By Marc Ensign
The Big Cheese at LoudMouse
Tell me if this sounds familiar at all.
You’re at a networking event. Or maybe a party. It’s a place with a lot of people walking around shaking hands and giving out business cards. And while standing around hugging the open bar, somebody walks up to you and introduces themselves.
But here’s the problem.
You already met them a few months ago at another equally as painful event. You already exchanged business cards. You already told them your name. And you already gave them your elevator pitch.
They just don’t remember you.
Now, before you point an accusatory finger at what a horrible person they are, is it possible that it’s not their fault?
Maybe you’re just very forgettable. Wait! Don’t finish composing that hate Tweet yet. Hear me out on this one.
If someone were to walk into that same networking event and light themselves on fire while running around the room grabbing drinks and pouring them over their head in an effort to extinguish the fire now consuming their body, all while screaming “MY NAME IS BOB” at the top of their lungs, you’d probably remember them.
In fact, they would be impossible to forget.
A decade could pass. You could be in a stadium watching a football game with 30,000 other people. And with no help from the Jumbotron, I bet you could pick Bob out of that crowd and recount the entire story as if it had just happened earlier that morning.
Bob is hard to forget.
Now, before you light yourself on fire at your next event (even though you may feel a strong urge to do so), what you need instead is a Disruptive Personal Brand. No matter what you do. No matter how you do it. And no matter who you do it for.
People buy from companies. But they fall in love with people.
In other words, when we don’t feel connected to an actual person, we will buy the product or service from anyone who can fulfill our needs at that time. Taking nothing more than price, color, size and a few other factors into consideration.
It’s like buying paper towels. We may prefer Bounty over all other brands, but the second Brawny is on sale, the “quicker picker upper” can “quicker picker suck it!”
There’s no loyalty.
However, when there is a person behind that company or brand that you feel connected to, you will pay more and shop around less. Not only that, but you will berate your friends until they buy in as well.
The person behind the company is worth as much as the company itself. And in many cases, they are worth more.
For example, nobody would ever argue that back in the day, Barbara Corcoran worked her face off when she started her brokerage. But so did a lot of others in her space. None of which you probably know by name. And there’s a good reason for that.
Barbara Corcoran stood out because she created something you couldn’t find anywhere else.
She developed and built her personal brand as the name and face behind the company. And as a result, not only did she build her brokerage, but she sold it for admittedly twice what it was worth because of the name on the door.
Barbara Corcoran is not a roll of paper towels.
And neither are you.
Unless you are, in which case you can pretty much ignore everything I’ve said up until this point and accept my apologies for wasting your time.
For the rest of you, if you would like to survive your industry long term and build a name and a company worth remembering, it is time to start working on your personal brand. It is time to start positioning yourself as the expert in your industry.
It is time to light your proverbial self on fire and make sure everyone out there falls in love with you and never forgets who you are or what you do.
Dan Stewart and I are hosting a free webinar on the topic this Thursday, December 14th. You can save your seat here.