There is a sales and marketing misnomer that “leads” will generate business growth, but they don’t. Leads are just data points. They are a metric – a number of people interested in your content – a click, a download, a phone call. They are just actions that by themselves, do not lead to sales.
Every sale starts with a story and stories start with branding.
Your brand is not your logo or your tagline. It’s based on perceptions (the stories) that exist in the hearts and mind of your ideal client. If you are new to the market, chances are that you need to invest in branding, unless you’re as recognizable as Nike.
Lead generation without branding is like hosting an awkward party. You invited people from college, work, cycling class, church, your amateur soccer league – basically a hodgepodge of interests. They show up at your door, but you haven’t even figured out what you are celebrating. “Happy Birthday!” you scream in a panic as they enter a room filled with Halloween décor, a Cinco De Mayo buffet and plates from the summer luau. Nineties hip hop is blaring from the backyard and you look square into Pastor Mike’s eyes and think, “Sh!t. Do I really want him mingling with Frank the Tank while he’s sipping on Friday’s stale keg beer? Does Jane from cycling class even like fried pickles?”
Your party should have started with a plan. First, you would have decided what you want to celebrate, then who should be there and then sent out the invitations. The décor and what you say when people arrive –that is just the icing on the cake. In branding terms, those are your logo and tagline.
Lead generation is the same way. You need branding first.
Community branding defines what you do, who you do it for, how it helps your customer and how your brand is different (better) than your competitor’s. Yes, it may also include logo design and colors, but those are just creative extensions of your brand. Once you have all of this defined, you have to make sure your messaging, products and services align as well. There’s nothing worse than going to an “eco-friendly” café that serves their food on Styrofoam. It doesn’t align.
Branding reveals where you can reach your ideal customer and aligns everyone on your team with a story to tell.
In turn, your customers and team become your biggest brand loyalists. Everyone in your organization is selling and every sale starts with a story.
If you need help defining your message, aligning your teams and delivering on your brand promise, call a Maven.
We don’t sell leads. We sell strategy. Then, when our clients grow, we throw a party.