When you think of any well known brand, what do you think about it when you hear its name or see its advertisements? What is the image in your head? What level of quality or service and price do you associate with it? What value and benefits do you perceive? What differentiates one brand from another? Mercedes Benz? Honda?
How about you? What is your consulting brand and image with your clients? What do they think of when they hear your name? Or are you being seen as the obvious expert or just an average consultant, trainer, or coach? Are you the person they think of first, to help them with their problems and issues or are you somewhat of an after thought?
The point being is that you have a brand and an image associated with you, whether you have taken time to realize it or not. It exists. If you have not given much thought to your “brand” then it probably has not done much for you and worst yet, if poorly handled, your branded image has more than likely hurt you in acquiring better business opportunities.
How to improve your branding and image:
-Become and be seen and be known as the obvious expert in your area of expertise.
-Raise your level of language.
-Ask strategic and bottom line business results oriented questions.
-Probe for greater understanding of the more complicated issues
-Connect the problems clients have with your expertise and your experience and your ability to solve them.
So what image and brand do you really have with your clients currently? What value do they associate with you and what fees do they accept as part of that image?
I really don’t like to use these metrics with consultants, but strictly for illustration purposes, do your clients see you as a $1000/day trainer, a $2500/day coach or somewhere between $7500 to $15,000 per day consultant?
Consider this example. A Honda is a very good vehicle. Depending on the model and type, it is generally priced between $20,000 to $35,000. Mercedes is another good vehicle, doing basically the same thing, getting you from point A to point B. Yet depending on the model, it is generally priced between $40,000 to $90,000. So why do certain consumers choose to pay more for a vehicle that can basically do the same thing? Lots of factors, but it comes down to value in the eyes of the consumer.
Thus, when you create a certain value in the eyes of client, that comes from many factors that lead to your brand image, your “promise” if you will, then you have the opportunity of benefiting from that image. Can you start to see why some consultants earn $50,000 per year and others $500,000 or a million dollars?
Consider the example just shared and consider what the top 10% of consultants generate in revenue, as a comparison point to others, including yourself.
In many cases, if your “branding” is wrongly targeted to your client or potential clients then you could be hurting your opportunities with them from the moment they hear about you. The WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU DO could be all wrong for who they are and what they need.
Has your branding “shaped” their mind to your potential consulting engagement such that they don’t think of you for strategic business engagements or other needs they have. If that is the case, do you see the missed opportunity? Do you see how the door isn’t going to automatically open for you in your client’s mind and why you need to consider your branding and image further.
The goal is to make your branded message work for you and be an asset in driving the best business opportunities your way.