Charlie Cook's MArketing for Success Insider's Club

 

I’ve Heard of You…

Author: Charlie Cook   |   May 10th, 2010

Let me tell you the four, actually five words that are music to my marketing ears.

This past week, I’ve been on the phone, reaching out to some top marketers about potential partnerships, some of the most successful people on the Internet and almost every one I’ve emailed and called has had the same thing to say.

Each one, people who I’d never contacted before in my life, have told me…small business success tips

“I’ve heard of you.”

Now that’s a real door opener.

In my case, not only had the people I was reaching out to heard of me, many had at one time or another bought one of my products.

Whether you’re trying to get someone to answer your email, take your call, meet you, buy from you and even partner with you, it’s a heck of a lot easier if they’ve heard of you.

How did I reach a point where my name has become known to so many people, including those at the top of the Internet marketing world?

The answer is simple.

Personal Branding!

Everything I do bears my name. As I explained in ‘The New Profit Rules,’ personal branding trumps mass marketing every time. Below are a few simple ways to apply personal branding to your business.

Use Your Name

I know. This sounds incredibly obvious but I’m continually amazed at how many otherwise smart entrepreneurs and business owners don’t do it.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a decade or more personal branding is far more effective than trying to pretend you’re a big corporation. Much less, once a prospect gets to know you they’ll quickly realize that “WorldWide Accounting” consists of 2-5 people.

Prospects relate to people, not corporations. If you want them to remember you, the best place to start is by using your name.

Start by using it here:

– In Your Email

It doesn’t matter whether you use AOL, Gmail, or your company URL to send email, use your name. Such a simple idea but here are a sample of the email addresses I found in my customer inbox:

alaskaadventures@

clc1815@

mediab5@

onlinetabk@

gh@

pfpm5@

info@

Huh? Who’d send an email without including their name, one that would most likely be ignored?

Over 80% or 4 out of 5 people, entrepreneur and small business owners use some made up combination of letters and numbers instead of their name in their email making it unrecognizable to anyone but a family member or close friend.

It’s cute but not if you want to be recognized and have someone you are trying to get to know open your email and buy from you.

It’s true if you use AOL or Gmail, someone else with the same name may have already taken the email address you wanted. No problem. Include your middle initial or a hyphen or the letters of your company name, after your name. E.g. CharlieCookMFS@ or JohnFSmith2@

Better yet use your company URL. Chances of someone in your company having the exact same name are almost non-existent. Much less it adds credibility. Instead of John.Smith@aol.com use John.Smith@WebDesignPro.com, it sounds more professional and reminds them of the services your provide.

So what’s your decision? Or are you going to leverage one of your most powerful marketing assets, your name?

It’s just a small change, one that should cost you nothing, and can make a big difference to getting recognized and in the door.

– In Your Phone ID

Almost everyone I know has caller ID these days and personally I love it. When the phone rings, you can take a quick glance and see if it’s someone you know and decide whether to take the call.

So how can this go wrong?

A while back when I first decided to take my own advice and made better use of the phone to contact potential marketing partners I was stunned at what a lousy response I was getting. I couldn’t understand it and shared the experience with one astute member of my staff who promptly pointed out that my company name was showing up on their caller ID when I rung them up.

That’d be one thing if it was a name anyone had ever heard of, but years ago when I first signed up with the phone company, the listing was made under my company name, the umbrella legal entity that pays the bills.

It’s a great name. My legal company name is, “In Mind Communications, LLC.” Well, at least I like it. It’s better than “Out Of Your Mind Communications.” The only problem is that no one, not even my best friends have ever heard of it much less anyone else on the planet with the exception of the phone company and the people I pay bills too.

Duh! No wonder no one answered up my calls. When they saw, the company name on their caller ID, it didn’t ring any bells and they ignored it.

How about you, don’t you usually do the same thing – ignore calls from companies you’ve never heard or whose names you can’t remember?

The solution?

For $33 AT&T programmed my phone so that when I place a call, my name “Charlie Cook” shows up on caller ID. And what a difference this small change made. I stopped wasting time on calls that weren’t getting answered and started getting results – instantly.

– On Your Website
No matter how long you’ve been in business or what you sell, one of the best ways to get people to remember you is to use your name, and this applies to your company site too.

Put your name right at the top:

Charlie Cook’s MarketingForSuccess
John Ford’s Best Plumbing

Tom Harrison’s Tax Cutting Service

–  Give Your Name Meaning

A name, even your name will only take you so far. If you want people to remember you, you need to be memorable, in a good way.

It’s easy to do if you just imagine your marketing as a series of conversations with a good friend and include all the good stories you’d tell them.

Whether you’re writing an email, a blog post, an article, making a short video, if you want to connect with your audience, with your target market, don’t sink into business speak, make it personal. Include real life examples, and analogies to paint a picture of the problems you solve and the solutions you provide.

Make sure to include your voice in your communications so the reader knows it’s from you. Just focus on communicating about your business and you’ll create a two-dimensional image of yourself. Add in the other elements, the personal elements of your life and you’ll create a three-dimensional image, one the people you contact can relate to.

Include funny stories too. For example include stories like the one I about how my father is too frugal to get a new skiff and instead has one where most of rivets have popped out creating an upside down shower.

When your audience knows you, knows something about you, how you like to cook, ski, bike, play golf or raise cocker spaniels, write children’s books in your spare time – or whatever – it brings your name to life – so they remember you.

That way, when you call, when you email them, your prospects and potential partners will say, “I’ve heard of you,” and will respond so you can get the conversation going or continue it and keep your business growing too.

Charlie

P.S. Ready to grow your personal brand and your business?

On occasion there are openings in my one-on-one coaching program for success minded individuals and companies.

But you should know, before you apply, that I only accept people who are clearly motivated and willing to take direction, focus their efforts and willing to delegate routine tasks to others.

Interested in tapping the true potential of your business?

Get the details >>


One Response to “I’ve Heard of You…”

  1. James Says:

    Completely agree, opening the door is vital to clinching a sale. Offline works in much the same way as online, and meeting someone for the first time who has already seen your business card can be a real boost to your chances.

Join the Discussion!

What do you think? We value your input. Share your comments, advice or ask a question.