Yesterday, I was sitting at Caribou Coffee, chatting with a business colleague. As it always happens at Caribou, several people that either knew me or the guy I was with walked in…and walked over to the table to say hello.
Most of them were already with someone else and I got an awesome lesson in branding. In almost every case, the person who knew one of us made an introduction that sounded like this: Bob, this is Drew, he’s THE (fill in the blank) guy in town.
Now, we’ve all heard about personal branding and having our :30 elevator speech. But this is THEIR elevator speech about you. Typically, it’s much shorter than :30 (maybe we should take a cue?) and gets right to the point. They are, in one sentence, summing up your unique offering.
If they just state your title or your name — you probably haven’t left that significant of an impression on them. Start paying attention to this. If you get the blaise introduction — you need to do something different to plant in their head a stronger statement about who you are.
How do you do that? Here are some ideas:
- Start introducing yourself in a single sentence. “Hi, I’m Sue and I’m the “how to save money on your health insurance” expert in town.”
- Have a title that makes it easy to remember and label you. (Over at McLellan Marketing, we’ve got a Warden, Brand Warrior, Sgt. of Strategy, etc.!)
- Change your e-mail signature to reflect how you want to be known.
- Use the language in your company name (like local business that video guy), Twitter handle, or on Facebook.
Bottom line — naturally, you will influence the way someone introduces you the slow way (behavior, results) but there’s no reason you can’t give it a purposeful nudge as well!
My IowaBiz post from late May 2010.