If you’re ever lucky enough to have a fun and focused dialogue with David Avrin, there’s a pretty good likelihood he might ask you, “What are you doing to be noticed and remembered?” If you have a tough time answering this query, then David’s the right guy to help you respond eloquently and strategically the next time this question is tossed in your direction!
Last year, I had the pleasure to work with David and his CEO or executive leadership group in Denver, Colorado. David knows all about getting positive attention or creating the “right kind” of visibility. When you meet him, he’s immediately “visible.” David stands well over six feet, with a big smile, friendly welcome and a firm handshake. Plus, he’s always armed with an entertaining story!
For years, as a speaker, author and coach, David has been helping individuals and organizations raise their profile and to stand alone in a competitive marketplace. His clients enthusiastically and gratefully refer to him as the Visibility Coach. He waxes rhapsodic about his passion for helping folks do the right things and to produce the right results in his new bestselling book, “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You!”
To help you get a jump-start on results before you head to your favorite online or brick-and-mortar bookstore, here are excerpts from a recent conversation.
Jeff Blackman: Everybody wants to build their brand. First, let’s define what “brand” means, and how do you build it?
David Avin: Too many think of their brand as simply their company logo and tagline. But the reality is, your brand is what people think of at the mention of your name or the name of your business. It’s everything you do and don’t do well in your business. It’s the last experience a customer had, the cleanliness of the bathroom, the taste of the appetizer, the speed of delivery and the attitude of the customer service rep. If you’ve done a good job consistently communicating your messages and delivering on your promise, then the brand in their mind is the one you want. However, if you’ve fallen short, then you’ve got a brand in need of repair.
JB: You say, “We have no control over our brand, but we have great influence?” Why? And how do you maximize that influence?
DA: Your brand resides in the minds of your customers or prospective customers, and they only know what they know. If you have low marketplace visibility, then they know little of you. If they have had a bad experience with you, then they own that memory. We can influence their perspective of our brand by doing good work, fixing problems quickly and clearly highlighting what separates us from our competitors. If we’re passive and let our work speak for itself, or allow competitors to out-market us, then we lose control of the message and the brand.
JB: What are sure-fire ways to become “top of mind” with prospects and customers, in any business?
DA: Some take the shortcut to “fame” by merely opting for outrageous ads or stunts to draw attention to their business. Unfortunately, the quick fix does nothing to build a brand based on credibility and quality. The truth is, to become top-of-mind, you have to creatively highlight what makes you different, better, cheaper, wiser, smarter, cleaner, bigger, smaller, faster, more attractive, stylish, cost-effective, convenient and more desirable than others who profess to offer what you offer. Then, you have to promote the heck out of your differentiators.
JB: Because all things are “never equal,”how does one tip the scales in their favor?
DA: The four most dangerous words in business are, “All things being equal.” When everything is equal in the mind of the under-educated consumer, then they will make their buying decisions on two criteria: price and proximity. Who really wants to be the “low-cost leader?” There has to be a reason to tip the scales in your favor. Prospects have to be made very aware of at least one aspect of your business they can’t get elsewhere, but the claim has to be credible and visible. They have to hear it, before they know it. And they have to believe it before they act on it.
JB: How can one accurately assess their business to discover and then communicate what makes them unique?
DA: A dedicated effort of inspection, introspection and marketplace evaluation should be a regular exercise for all businesses, meaning research your competitors; research your customers and revisit both their needs, and your capabilities; peruse your marketing materials alongside those of others in your space; where are the similarities; what can you offer that others could not legitimately claim; and most importantly, ask your customers why they buy from you and what keeps them coming back.
To keep you coming back, don’t miss next week’s part two, where David delivers impactful ways to gain media attention with relevance, credibility and passion. Plus, the getting noticed “knows” vs. no-nos! Until then, be sure to take a peek at visibilitycoach.com.
Jeff Blackman is a speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” In 2008, he was one of five inductees into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. If you hire speakers, please contact Blackman at (847) 998-0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, “The Results Report.”