What if you could go to people in your life, find a secret trap door into their brains then sneak in and find out what they think of you and your business message? That’s what the Sandy Entrepreneur Launch Pad group did on Friday . . . well, not exactly. They didn’t find any secret trap doors, but group leader Jay Taylor did find a shocking way to gauge how effectively various long-term members’ messages had been crafted and delivered.
As the group entered the room they noticed something a little different: there were no tables. They sat in a circle and many were amazed at how the cozy arrangement brought about a different energy. New member introductions were delayed while Jay conducted a rather telling exercise. He picked four long-term members and instead of having those members give their “me in 30-seconds” introductions, the group attempted to do it for them. Could the group recall the names of the members’ companies? Could they talk about the members’ differentiators, strengths and unique services and products? As it turned out, the group did generally very poorly. Why? It was not the group’s responsibility, but the individual member’s responsibility to “be remarkable.” This exercise highlighted the fact that as business owners, we often believe we are conveying a strong, remarkable message about our business when we are not.
To drive home his point, Jay mentioned companies with household names and asked what one or two words came to mind when the group thought of those companies. Among those listed were Volvo (safety) and Mercedes Benz (luxury). These companies have done a great job of controlling their message by being consistent and remarkable. As a first step in “mastering our message,” the group was asked to write down the one or two words they wanted to be known for.
In the discussion that followed, several key points were addressed:
- If your sales are “in the toilet” it may be time to “repurpose.”
- Reviews are everything right now. What are people saying about you? Use them to improve your rankings. It takes ten good comments to overcome one bad comment. We should focus on recommending and endorsing each other on LinkedIn and other online sites.
- BLT isn’t “bacon, lettuce and tomato,” it’s “believed, liked and trusted.” These qualities help our customers remember us and recommend us.
- Being true to yourself is being authentic and authenticity is extremely important.
- Combining our personal brand and business brand is important. Being your authentic, business self at all times is critical. Suggestion: get a logo shirt and wear it wherever you go (as Steve Ellis from Visible Divers does consistently).
Above all, Jay Taylor emphasized the need to take action. Successful business leaders continually evaluate their brand in terms of the message it projects. They take action to be in control of their brands and reputations. Do we have consistent, on-point messages in our social media channels, marketing collateral and websites? What are we conveying? Are we positioning ourselves correctly in our markets? Are we remarkable?
This week, ELP leadership encourages you to take some action in the right direction! Use the Entrepreneur Launch Pad forum for feedback, support and guidance. When everyone around you knows what you do, how well you do it and what you want to be known for, you will have succeeded.