Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Do I Need a Mentor? Part III

photo by www.Imageabstraction.com
You may not have "branded" your business in a way that gives you enough exposure to the right clients.

You may have lived with your professional identity for a long time. Time does not equal effectiveness and accuracy of statement. You could really be missing out on a lot of business because folks can't find you or just aren't drawn to you. This makes me think of people naming their babies and how it affects that child's life forever. It's no wonder a lot of people change their names at some point to greater reflect who they are. That's actually a lot harder to do as a person than as a business.

Even if your business identity isn't something you actively think about, it still needs reevaluation. It's another "forest for the trees" situation. I find that folks can act pretty defensive on this one by mistaking their identity with their product's identity. Yes, they can be very linked. I can definitely think of several cases where my client was the product in many ways. Even if we share a name with that product, as I do with mine, it's still not me. It's what I do. I provide and stand behind my consulting practice of course, but if I change it's name, that doesn't mean it ceases to me mine. Owning vs. Being.

On a less esoteric note:

Who can afford to change their brand? Pretty much everyone. I would say though, you should really choose carefully and not do this more than once. If your business changes so much that you need another identity again, perhaps you need a new business. I'll cover that in another post. Bottom line, with the right steps taken, your "old" people will find you and new people will find you in an effective re-branding.

Things that need to all be on the same page
  • All collateral, marketing, etc.
  • All PR done in your name
  • All interactions
So where does a mentor come in? One of the big things is brainstorming new ideas with you about your new image. I do my homework and then come back to you with a bucketful of stuff and we hash through it. I'll tell you what I think will or will not work. Then we hook up with a designer and I run interference for you to get this new ball rolling. When we have cohesive imagines for you to look at, I show them to you, we tweek them a little and then have one more go round. That's generally what it looks like.

This can be really fun stuff. Just don't take it lightly or you're likely to wake up with something like a tattoo that you regret after a big night out.

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