Sometimes life hands you a lesson exactly when you need it. This week I attended a lunch and learn type event to listen to a guest speaker. The guest speaker was there to discuss business and social media marketing, and promote an upcoming event he was hosting. He spoke for about forty minutes. I learned more from how he presented than I did during the presentation. This week I’d like to share what I learned and explain why your brand matters!
Why You Need A Brand
Even before the lunch event, which always has a speaker, you could tell this week’s speaker was a step above the usual guests. Everything about him told you that he was a professional and someone we should listen to. This isn’t to say that the other speakers weren’t professional. They were. He just had a different aura. As I listened to him, watched others reactions, and reflected on the event, I realized the difference, in large part was his branding. His success was less about the material he presented, and more about HOW he presented himself and HOW he presented the material.
When I was working the room at the event, there was only one person in the room that actually knew who the guest speaker was. The rest of us saw his name, and knew he was invited, but didn’t know who he was. However, his reputation preceded him, even before he took the stage. His handout material was full color on quality paper. He had a six-foot standing banner behind him promoting his event. He gave the host of the meeting a short but direct introduction to read. The introduction, coming from someone we all know and trust, gave him a level of credibility. His reputation preceded him before he spoke, even if it was only by a few minutes.
People say you can’t judge a book by its cover. In reality, we all judge a book by its cover. We judge people by their appearance. When we meet someone, we see them before they have any other opportunity to make an impression. So, the way you look makes a difference. This speaker dressed the part as well. The lunch meeting where he was speaking is generally a casual event. The primary audience are solopreneurs (entrepreneurs that don’t have a team) and sales people. Typically, they dress business casual, or on hot days like it is, even casual. This speaker was wearing a nice suit. Nothing fancy but a cut above most of us in the room. I am absolutely sure that his wardrobe was chosen to send a message that he is successful, trustworthy and an expert. It worked.
When he concluded his presentation, he already had the audience thinking he was valuable. His reputation preceded him, he dressed and acted like a true professional, and he delivered his material well. Then, he went into his sales pitch for his upcoming event he was promoting. There was certainly some salesmanship here, which is what he does, but he told people what the value of his material was. On the handout he had a list of nine bonuses for registering, and showed the value of each of them. He showed the people, in terms of dollars, what his event was worth. He showed them what it would cost them if they didn’t attend his event. He spent the last forty minutes showing people a sample of what they will learn in his event, and people bought it. Literally he had people lined up after his presentation buying tickets to his seminar. I realized then that people were not lined up for the material, they were lined up to buy him. In forty minutes, he was able to persuade people to attend his event, and I am absolutely convinced that his branding had everything to do with it.
This Week’s Challenge
Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or an individual contributor looking for a promotion, your brand matters. Start working today to define your brand, and look for ways to build your reputation. Everything in this guys presentation was intentionally designed to give the audience a specific feeling about the presenter. Create that brand for you and your business, and you’ll soon see people excited about doing business with you.
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.