5 Reasons NOT To Brand Yourself As A Maverick, Renegade, Or Rebel (Even If You Are One)
OK, I’m not exactly conventional. So every so often a well-meaning advisor will say, “You describe yourself as a maverick. Why not build your brand on that?”
Actually, that is a very bad idea. But before I start, I know you’re going to tell me that some very successful people called (and still call) themselves renegades.
Well, I would say they succeeded in spite of the name they chose. They’re not renegades; they’re pack leaders. They just want to think of themselves as lone ranger super-heroes.
Reason #1 — Real mavericks don’t know they’re mavericks.
They are surprised when someone says, “You’re different.”
Pseudo-mavericks love being called mavericks. An online quiz invites you to summarize yourself in one word. I suspect a large number of those who take this quiz will end up as mavericks. In fact, someone wrote an article that introduced the quiz with, “I got Maverick. What’s yours?”
Once I was telling a friend, “I don’t know how they could tell I’m a maverick.”
My friend said, “I knew you were a renegade five minutes after we met.”
Here’s one way to tell. Fake mavericks brag about breaking the rules. Real mavericks won’t realize they’re breaking the rules. They’re just being true to themselves.
Reason #2: Real mavericks don’t have to tell you they’re maverick.
You know … even if you are a maverick yourself.
See reason #1 above.
Reason #3: There’s no special reason to hire someone because they’re a maverick or renegade.
Some mavericks are creatives who can help you think outside the box. Some are just different (and not always in a good way). Brand on your client’s benefits, not your weirdness.
This reason also applies when someone tells you to brand based on your curly hair. Yes, it happens.
Reason #4: Lots of people call themselves mavericks. You’ll be one of a pack of … mavericks.
Why would you want to do that?
Here’s a funny thing. The word “renegade” has been embraced by successful companies, such as This Renegade Love (which seems to celebrate people doing things well). In the automotive world, you’ll find a Jeep Renegade.
Dan Kennedy used to describe himself as “The Renegade Millionaire.” In the original sales letter, he wrote, “Who else wants to defy all normal, common, ordinary, customary boundaries on making money — on the speed, the ease, and the independence?”
Does that really sound radical to a business owner?
The real definition of renegade isn’t so positive.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary shares this definition of renegade:
…a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another
…an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior
Reason #5: Lots of high-conforming people think they’re renegades and mavericks.
They’ve thrived in the corporate world, served with distinction in the military, or fit into a suburban setting with ease. They will feel they own the right to call themselves mavericks and will resent your claiming the title for yourself.
The truth is …
Real mavericks don’t particularly feel pride in their offbeat status.
They want to blend in with the crowd. They know they’re … different. In their next life, they want to be boring.
Brand as outstanding … not a standout.
Start with your strengths. Your clients actually want you to brag. They want to do business with an expert — not a loser.
Brand with a story.
What’s the story you want people to share when your name comes up? It may be
…a story of how you conquered many obstacles to achieve success.
…a story of how you helped a client solve an especially thorny problem
…a story that explains a complicated concept that your clients need to understand (and everybody else insists it’s rocket science)
…a story of how your unique program helps people solve a painful problem (after they’ve looked endlessly for a solution)
…a story of how you went the extra mile for a client, working long hours and driving many miles out of your way
You probably don’t want to brand based on, “He’s a little crazy” or, “She’s quirky.”
When you hear Edwina’s name, you don’t think, “Blue and pink … helvetica type.”
You think, “She grew her business on a half-time schedule and now she’s teaching other people how to do it.”
Or, “She keeps telling us how she overcame her disadvantages — medical problems, dyslexia, not expected to graduate college — and claims, ‘If I can do it, anybody can.’”
Or, “He talks about the gardener who came to mow the grass, then trimmed the hedges, and then worked up to an annual high-end lawn maintenance contract — and he teaches these sneaky growth principles to his audience.”
Or, “He went from police officer to professional consultant … and teaches people how to transform any background into business success.”
You can learn more when you download this free workbook From Story To Standout Brand.
About the Author:
You’ve probably heard many people say, “Today’s business owners can’t succeed without storytelling.” Cathy Goodwin adds, “But it has to be the right story.” As a copywriter and strategist, she helps clients connect the dots from storytelling to sales and implement their brand with successful marketing campaigns. http://CathyGoodwin.com
Originally published at http://cathygoodwin.com/maverickbrand/.