocus of Disney Animal Kingdom towards becoming a more traditional Disney theme park and “not a zoo.” The experience and wisdom she gained from initiating and managing change in such a large and diverse organization with multiple business units and objectives ensures that Betsy’s recommendations are tailored, focused, practical, and implementable.

As an independent consultant, Betsy has helped accelerate results of numerous organizations in a variety of industries including nonprofits, local government, manufacturing, supply chain and publishing. As a coach and mentor, Betsy has improved the effectiveness and personal satisfaction of dozens of some of the most amazing leaders and entrepreneurs.

Betsy’s website

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Dan Weedin

Dan founded Toro Consulting, Inc. in 2005 to help organizations dramatically improve resiliency and business continuation, while maximizing their ability to grow and thrive. Since 2010, he has been a Master Mentor for Alan Weiss and has helped countless business leaders and professionals to grow their skills, boost their revenue, and improve life balance. Dan has the unique ability to translate his success in the insurance industry, public speaking, non-profit world, and athletic coaching into applicable and transferable principles that dramatically improve the effectiveness of those he consults, teaches, and mentors. He is a 2009 graduate of the Million Dollar Consulting College™. Dan has authored one book for insurance professionals titled, Insuring Success (Global Professional Publishing 2014). His next book, Unleashed Leadership (Kitsap Publishing 2015) is set to be released in September. He is a 2012 inductee into the Million Dollar Consulting™ Hall of Fame.

Dan’s website

© 2015 Accelera Consulting and Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Branding Iron Hot

TWoodsTiger Woods has not been the best golfer in the world for about half a decade now. For a period of about 8 to 9 years, Woods was the game of golf. He owned it. He was being hailed as the greatest ever, and for the period of time he ruled the sport, he probably was. When you consider the global talent that has come on the scene, it’s arguable that he did what nobody else ever did in golf, and perhaps all of sports.

However over the past 5 years, age, injury, and scandal have taken their toll on Tiger. Not only isn’t he a factor in the game right now, he literally can’t seem to make it through a tournament because of injury or poor play. Yet in spite of all of that, his brand is still strong. So strong, that he doesn’t even own his own name.

Woods is building a restaurant in Florida near his home of Jupiter. The restaurant will be called The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club because apparently Nike owns the rights to the words “Tiger Woods” as relates to business property. Don’t feel bad for Tiger; he did it to himself and probably pocketed a gazillion dollars from it. This isn’t the point of my article; so let’s get to it.

Athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have become so powerful within their own name, that they’ve become a brand themselves. Arnold Palmer (at 84 years old) made more from endorsements in 2013 – $40,000,000 – than the great soccer stars Renaldo and Messi. That’s brand!

I have two questions for you – what’s your personal brand worth and is built to be sustainable?

How do you build your own personal brand if you’re an individual? You create an intellectual property empire with words (books, articles, blogs, etc) and voice (speaking). You deliver such incredible value that your name will soon precede you. You build “armies” like Arnie did by being charismatic, engaging, and the ultimate object of interest. You continually evolve, invent, create, and grow.

How does your company or organization build a brand? The same way, except that it is manifested through your employees and by your leadership. You create a culture of “playing for each other;” you encourage ideas; you build leaders within your organization; you collaborate; and you never stop growing and developing yourself.

Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are a brand of 1 person or a million employees, “branding” has become the most important business strategy you must focus on. It projects your reputation and your value to others; and it is what will protect you from any economic crisis or the winds of change. Tiger Woods has kept his brand strong even has is golf game withers. Michael Jordan hasn’t suited up for an NBA basketball game in nearly two decades, yet sales of his shoes are monstrous. The majority of golf fans in the world never saw Arnold Palmer play; yet his brand is still legendary. What about you? What do you need to accomplish to be branding iron hot with yours?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved