All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘self-confidence’

The Cost To Your Brand: Customer Acquisition and Customer Support

1358856_10905934The longer I live, the more I think about what it really means to support others and be of service to them. Where along the way do we lose that magic touch of support and service to others?

I think about this topic more lately because of the larger number of service providers we hire at work. It seems like we pay so many companies monthly for something. The latest hire really made me laugh.

This company gave a 14-day free trial offer so I could test out their software. I found myself scrambling like a maniac to really use and implement their software and test it fast. Why?

My past experiences with similar vendors have conditioned me to believe that companies will give me good service as long as I’m not a client yet. In other words, while they are wooing me in the “dating” phase, they’ll give good support and answer my questions. Once I pay up, they stick me in line with all the other customers who need support and then I won’t be able to get help with their product anymore. Even if me and my company have paid a premium to use their service.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a real life example we’ve actually tested out.

We evaluated Demand Force, a company we have used. Here are the results:

It took Demand Force ten seconds to answer sales calls- when they thought we were prospective clients wanting to buy their service. In contrast…

We were on hold 29 minutes when we became a client and had a question regarding their service and product.

Do you see a problem? I do. Does it now make sense why I was scrambling to see if I really liked my potential new vendor while they were wooing us? Sadly, yes.

What does this mean for you? Stop and think for yourself:

If you are in the role of working for one of these types of organizations:

  1. what kind of pre and post acquisition support do you offer clients? If it differs, by how much and why?
  2. What does the difference in treatment do for your overall corporate/business brand? Does your target audience get a clear and consistent brand message? Do they really get to know your company values this way?

If you are an individual working on your own brand:

  1. what kind of support do you offer others?
  2. Do you offer consistent support to those you serve?
  3. Or does your level of support vary? If so, how and why? 

How To Work Your Brand Backwards

I used to identify myself with my job and career as a lawyer.  Whenever anyone asked me, “who are you?” my response would start with “I’m a lawyer”.  It was really unhealthy.  Worse was that I had no self-awareness of what I was doing to my self-confidence, not to mention my brand. That was so long ago.

Fast forward 15 years and an entirely new career.  I LOVE and absolutely have deep passion for what I do for a living. I know it is a natural expression of my talents and of who I am.  The expert branding advice I give comes with ease and grace.

Ironically, today I don’t define myself as my career and job.  I had to work my brand backwards to get here.

How?

Once I retired from the practice of securities law, I literally spent two years figuring out just who I was and what I was naturally good doing for myself and for others.  It was a true (and often painful) exploration of the best of “ME” with no “back” button.  It was so worth it to find my brand and my self-confidence.

Once I unearthed my brand, I then worked backwards to find out what would be a good work environment and a good fit for my natural talents and abilities.

It was so much easier to do this than what I find most of us try to do instead. Here’s what I hear all the time:

“If I just find a great new career and/or job, then I’ll be happy and can work on my own brand”.

IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.  EVER.  WHY? BECAUSE THAT’S NOT NATURAL.

You first have to figure out who you are and what you can naturally tap into as your ability and skill set and zest for life in helping others. From there, and only there, can you then move on to create a career or job or business that reflects your natural abilities and love for doing so for others.  That is your brand.

What does this mean for you?  Stop and consider:

  • What is that one thing you do every day that comes so very naturally to you?
  • What do others compliment you most on?
  • What is “it” that you are curious about in this world?
  • What activity makes you the happiest?
  • Now, how can you take these answers and channel them into a purpose and action that comes with ease, grace and benefits others?

Who’s The Greatest?

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There are many days when I’m so proud of myself. I pinch myself at the thought that I get to do such great work and be of service to so many awesome professionals.

Yet, I’m careful not to be too over the top about it.   I don’t want to make others feel bad or seem snooty. And that’s coming from me- the one who teaches this stuff!

After all, it’s important to be humble. Or is it?

In the world of brand development, it is important to self-promote in a healthy way so others notice you. The problem is that human nature and our egos dictate that we stay humble and not “bragg” too much.

However, we end up being the best kept secret, our self-confidence low and our dreams, just a little bit out of reach- always. This is all because we couldn’t self promote well.

On the passing of Muhammad Ali, I kept going back to one thing: his phrase, “I’m the greatest”.

Who do you think was the first person to say Ali was the greatest? Do you really think it was someone other than him?

It was often said that Ali started that phrase, “owned” it and then others believed him, too. The rest is history.

What does this mean for you?

  • Do you own your greatness? If not, why?
  • How will you self-promote in a healthy way and stay humble?

After all, perception is reality. If you believe it, utter it, it will become your reality and others will believe it, too.

 

Dramatic or Pragmatic? What’s Your Brand?

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When I was a kid, I had a lot of drama. I mean I could have won an Oscar weekly for my brilliant portrayal of a small, cute, middle-eastern, toothless (yes, I lost my teeth early and didn’t get them until much later) girl,  who had it going on!

As I grew up and evolved out of the practice of law, I realized the drama in my life had to go, too.  After all, the drama wasn’t adding more to my brand. It was in fact, detracting from it. Letting go of my drama was not easy.  I didn’t realize how much my drama was who I was “being” until I was letting it go.  I tried to look at it like I was shedding a coat that no longer fit me. The trouble was, it didn’t feel like I was shedding a coat that I no longer wanted.   It felt like I was being stripped of my identity and my comfort zone.

How did I do it?  Well, like all things in brand development, it required self-awareness.  I had to stop and really look at each moment in my life. I had to ask myself if I was being genuine and coming from the heart or had an ulterior motive that required me to force others to “look at me”.

What I was left with when I shed much of my drama (I am always working on being completely drama-free) was FREEDOM.  I no longer felt the need to huff and puff so much at others and at my own life. This meant I didn’t blame others (to their face or under my breath) for my life and what was wrong with me.  I wasn’t a victim anymore.

Not being a victim allows me to be pragmatic.  Things that happen in my life don’t hurt so much anymore.  When someone says something to me or does something “mean” to me, I’m ok with it.  I check the drama at the door and look at the situation pragmatically.  I say to myself, “Isn’t that interesting?” instead of “how dare you?” I’ve come to realize these types of situations aren’t really about me, but about the other person’s outlook on life and people.

Being pragmatic leaves me with a great brand: I’m more self-confident, happy and compassionate.

So what does this mean for you?  Stop and ask yourself:

  • How much drama do you choose to have in your life? Why?
  • If you could change one view point you have on others, or on yourself, what would it be and how would it make your life more drama-free?
  • Who is the most pragmatic person  you know and what about them works for you? How can you do this for yourself?
  • How would your brand change if you had less drama in your life and instead had a more pragmatic outlook?

The Downside To Your Brand of Goal Setting

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It’s January and it seems lots of us are goal setting.  I remember setting goals.  It was just awful.  I was always at a loss for what goals to set. I had all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head, like: Should I aim for lofty goals or manageable goals? What if I failed at achieving my goals?  Did I have to share my goals with my team/boss? How much faith was I supposed to have in my goals being “good”? What if my goals didn’t feel real for me- was that ok?

And on and on and on it went….just like a bad movie that never ended.

Until one day when I stopped setting goals. Here’s why.

Setting goals does two things:

1) You don’t achieve your goal and so you feel like a failure.  Great.  Just what you wanted, right?

2) You don’t achieve your goal because it wasn’t your goal in the first place. Your boss and/or team insisted on you setting goals.  So you put down something that has no meaning or passion for you and you obviously don’t achieve it.  Failure again.

Instead of goal setting, I decided to focus on stories and outcomes that made me happy.  Why?

In my formal and informal research findings, I’ve discovered the higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence.  The lower your self-confidence, the less your brand emotionally resonates with me and the less effective your brand.  So why would I set goals if they cause me stress and reduce my self-confidence and emotional brand resonance?

Instead, I now envision what I want to happen and write the story of how it will play out.   I encourage all my clients to do the same.  This method puts you in control of your life and restores your personal power and creative vision for yourself. It’s also just fun to have a blank canvas on which to create your future- as you want to have it happen. It nicely follows my blog regarding how you want to be remembered.  

What does this mean for you? Sit down with a blank screen.  Ask yourself the following questions and start creating your 2016:

  • What one or two things do you see yourself doing really well in 2016?  It can be personal or business.  Write it down and also write down why you do these one or two things well in 2016? These should be things that bring you true joy in your life. Don’t hold back.
  • What kind of work do you want to do in 2016? Be specific. Type out all the details.  
  • What type of clients and colleagues do you want to work with?  Again, specific details create results. 
  • How many hours per week do you want to work and play?  Why? Write it all out.
  • Do you want to relocate in 2016? If so, are you changing homes or cities or states or maybe even moving to a new country? Why?  Write as much detail as you can. 
  • What are you going to do JUST for yourself in 2016? Why? With Whom? Creative use of our right-brain makes for great brands.

Don’t hold back.  No one is going to read this but you. If at first this is too hard and you start to get twitchy, that’s great! You’re on to something. Keep writing. You’ll know when you are done.

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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.