How do your customers know you? How do they remember you? What are three words that they would use to describe your firm? We are all busy building our companies and it all starts with a sale or does it. Do people buy from people they don’t know or like? When it comes to closing deals, we forget to begin at the beginning. You need to be able to describe your company quickly, effectively and efficiently in order to help prospects get to know your company.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and if that is the case, then what image are you portraying. While building your marketing strategy, you utilized words to convey who you are and yet people gravitate towards images. We need to crystallize those words in a unifying theme using visuals. Are you a very formal company? Are you creating a firm that cares deeply about its people? Are you community involved? Are you all about thoroughness? The words you use to describe your firm give you an idea for images that convey your firm’s identity. Your theme needs to express your company and it rarely comes in first pass. The theme in simple terms is the look and feel you will use to share with the marketplace answering the question of “who is your firm and what makes you different?”

Across all views
From website to social media to brochures to marketing campaigns and more, your theme is the image that you need to portray. Marketing is not about consistency, it is about absolute consistency. Very few firms have the budgets to have advertising across multiple media, robust websites with daily changing imagery, marketing campaigns being sent to thousands of clients on a monthly basis, as well as social media campaigns, event marketing and etc. Since budget is always a concern, we need to always be absolutely consistent across all of our views in order to effectively share our message to our marketplace.

Messaging. Messaging. Messaging.
The words you use to describe your firm drives the answer to the question, “Can you tell me about your company?” Everyone on your team needs to know your messaging and be able to easily state who you are. Right now, you are probably saying that most of your team knows how to describe us. Go to their LinkedIn profiles and see what description of your company is listed there because I promise you that roughly two thirds of your team made something up and you may not like it. Your message defines your team and if they don’t agree with what it says then that is a great discussion for you to have with them to see where your messaging can be improved or so you can get their buy-in. Don’t discount your messaging because in the absence of something original and impactful, people will create their own and it may not be good.

Command and Control
Messaging is an area where we all want to say something special, but our inner voice says, “Don’t be a braggart.” or “You can’t say that because someone will be offended.” Your theme and your messaging is where you can take a decisive stand. Don’t be ordinary. Appealing to everyone will not work. Great companies got to where they are by pushing the envelope and letting their prospects and clients know that they are a great company…this is nothing to back away from. It is hard to say things that your competitors may attack. It is hard to take credit for things that others want to take credit for, but the simple fact is that finding out you came in second place in a sale is the same thing as first loser. Take command of your brand. Take control of how you are perceived. Your theme should state it loud and clear.

Five Theme Takeaways:

  1. Your theme is the visual representation of how you define your company
  2. You must spread your theme across all of the marketing vehicles you have
  3. Marketing is about absolute consistency
  4. Make sure your messaging is known, understood and agreed upon by your entire team…otherwise they will make something else up
  5. Take command of your brand and control of how you are perceived

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.