What do people think when they see your name?

PICTURE THIS: Somebody stumbles across your blog. Or reads a column you wrote. Or hears about you on Twitter. Maybe they flip past an article that cites you as an expert, or perhaps they attend an event and notice you’re the speaker.

BIG QUESTION: What do people think when they see your name?

Several responses are possible. Some are positive; some are negative.

But ALL are indicative of how well you stick yourself out there. And all are opportunities to evaluate and enhance your brand position.

Today we’re going to explore seven (potential) silent dialogues of someone who sees your name. As you read these examples, I want you to ask yourself: (1) how YOU would feel if you were the person who said this, (2) which phrases you would LIKE people to say about you, and (3) which phrases people are LIKELY to say about you:

1. “Who the heck is THIS guy?” Not good. This means you haven’t established a value position in people’s minds. You’re (clearly) not known FOR something, AS someone, or TO somebody. But, the good news is, you can use this negative perception as your Positioning Alarm Clock. Your Branding Bell of Awareness. If nobody knows you, the only direction you can go is up!

BE INSPIRED: In the classic marketing book, Positioning, Al Reis said, “Positioning isn’t what you do to the product, it’s what you do in the mind of the prospect.”

BE CURIOUS: What are you doing in the minds of YOUR prospects?

2. “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” If your competitor says this, Hooray! After all, your goal is to drive your competition CRAZY by out-positioning, out-attracting and out-writing them, every time. They saw YOUR name, not the other way around. Ha! Suck-errrr.

On the other hand, if a customer or prospect says, “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” be concerned. It might mean your presence, content or brand is annoying or stale. For example, think about the last time YOU said, “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” You probably rolled your eyes, shook your head or grunted under your breath, didn’t you? I wonder if people are thinking that when they see YOUR name.

BE INSPIRED: Upgrade, update and upscale your brand on a regular basis.

BE CURIOUS: When was the last time you did an honest self-appraisal or internal audit of your identity?

3. “Yeah, I hear he’s kind of a jerk…” Oh boy. Somebody’s been talking trash behind your back. And if it’s online, DOUBLE Oh Boy. Remember, the Internet is forever. So, if this is what people say when they see your name, start asking yourself: (1) who said it, (2) what you did – or what they interpreted you as doing – that caused them to say it, (3) how often they’ve said it about you, (4) if other people are saying it too, (5) what you can do to prevent it from being said in the future, and/or, (6) how many people you’re cool with saying that you’re a jerk.

BE INSPIRED: In the best-selling book, The No Asshole Rule, Bob Button says, “If people stop having fun when you walk in the room, you might be a full-blown, certified asshole.”

BE CURIOUS: Ever done a Google search on “Your Name” + “Asshole”?

4. “Man, I see this guy’s name everywhere I look!” Excellent. This represents acceleration in your brand awareness and positioning power. It also suggests consistency. That’s HUGE. Marketing is about repeated impressions. So, now that you’ve reached this point, the next steps are to (1) keep being everywhere, (2) make sure that when you ARE everywhere, people’s perception of your position is supported by positive comments, i.e., “This guy’s name is everywhere … and he always brings cool ideas that help me grow my business!”

BE INSPIRED: Positioning also suggested to marketers, “Cut through the traffic jam in the prospect’s mental highway.”

BE CURIOUS: How visible are you in YOUR customer’s rear view mirror?

5. “Damn it – this guy again! He’s always where I want to be!” When you say your prayers before going to bed each night, ask God to make sure every single one of your competitors utters this phrase when they see your name. Nothing better personifies perfect positioning than when the other people who do what you do, hate you for doing what you do. Jealoussssss? Damn right. Because you beat them to the punch.

BE INSPIRED: Tonight, before hitting the sack, kneel next to your bed and recite the following blessing: “Lord, I pray that my prospects are intrigued BY me, that my customers are in love WITH me, and that my competitors have a dart board in their office with a picture OF me. Amen.”

BE CURIOUS: Do the right people hate you?

6. “How does she manage to get her name everywhere?” Congratulations! This is EXACTLY the type of remark you want people to make when they see your name. This comment is rooted in curiosity and WOW. It means people notice you, people remember you, and people are inspired by your ability to consistently stick yourself out there. The only caution I’d offer in this situation is to beware of complacency. If people are amazed at your ability to keep your name in front of them, the first order of business isn’t to pat yourself on the back; it’s to sit down and ask yourself what actions enabled that success to happen.

BE INSPIRED: Success means being smart enough to reflect upon WHY you were successful in the first place.

BE CURIOUS: Where did the rock create the ripple? How could you throw more rocks?

7. “I love this guy!” Fantastic. You’ve transitioned from brand awareness to brand loyalty. Maybe even brand insistence. The key is, you’ve continued to deliver solid, predictable value. You’ve turned strangers into friends, friends into fans, and fans into word of mouth. You’ve achieved enough mindshare that people love and trust you. Ultimately, hearing people say, “I love this guy!” when they see your name can only mean one thing: You’ve created enough “good” in the marketplace to position yourself as That Guy so people come to YOU. Bravo.

BE INSPIRED: Anonymity is your greatest barrier to business success.

BE CURIOUS: What are you the answer to? What do you teach people the secret to?

REMEMBER: People’s instant reaction when they see your name is THEE report card on how well you’ve positioned your unique value, both in the market AND in people’s minds.

What do people think when they see YOUR name?

For the list called, “6 Ways to Out POSITION Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program can help.

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