Mike Loomis: What's Your Name Worth?

 

This week's #CuriouserFave is Mike Loomis, a brand manager, literary agent, and writer. I've had the opportunity to hear Mike speak in Tulsa and have used his services for building a better brand. I'm honored to have him stop by and talk to us about giving our best. If you'd like to take your personal brand to the next level, contact Mike here. He truly is one of my favorite people!

I just watched an interview with bazillion-selling music producer, David Foster.

(If you think his music is “schmaltzy,” I agree. But read on anyway…)

David tells the story of completing one of his first records and giving a copy to his mentor, Quincy Jones (multi-gazillion-selling music producer).

Handing him the record, David says, “By the way, track one is not one of my favorite songs. On track three, don’t listen to vocals in the bridge because they’re out of tune. Track six is not good, but they made me use the song…”

Quincy grabs the record from him and points, “What does it say right here?”

David answers, “It says ‘produced by David Foster.’”

Quincy replies: 

“Right. You’re an idiot…It says ‘produced by David Foster.’ That’s your name. And if it can’t be absolutely your very best effort, you better not put your name on it.”

Yikes.

I’m a producer, and so are you. To paraphrase Foster: “Where the artist is weak, we do everything. Where the artist is strong, we fight to make them as great as they can be.” 

Imagine purchasing a book and finding a handwritten note inside that reads: 

“Please note, our budget was tight and the project was behind schedule, so we apologize for not having all the content and features that we wanted. But please buy our next book, since we’re planning on doing a much better job!”

Ridiculous, right?

Big opportunities come from doing the “little” things well. Little things like:

  • Going the extra mile on that mind-numbing paragraph

  • Creating interesting chapter titles

  • Brainstorming the right title and subtitle

  • Not settling for an average book cover (people do judge books by their cover)

  • Paying attention to your own brand. When consumers buy a book, they’re really buying a brand.

  • Yes, your social media too! (and don’t forget LinkedIn)

  • Writing (and focus-group testing) a pitch for the book (the marketing copy that will appear on the back cover, on Amazon, etc.)

Does this mean every initiative needs a million-dollar budget? Of course not. Creating resources that truly impact people takes time, planning, and teamwork. 

But most of all, it takes a firm resolve to give people your best.

What’s your name worth?