Extra Points: Up a Tree

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40One of Barb and my favorite television shows to watch is called Treehouse Guys. This reality-style program chronicles a company of guys that build what I would term “luxury treehouses.” These homes (mostly used as vacation homes and cabins) are spectacular. It takes the simple huts kids build to new heights…literally. The skill and craftsmanship to safely build a safe and luxurious house up in the trees is amazing.

These guys are contractors with a patently unique concept that highlights their skill, talent, and creativity. They have a very targeted clientele as not everyone wants or can afford a luxury treehouse. They’ve parlayed that uniqueness into a “destination” company and a cable television show.

How is your business patently unique? To whom are you a destination business?

It doesn’t matter your business or industry. If you’ve not carved out your own niche and created a uniqueness about you, then you’re destined to be just another vendor or company among the masses. How do you find your uniqueness? It comes from what makes you unique and different. The Treehouse Guys turned a passion for treehouses and blended it with highly developed skills, and ultimately an ability to entertain into a television show (and undoubtedly more business).

Your task for the week is to uncover your individual and organizational uniqueness. While you may not build treehouses, you are skilled and talented in other areas. What you bring to the table is a value that must be marketed to your specific clientele. The more and better you do this, the more opportunity you find and the more resilient you become. Take some time this week to identify and define what your treehouse is, and then go tell the world in a way that they will take notice.

Quote of the Week:

”Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

~ Peter Drucker

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help growing and protecting your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

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.

Extra Points: Branding Your Path to Success

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87 just over a week ago. His passing not only impacted the golf and sports world, but the business community, too. Arnie was not only a legend in golf; he was an iconic business leader and entrepreneur.

The most Arnold Palmer ever won for any one golf tournament was $50,000, yet he was worth in excess of $650M at his death. During his playing days, Arnie created a true persona of the “every man;” bringing golf out of the country club and engaging everyone. His charisma, style, and genuine love of people spawned “Arnie’s Army,” followed by gobs of endorsements. He actually paved the way for all athletes to earn income outside of their playing contracts through endorsements. He also was highly astute in business, forming corporations, starting The Golf Channel and Champions Tour, and countless other endeavors. He understood that you are your own brand. That who you are, how you treat others, and being authentically unique would lead to archetypal business success. Heck, he even has his own beverage named after him!

What about you and your business or career?

How would others define you? Are you recognizable? Does the value you provide resonate because of your skills, knowledge, and charisma?

While you may face competition in industry, no one can be you. You’re uniquely brand-able, and you’d better understand the power of it. Without maximizing your unique value to others, you’ll be emblematically leaving putts short for birdie much too often. However, if you unleash your brand through strategic marketing, planning, and delivery, then you’ll be hitting greens and sinking birdie putts on the way to becoming legendary.

Quote of the Week:

The road to success is always under construction.

~ Arnold Palmer

shrimptanklogoNext Seattle Shrimp Tank podcast is October 4th at 4 pm PST. Our guest will be Rusty George of Rusty George Creative. Catch the recorded podcast from September 27th and our gust Matthew “Griff” Griffin from Combat Flip Flops. WEBSITE

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: WIIFM

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Dogs are often very focused on their own self-interests. That’s especially true of Captain Jack. A few years ago, he managed to escape and ran into the greenbelt behind the house. Knowing that I am ill-equipped to chase him through blackberry bushes, trees, and stumps, he figured this was the perfect location to be “unleashed.”

I walked across the street and asked our neighbor Karen if we could borrow her dog Charlie to help us retrieve our AWOL pooch. She was happy to help, but I could see from her look she was unsure how Charlie would be of assistance. My wife Barb escorted Karen and Charlie to the back yard along with a couple of dog biscuits (Jack knows that Barb is the nice one in the family). Barb then asked in a loud voice, “Hi Charlie, would you like a cookie?” Suddenly, just like a whack-a-mole, Captain Jack’s head popped out of the bushes. Barb asked, “Jack would you like one, too?” He bounded out of the bushes straight to the waiting arms of Barb.

You see, Captain Jack is all about the “what’s in it for me” concept. Had I chased him or barked at him in anger, he would have run. But the minute he thought Charlie was getting something he wasn’t, his emotion got the best of him. We “influenced” him home.

If you’re in a position where you must influence – CEO, sales professional, executive leader, parent of teenagers – then you need to keep the WIIFM concept in mind. It’s not about manipulation; rather it’s influencing for the betterment of someone else. What is the outcome you want? How will they be better off? What will motivate them to take action?

Bottom line – Logic makes people think and emotion makes them act. Uncover what motivates, why it’s in their best interest, and how they will be happier. In our case, it was simple (food and jealousy). The more biscuits you uncover, the more dogs you’ll be able to beat out of the bushes.

Quote of the Week:


“You can never plan the future by the past.”

~ Edmund Burke

If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST. Download the free app and follow me at @danweedin.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Video Killed the Radio Star and What That Means to You

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19I recall vividly listening to radio growing up in the 1970s. As a kid, I enjoyed listening to the local radio “jocks” playing music and waxing poetic in between Top 40 songs. Radio personalities like Casey Kasem made a name (and a brand) for themselves in those days. As the decades passed, I also started regaling in the opportunity to listen to sports talk. As a sports junkie, I listed to all the local radio “jocks” opining their own thoughts as well as taking calls from listeners. For all the years of avidly listening to some format in radio, the “working end” of the interaction was always hidden. Like the Great Oz behind a curtain, we had  no idea what anyone actually looked like; only identifying with their voice. The joke was always, “He has a face made for radio.”

That’s all changed…

Today you can literally watch your favorite radio personalities go about their business. The genre doesn’t matter – sports music, politics, news – it’s all available either live on TV or streaming online. The industry has basically lifted its curtain and let you in to its lair. For example, every morning after I get back from the gym, I watch the Dan Patrick Show (popular sports journalist and host) being broadcast live from its New York studio. I see all the producers; all the equipment; listen to them speaking to someone on the phone; and often watch live interviews. On Patrick’s show, they even show the breaks and interactions between the staff.

You might be asking, “So what, who cares, what’s in it for me?” What’s this mean for you and your business and career?

Plenty. If you want to build your brand, you must be visual. Our society has changed from static yellow pages advertisements to You Tube promotions. You can’t bank on the fact that hiding behind a phone or email will be the accepted method of communications now or in the future. I spent 60 minutes on a business call with a colleague in Florida on Google video conference. I didn’t even shave, but my beard masks all those facial flaws anyway…

Here’s the deal – find ways to make your company and you more visual. Learn how to utilize videos as part of your website marketing, your blogging, and your messaging. Use images in your speaking to enhance your presentations (note I said images, not text). Become skilled in video conferencing for webinars and client/prospect calls. Many customer service platforms in the insurance industry now offer video chats. Can you do the same? You need to throw back your own curtain and be prepared to have your market see you in all your glory.

Video killed the radio star back in the mid 1980s when MTV and VH1 emerged. It’s progressively evolved in entertainment and business. If you stay static and unseen, you’ll end up going the way of the yellow pages. If you commit to being cutting edge and creative when it comes to showing off your business, you’ll become the next rock star in your world.

© 2015 Toro Consulting. All Rights Reserved

Practicing what I preach – check out my latest video blog.

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: Simple & Complicated

This week’s focus point…Simple & ComplicatedDan Weedin Unleashed-40

This coming week, my daughters and I are heading over to nearby University Place (near Tacoma) to watch the Unites States Open being held at Chambers Bay Golf Course. It’s the first time our national championship has been held in the Pacific Northwest. Since the US Open always falls on Father’s Day weekend, my daughters and I have always watched it together. When it was announced that it would be held near us many years ago, we made a commitment to go. It’s hard to believe that day has come!

Chambers Bay is unlike any golf course many of these pros are used to playing. There is an unpredictability due to landscape, hole locations, and even par changes daily on certain holes. For as much discussion as there has been around that complexity, I heard one former pro turned analyst say, “In the end, the person that wins will have done so because they kept it simple. You have to focus on the fact that it’s still just golf.”

Turning complex into simple sounds simple, but it’s more complex than that. It’s truly a mindset. The analyst discussed the focus on the ball and the hole, rather than on the surroundings and distractions. In our careers, it’s very easy to focus on our own surroundings and distractions to the detriment on what we should be focusing on. That distraction causes us to make complicated what should be simple.

This week, identify what is simple about your work, your marketing, your messaging, and your outcomes. Then turn your focus on keeping it simple, so you can keep putting for birdies rather than bogeys.

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.

~ Arnold Palmer

New Weedin Unleashed broadcast today at 12 pm Pacific. Join this free event by clicking here to get information.

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

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

Extra Points – April Showers

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40You’re familiar with that old axiom of April showers bringing may flowers. I can say that at least here in my area, we’ve not yet seen too many showers yet, but I know they are coming!

Rain brings life. I often have to catch myself mid-grumble about the rain and try to remember that it’s essential for new growth. All the beautiful flowers and vegetation that I enjoy in the summer is because of that necessary precipitation earlier.

If you want to be enjoying your own summer cornucopia, then I suggest you start making it “rain” now. For most business, the fruits of your labor often will take time to develop and sprout. What you’re earning today was planted weeks or months ago. So if you’re not satisfied with your current state of affairs, then you need to see how to become a “rainmaker.”

Of note, I’m not just referring to revenue. I am more focusing on your activities and behaviors to improve yourself personally and professionally. This means your health, your fitness, your discretionary time, and your volunteer activities, to name a few. If you’ve lagged on asking for referrals, creating new products and services, or taking time to strategize and implement initiatives and projects, then this will be the time to begin raining so you can bloom by summer.

Bottom line – nothing grows without “rain.” That includes you. If you don’t want to be in the same position in 3 months as you are today, then do something about it starting now. Those that don’t do anything become stagnant just complain about it and decline. Those that do commit to active rainmaking get to enjoy their just rewards and bask in their gardens.

Which one will you be?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“It’s better to be a lion for a day, than a sheep all your life.” 

~ Elizabeth Kenny

NO Weedin Unleashed  this week due to my business travel. We will return with another live episode next week!