Marlon here with another issue of Marlon’s Marketing Minute.
You probably can think of a super rich author or athlete. While it isn’t obvious on the surface, there are methods and ideas THEY use that you can too. That’s what we’ll expore today.
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Can a normal person really brand themselves like those rich athletes, rock stars and authors?
1. Build for the long term of your business
I realize that may sound ridiculous, impossible or implausible. On the surface it may seem entirely unattainable. But when you look at it closer, there are important things you can learn and do.
If you’re SELLING info products, always pitch the fast, simple, easy thing. That’s what people want to buy. The easy button. The quick fix. However, YOU want to build your business differently. You want to build for the long term.
And one way you do that is by creating a brand for yourself.
2. Do it for the increased credibility
If you build a brand or even move in that direction, you increase the credibility of your products, your services, your books if you have them, and whatever you do.
Success in business is usually a result of building a relationship and credibility with your HERD or group of customers. Branding is a way you extend and deepen your credibility.
3. Branding yourself, your products, your services, and your websites sets you apart
This is what we call DIFFERENTIATION in marketing.
You can never rest when it comes to differentiation. You want to keep stacking up things that make you and your products/services unique. Why? Because the world wants to term you into a commodity sold to the lowest bidder. Your competitors want to turn you into a non-factor. Your customers want to get your price lower and lower until you’re in the poorhouse.
That’s not bad or wrong.
It’s the nature of the beast if free enterprise. Or modestly free enterprise, as the case may be. There’s only one person who can prevent you from being turned into nothingness by these forces. YOU! You are the one who has to put the U in the word Unique.
When you think about super rich athletes, rock stars and authors, they all have built credibility for their personal image, they’ve separated themselves from the pack and they’ve kept an eye on the long term. These are all things YOU can do also, even if you have all the ability to hit a baseball or dribble a basketball of a pet rock. That, by the way, would be me.
It’s lucky I have an ability to write, to speak and to market, and that there is a demand for the same. Because if my income were dependent on dribbling a basketball, I’d be eating nachos and corn dogs every night.
What Are The 3 Myths That
Hold You Back From Getting Your Brand On?
Now that we know WHY to brand ourselves, what are the myths KEEPING you from doing it?
Myth One: Branding is only for BIG businesses!
That’s what we’ve all been led to think because most of the books written on branding are for big companies and such. We have the idea that unless we’re Oprah, we don’t need to brand.
Really, the opposite is true. If even OPRAH needs to brand herself, then goodness knows we need to!
Branding is about creating a consistent positioning, message and identity with your potential customers. That’s all it is. In my business, I was one of the first to use full color printing and packaging on home study course products for Internet marketing. Early on we pushed out a very unique graphic design branding and style. People knew me all over the web by the red shirt I wore.
Myth Two: You need buck bucks to brand yourself
The good news is that it’s easier now than ever before. In the old days, you needed to fork over big bucks to have expensive “high gloss” newsletters, magazines, brochures and such printed. Today, it’s all digital. That’s a real boon for the home-based entrepreneur, consultant, speaker or author.
What’s more, now that Photoshop is only $10 a month, and there’s plenty of training available on how to use it, the possibilities to brand yourself on the cheap are greater than ever before. Of course, when the time is right, you’ll want to get a professional to do some branding for you.
Myth Three: Until you’re making $100k a month, you don’t need to worry about branding
I heard this one the other day on Facebook. And no doubt the person who said it believes it. Probably, the reason they said it is they sell a high-end service. And they don’t want customers spending money on branding that they’d rather put in their own pocket. True story.
I’m NOT saying you should take out a loan to brand yourself! But even if you’re just starting out, putting a little energy, care and effort into what you’re doing can pay big dividends. If you search around, there ARE bargains to be had with graphic designers, although I do believe high-end designers who charge more are worth every penny.
Because the WEB is an intangible. What we SELL is an intangible. That means people look to TANGIBLE things as evidence of value for the intangible. It’s the reason a lot of guys and gals in this business buy a fancy car or show pictures of a fancy house. It’s NOT because they necessarily need or want it that much. They’re savvy enough to realize it’s a good way to create a hard differentiator of value.
While I never concerned myself with those things much because I was always famous within our niche that I didn’t need them. Still, I’m sure I would have sold more if I flaunted money a little bit. Malcolm Gladwell explained it eloquently in the book Blink.
What Are The 3 Keys To Branding?
Without getting all technical on you, there are 3 basic keys to fundamental branding:
Key One: Consistency
People trust things that are consistent. I’m NOT saying new products and services aren’t important. But a unifying THEME adds an element of consistency to your business. It creates familiarity and trust for your customers.
For me, I don’t find it credible when one day a person emails me with one thing. And the next week or month endorses an idea or concept completely opposite.
For many years now I’ve talked about the vital importance of building an evergreen business, or as close to it as you can come. I’ve stuck with one model: We find potential buyers, get them on a list and sell them things over and over.
I don’t jump around to crazy new, unproven things all the time. My core message stays the same. Stop trading time for dollars and start trading products for dollars.
Key Two: Message
Are your messages consistent?
Do you have an overall theme? Usually, it’s an extension of your core STORY you’ll tell over and over and over. For example, I tell the story often of how I bought a book in 1978 about direct response marketing. But since the Internet didn’t exist, and I only had a few books to learn from, I spent many years learning to write letters that could get people buy things. I bought every get-rich-quick thing you could find from business opportunity magazines. I devoured what info I could about the business. I tell the story of how I wrote in the daytime as a freelancer and did telemarketing at night to make ends meet (and even sold timeshare). I tell the story of how I was truly living in a 600 square foot apartment on Dallas Parkway in Dallas, TX and bought deodorant with all pennies at the Stop N Go.
Later, after I perfected my letter formula and things started going crazy, I moved to a condo around the corner on a street with no name (called Hidden Bend because it was!). I did that because I was getting phone calls and faxes from around the world day and night. People were trying to find where I lived and stop in unannounced. And I had more than my fair share of crazies also.
That’s my message and my story.
You need to develop YOUR message and YOUR story, even if it seems mundane to you. To your BUYERS, it won’t be. The basic story is that you were on a quest just like your customer and YOU broke through. You FOUND the answer they’re seeking for. And now you’ll share it with them, so they can avoid the pain and suffering YOU wen through. That is the core story plotline.
For me, it’s absolutely true.
I wanted success as a direct mail copywriter so bad I could taste it. I wanted to be a speaker, author and consultant. I’ve been blessed and fortunate to do those things.
Key Three: Clarity
This one is more challenging than it sounds like. Because we live in such a “noisy” age, you have to create a message or communication so CLEAR it slices through all the noise. It has to be a really simple message or it’ll never get absorbed by your potential customers.
Any way you can CLARIFY and communicate your message and story is a good way.
Super rich authors, athletes, speakers and consultants not to mention rock stars all do the above. It’s CLEAR who they are, what their message is and what they stand for over time. Go and do thou likewise.
What Are The 3 Keys To Branding?
What are the steps to branding yourself, your products and your services?
Step One: Graphics matter
Yes, it’s true. Now, please understand I’m a COPYWRITER and truly believe sales copy and your sales message vastly trumps graphics in getting people to buy. But that does NOT mean I don’t consider graphics as a key tool in communication.
You’ll notice I’m experimenting with different graphics and looks here on my blog. This is why. Graphics matter. Invest in the best graphic designer you can afford AFTER you find a message that SELLS.
First, you have to find that message. A lot of people today are planning out CRAZY complicated FUNNELS without regard to whether they can sell them or not. Anyone can draw boxes on paper. That doesn’t mean you can SELL the thing.
Step Two: Work your way across the different channels
There’s your blog, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes podcast, and Pinterest to start. Your GOAL is to create a uniform message, identity and branding across those platforms or channels.
First, of course, you have to get your sales message down cold. You have to zero in on what gets your target market to give you money in exchange for something they want so bad they’d crawl across broken glass to get it.
Once you find that, don’t dilly dally around. BRAND the sucker before your competition does. That means graphics, an identity, trademarks and so forth.
Step Three: Do it in baby steps
Rome wasn’t built overnight.
You can START with your blog. You can START with a nice graphical introduction and thumbnail for your Youtube videos or videos you post on your blog and Youtube. You can start with a graphical identity for your blog.
Really, more than that, you START with the mindset and awareness of what others are doing and how.
If you got ideas from this newsletter today, I’d like to hear from you in comments. By liking, sharing and commenting, you let me know you want more content like this. Otherwise, I’ve got a GREAT article on underwater basketweaving I’ve been working on. Unless you want to read that, you might want to let me know the value this brought for you!
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