Every year, I go through an exercise where we take three words and use them as the central focus of your goals and efforts for the year to come. Instead of saying “I want to lose 30 pounds” and then forgetting about the goal a day later, I might have something like “green” that reminds me to eat more plant-based foods at every meal, or similar.
The idea is that the words you choose will go past being a simple goal and will become part of the way you identify yourself, and thus, a guiding light for your efforts.
So many people are concerned with how to brand, what branding means to their business, whether they should brand at all, and more. Friends of mine are branding experts, have written books about the topic. I’ve written on it before, mostly from the perspective of personal branding. I was thinking about this today and wanted to share a perspective: your brand is meant to answer a question.
What Do You Do For Me?
Apple means what to you? Elegance? Design? What does it do for you? Most people like Apple because it “just works.” What car did you choose? What does it say about you? What does it do for you?
Before I started writing this, I thought that my kids were unique insofar as they’ve used tablets for a little while (my daughter’s 11 and my son will soon be 8). I guess not. Evidently elementary schools bought 3.5 million tablets in 2012 (I think that stat’s globally, not just the US), so that means my kids are more in the norm than I suspected. Oh, and kids 13-17 who own a smartphone? 58%.
I had a great conversation with Kyle McGuffin about something he’s interested in, and in the process, I learned a few things about Kyle. He’s a loving father who really appreciates his girls. He’s a former national level athlete who represented his whole country in soccer. And he knows a lot of the same people I know.
Kyle’s last name, McGuffin, means something like an object or something that’s used as a major plot trigger. “What’s in the case? You’ve gotta return whatever’s in the case. Oh no! They’ve sent assassins to retrieve the case.” (The case is the McGuffin). He was surprised that I knew what the word meant (I learned it because it was a major favorite method of Alfred Hitchcock).
I’ll be attending New Media Expo in Las Vegas on January 4-6. For years, this has been a great place to meet people and get to know those you’ve only met from afar. I thought I’d lay out my intentions, and also make a few time slots available, if there’s some matching business to be had. Work for you?
My Intentions at the Event
I will be there representing my publishing and media company, Owner, where I serve business professionals by creating your curriculum for the future. I intend to cover interesting businesses doing great work. I intend to meet the kinds of business people who need to reach business professionals like the ones who read Owner.
Did you ever realize that people might not even realize what business you’re in? Sometimes, we miss a post, or a tweet, or we haven’t caught up recently, and then pow, years pass, and we don’t really know what’s what.
When something stinky happens, it’s hard not to feel almost immediately that it’s because you’re somehow bad or not worthy or something like that. Maybe I should speak for myself. When something bad happens to me, I tend to think it’s because I’m not worth it. But I was thinking about something and then it dawned on me. The solution is built into the phrase.
It’s called SELF worth for a reason
When someone acts in a certain way, and we react in a way as if we feel devalued, for unknown reasons, I think we somehow make it about our self-worth. We’re not good enough. I’m not good enough. Clearly. Or else, it would’ve gone a different way.
I just got done talking to friend and coworker, Ron Hood, and he said the most marvelous thing. He said that many times, in a conversation with a client or someone connected to our business, he’ll feel a nice connection with the person. He’ll say, “Oh, I’ll have to add you to my Christmas card list.” But that’s only the beginning.
Ron then sends the card a few days after he tells them this. It could be May. It could be July. And it’s a Christmas card, not a card. It’s whatever it is, a tree or Santa or Jesus. I don’t really know because I’m not on his list. Yet.
Rob Hatch and I are headed to Denver to speak about Small Biz Big Things with our friends from InfusionSoft. We’re talking about The Business of Belonging: How I Built My Media Empire. It’s fun, because not only will we talk about the goals of the organization, but we’ll give a lot of behind-the-scenes information on how we were able to accomplish all we’ve managed to get done.
The way they talk about it on the site is that we were successful because of the tools. We agree. And also, we were successful because we learned how to nurture our community and build relationships that these tools allowed us to really communicate to people in a way that let them know we appreciated their connection, and that we wanted to ensure we were being as helpful as possible. to their goals.
You’ve been told to blog daily, or tweet ten times a day, or make four facebook updates, or whatever you’ve been told. How the hell do I know? But at this point, is it getting you anywhere? Are you getting more business by just throwing whatever you think of up onto the web?