What are the 23 building Blocks that the most successful Personal Brands always use to maximize profits, create a unique customer experience and stand the test of time?
(These work for all types of Brands, not just personal ones!)
In this article we’ll skim over each Block so you can get an idea. If you want to go deeper we’ll include links to additional content as we make it.
Our goal for you is that you're going to discover the required and necessary steps to create an awesome Personal Brand without feeling overwhelmed.
Most Visionaries have this great vision of making a business enterprise that's going to make their guest's lives better…but getting that done is easier said than done. If you’ve attempted to start a business you know firsthand how hard being an Entrepreneur can be.
We want to demystify what all the little aspects of building a business are so you can link them all up and have something really powerful.
Your Audience wants to experience stories and have their emotions engaged. If they're not emotionally hooked, then they're going to tune out. And in this day and age there are so many other options for entertainment and education…if you are not hooking their attention, someone else will!
Nike has this little Branded check mark and their slogan is, "Just do it."
Apple has the apple with the bite out of it. Their slogan is, "Think different."
Disneyland is the "Happiest place on earth." Unlike Apple and Nike, they don't really have a definitive little graphic that represents them, they just have their font.
All 3 of these examples are iconic and infused with positive emotions. Your Brand must do the same!
Take a page out of Nike and Apple and Disneyland and pinpoint who you want to delight with your Brands! You have to define who your Audience is and what emotions you want them to feel.
Mike L. Murphy here… I started out probably a lot like you…
My parents didn't just back the money train up and say, "Here's unlimited wealth. Go make whatever you want in life."
No, I had to work my ass off to build a career and expertise.
I started out in Hollywood and I worked on a bunch of movies you may have seen…Lord of the Rings, Iron Man and Harry Potter are just a handful.
I've worked on some big Brands, and hence I'm going to take all that knowledge and try my best to share it with you.
I worked six days a week (about 10-12 hours, plus 2 hours of sitting in L.A. traffic).
By sheer chance I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Boom! A lightbulb went off (hence our Visionary Planner Logo). In that moment I realized that the richest people in the world create their own IP (Intellectual Property). In other words, if you want wealth you must create a concept or idea that excites people’s emotions. This gives them so much value that they pay you for your Vision.
Steve Job’s Vision made Apple what it is today…
Walt Disney’s Vision made Disney what is is today…
And your Vision will make your Brand what it will be tomorrow…
Soaking up all this info on how to monetize a ‘Vision’ helped me dream up what was eventually to become the Visionary Planner.
Then working with my business partner, Vito La Fata and our lovely Visionary Planner team, we where able to take all these crazy ideas in my head and make them tangible so YOU can use them.
Think of it as a framework or blueprint for the best practices for building a business or getting your current business organized. After you have this all mapped out and built, you're going to have the most solid business out there! Plus you’re going to be completely clear on what you need to do to operate it and have it bring you consistent income and revenue.
A Visionary is anyone with an amazing idea that gives value to others.
Some famous visionary, or some types of visionaries are entrepreneurs, artists, writers, thought leaders, teachers, inventors…
Basically anyone with a cool idea that they want to go and monetize.
An inspiring Visionary is Walt Disney. For the rest of this series we're going to examine how Walt Disney used stories and emotions to attract his desired Audience. He fully understand that his Audience of families wanted wholesome entertainment. Our example to teach you these blocks is Disneyland (yes, I’m a bit of a geek).
These 23 Brand building Blocks are timeless ideas that will remain the same even as technology advances. In other words, if you know how to draw with a pencil you can also draw with a computer stylus. Obviously a hundred years ago computer stylus weren't even dreamed about, but if you have the skills of how to draw you can use any tool that comes along.
The same holds true with these 23 Blocks.
Disneyland has an entrance and courtyard plaques. As soon as you walk into Disneyland, Walt Disney literally baked his Vision and Mission Statements into the architecture of the park.
Disneyland's vision statement is,
"Here you leave the world of today, and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.”
An online Brand also needs to utilize a Vision and Mission.
Having a Vision and Mission gives you a target to hit. Plus, you are super clear to your Audience, yourself and your team. It really helps everybody be on the same page of what you're all about, and how you're going to make it happen.
Disneyland’s Brand Emotions are: safety, magic and nostalgia.
Disneyland aims to have all Guests feel safe, magical and nostalgic. Those feelings are what gets people coming back again and again.
Once you define your Brand’s Emotions you can engineer all your ‘touch points’ to give your Guests those positive feelings. Failing to do that creates an inconsistent experience for your Guests. (A Touch Point for an online business would be your website, social media channels, ads and content.)
Disneyland has different looks for different lands.
For example, Adventureland has a lot of tikis, thatched roofs and palm trees. Whereas Fantasyland has a Bavarian style with fake mountains and flying elephants. Each land has its own unique look, which helps creates unique emotions for Disneyland Guests. The minute you leave Fantasyland you go into Frontierland it looks totally different which gives a different set of feelings.
Your Brand, whether it's an online or offline, needs to be very consistent visually. That's where you have elements like fonts, colors, shapes, design motifs, social media images, and product images all planned out so they’re congruent. We call all of these elements ‘Visual Branding’.
Once you have decided on what all of these elements are, you’ll organize them all into one document that you can hand over to your designers. This saves you time from having to gather up all this info every time you outsource anything visual. It also keeps everything clean and uniform.
Disneyland has amazing customer service…
They treat their customers like Guests. In fact, they call their customers Guests! Disneyland is so famous for their customer service that they have a training center called The Disney Institute where business owners spend tens of thousands of dollars to walk around Disneyland to see how Disney does it.
In your Brand you need to define what you want your customer experience to be.
What's your refund policy?
What common questions do people ask?
What requests do people have?
Do people want you to publicly speak?
Do people want you to write a blog article for them?
What special surprises are you doing for your guests?
This is where you've got to be creative and really define what the customer service systems in your business are.
In addition you’ll want to define how you want people to contact you. Who’s the contact person, or persons within your business? If you don’t plan this all out then it’s very easy to overlook requests that come in (and if you ignore a customer it can go sour very quickly!) Do you have a support email, a feedback form, a chatbox?
All of this Brand hospitality stuff needs to be planned out and put into every product, service and content marketing piece that you do.
Disneyland breaks their Audience into separate groups so they can deliver a custom tailored Brand experience…
For example, most little girls visiting Disneyland desire to be a princess for the day. Boys typically want to have a swashbuckling adventure. Moms want to snap the perfect pic of their kids so they can save it in the scrapbook and show them years later. Dads simply want to not go bankrupt (All those souvenirs really add up!)
Walt originally thought, “Let’s focus in on each person and give them the experience they’re wishing to get."
Each person in your Brand is unique and has a very specific desire they’re hoping your Brand will deliver to them. If you don't know what your Audience’s desires are then it’s like you’re having the same conversation with everyone. You may get lucky and strike upon the exact topic someone wants to chat about…yet most likely you’ll make their eyes glaze over as they find something else that gets them excited.
Once you break your Audience down into smaller chunks you can get much more specific marketing for those people. Desires are basically the end result of an Audience's strong feelings of wanting to achieve something, or having a positive experience that a Brand can fulfill for them.
Disneyland has maps, signs and cast members that educate Guests on how to best enjoy the park.
An example of a sign outside of a ride might read, “You must be this tall to ride…” Disneyland really goes out of their way to educate their Guests about the experience they're just about to have.
Teaching Maps for you Brand should be the big steps that your Audience needs to take in order to accomplish their desire.
If we talk about dog training, the end desire of most people is to have a well trained dog.
What are the milestones or steps or roadblocks that need to be overcome in order to get to the point where a dog is well trained? And what is the definition of a well trained dog? That's where a teaching map comes in.
Here is an example:
When you clearly define your Teaching Map, you'll be able to stay very focused on what products and services you can offer to your amazing Audience!
People go to Disneyland to go on the rides, not to stand in a line and wait. All over Disneyland they have maps that let Guests know how to go and find those ride experiences very clearly.
In the Visionary Planner system we call everything you sell a ‘Treasure’. This is because your paid offers should be packed with so much value that your Guests feel like they discovered a treasure chest. In the case of Disneyland, it’s rides are the ‘treasures’ that really wow people.
Let's shift away from Disney for a second and talk about Apple…
Apple has different products (Treasures) and each one is in a different price tier.
Just like McDonalds sells you a burger then asks, ‘want fries with that?’, your Brand must sell something low-cost and in demand then give the buyer options to upgrade or customize it.
Next let’s quickly talk about Treasures:
Treasure #1 is short and sweet and offered at a lower price. The goal is to entice customers to buy something irresistible (once they buy they’ll be much more likely to continue to spend!)
Treasure #2 is a continuity product that's usually in mid-priced product tier. Netflix is a great example of this. They charge about $12 a month, but over time that adds up!
Treasure #3 is more substantial (and focused on the steps or milestones that add up to solve a major problem…refer to how our Teaching Map example is a series of 5 steps that lead up to having a well trained dog). Since this is larger in scope, it also comes with a premium price tag.
Treasure #4 is an exclusive offer or service that comes with a deluxe price tag.
Disneyland has an annual pass that ranges from $20.00 to $80.00 a month.
It's essentially a $500 to $1,000 product broken into payment cycles so the customer can find it affordable (and also justify buying something so pricy).
An online Brand also needs to have some sort of subscription service (also known as continuity).
Great examples of this in the entertainment or information space are companies like Netflix, Spotify or Lynda.
An example in the ‘discount club’ business model is Costco and Amazon Prime.
An example in the ‘Physical shipping’ model is the Dollar Shave Club. This is where customers get shipped a monthly box of physical goods.
An example the software service space would be Salesforce, Adobe Photoshop and Quickbooks.
Disneyland is a destination…
People travel from all over the world to go there. How do they find out about it?
Disney gets their message out through brochures, commercials, ads and word of mouth. Essentially great content gets people fired up, engages their emotions and gives them a destination that they want to go and experience.
An online Brand does this by enticing their Audience to experience their funnel, content and website. One of the best tactics to do that is long-form blog articles that educate and entertain prospects as to how your Brand can help them (either to be entertained or to solve a problem). We call these flagship articles ‘Destination Articles’ since they create a destination people can visit on your site! (The opposite would be a site that has no engaging content).
The goal of your Destination Articles is to get visitors to signup for your email marketing list or buy a product or service.
Disneyland has long lines which makes for a bad experience…remember how people visit Disneyland to go on rides?
Disneyland invented a thing called ‘Fast Pass’ to make sure all Guests get to experience the most popular ride. This lets Guests reserve a time to go on the ride instead of waiting in line. Since they’re not in a line they’re wandering around shops and restaurants spending money.
In other words, the ‘Fast Pass’ gives Guests time to sample the park.
Online Brands do this by giving away a Free Treat. This is also known as a lead magnet or an ethical bribe. We like calling this marketing asset a ‘Free Treat’ because its a free sample of how you can help your prospects. It's not a full meal…it’s just a little sampler.
It needs to be good enough that your Audience would have paid for it. It should also be quick and easy to consume and should typically take about seven minutes or less for somebody to get through and get results.
The #1 goal of a Free Treat is to grow your email marketing lists. People give you their email address in exchange for the value you deliver. If you do your job right they’ll get results and want to continue on their journey with you.
The best type of a Free Treat is PDFs. This is because most people browse the internet when they’re bored at work. They can download a PDF and check it out later. Watching a video or listening to audio will probably get them fired!
Disneyland's Treasure #1 is their simple rides like the carousel or canoes.
To contrast, their Treasure #3 is their signature rides like Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain (we’ll talk about Treasure #3 in a sec…)
The bigger the ride, the bigger the Treasure. In the world of products, the more value customers get the more they’ll pay for it.
An online Brand's Treasure #1 should be a simple product or service. This is also known as a ‘tripwire’ or a ‘loss leader’ because you're going to have a pay for ads. Unfortunately getting free traffic is a myth. Your Treasure #1 should help you spend a dollar on ads and gain a dollar in purchases so you break even. Then you can upsell your other Treasures and start making a profit.
Disneyland uses social media channels and content marketing to create mini-communities of people who are interested in the various topics that embody Disneyland (princesses, swashbuckling adventure, etc). People get in planes, buses, monorails, trains and cars to ‘drive’ over to Disneyland and experience it.
Online business also use social media channels to create mini communities that then ‘drive’ people over to offers or signup pages.
Disney makes sure that the lines to their rides (especially the ones with the long wait times) are themed and entertaining. This theming sets the tone for the ride that's coming up as it builds anticipation.
For an online Brand this is similar to a ‘marketing funnel’, which we call an Audience Path.
There are five main elements of Audience Paths:
Path Assets are all the elements that you’ll need to build an Audience Path. These include Path Pages, Emails, Videos, Handouts and more. Most people start building an Audience Path before they have all their elements…this ends up creating massive roadblocks that stop them from moving forward.
Disneyland has a railroad and train stations.
The railroad drives Guests around the park where they can get off at each land. In other words, it whisks Guests around to the experience they are most wanting at that moment.
An online Brand does something similar…
Emails easily transport your Audience around your Brand. Your online Brand is just a bunch of ones and zeros that exist on the internet. So you need to have a way to transport people around and educate them about the different ‘lands’ inside your Brand.
These emails are simply a series of little messages that helps tell a story of how your products and services can help them.
Your Path Pages are like the train stations where people can interact with your Brand. To build this online you need tools. We recommend easy to use tools like Kajabi or Clickfunnels to build pages. For emails we recommend ActiveCampaign.
Disneyland has an entrance plaza. This is the gathering place where people can buy tickets and meet their friends before they enter the park. Disneyland did not just go and build an entrance plaza and then start building Disneyland. They built Disneyland - then they built the entrance plaza…
The same holds true with your online Brand.
A lot of people want to just build a website because it's something they can see and experience. The reality is that your site should come near the tail end of your Brand building process. This is because your Brand will evolve as you build it and you’ll end up totally changing your site.
Disneyland has a ticket booth where people purchase tickets. The online Brand equivalent is the when somebody visits a Signup Page. As soon as they enter their email it’s as if they just bought a ticket.
Disneyland has cast members. An online Brand has a contact form, chat box or messenger where people can interact with a customer service department.
Great websites serve as the ‘hub’ of the Brand. It’s where all the different aspects of a Brand are linked together. Visitors can read engaging content (Destination Articles), purchase Treasures and signup for Free Treats.
Disneyland has parades, live shows and character meet & greets. All of these events are organized into a schedule so Cast Members and Guests are all clear when and where things are happening.
Online Brands must use a publishing calendar to keep all of their information organized. This helps for creating content, coordinating marketing campaigns and knowing when to publish.
This also lets you create a unique monthly experience for your guests as you plan your content out.
Disneyland started out as a TV show in 1954.
Before Walt had built Disneyland he needed funding. So he sold off share of Disneyland to ABC TV in exchange for them producing the TV show. The show was basically a ‘behind-the-scenes’ of how Disneyland was being built. This format was so popular it became the second longest running TV show in history. It’s goal was to educate and entertain its Audience and get them fired up to experience Disneyland.
An online Brand needs to post consistent content which we call Episodes.
Episodes let you educate and entertain your Audience so they get to know, like and trust you. Once this happens they’ll be much more inclined to buy your Treasures. Think of Episodes as episodic marketing that tells stories and gets your Audience’s emotions engaged!
Disneyland has TV, radio stations, blogs and newspapers all giving away free tickets. Disney makes sure that their Audience is aware that Disneyland exists.
An online Brand uses contests to create special events that celebrate their communities. These give away prizes, go viral and grow email marketing lists.
A summit is a great way to build relationships with other business leaders, create an event, grow your marketing list and have a new product to sell (Summit ‘replays’ often sell for $197-$997).
We like to group contests and summits together in order to create a one-two punch for list growth.
Disneyland has parades which create awareness for their upcoming movies.
An online Brand can use a product launch to create awareness and pre-sell their Treasure #3 (you can easily reduce risk by verifying your Audience will buy your Treasure before you build it…just like Kickstarter lets you do).
A Brand Premiere is simply a product launch that makes your Brand the main thing you’re launching. When you build all the Blocks in order you’ll have mini-launches before this point. But here is where you know your Audience Path (marketing funnel) is working so you can safely invest money is ads to drive a lot of traffic towards you.
The main goal of your Brand Premiere is to get everyone interested in you! To create buzz and then start generating considerable revenue.
Disneyland has live shows - the piano player on Main Street, Fantasmic watershed and the Jedi Academy.
The common thread here is that performers captivate the attention of a live Audience. Because the Audience had such a great experience they run over to the gift shop and they buy stuffed animals and mugs with Dumbo on them.
Online Brands also host Live Events. These are great because they're more engaging than somebody just watching a video.
Live Event examples are webinars, seminars, chat rooms and live streams. All of these are great tools to get your marketing message out there.
They let you share your story and create a greater bond with your Audience. You can create a greater sense of community because everybody's laughing and being entertained together. And most importantly, you get to interact. This is why webinars are the number #1 sales tool currently.
Disneyland has thrill rides such as Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn Mountain and the line for bathrooms. The more thrill, the longer the lines. And if lines equated to money, then thrill rides would cost the most.
An online Brand needs to have a signature product that is the #1 thing people think about that Brand. An example of this for Apple is their computers. Sure they have iPads, iPods and iPhones, but their computers are the bread and butter of the company.
What is the signature product that you want your Brand to be known for? In the information space this would be a comprehensive ‘5 Week’ online training. It should be something that walks people A through Z through solving their big problem.
Disneyland has Club 33 - this is an exclusive dining club where there is a 14 year waiting list. Even more, there’s a $50,000 annual fee after a $15,000 application fee.
This is a high ticket offer that helps Disneyland maximize their profits and also attracts the 10% of their Audience who wants VIP experiences.
An online Brand can have a Treasure #4 also. This is simply where you take your Treasure #3’s structure and repurpose it so it eats up a little bit more of your time, and therefore you're going to charge a little bit more money for it.
Examples of this would be a done-for-you service, seminar, one-on-one consulting or exclusive retreat.
If you've ever tried to leave Disneyland as the park is closing you'll notice everybody starts buying souvenirs. The Audience goes home and gets to remember all their amazing experiences thanks to the souvenir. Even better, friends and neighbors see the souvenirs which in turn makes them want to visit the park.
An online Brand can do this same thing with a book.
It's a low priced memento of what your Brand offers, builds your authority and lets people sample your content.
The Visionary Planner has a system that takes all of your previous content, helps organize it together, then tells you how to hire an editor so you have a book to launch.
Your book becomes another Treasure that you can sell and make money off of. It also serves as Free Treat if you use a ‘free plus shipping offer’.
You now have total clarity on the 23 Blocks that you need in order to create a powerful and beloved Personal Brand so you can brand yourself, monetize your message and make money in your business.
I know there's a lot of Blocks, but if you build them in order and you go step-by-step; you're never going to get overwhelmed! Instead, you’re going to know that each block leverages to the next.
Building a Brand the right way should give you passive income. It should help build your authority and leave your legacy. It’ll give you an asset that you can either sell to somebody else or hand down to your kids so they can profit from that for years to come.
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