Chapter 1

Positioning

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. ~Apple, Inc., 1997

So begins one of the most brilliant advertising campaigns in history, celebrating the person who can “Think Different” and change the world.

When the rest of the world was zagging, Apple and Steve Jobs chose to zig.

It’s a theme that has resonated with people throughout the ages: the image of the rebel, fighting against “the man,” blazing her own trail, status quo be damned.

Any pioneer instinctively knows that you won’t win if you always play by someone else’s rules. When everyone is telling you to go one way, take that as a sure sign you need to find another. 

Every technique du jour will inevitably lose effectiveness, and something else will come along that works better (at least for a while).

The problem for some coaches, consultants and expert service providers is that they’re always chasing the next new thing that will transform their ability to engage their audience. The trouble is that every other person is doing the same so it is a race no-one can win. 

If you focus on temporary tactics instead of winning fundamentals, you may end up just following the crowd. Once a member of the crowd, always a member of the crowd which makes it hard to stand out.

Here’s a rule of thumb:

When I see “everyone” doing something, I know it’s time to do something else. In other words, when everyone is zigging, it’s time to zag.

When zagging becomes fashionable, it’s time to zig.

Zig-Zag for Attention

Swimming against the tide. Buying when everyone else is selling. Doing things differently gets you noticed. If your marketing looks the same, you talk the same way, it makes what you say easy to tune out because people are always looking for something new.  

That means you have to mix things up. Keep things fresh and relevant. Like right now, people are sleepwalking towards the biggest change in online marketing in a while.

They are happy in their social media comfort zone. Resigned to being tracked all over the internet by a behemoth sucking up every piece of data they can and making obscene profits on selling it to the highest bidder. 

That’s why they have suddenly transformed themselves into the entrepreneur’s friend. Yet, 80% of these very same entrepreneurs, when offered the opportunity to opt out of being tracked, will accept.

You know this as well as I. That’s why I am putting pen to paper. I want to help you find the solution. Give you a chance to zag when everyone else is still zigging.

For example, Frank Kern zags when he celebrates his unconventional but authentic personality, while he reveals the exact marketing tactics he’s using on his followers (that may be you). It’s a very endearing way to overcome cynicism and build credibility and trust.

Conventional wisdom says you should put together a FREE lead magnet of one or two pages so you can attract as many subscribers as possible.  

But here’s the question… 

Why pack your list with people who gave up a dubious email address in return for a PDF they may open only once and then never open another one of your emails again?

Everyone does it. 

Anecdotal evidence tells you it’s the technique du jour

Going back to basics (first principles) says… Build an email list so you can continue to nurture the people in your audience. That’s a two way street.  

Those people have to genuinely want to hear from you.

Surely, it would be far better to just have people on your list who have decided they want to be there AFTER they had read what you had to say.

So WANT to opt in after they get what you offered them NOT before.

Sure…

Your list would be only 20% of what it would otherwise be.

But that’s a good thing.

The object of having a list is not to have the biggest list but to have people on it who genuinely want to hear from you.

There’s a good reason for the emphasis on zagging rather than zigging  these days. And that’s because being just like everyone else is a one-way ticket to obscurity.

But zagging for the sake of it has its dangers too. 
That’s why I like the term “Strategic Difference.” 

Zag, by all means, but make sure you do so in a way that helps you accomplish your goal which presupposes that you have taken the trouble to go back to basics. 

Anything else would be reckless driving.

There are 4 parts to making sure you have created a strategic difference

First you have to position YOURSELF

Why should your audience listen to you?  

This is a good moment to tell your origin story. 

Only remember, no one cares about the troubles and travails you’ve had to overcome in life unless you can draw a parallel with those being experienced right now by the peeps you are talking to. 

If it’s not relevant, forget it.

You could also tell a story about how you discovered or put together your proprietary process and how this qualifies you to be viewed as an expert authority.

Expressing your core values just like Nike with their ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign is another way to help people in your audience decide whether they identify with you and your brand.

I go into this in depth in Parts 4, 5 and 6;

Second you have to position THE VIEWER

Being really clear and specific about who you are talking to, the challenge they face and what their vision is of a better future helps them self identify. 

For example, the people I want to talk to are…

The next step is to position THE SOLUTION 

Here we have to identify the oncoming challenge that your audience has  to deal with whether they like it or not…

Stand by their side and point to it. Show them the oncoming tsunami. 

In this case, marketing a business in a world where hyper-targeting an audience with digital Ads is impossible because we are moving into the digital privacy era.

No third party cookies.

– First party cookies only lasting 7 days impacting remarketing campaigns.

– App Tracking Transparency reducing the accuracy of audience targeting.

– The inherent risk of building a building (business) on rented land (Facebook, for instance) which compromises access to your audience because someone else has ultimate control (Ad account closed/Locked out of your Facebook account)

Now that they understand the context (Why you created the solution, in the first place), you can explain that solution in context and they will understand how it is relevant to them.  

And finally you need to position the actual OFFER

This is where you overcome what appears to be an insurmountable problem by reframing it. 

For instance…

The era of digital privacy is an opportunity for those who love writing and sharing their thoughts about the topics they’re an expert in…

Story driven content is the new organic cookie.

Stories touch emotions.
Stories well told are memorable.
Stories nourish because they educate and entertain.
Stories nurture because they deepen the connection.
Stories position you, your solution and your offer.

They grab people.
Suck them in. 

They engage the brain at multiple levels & reel in your audience while changing long held beliefs. 

In the digital privacy era story driven content will take your people on a journey to a destination of your choosing where they will thank you for being their guide.  

Important Reminder…

People are in the market for a solution because they have not found one that works for them yet. If they had, they wouldn’t be in the market.

Now let’s move on to your big idea… 

Continue reading…