Ask the average person to name 2 of the 7 dwarfs and 99% will be able to do it. Ask that same person to name 2 of the 9 supreme court justices in the US and 80% won’t be able to do it. Maybe its because we don’t give our Justices cute nick names. Judge Roberts was nominated by Bush and went to Harvard, if you combine the 2 we could call Judge Roberts, Hushy. More people might be able to remember it that way. They still wouldn’t remember his politics, but that is another blog.
What does that have to do with marketing? Plenty.
The creators of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs spent plenty of time pairing the names of those silly dwarfs with how they looked. Doc looked smart, sleepy looked tired, dopey looked, well, dopey, and sneezy always had that darn red nose from sneezing so much. Giving something a snazzy name that fits and is easy to remember, is called giving it a Handle. What is your handle? Internet Consultant? Principal Consultant? If you are at a backyard BBQ with a bunch of beer drinking pals, what would they say you do? Would they really say “Your name here is an Internet consultant?” or would they say “Your name here owns a company that builds websites”.
I’d bet money that they would say the latter. No one knows what an Internet Consultant does. Do you consult the Internet? Do you just charge a lot of money and tell me what to do but not actually provide me with the solution? What do you do? Can you say I am “Sneezy” and people instantly know what that means?
If your explanation of what you do is longer than 10 seconds (and that is being generous), no one knows what you do. If no one knows what you do, they can’t refer you to others who may need your help. If you have to say “I am an Internet Consultant. I work with all kinds of businesses to build web applications, solutions, and sites to help them increase sales, get a return on their money, blah blah blah blah” is about what I am going to hear.
We all know that we need one quick, concise sentence that says what we do and we need to use that sentence over and over and over and over again so that we have it memorized and all of the people around us have it memorized. “My name is Patrice Valentine and I build websites for companies large and small”. In 14 words and 4 seconds of speaking, you know who I am and what I do.
I do not love that sentence, I don’t think it is as black and white as “Sneezy”, but it gets it done and it works. People I meet at networking meetings can now introduce me to others as “This is Patrice Valentine and she builds websites for companies large and small”.
I’d love to hear back from you on what your handle is. Are you using Internet Consultant? Do people “get it” when they hear that?
Let’s figure out something that works.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog which will feature my biggest pet peeve….. the overuse of punctuation!!!!