You had me at hello: Branding according to Jerry Maguire.

Firstly, I should tell you that I have never seen the film Jerry Maguire, so if any of these references seem a bit off, then that would be why! This post is entirely the responsibility of the lovely Sophie Gist of Hotdesk Business support who inspired this after I unknowingly used the words “help me to help you” on a social media post and ended up with a whole load of lines that I haven’t even had to research. Hurray! 😉

So, here we go with a post all about branding according Jerry Maguire…

 

You had me at hello.

We’ve all heard that you have seconds to grab someones attention. Seconds to create an impact. Seconds to get someone interested enough to stop scrolling, to keep scrolling, to click through, to STOP. So make those first hello moments count.

Two tenths of a second actually. Which is next to nothing.

Don’t be boring. Do SOMETHING to create an impact.

This could be the imagery you use, the goody bag you hand out, the video you have that answers all those niggles right away, the copy you have, the sizing and colours and fonts and photographs. Sophie created a wonderful Facebook page cover which does this so well.

This image conveys a lot about Sophie’s business. It’s fun, it’s geeky, it’s entertaining and informative – and how long does it take to take all of that in and decide that you need to like her page and find out more about her? Who doesn’t want to be relaxed – like Sarah.

You might have a specific action you want people to take. You might just want to give out a certain feeling. You might want to show people who you are and what you do. Whatever you do – try to inject personality in there. Don’t be dull. Make an impact.

 

You complete me.

This is how you want your audience to feel. Completed. If they work with you or buy your product then that issue that they’ve been having? Gone. That feeling – sorted. That bit of them where they really need something but until they stumbled on you they didn’t know what – over. That feeling that they have something missing – now they are complete. You are filling a need. Filling the gap. How can you show them that YOU are the answer to their prayers?

To do this, you need to know what your answer is – and in true Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy style, this means that you need to know what the question is. So what is it? What is keeping people awake at night trying to figure it out? What are peoples struggles?

You don’t have to guess or create a giant super-computer (evidently I’m more educated about the Hitchhikers Guide than I am about Jerry Maguire.., perhaps I could use that as the basis of another blog post?) but you can ASK people.

If you have clients already you can ask them why they needed what you have to offer, why they bought from your rather than someone else, what worked for them and what impact the thing they bought from you has had. Then you can use that information to really show people how you can complete them.

If you don’t have clients (and if you do) then you can go to places where you think your clients might hang out and listen. Keep your ear to the ground. Look for clues.

I’d take this a bit further. Ask more questions. Find out who your ideal client is – so find out their struggles and also what works well for them. What they do. What they’re into. Where they shop, what they read, where they go, what they believe in. The more information you have about the jigsaw puzzle that makes this person up, the better fit you can make the final piece of the puzzle.

Someone who does this really well is Kelly Cairns – The Tech Angel. She has NAILED her ideal (soulmate) client and knows exactly what makes them tick. See this? This is what you’re aiming for.

 

Show me the money.

We all have bills to pay, shoes to buy, storage to organise for our massive quantities of scarves and massive amounts of food shopping to purchase. What can you do for someone – and how much is it? There are ALWAYS discussions relating to money floating around on social media. Should I show my prices on my website – or not? Which invoicing programme should I use? How long should my payment terms be? How much would someone expect to pay for a hand knitted tea cosy? and “who sells wallpaper with birds on? – I’m buying!”

My suggestion would be not to make it hard. I have work to do here too (and a plan to fix it) but quite often if people can’t find your prices then they aren’t going to be interested. They aren’t going to even ask. They’ll just assume you’re expensive. So I’d suggest that unless you WANT to look out of reach or your pricing is reeeeallly confusing and requires conversation and time to put together, that you do include your pricing somewhere. It actually makes life easier. You can give people a link to the information – and maybe even include payment links to make life even easier.

You don’t have to plaster it all over your homepage. It could be another page on your website, a PDF download (so you can follow up, right?) or printed on your leaflet.

It doesn’t matter how wonderful your business looks, if it’s not earning you any money then it doesn’t matter how beautiful your logo is or how gorgeous your colour scheme is – so make sure people can make a decision easily. Also make sure that your terms are clear and practice talking about your pricing so that you feel really confident about it.

Learning to ask for the sale, to tell people what you have to offer – this is – appallingly – new one on me. Because money isn’t easy to talk about is it? You need to follow Rachel Smith for help with this (and join her 5k club 😉 )

First class, that’s what’s wrong. It used to be a better meal, now it’s a better life. 

Even if everything is hunkydory, there’s always room for improvement.

Having not watched the film, I’m going to make assumptions that someone (Jerry maybe?) is talking about an upgrade meaning so much more than it used to. That people have higher expectations. That making something more amazing doesn’t just mean giving someone a biscuit with their tea, but taking them to Rome for the day. Making something waaaaaay better in every way.

Branding is about creating an incredible experience for your audience so that they remember you, recommend you and rave about you. It’s about upgrading that experience to be First Class. The way to do this is to look at your values and look at each experience that your audience has with you – and then work out what you can do at each point to get your values across.

How can you upgrade each experience to not only communicate one of your values really successfully but to also make sure that each person going through that experience feels as though they’ve hopped on the Orient Express of businesses and don’t want to get off?

Every month I buy items for my subscription box and every month I have different experiences with different suppliers. This month I had some items arrive which were very inconsistent in quality. Completely different quality of materials used to make them. Different sizing. It seemed like different ability levels too (although that could have been the material quality) and so I had to spend some time sorting that out. Pain. I also had some items arrive beautifully packaged, lovely note, excellent service – and actually the second time I’d ordered from this company. A better experience, a better service, a more first class service – brings people back. Gets people talking. Makes people smile.

Recently Debbie Stokoe, Room to Breathe has upgraded what she offers and followed her dreams to include an incredible experience in Santorini. Now THIS is going First Class. With bells and whistles. How amazing is this?!

 

Help me to help you

Play fill in the blanks.

Help me to help you… save money when you do your self assessment. Help me to help you… declutter your kitchen. Help me to help you… find more films to watch. Help me to help you… ditch plastic. Help me to help you… feel deeply understood. Help me to help you… laugh a little louder. Help me to help you… create a brand that actually fills you joy.

Your turn… Help me to help you … [ __________ ]

This is what you DO for people.

Then think about how you do these things.

What do you need from people in order to be able to help them? I have some forms that I like to send people online and some that I fill in offline to help me to do a good job for them. I love Typeform. I can make it look beautiful as well as being functional so it’s perfect for me. During your process – while you’re working with people or helping them out with their purchase – do you need to collect information or give them a care card? Do you get back in touch a few months later to see how they’re doing? What can you do to help your audience better?

The first page from one of my Typeforms

Having a better process can really help you to hone this part down. So spend some time writing it all down. Where are the gaps? Are there parts of the process that you could do a better job with? Do you need to redesign your information packs or re-consider your questions? Do you want to improve your packaging so that it will fit through a letterbox or give it more padding? Do you want to work on how you can improve the environmental aspect of your business because that’s an important business value? Do you need to add new sections to your website to answer peoples questions?

How can you be more helpful?

 

I love him! I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is. 

None of us are perfect. We can all strive for amazingness and fall short. Maybe life gets in the way. Maybe to do what we want to do will cost a lot more than it will to buy the product. Perhaps we’re too busy. Perhaps the list is SO long that it’s going to take a while. Maybe the list is all in your head so the incentive to actually do it is less.

I bet you have a list of things you want to do to improve your brand. Things to change on your website. Ideas to implement at live events. Improvements to your packaging that you want to make. Business cards that you STILL need to order. Social media posts that you just haven’t got around to. Programmes that you’re working through but you feel behind. Unfinished ebooks on Canva that you would finish but you can’t remember how to do it…

We all have aspirations, goals, aims, ideas, lists – things we want to be and almost are.

Branding is a journey. It’s the sort of journey that you don’t finish. It never really ends. You might pause from time to time – but then you’ll need to create something else or think about this or perhaps you discover a new market to explore or find out that or you offer e new service or start selling actual products and so you have to get thinking about your brand AGAIN.

That’s OK.

As long as you’re going in the right direction then you’re almost there and when you reach “there” you’ll probably discover that the finish line has moved and have a bit further to go.

We don’t just stay the same aaaallll the time after all.

 

So give yourself a break. You’re doing brilliantly. Keep it up. 

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