So, you have a brand. And, you have, well… you.

Aren’t we in a day and age where it is time they come together? Aren’t brands merely and extension of who we are?

I had the wonderful opportunity to teach a class for several small businesses and start ups recently. In the class, we really landed on this concept. But, as I have previously written about, old schtick is not working any more. To me, the idea of old schtick is like walking up to a prospective client or person and the first words out of your mouth is… “How can I have your business?”

Now, I do score points for just being completely up front. But, for me… why would I want to give you my business when I don’t even know who you are? (I guess that is why I am so careful with whom I give my email address to now a days. Latest email stats show 90%+ of email is spam.)

For that matter, can someone please remind me what email is again? (LOL)

While at the class with the small businesses and start ups, we spoke about the 80/20 rule when marketing your message/brand. In context, I was speaking of using Twitter and Facebook and how to use your status updates and Tweets to build your brand.

Here are a few bullet points from that presentation…

I view this through the lens of the 80/20 rule in that 80% of our posts are relational and 20% are informational.

This accomplishes several things…

A. People will get to know who you are, what makes you tick, and things that are important to you. This creates trust and buys you the capital you need for…

B. …you to speak about your business and what you offer.

Let’s face it, it is how you spend your time on the 80% that will build you the capital to make your 20% reach its full potential. That is, if you have something someone wants.

That being said, make no mistake; building up capital is one thing. But, how you spend it is another. So, syncing up the message is critical, but how you sync it is crucial…

In this, be deliberate, don’t overdo it, be conversational, ask questions, respond accordingly, have fun, be consistent, and most importantly, be you!

Homework for the class was this…

  • In 20 words or less, write 8 different messages about your brand through the “relational” lens
  • In 20 words or less, write 2 different messages about your brand through the “informational” lens

Don’t try to be someone you’re not. BE YOURSELF.

What I like about this exercise is that it really forces you to focus in your message in strategic ways. Hey, we live in the world of status updates and 140 character messages. Use them wisely.

Because, in the end.. isn’t what is inside that 80% that which really matters?

For me, I like that about a business I support. I like to know who they are and what they’re about. I like to know that they have lives beyond the pitch of their goods. I like to know that I am not just a transaction. And you know what? I don’t think you want to be just a transaction, either.

So, if you want someone to hear your 20%, you got to build trust with them in your 80%. Because these days, people can smell the 20% a mile away. In this, simply be relational… and then, informational.

You will go a lot further that way. Otherwise, there will be no one left to buy your stuff.

What next? Read these previous posts to help get you started…