Embedding Your Personal Genius Into Your Consulting Brand

My podcast co-host Jonathan Stark and I have been having some fun getting down and dirty on what it takes to make it in “The Business Of Authority”.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so here.

One of the themes running through every episode is how to embed your own personal genius—your expertise, your style, your essence—into everything you do.

As a consultant. In your business. In your personal brand.

Because it isn’t enough to just be an expert at your craft—that’s just the price of admission.

The trick to becoming, well, unforgettable, is building your personal genius into tangible experiences for your sweet-spot clients and buyers.

How you talk and communicate with your audience (over the interwebs AND in real life), your sales process, your billing practices, even how you sign off your emails—all influence how your ideal audience sees and values you.

Not sure how well you’re doing?

Try this…

Jot down the key tenets of what your clients consider your personal genius—the core elements of your brand as a consultant.

Ideally, these are highly specific to you and not easily confused with someone else in your space.

For example, here’s Brett’s list:

  • Expert on enterprise technology consulting to CFOs of U.S. middle market companies
  • Work best with forward-thinking, non-traditional CFOs
  • Serve as change catalyst—CFO must bond/stay bonded with me, but not everyone on his team will appreciate me
  • High-touch, direct and open relationship with CFO
  • Consistent, direct and open with CFO direct reports
  • Relentless focus on end result and how what we do today will impact the end game.

Now, list in hand, take a walk through your key experiences from the client’s viewpoint.

Ask yourself: how well do each of your touch points echo your brand?

For Brett, his website needs to not only showcase his expertise, but capture his high-touch, direct and open style. Which probably also includes capturing his relentlessly focused, high intensity.

What does that look like?

At a superficial glance, his site has to feel smart to his forward-thinking ideal CFOs and allow them to navigate quickly (e.g. short, sweet and obvious) to respect their time.

On a deeper level—especially if he’s committed to building thought leadership amongst his CFO targets—his site should offer significantly built-out pathways and connection points for the serious visitor.

And testimonials from exactly the sort of clients he’d be thrilled to replicate ten times over.

But for Brett, his website is just the entry point. And my bet is so is yours.

What sets the tone for the relationship you’re ultimately going to have is that first outreach email or phone call.

Make it 100% on-brand and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. Remember, you’re always wanting to not only pull in your ideal clients, but repel your bad fits as early as possible in the process.

Brett’s initial communiqués—given his genius zone—are short, focused and direct. He wants to demonstrate in every way possible that he can get inside his prospect’s head and SERVE him.

He’s not a patient guy, nor are his ideal clients who have a big, enterprise-wide job to do.

And his response time is measured in minutes or (single digit) hours, not days. No matter how busy he is, response time will be supersonic.

If you’re not sure how to evaluate YOUR system, go back and take a look at your email strings with your historically best-fit clients.

What did they ask you? How did you respond? I guarantee there are clues in “the dance” that will help you hone your approach for the future.

For Brett, his genius is embedded just about everywhere.

The pre-proposal conversation where he actively seems to be talking prospects out of hiring him. He can only do a couple new projects a year, so why choose badly?

His pricing—and billing. His proposals typically offer two to three options, each with a single price point. His bills? Monthly with one number.

His digital touch points beyond his website all build the same case. Email sequences for new subscribers, social media posts, LinkedIn connection requests.

You can do this too.

Just start with the experience you want to give your sweet-spot connections.

And build it into—in big ways and small—every touch point in your system.

p.s. If building your consulting brand and business is big on your 2018 priorities, stay tuned for my ConsultantBrand workshop coming up in February.

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