The word “enemy” comes from the Latin inimicus, which means, “not your friend.”
And if you want to achieve marketing MASTERY, never lose sight of the following eleven enemies to success:
1. Different. Anybody can be “different.” Here’s why: Different contains superficial value. Different is short-lived. Different is attention seeking. None of this is good. On the other hand, unique is unforgettable. Unique contains profound value. Unique is enduring and attention attracting. Your goal is to pinpoint the vehicle of your uniqueness and drive it around town like the rockstar that you are. Which one would YOU rather be?
2. Echo. There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Why? Because imitators don’t make history. Only originators do. And you need to honestly ask yourself if what you’re doing is just an echo of somebody else’s work. Are you making your OWN music?
3. Experts. Now that everyone and their mother is an expert, nobody is an expert. Not a real one, that is. And the democratization of information and the elimination of barriers to entry have diluted this word beyond belief. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me they’re an “expert,” my eyes start rolling immediately. Instead, I challenge you to position yourself as a Thought Leader. Ahhh. Sounds more influential and less arrogant. How strong is your Thought Leadership Platform?
4. From. If people are always hearing “from” you, you’re in trouble. For the following reasons: No value has been given. No credibility has been established. People feel like you’re “selling” to them. And, you probably spent big bucks and mucho minutes to accomplish those things. Conversely, if people are always hearing “about” you, you’re sitting pretty. For the following reasons: Sufficient value has been given. Positive reputation earned you credibility. Instead of selling, you’re enabling people to buy. And, you probably spent little money and minimal minutes to accomplish those three things. Do people hear from you or about you?
5. Normal. I’m not saying normal is bad. I’m just saying that nobody notices it. And when the most valuable currency in the world is attention, positioning yourself, your ideas and your organization as normal is like asking people to find a needle in stack of needles. Are YOU a needle?
6. Nouns. A thing of the past. As Seth Godin noticed, “People care much more about verbs than nouns. They care about things that move, that are happening, that change. They care about experiences and events and the way things make us feel. Nouns just sit there, inanimate lumps. Verbs are about wants and desires and wishes.” Are you, your website and your services nouns or verbs?
7. Observer. No good. You want to be The Observed. The one people watch. The one people listen to. Because it’s all about visibility. And it’s not about wearing some crazy outfit or walking around with a parrot on your shoulder. It means positioning yourself in a leadership, value-delivering role: guest speaker, board member, volunteer, session host, columnist, editorial contributor, sponsor or emcee. Remember: You can’t seek attention. You can’t demand attention. You can only attract it. When you walk into a room, how does it change?
8. Peacock. All show and no go. All shtick and no substance. All talk and no walk. That’s what a peacock is. You, on the other hand, need to be mole. Working hard. Working fast. Keeping quiet. Trudging ahead. Do you have pretty feathers or grass stains?
9. Some. Don’t be Some Guy. Be THAT Guy. THEE Guy. Somebody who reminds everybody of nobody else. That’s the kind person people want to do business with. And all depends on four things: (1) What you’re known for, (2) What you’re known for knowing, (3) What you’re known as, and (4) What you’re the answer to. Are you That Guy?
10. Talent. Sometimes, mediocrity rises to the top. Sometimes, you can suck and still be hired. Now, if you’re someone who happens to be AMAZING at what you do, don’t worry. Just make sure that – in addition to your craft, art, talent, etc. – you’re also amazing at sales, marketing, life management and personal leadership. As the old scripture reminds us, “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we will reap a great harvest if we faint not.” What else do you bring to the table besides talent?
11. Website. It’s kind of like a newspaper: If it’s two years old, nobody wants to read it. Instead, you need a blog that’s updated everyday. You need a destination that people are motivated to come back three times a day. And you need an online community where like-minded people can connect. When somebody comes to your website, what’s the ONE THING you want them to do?
Watch your back. These enemies are nipping at your heels.
Don’t let them get the best of you.
Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the author of eight books, a professional speaker, an award-winning blogger and the creator of NametagTV.com. For more info or for his list of “26 Ways to Out BRAND Your Competitors”, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.