Can you define what you do in one the three words? If not, you have a big problem. It’s not that you can only do a couple of things well, but what you can’t do is make the rest of the world know you do more than a couple of things well, you can’t market yourself well in multiple areas, you can’t continually create new content in multiple subject matters.
So if you claim to be an expert on sales, marketing, customer service, leadership development, quality management, strategy, and team building, you are simply fooling yourself. You might know a little about all of those subjects, and some of these subjects overlap. But you are definitely not a true expert in all of these areas and if you try to market yourself as such, you will fail.
Look at the people who are most successful and you can see that they distill what they do to just one to three words. Jeffrey Gitomer: sales. Everything Jeffrey Gitomer does revolve around sales. Sure he talks about customer service and building trust and loyalty, but everything is through the prism of increasing sales.
Martha steward is all about quality home living. Sure she touches on cooking, entertaining, and decorating, but it is all about how to have a high quality life.
Once you narrow what you do down to one thing it gives great clarity to what you do, what you research, what you create, how you market, where you promote and how people remember you. Once I defined myself as a speaking expert, my focus went very narrow and very deep. I was able to gain great efficiencies because I didn’t have to read every new business book out; instead, I only had to read every new book on speaking. I didn’t have to make myself available as a commentator for every business story on TV. Instead, I made myself available on issues that related to well-known people speaking either well or poorly. I didn’t have to write books on all aspects of business, instead, just books about speaking.
Everything became easier for me. It also became much easier for my customers, prospects and clients because they also know what I was about and who I was.
Don’t fall victim to the slashes, because this is worse than being the victim of a slasher. If you call yourself a renaissance man, just realize that everyone else will be calling you a flake, or worse, won’t be calling you anything, because they don’t remember anything about you. If you are a speechwriter/pr expert/strategist/business development expert/team building expert, just realize that you are someone with a split identity and nothing else.
If you do want to be a Renaissance man or woman, it is better to become wildly successful in just one thing. Once that happens, you can then leverage your fame and branding into new product and services offerings. Even then, you must beware; the history of product extensions is littered with failure.
My one word summary of what I am about is this: speaking. My 10-word version is this: I help people speak effectively to live audiences and media.
I beg you. I plead with you. Before you waste anymore time fiddling with more websites, newsletters and tweets, make sure you have a one word label for what you are about and a one sentence of ten words or less that really explains what it is you do.
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