Recently, in The Client Magnet, my weekly marketing tips email, I shared a story about how a beer went from #5 to #1 in the marketplace simply by telling a story.

If you missed it, here’s a quick background. In the 1930’s an ad man was hired to help a beer regain it’s market share.

Back in the 1930’s, there weren’t that many options for beer and they were all made more or less the same way….especially here in the U.S.

So out Mr. Hopkins (our ad man) goes to Colorado to look over the brewery. He admires the “plate glass room where the beer is cooled in filtered air.” He takes note that all the bottles are sterilized before being filled with beer and then again afterwards to ensure the customer is getting a clean bottle. He also pays attention to the way the beer is filtered before being poured into the steralized bottle.”

In short, he documents the entire beer making process.

At the time, the other beer makers were taking out ads that shrieked “PURE” across the top.

But Claude Hopkins was the first one who explained WHY that mattered.

And this simple explanation catapulted Schlitz from #5 to the #1 beer in the country.

Here’s the crazy part….

EVERY OTHER brewery made beer the EXACT same way at that time.

There was no special hops that had air dried in a field of lavender in bucolic Vermont, no aging in Bourbon casks, or special notes of coriander on the nose….

Nope this was plain lager. Probably pretty similar to the other lagers available at the time.

Yet….by telling the story…Claude Hopkins made them a fortune.

The Heart of “Branding”


It goes WAY beyond pretty colors and pictures.

Done right it gets at YOU.

Your values.

What makes you tick.


In fact, your story is a big part of “what makes you different” from the other graphic designers, coaches, consultants, etc. in the world.

Just like Hopkins did with Schlitz beer way back in the 30’s, you can do with your business.

Share your process.
Make it a story.

When you hone it and make it entwined with your business, THAT’S branding!

As Mark Twain reputedly said, “There are two reasons people buy. Their reason, and the reason they tell their wife.”

In other words, both logic and emotion play a role in a purchase. Depending on your buyer, one will likely outweigh the other. For example, if you sell to corporations, you’ll want to present LOTS of facts and results to show why you’re the best for the job.

Appeal to that logical side.

If you sell 1:1 services to solopreneurs – some people are more emotion based than others. You still need to share examples and results, but a lot of the ultimate decision may come down to how you make her “feel.”

This is especially true when it comes to things like coaching, therapy, designers. These “high touch” professions rely greatly on emotions and it’s essential that you be a good match.

How does this relate to helping you stand out in the marketplace?

Here’s a Simple Exercise:

I call it the “I Want My Client to Feel Like…” technique.

Here’s how it works.

Focus on the emotion you want your client to feel while you’re working together and after you’ve completed your work.

After all, logical left-brain folks want to make the “right” decision for their department/company whether they’re in a corporation or running their business from a laptop and spare bedroom too.

Here’s how you do it….

Sit in a quiet location, take a deep breath and consider… how do you WANT your clients to feel after they work with you?

Try to go deeper than “happy.”

Confident? Supported? Elated? Relieved?

Choose one or two emotions that resonate with you. Don’t overthink this.

What’s the first (or second) emotional description that pops into your head. Write that down.

Next write down HOW you do this.

Use a recent client success if it helps.

Are there particular words the client used to describe her happiness?

If so, yay!

Write it down.

Next, think back to your favorite clients, what were the similarities they shared? Was it a type of project? Demographic? Industry?

Write it all down. This is the start of your “brand story.”