In this article entrepreneur Dan Lounsbury opines on the importance of image:
Most people have an internalized idea of themselves that they wish to project. It’s an image of themselves they want the world to see and believe. Oftentimes, the image a person wants to project and the image the world actually sees, don’t align. When you do a bit of research about people, reading professional blogs, or going through social media, you start to see a story form about who that person is and what they care about. Our goal is to help clients take a realistic look at not just what they want the world to see, but the reality of what the world sees.
Our services help clients portray an image of them that is fair, unbiased, and accurate based upon who they are as people. In some cases, it simply means building a website (like I did), sharing your past (like I have), and even revealing personal things about you that you have hesitated to share in the past, but have become relevant now. Making these details public is an important aspect of building your brand and your image because it allows you to control your story rather than allowing others to control it.
How do we do this?
How we do this, varies from client to client. If a client wants to build their image, we consider what is already being said about them. We take a look at the information they put out there — their social media accounts, for example. But we also look at the information that others publish about them. Have they been in the news? Does their small business have any online reviews? Things like that.
From the ground up. For clients without a lot of publicity, this is easy. Building a brand from scratch is like a clean sheet of paper where the artist can create his or her work and ensure that it accurately reflects their abilities. Building a reputation is no different and it starts with a plan. Where are they now? And where do they want to be? We specialize in helping our clients get to that endpoint by connecting them with the resources and tools they need.
When our clients need additional resources, we have a team of select partners we work with. We rely upon these partners for extensive research and other advice outside the abilities of our in-house team to provide. This includes financial and legal advice, and firms that help our clients manage brand campaigns should they need them. If we don’t do it ourselves, we can connect our clients with people who can.
Turning the ship. The trickier projects are the ones where clients have negative press. And rebuilding a tarnished reputation starts with addressing that bad press. Together, we look at what’s being said — it can be a bit overwhelming — but once we know what we’re up against, we can start getting in front of it. It helps that I’ve been there, myself. I understand how overwhelming and frustrating it can be to see your name in the media, being dragged through the mud. Repairing a tarnished brand is like turning a cruise ship: It’s slow, and sometimes you’re battling the current.
But, because I’ve been there, our office understands that otherwise reputable people sometimes make costly mistakes and errors in judgement. And we are not here to judge our clients. Just help them turn the ship. Negative press is not the end of the world — look at Martha Stewart. She’s a convicted felon who spent time in federal prison. She came back stronger than ever. It’s possible.
Branding services and Family Offices
This isn’t a service most Family Offices offer because the scope of services usually falls within managing the needs of one family, or a very small group of 2 or 3 other families who have pooled resources. I chose include this service because of my own battles with reputation. I’ve been in the position of googling my own name and seeing articles that were written about me, by journalists who didn’t bother to get my comments.
When my company became the subject of a government investigation and I encountered legal troubles, I could have given up and walked away. Even since then, I’ve had to deal with the scrutiny that comes from that fallout. I served honorably in the armed forces and when I returned to civilian life, I built a career supplying end users with much needed equipment. But one corporate mistake destroyed a reputation I worked a lifetime to build. I’ve seen the effects a damaged reputation can have on families. It seemed like an important need that wasn’t being filled by other Family Offices. We can choose to ignore these challenges and sweep it under the rug (difficult to do in the digital age), or we can face it head on and build a plan to overcome these challenges. That’s what our branding services offer our clients.
Should you have any questions for Dan Lounsbury or comments, you can contact him here.