This week, I attended The GC Index‘s GCConnect 2021 summit, which culminated in the inaugural GC Gems Awards.
I had decided to enter one of the GC Gem Award categories.
I knew I wasn’t going to win. I joking explained my reasoning for this in my submission being that the Chief Strategist at The GC Index is my brother and there would be cries of nepotism. This was just giving myself an excuse for not winning.
There were two ‘real’ reasons why I wasn’t going to win…
Firstly, having been a GColoigist for around eight months, I have seen the incredible work other GCologists around the world are doing with their clients.
Secondly, the worthy winners had demonstrated what an amazing impact using The GC Index has had on the clients. My entry wasn’t about that at all.
My entry was about the impact The GC Index has had on me. I have only just started using it on my clients, so hopefully, I will be able to submit a legitimate entry next year.
I used the Awards as the impetus to write this article. It didn’t really fit within the criteria of the Award I entered it for, but it is a fantastic case study for The GC Index none the less.
Below are the 800 words I included in my Award submission. Hopefully, you will see what an impact The GC Index has had on me and my business, and you will get in contact to find out how it can have the same impact on you, your team and your oganisation.
I have no expectations of winning this award because once everyone hears I was introduced to The GC Index (GCI) by my brother who also happens to be your Chief Strategist & Implementer, I can already hear the cries of nepotism. But my story is such a great case study for the GCI, it is worth telling anyway.
It was my brother, Simon Etherington, that did my profile review. This helped because he knew me and my career well. As we went through the report, he could relate it to stuff that had happened to me during my career, and the career choices I had made.
My profile revealed me to be a Strategist Game Changer. This made sense to a lot.
For the first 20 years of my career, I had been paid to be a Game Changer. From college, I joined J. Walter Thompson in London as their youngest ever Art Director. I was paid to come up with creative ideas. I was soon flying around the world filming commercials for some of the world’s most famous brands such as Andrex, Nestle and Kellogg’s.
But, being a small cog in a vast machine, I wasn’t involved with the strategy of the advertising campaigns I was working on. Every career move I made saw me move to a smaller agency, affording me more strategic input.
This pattern culminated with me running my own consultancy, where I am responsible for everything strategic and everything creative.
This is easy for me to describe now, with my GC Index score in my back pocket, but for a good few years, I had secretly struggled with it. I had gone from being the youngest star in the world’s largest advertising network to a sole trader working with start-ups and small businesses. What had happened to my career? And, if I was thinking this, surely other people were thinking it too.
My GC Index score made me realise that I had subconsciously been searching for my ideal job. One, which would satiate both the strategic energy and the creative energy I thrive off.
My GC Index profile gave me validation that Brand Satellite is that ideal job I was searching for.
It is what I’ve done with this information, that makes this such an incredible case study.
My GC Index score has cast away many doubts and given me a huge amount of confidence that I am where I want to be. It has validated the energy and passion I put into helping my clients create better brands.
My profile coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Like many businesses, I have had to revaluate my business offering. Previously, I was probably just drifting along doing what I did well, not really looking at how I could improve my business.
The GC Index has given me the authority to communicate my business in an entirely different way.
I am no longer a designer trying to convince people that I can help them think strategically about their brand. I am now a brand strategist that can also design.
I have used my Strategist Game Changer tag on my LinkedIn profile. I now include my GC Index score in new business proposals.
I am posting more regularly on LinkedIn in a much more confident manner. This has resulted in increased engagement and, for the first time, new business as a direct result of my content.
I am coming across at networking events as a much more confident and passionate professional.
The GC Index has helped me to portray myself and has helped others to see me as an important strategic contributor to their business.
Since changing the way I describe how I can help businesses, I’ve been described as ‘the brand man’, ‘the brand guru’, ‘Mr Brand’ and a ‘brand creator’ (Brand Creator is now part of my LinkedIn headline).
I used to jokingly describe myself as an unrecognised genius. But I can’t say that anymore. In the last six months, I have been described as a genius on four separate occasions.
So, let’s talk about The GC Index’s favourite word – Impact. I have done more brand creation sessions in the last four months than I had done in the previous two years!
I am not only working with clients across Scotland, I have picked up clients across the UK, the US and Canada.
Brand Satellite has also become a GC Partner, but I would need another 800 words to explain how that has positively affected my business.
What I will say is that I have a new awareness of how to communicate more effectively with clients, I have introduced two new GC Partners, I am in the early stages of attempting to add the GC Index to a hugely ambitious global online platform for university students, and I’m in the final stages of a collaboration for a new business programme that has the GC Idnex at its heart.