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Why You Should Dare to Be Different and Beat Your Competitors to the Punch

If you want people to like you and want to buy your stuff before you have the opportunity to actually try to sell them your stuff, then you’re in the right place.

In order to do all of this stuff right, I need to introduce you to the essence of client attraction success – “Dare to be different”.

So why the poodle sketch you ask? (let’s leave that for now – I promise I will tell you later!)

In daring to be different – you need first and foremost to stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this in marketing is to nail “your voice” or the “Big Idea”. This is the thing that grabs your market’s attention and it presents the promise in a new and possibly even unusual way.

A great big idea is a single way to encapsulate what’s really cool about what you have to offer. It’s not just your USP (unique selling proposition), it’s actually one level higher than that. It needs to be a way to open the door of your prospect’s mind with one single combination of words or activities. This is what really makes you different.

High Profile Big Idea Example:

Why did Donald Trump choose the slogan “Make America Great Again”?

Because he was in the same place as you. He had to appeal to the contrast of believers, non-believers and the undecided. Especially the undecided.

This was why he went with “Make America Great Again”, if you believed – it reaffirmed, if you were a non-believer you were torn (you still wanted to see America great) and if you were undecided, you listened because of the word “Again”; it forced you to remember better times and want for them once again.  As a slogan “Make America Great Again” did its job it had something in it for everybody.

Here is why being different is important. In today’s world everybody has heard just about every promise under the sun, and we’ve all been disappointed to some degree. If our prospects have heard every promise out there already and they’re jaded, we’ve got to be different. We’ve got to stand out.

Most people attempt to stand out just by being louder, just by making bolder promises. “Hey, let’s make the headline in red. Let’s have flashy videos instead of regular videos. Let’s make even bigger claims.”

Well, to be frank. That’s totally stupid. That is the least effective way to go about doing it. The better way is to focus on being different.

If you want to stand out and become a Million Dollar Influencer as I like to call them, then you will know the value of creating a Brand and in particular a personal brand.

Personal branding is self-expression amplified to influence and command attention. It’s not about trying to be someone else, it’s about taking your key characteristics and turning the volume up on them.

Aha the poodle… (No, not just yet!)

If you are committed to build a profitable business or to develop a strong coterie of followers for your cause or talent, then you must start to focus on a particular niche. Your aim should be to create an impact within that certain niche with content and value. Initially your strategy should be to focus on your voice of difference. By that I mean, folk that have a voice are likely to get quicker cut through  instead of sounding like the rest of the market segment.

Don’t worry, if you are good at what you do, it will not take long before the whole niche will sit up and take notice.

To start successfully and strategically you must answer the following important questions:

1) What do you want to be known for?

2) What thoughts can you convey, and how do you want to communicate them?

3) Who is your audience and what are their needs, pains and desires?

4) What is your content strategy?

5) Who are their influencers?

The more succinctly and accurately you can answer each of these questions the quicker and more effective your influence will become. In short, the strategy is to dare to be different enough to:

1) have a succinct message,

2) learn to deliver that message to the right people at the right time (aka content marketing), and in doing so

3) create a strong personal brand of being able to deliver value to the message you are advocating.

Your personal brand should be a direct reflection of you. As listed earlier take a moment and ask, “Who am I and what do I stand for?” The answer may not come instantaneously, but until you understand what it is, your personal brand won’t be authentic.

In order to be authentic – you need to develop or become known for having a unique voice. Do this with a carefully crafted and consistent content marketing strategy. Whether you’re starting out in your career or you’re a known thought leader in your space, the content you produce is the first (and often only) indicator of your brand’s value proposition.

The aim is to have your niche consuming your opinions, thoughts, and ideas. And these are the assets that they can reliably evaluate for themselves and, therefore, trust. That’s the power of your voice in content. It’s like being in a perpetual one-sided job interview where you get to provide exceptionally valuable answers.

Keys to daring to be different with your well made content.

Humanize yourself. 

You haven’t been replaced by an AI machine (yet) churning out literature aimlessly into the long night. Be transparent about who you are, what challenges you’ve faced, and how you overcame them. Letting your audience feel like they’re in on a secret is a great way to keep them engaged. (Yes, I own a poodle called “Romeo” & I love to sketch.)

Empathize with your audience.

What are their pain points? What are their needs, fears, aspirations? What’s incredibly challenging to them? Sit in the corner of the classroom as the ADHD child or dive into the late night stress sessions of financial analysts. True understanding helps you write extremely compelling content. (I know the sketch isn’t great but I bet it caught your attention)

Include ideas and resources that have not been shared.

In creative writing, this is referred to as “first level” creativity. When you’re brainstorming, don’t settle for the first, second, or even fifth idea that comes to mind. Think deeper to find things that are new and fresh. (I bet you haven’t seen this poodle picture anywhere before!)

Think of things from a unique perspective. 

This doesn’t necessarily just mean an underrepresented voice. What about a rock? Or a lizard? If your industry is green energy, what would a blog post written from a lizard’s perspective look like? Yes, it’s quirky but if that’s your brand, go with it. (I promise this post has been written by me and not Romeo :))

Find humour in the humdrum. 

Having a laugh can be a significant barrier-breaker in achieving influence. Why else do you think funny pictures of cats took over the internet? (Watch out cats here comes Romeo!)

Leverage your strengths. 

Are you a data nerd? Shower numbers in your content. Or maybe you’re more visual? Infographics are very effective. Do you like order and structure? Listicles, my friend,listicles. For every human strength, there’s almost always a corresponding audience that embraces that same strength. Don’t shy away from what you’re good at. (My sketches are improving)

Challenge your audience.

Along with empathy and comfort, your followers also want to be challenged. They want to see things from a different perspective because, frankly, it’s thrilling. Be bold. Take risks. Trust your audience.

So Why The Poodle?

Because I Dared to be Different!


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