A few weeks ago I found myself sitting down with a prospective client who was seeking some help with branding himself. He was a highly experienced management consultant (forty-plus years) who had been downsized from a corporation that employed him for more than twenty-five years, and he wasn’t quite ready to retire. Thus, he was looking to go out and have to sell himself.
Does this sound familiar? It’s a common scenario.
He showed me his LinkdedIn profile and a single-page “networking brief” that he had put together with the assistance of a career counselor. Indeed, his qualifications were vast, speaking several languages and having enormous international experience.
His background was dense to say the least. It was at that point when I put the papers on the table in front of us, took my readers off, looked him straight in the eye and asked him one simple question: “So, what’s your gospel?”
He looked at me in absolute bewilderment. Indeed, I do not think he had ever been asked that before. He clearly did not have an answer.
I went on to go through a some simple exercises (through more targeted questions), and after a few minutes, we had three or four bullet points that would actually help him narrow down to a core thesis or idea that helps communicate what he stands for–professionally at least.
It would also help him develop focus on his marketing communications, and give him a foundation upon which to build that highly coveted personal brand.
If you can sum it up in a single sentence or thought, all the better. Mine continues to be, very simply, “Serve your prospects.” I endeavor to uphold that idea in all that I do.
As we move through this Holy Week of 2015, I find it a fitting lesson to share–from a business perspective, at least. Indeed, we Christians celebrate the Gospel of our faith during this special and most revered time. It is not complicated, and is summed up in a single word: Resurrection!
The exclamation point is required, by the way. But I do think we can take a lesson from the simplicity of a single word, or idea, and move mountains with it.
On that note, I wish you and yours a blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter. And if you find yourself needing focus in your branding and messaging, ask yourself this question: “What’s my gospel?”
Just be sure to keep the “g” in lower case.
Image courtesy of Chaiwat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.