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If You Had to Choose A Character, Which Would Most Personify Your Business

I recently was giving some advice to a young guy at the early part of his career in financial planning. He works for a large firm, but was wondering how he could market himself better. So we got into a conversation about what tools he has available, what he’s allowed to do (the financial services industry really handcuffs their people in terms of marketing themselves – compliance, compliance, compliance!), and what he is allowed to do for himself.

Anyhoo, we came around to the part of the conversation where I began to toss ideas to him. I asked him, “What kinda character are you?” …Deer in the headlights. So I went on. I asked him, if he had to choose a character from any media or public sphere that most personifies who he is as a business entity, what character would that be?

I’ve gotten some really awesome answers to this question over the years from The Seven Dwarves to Batman and Wonder Woman, Patch Adams to Erin Brockovich, and John Wayne to Ghandi.

So this young man pauses. He says he loves sports. So, I asked, “then what sports figure most personifies you as a business person?: He thinks for a second, then says Kobe Bryant. Another awesome response! I said, “Great! You’re Kobe… so what is it that Kobe does that makes you say that, that you bring to your game?” Now the light bulb starts to go on. His whole demeanor seems to straighten up and you can see confidence show up on his face. He smiles. “I get it,” he says.

As we talk the Kobe thing through I explain to him that he needs to present himself with all the qualities that he admires in Kobe Bryant, in all of his marketing. Tell the story from the perspective of the customer and why they need a financial planner with the mindset/persona of a Kobe Bryant. As we shake hands and go on our separate way’s he stands a little straighter and his handshake is a little bit more firm. Kobe’s in his head, and in his game… and will be his differentiator.

As you work out your brand message, think about what kind of a character you are. It will help you find your voice and separate you from the competition.