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June 11, 2017

Branding Tips I Learned Almost Arresting The Mayor

It was 5AM, I was on a ride-along, and a call came in for suspicious activity. We arrived on scene to see a SUV and a man on a bike tailing a female jogger. A few things were unusual – the time of day, the way the SUV was creeping along, the closeness of the biker and how the woman didn’t appear concerned.

Whoop, whoop. The sirens and lights flipped on and the unusual trio slowed their pace. The officer pulled up and asked the driver of the SUV, “Is everything okay here?”

“Yes, sir.” The woman in the driver’s seat replied. “We’re part of the mayor’s security detail.” She pointed towards the woman in exercise clothes who had stopped running and was now jogging in place. A closer look and we realized we had just interrupted Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh’s morning run.

Awkward.

Mayor Pugh is an accomplished marathon runner and the founder of the Baltimore Marathon but we didn’t know that. We didn’t even recognize who she was. As we sped away before it got even weirder, I thought of some cool branding tips.

Brand Yourself

You are a brand. Branding expert, Kait LeDonne, recently posted about how important it is to own your domain name. You can leave jobs but your name stays with you. Don’t underestimate the value of who YOU are.

Being anonymous works for Mayor Pugh when she’s just trying to get in some exercise before a busy day. That doesn’t work for salespeople. Become a brand.

You have the name, now create the fame.

Packaging Matters

A couple of days later, I was chatting with the officer and we were laughing about the whole thing. He told me he’s great with faces but he was so used to seeing Mayor Pugh dressed nicely, that seeing her in jogging clothes threw him off.

What does your brand look like?

When I sold credit card processing, I once showed up to a meeting dressed casually. Afterwards, my mentor, Josh Dill, told me he makes it a point to never show up looking casual to these kinds of meetings. “We are dealing with people’s money and they want to see us looking professional.” It’s the same reason successful financial planners always look put together.

Make sure your brand looks the way it should.

Dress For The Job At Hand

On the flip side, you don’t expect the Mayor to go jogging in a dress and heels. When you’re doing official mayoral duties, dress like it. When you’re running at 5AM, dress like it. Be flexible and never lock yourself into one approach.

Selling products in the inner city is a different approach than pitching a Fortune 500 CEO. Don’t be afraid to mix it up to match the scenario. Wear the clothes, design the packaging and tweak the pitch so you sell more.

Recap

Okay, we didn’t really come close to arresting the Mayor. But that doesn’t change the value of these 3 tips. Make them work for you so you can sell more.

As for me, I’m on my way to arrest the Governor!