An interesting thing happened to me while I was on holiday before the lockdown that reminded me about the importance and power of branding! This is often something that is under valued by small business owners.
Last year I had some sloppy tee shirts made and supplied by my favourite branded workwear company for me to wear on holiday. I had my #FlipFlopPsycho logo plastered all over the front and back so that it was very easily seen, excellent attire for the beach and pool!
Two days into the holiday and we are in a lovely walled garden restaurant in Cefalu town centre, Sarah and I have sat down and enjoying a nice glass of Sicilian red when I’ve noticed this couple on a table in the corner keep looking over at us… I thought I had grown horns or something.
After we had finished our meal and was just ordering a coffee the man on the other table walked over to us and said, “Excuse me but are you Ash Lawrence?” Now then, I realise I am quite well known in Kent but in Sicily, really? I tentatively replied with a “Yes, why?” He said “I saw you walking on the beach a couple of days ago and wondered what #FlipFlopPsycho was? I saw the logo on your tee shirt so looked it up on google and found out all about you!”
If you were one of my clients, you would know that I bang on about engaging with people as #youneverknow where that journey might go, so with that in mind I asked him what he thought about what I did? He asked if I would answer him a couple of questions about his business if he bought us a bottle of wine? Oh well, fair exchange is no robbery!!
An hour later and more than a couple of glasses of an excellent red, with him and his wife we agreed to meet back in the UK.
Some important lessons with this story…
1 – The Power of Branding. The power of branding is when you are able to take your brand to a level that anyone can easily identify it. That’s when your marketing and advertising campaigns have succeeded. This is one of the benefits of a strong brand.
2 – We are always networking. We are always networking and we get what we network for. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, there are opportunities to meet people and engage in a conversation.
3 – You must ENGAGE! If you don’t engage with people either face to face or on social media how are you going to start a journey of discovery with that person? What’s the worse that could happen? Generally the people that get on in life are the great communicators, so just give it a go and ENGAGE!
4 – Positive social proof. Having testimonials on your social media that others can see is a great way to get your reputation out there! A lot of people are afraid to ask for recommendations from people that they have worked with. ASK THEM! If people can see that you are visible and effective then it speaks volumes about you.
Back to the man in question… We met for lunch at St Pancras station and agreed that I would go in and meet his directors, which I did and he has now signed a two year deal for me to work in his business as non-exec director.
All this from a sloppy tee shirt and a #FlipFlopPsycho logo!
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