Talking Content Marketing gives a very warm welcome to consultant, speaker and author, Dorie Clark.
I am a huge fan of Dorie’s work published within Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. It’s great to include her contribution to the Talking Content project.
I am delving into the importance of building an audience at the moment and Dorie is a perfect port of call.
Six questions, six answers. Lets go…
To stand out, is it better to be different rather than look to be outstanding in our fields of expertise?
These days, it’s not sufficient simply to be either ‘different’ or ‘outstanding’ (i.e., very good at what you do).
In order to truly make an impact, you have to both develop powerful ideas and build a following around them. Otherwise, they’ll remain hidden in the ivory tower and won’t do anyone any good.
Is being regarded as influential by others the key to differentiating ourselves?
You differentiate yourself through the quality of your ideas – but that scarcely matters if no one ever hears them.
That’s why it’s important to share them with the world; in the process, you’ll become recognized as influential.
If we become focused on a niche, does this help to build a better audience?
Focusing on a niche isn’t the only way to build an audience, but it’s certainly one effective strategy. It enables you to identify a core group of supporters who believe in your idea and your point of view, and may want to share it with others. From there, you can expand strategically into adjacent areas.
Are companies still concentrating on creating as much as they can with the objective to sell (transactional), rather than connect (relational)?
Yes – companies (and the executives that run them) are mostly measured in terms of short-term metrics, like quarterly earnings, which predisposes them to a short-term mentality.
Relationship building is far more effective in terms of increasing overall sales and customer lifetime value, but it takes a while to pay off. We need to willfully shift our point of view to emphasize this, instead.
Is it wrong to think that building an audience means we should concentrate on converting everyone to a customer?
The strongest brands are usually those that have both passionate adherents and passionate detractors. Of course, we all want the fans and the glory, but too often, when we start to be afraid we might alienate someone with our approach or point of view, we pull back.
The world is a big place; there are likely hundreds or thousands of customers (or more) who would find your message appealing. You don’t need to ‘build an audience’ by trying to make everyone a customer; that’s usually a recipe for creating pabulum that no one really likes.
In ‘Stand Out,’ who told the most compelling story?
So hard to choose! But in Stand Out, I was particularly struck by the grit of Angela Lussier, a young woman who started her own career coaching business from nothing, with only $2000 to her name and her next month’s rent coming due.
She willed herself to success by doing more than 500 free talks in one year alone, two and three times a day, to build up her client base. Perseverance and hard work is always one of the best ways to stand out. And for folks who are interested in developing and spreading their own breakthrough ideas, I have a free 42-page Stand Out workbook that readers can download for free.
Huge thanks to Dorie for her time and sharing some of her knowledge.
To find out more from Dorie’s side:
Dorie on Twitter: click here
Dorie’s website: click here
The Stand Out Workbook: click here