The First Impression Audit
You probably already have a brand that’s operating. You just aren’t aware of it yet. As audience building expert Josh Spector asks, “Do you want to define it or allow others to define it for you?”
I have my clients do a “First Impression Audit” to understand the brand they already have.
It goes like this:
Ask six people you trust the questions below.
Try not to pick the ‘yes’ people or people who tell you what you want to hear. They can be former employers, colleagues, current clients. The goal of this exercise is to get clues on what you are already known for. Who will these 6 people be?
- What do you see when I walk into a room? What’s the first impression I make?
- What skills can I improve to be a better ________
- What do I do well now?
- What can I improve on in the future?
- What is the one word you think of when you think of me?
- What do you associate me with?
The Client Love Exercise
Michael Port author of “Book Yourself Solid” embraces and enforces a “Red Velvet Rope” policy. Interview here explains what that is.
So again, I send people on a little mission to go interview three clients and find what those things are.
What do they have in common, and what are the gaps?
The Time Log Exercise
I actually learned this from Elizabeth Crook, who is a very
successful executive coach down south. She and I were in a writing retreat together, and she shared this
Break your life down into three-year increments starting at 14 years old, all the way up to your current age and three years past.
List the most significant events that happened in each of those three-year increments, and then theme it. Once you’ve dumped the proverbial “purse” out onto the piece of paper, identify the three most pivotal moments in your life where you made a significant change? And what are those moments all have in common?
I remember doing a VIP day with a woman. She had switched from the fintech space to the climate tech space, but she was having a real struggle connecting the dots between her former avatar and her current avatar.
I did this exercise with her, and it turns out that there was a moment in time where she was about to give birth to her first child. She was in Mozambique because she was in FinTech before FinTech was FinTech. She was helping unbanked women get access to bank accounts and be able to be the financial stewards of their families. She was in Mozambique about to give birth to her first child, was going to go and give birth in a hospital, modern hospital down in South Africa.
Meanwhile, she had dedicated about five years at this point to really building a team, growing a team, making it successful. When she announced that she was leaving to give birth to her child, they fired her.
She felt compromised for the first time as a mother, as a leader, and as a woman. That moment truly informs everything she does today.
She wants to change the narrative about female founders. If a founder decides to have a child, it does not mean that her business has to go off the rails.