Category Archive for: ‘relatable’

Relatability Part II: Great Brands Are Basic

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Over the years I’ve learned one thing for sure.  I’ve learned that because we are human, we tend to complicate everything…constantly. In particular, in my world of brand development I watch clients struggle with their brand and how to relate to their clients and prospects.

I’m guilty of the same thing, so I really get it.  For years, I struggled with how to tie in the fact that I was a former, successful securities lawyer with being a people branding/marketing expert.  What the heck did one have to do with the other and why would anyone believe me?  What if people thought I was a fraud? Worse yet, was I a fraud?  It wasn’t until I really came into my own “being” a branding expert that I got that the two careers/concepts can co-exist very well.  I realized that being a securities lawyer was a very natural basis for being a branding and marketing expert.  Guess what- others believed it, too.

Just the other day, I had a client who used to be a super-star college football player.  His career was on such a course for success that the media talked about not “if”, but “when” he was going to get drafted and by whom.  Fast forward 15 years later and he is not playing football.  He is in professional services. His big struggle: there is no relating my past as a football player with my work in professional services.  He was frustrated.

So I just asked him to start telling me about what a typical football game was like for him and what his methodology, or state of mind, was on the field.  As he started to talk, a curious thing happened: his eyes lit up, he became animated, he sat up taller and had real clarity and conviction- and dare I say….confidence!  The next thing that happened was even more fabulous- he naturally took my nonverbal cue and started to tie in his mentality for success on the football field with what he does for his clients right now.

It made perfect sense to me. His explanation and analogy was relevant, easy to follow and left him very relatable for me.  I got it, I got him, I got his brand, and by extrapolation I could see that his expertise on the football field made him an expert in his current occupation.  I liked him and related to him!

So what does this mean for you?  Always go back to what you know best and make it relatable to your current situation/career/audience.  Don’t get hung up and make things complex- keep it simple.  Just because football and professional services are not often viewed together does NOT mean that you are not relatable in tying in your expertise in both areas.

For example, do you love to cook? Maybe you are even really an expert at cooking, even if your “day job”/career is being a lawyer.   Start tying in your ability to cook with your ability to be a great lawyer. Just start talking about the latest dish you made and why. You’ll start to see that your mentality in approaching a situation (i.e., your brand value) is what’s valuable to both being a cook and a lawyer.

Anytime you go back to the basics of your expertise and love of anything, you can become easily relatable to clients and prospects in your current field.  

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.