SOBCon09 Session 2, With Copyblogger Brian Clark #SOBCon

( — I’m at SOBCon09 in Chicago with @lizstrauss and @starbucker. I’m taking notes as people talk, so there will be typos; deal with it. Now up is @copyblogger Brian Clark, who invariably rocks my socks. I am also tweeting throughout sessions, so make sure you follow me so you don’t miss anything.

You’re not a blogger, you’re an entrepreneur. You’re not creating content; you’re creating an online asset. Positioning is really the most important part of your strategy, especially if you’re trying to get someone to pay you for information. Positioning can also contribute to partnerships and lead to new positioning strategies.

Power Positioning: From Personal Branding to Online Assets

People live and die for stories. if you want people to talk about you, to get the word out, that’s how you need to think about it.

Positioning = unique selling proposition. Unique in a way that no one can copy. Being the purple cow. Having a winning difference. It’s not enough to differentiate you from the competition if no one’s talking about you. (<rant>I am so tired of hearing about Gary Vaynerchuk. Good for him, but come on, talk about something else, people. </rant>)

How are you going to create a positioning strategy if you don’t know who that audience is? Who are you going to attract? Outside of Twitter, it’s good to have a business matter.

Positioning via persona or personal branding

The goal is to be literally remarkable — worthy of being remarked upon. One way is positioning by persona. That doesn’t work for everyone, but the people who love you love you intensely. When you position with persona, your audience will buy anything you sell because they want to identify with you. Extremes are remarkable, criticism is personal, and cashing out is different. As Terry says, the No. 1 thing is to be nice. But no one talks about nice people, and that’s just a sad fact. It doesn’t have to be the foul-mouthed marketing type, but you have to be willing to go to extremes. The biggest reason Brian doesnt’ do this positioning: he likes to sell stuff after he’s built it.

Personal branding happens naturally. Often it’s better if you create something else that focuses on THEM so they get to respect and like YOU. It’s more important to build an independent brand than to build a lukewarm personal brand that does nothing for you or lacks direction.

Google will love you if people love you first.

Positioning via crossroads or intersection

Julien mentioned something about creative intersections. it’s when you take two seemingly unrelated things and you connect the dots for people. Copyblogger is an example, because it’s a blog about blogging but it’s specifically a blog about blogging as copywriting, the intersection of copywriting and content. Be careful to amplify, not constrain when you position via crossroads. And make sure people get it; don’t assume they get it. He cites Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation.

Positioning via metaphor

Metaphorical positioning is the most powerful, and it is the most fertile ground when you’re dealing with information. It’s a means to create an instant identification with someone to communicate the value of what you’re offering in such a way that the audience gets it right away. But it’s sometimes tough to come up with a really solid metaphor. Make sure you don’t get a bad one that works against you. Visit the bookstore and look at titles for examples.

What is your story?

What are you uniquely going to do in the world? It’s not about what other people are doing; that’s just to give you an idea of where to start.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

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