In Vikram Rajan’s “365 Personal Brand Marketing Thumb-Rules: Daily Reminders for Rainmakers: Lawyers, Accountants, Financial Planners, Real Estate and Health & Wellness Professionals”, you get to actually be the author of your own business’ destiny.
In my copy, there is a handwritten note from Vikram that says “This book is not meant to be ‘read’ as much as it is to be used. It’s an interactive compilation to serve as a daily journal or group discussion starter.”
There are explanations, anecdotes and recommendations at www.marketingthumbrules.com . You just enter the key words you find in the book into the search box at the site, and see what Vik has been blogging about on those topics.
Because you have to “do” the book, I randomly chose several topics and approached the whole thing just the way he recommended and the results were truly insightful. If you’re afraid that this will take too much time out of your day, don’t be. The process is easy enough and activates those little ideas hiding in the nether recesses of your mind. The benefit to you is that you will give those fleeting ideas a place to live and grow, just by writing them down.
Here are a few examples of some of my favorite thumb rules:
#1 — The only thing worse than your business being dependent on you, is your business being dependent on somebody else.
#9 — Build in incentives to encourage word-of-mouth marketing
#26 — Perception is reality.
#42 — People trust, enjoy and prefer what is familiar.
I have to admit that I have many more favorites than that, and you will too. What I loved about this process was that it forced me to dig deeper beyond the thumb-rule. The questions I asked myself (and you might want to try this as well) were: In what ways does this apply to me? In what ways can I create a process or system that … [insert a restatement of a thumb-rule here].
The other benefit I noticed is that real action items will come from this process. You will be inspired to act on the actions, document your experience and make changes that you can report on later. Vik has even given you a rating scale at the end of each thumb-rule where you can rate how well you implemented each rule. When you’ve gone through all 365, you can tally up your results. The thumb-rules are in the following categories; Practice Management, Market Positioning, Personal Branding, Professional Prospecting, Ethical Selling, Client Appreciation. After you’ve totaled your scores on each thumb rule category, you can go online and see how you compare to other professionals.
The only critique I have of this book is that it isn’t just for the professionals he targets. If you have the responsibility for getting and keeping customers, this book is for you.
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About the Author: Ivana Taylor has spent over 20 years helping industrial organizations and small business owners get and keep their ideal customers. Her company is Third Force  and she writes a blog called Strategy Stew . She is co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers.”