Keeping people on your side is when you don’t look, taste or feel the same.
However, you have to have the guts to bleed in order to build authority and drive revenue.
There are over 5.7m business in the UK, 99% are small and medium enterprises (SME), 96% are micro-businesses (0-9 people) according to House Of Commons Library. This means an avalanche of people telling you that they know best.
This article is about the fact that the best way to stand in your own space and build people around it is by doing, documenting and sharing. Where we are today probably everything has already been said in your industry, what is different though, is delivering it in your own way.
This means that you put your own slant from the lessons you have taken on board. If you become recognised within your industry as a trusted person to work with, you have to be self-reflective, act, plan and keep on moving.
Sharing A Formula With You
The worst thing you can do today is remain static.
When you keep moving you are in a better place to document. For instance, by writing every week, over the years I have built a library to tap into that has covered actions from companies and highlighting people that are building their audience with this ongoing scrapbook.
It works like this:
F + F = S
Ok, that made me look too clever…
FIGHT + FUTURE = SPACE
Let me explain more…
Let me explain.
UP FOR THE FIGHT – ready to roll your sleeves up, let’s go. There is no clock, there will be people who will cast judgement, there will be periods of insecurity. It is up to you to give clarity to your message via writing, audio, video. You do and you document.
COMMITMENT TO THE FUTURE – you evolve, but you can’t deviate. For instance, what was a heavier focus on content marketing from my side is very much now about how you can build an audience away from social spaces will stay with you and you can get them to action.
PLACE TO SHARE THE PROOF – this is where you have shared and spent the time. You have embraced the punches, you have built and you have contested the way your marketplace is. This is the place where you have earned the right and it becomes a place of continual movement.
This is all about sharing your own interpretation of what works and what doesn’t, without cowering in a corner.
Others Are About The Glory
Sharing the proof from your own perspective is a far stronger place than being all about delivering the glory to others.
The glory is telling others about financial success, being more productive, the shortest routes to success and living in a world of relentless happiness where we all live happily ever after.
Let’s face it, life isn’t like that.
It makes sense, people pay us to deliver answers or an output, so we have to share the validity of our approach and that we know more than another company or person.
You can either jump in with everyone, align yourself with the right brands and play the game that others have been doing for generations. This is the wish to be seen as a better choice than option B. Alternatively, you recognise the industry space you want to be a part of and find that hook for others to come onboard. That way you build your own marketplace, rather than looking at the company next to you.
What About You?
Rather than give you a formula and walk away smiling (Fight + Future = Space), what helps make your ‘space’ have longevity is becoming a master of micro crafts. This is what I mean when I say that you can’t remain static. Micro crafts are small actions and delivery that add clarity to the bigger picture and the place you grow within.
I have found that a way to define my message is leaning into micro crafts. Here are some of the main areas that I have been working on in 2018:
The importance of voice.
Everything that you read, watch, listen from me does not deviate into places that might become unfamiliar. For instance, if I started veering into the space of design, you would start to become confused.
Having a crowd in front of me.
One thing I have learned this year is the art of hosting people. Anyone that comes to the You Are The Media Conference or Lunch Clubs, I want people to feel at home. They are coming into a space I have built and I have to treat them like family members.
Reading the crowd.
This is one of the biggest takeaways from 2018. When you have a group of people in front of you, you have to know when they are engaged and when things start to wane.
Failing to read the crowd.
During 2018, because of the Lunch Clubs and You Are The Media conference, I have been asked to host awards. I love the fact that I can stand in front of people and be a part of their evening. However, when you stand in front of a room full of strangers, the first thing you need to do is earn their trust. You can’t bulldoze in, failure to read the crowd, it’s game over.
Be more confident.
This year has been a year where the You Are The Media project can stand on its own legs, based on the participation of others. In return, this has helped build my confidence and I am now bringing more of me to the front of this project. To some, it may not be what they connect with, but that’s ok, you can’t be here to please everyone. You have to have the guts to put your best self in front of others.
The right to entertain.
B2B can be very monotonous and one dimensional, in terms of delivery. We are all competing with everyone else, your mum, your neighbours, your friends, your ex-partners. Why sound the same as everyone else in your industry where life has a guard up. You can still deliver a serious message but with personality. This goes hand in hand with confidence, above. You have to entertain your audience.
These all help chip away at becoming recognised as the person/business, other people want to work with and comfortable to be associated with.
It all comes down to building your own marketplace by doing, documenting and sharing.
When you do, you are in a better place to show and share the proof. When you share what you have done, you build and not tied down to industry protocol where you think you have the magic wand to your industries answers because you watched a TED talk.
When you look forward and not looking to be ‘better’ than what is currently available, you build momentum around it. Seth Godin said this really well on Monday 12th November, “If you share an idea with a group, it creates cultural impact and becomes more valuable as it spreads, not less. When you give away your work by building the network, you’re not giving it away at all.”
You can’t spend your life repeating what others have said, you have to find a natural tone of voice that connects with your message, that becomes the hook for others. What you end up doing is leaning further into your audience and to create for them, not looking for the attention and approval from strangers who will never join your party.
Let’s Round Up
You can’t share until you do.
When you find the micro crafts that make the overall delivery and message clearer, you move away from the fear of being judged. It takes guts to genuinely care, stand for something and find your space. Those who care the most, sound like themselves, not carbon copies of others. It is up to others to judge if you care enough and make that stand with you.
To find that space you have to fight and be committed. Fight plus future, does provide a space.
When it comes to doing and sharing, it is time for me to show you my hand. This is not about theory, this is not about regurgitating what has been said in a book, this is not copying from a TED talk. This is all about sharing with you the proof for how I have grown an audience who have stayed in the spaces that are mine and not on social media.
This has enabled me to build and add different products to a side project called, You Are The Media. Each asset (email, event etc) has been built where I have 100% control and not where I stand above a precipice should a channel decide to turn the switch off (or moving the goal posts or start charging every month).
The You Are The Media email started in 2013, the You Are The Media Lunch Club started in 2016, the You Are The Media podcast in 2017 and the You Are The Media Conference in 2018. I’ll share the mistakes I made, that led to building a loyal addressable audience, so you can take on board your side. This is being provided by Dorset Growth Hub, so if you are a Dorset business this workshop is free.
You can build your own marketplace by doing, let’s share a framework that is true.