One idea stuck out to me when listening to Sally Hogshead‘s interview on Bryan Kelly’s What the Speak podcast:
Own a word, not a topic, when you are branding yourself as a speaker.
Sally has branded herself as the expert in ‘Fascination.’
By owning a word – or an idea – she differentiates herself. She’s not just jockeying to be the keynote speaker who discusses the topic of ‘personality styles’. She owns the idea of how people naturally fascinate others.
How much more compelling is the pitch, “I study the science of fascination and how you can bring your most fascinating self to the table” vs. “I can help you understand your personality style so that you can leverage it in your relationships”?
I might be crazy, but I think the pitch that uses the word ‘fascination’ is a bunch better than the second option.
My challenge today: What ‘word’ do I want to own?
Let me preface by saying that I don’t think it has to be just one word. It’s an idea or a perspective…. a point of view.
I’m in the insurance world and it’s awfully hard to have a unique position. If you surveyed 100 independent insurance agencies’ websites, you’d find nearly every one of them uses the phrase ‘trusted adviser’. Or they’d reference being about coverage, not price. Or they say they are all about ‘personal service.’
Are any of those phrases a unique point of view? Do they represent not only a promise, but also the heart behind the promise?
I have two phrases that roll around in my brain:
- Protecting vision
- Culture of care
I help nonprofits find insurance and those two ideas are where I land. I can’t decide between the two of them.
In one sense, my clients all have a vision to create change. Insurance helps protect the ongoing mission that supports that vision should something happen. I love the idea of couching risk management solutions inside the idea of protecting vision.
On the other hand, I’ve noticed that a corporate culture that places a high value on top-down carrying for individuals within the organization leads to greater care for those that the nonprofit wants to reach. When a leadership team puts a lot of effort into protecting it’s people and resources, it starts creating a culture of care.
I’m stumped: Protecting vision or helping create a culture of care?
Either one can be powerful in the boardroom, on a sales call, in a proposal, on a platform giving a speech. Instead of talking about the cold, hard details of property insurance, I can relate the coverage to how wise choices help protect vision of the organization and relate stories about how claims could have crippled organizations without proper coverage.
You get the picture.
How about in your world? What is the one phrase or one word that best encapsulates your approach? You don’t have to ever get on the stage to take advantage of this idea.
- You can be a customer service representative and own the idea of ‘customer dignity.’
- You can be a software developer and own the idea of ‘attention to detail.’
- You can be a CEO and own the idea of ‘every employee is an innovator.’
What word do you want to own? Go ahead and own it.
Listening: I’m still making my way through Bryan Kelly’s What the Speak podcast. I’m binge listening given an upcoming speaking opportunity.
Also, check out Sally Hoghead’s new book: How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination (affiliate link)
This blog is a response to Dan Miller’s unintentional challenge from his podcast on August 15, 2014: If you read or listen to 30 minutes of quality content a day, you’ll double your income.
From September 1, 2014 through March 1, 2015, I will be doing the following:
- Listening or reading to 30 minutes of success, growth, business, spiritual, or other mindset-shifting, skill-sharpening content.
- Selecting one action item from that content (with some leeway to select an action from a previous day’s content).
- Doing that one action.
- Writing about the action or some other idea from the reading and listening of the day.