I always enjoy reading the interviews in the “Talk” section of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.
This Sunday, August 21st, the interview was with Anthony Weiner. Here’s the answer I want to pull out from the question about Weiner’s current philosophy on media exposure.
When you do media as an elected official or as a candidate, you have a very clear message that you’re trying to impart and an idea of who you’re talking to.
How does that relate?
You may be tired of all the presidential campaign speeches, news stories and interviews by or about Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton but that quote of Weiner’s made me think about our industry and branding.
Let me paraphrase his comment: As image consultants we distinguish ourselves from one another by our very clear message that we’re trying to impart to our ideal potential clients.
We impart our very clear message through presentations, speeches, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. We have so many opportunities to get our point of view across to people who would benefit from our services.
How clear is your message? Kind of clear? Sort of clear? Very clear?
Sometimes I read about someone in a related industry and I go to check out their social media sites. If I get there and I see pictures of dogs, vacations or plates of food and not much more about her or her area of expertise, I feel like I hit a dead end. My interest fades. Does that ever happen to you?
What do you stand for?
Yesterday I was listening to a TED Radio Hour podcast on my way home from work. The topic was Brand Over Brain. A filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, who did the movie Super Size Me after he ate McDonald’s hamburgers for a month also made a movie called POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold which was based entirely on product placement. The first product or brand that he got to sign on to his film idea was Ban Deodorant. He was having a phone meeting with the vice president of Ban. He asked the VP what Ban stood for as a brand. There was no immediate answer so he tried to coach them. He said, “Ban is ….” and waited for the spokesperson to fill in the blank. “Wow, that’s a good question,” was their answer.
I’d have expected a brand that big to have a clear, prepared message about themselves. But it also made me appreciate how everyone, big and small, has to sort out those same two questions: Who’s my audience and what’s my message to that audience?
In the beginning…
I thought everyone was my potential client. Now I know that’s not what I want. There’s a certain type of client that sits in my sweet spot: She’s over 50, she’s got an active life, she appreciates the value of clothing, she’s not afraid to ask for help, she’s pleasant to be around, and she has an appreciation for beauty. With this kind of client I can walk into her closet, do my thing, and leave her life enhanced knowing she doesn’t have to think about a think in the clothing department. I’ve thought of everything and prepared her for her upcoming events.
I want to continue to attract this kind of client. I focus on “talking” to my ideal client and giving her “messages” about feeling great and doing well right where she is – in this body of hers and at this time of life – through my newsletters and social media. I want her to know I’m here for her.
We have a wonderful opportunity
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may want to do an update on your ideal client in case you need to realign your branding to meet that ideal person. And if you’re new in the business, what a great opportunity you have to attract what you want from the very start! Be focused on your brand and your message and broadcast that through your social media and promotional materials and watch your happy client list grow!