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There’s no “and” in “brand”

A great brand can only be one thing.  You can’t sell yourself as fastest and smartest – people don’t know how to process those conflicting ideas. 

Many entrepreneurs and consultants get stuck on this. They want to be fitness trainer and nutritionist or marketer and strategy advisor.

Here’s why it doesn’t work:

  • You can’t sell it. Your sales material can’t convince people that you’re the best at A–and, by the way, you also do B.  Not believable. 
  • You’ll never be the go-to guy.  People call Andy Sernovitz for word of mouth advice. They call Guy Kawasaki for startup advice.  Until you are the obvious answer to "I need to call ___" you’ll just be one of hundreds of random names. 
  • You’ll never get referrals. Your friends and clients don’t know what to say about you.

Here’s the test: Say what you do out loud.  Is there an "and" in there?  If yes, you lose.

Cut, cut, cut, cut until you are the #1 go-to person for _____.  Cut until everyone knows what you do without hesitation. 

This is really hard to do.  To become the word of mouth guy, I had to kill a perfectly good email strategy business. I had to stop advising startups.

Pick something great and stick with it. When you do, referrals will jump, sales will get easier, and people will start calling and asking for you.

More reading:  Dan Schawbel, Al Ries, Bill Schley, Seth Godin

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