Why You’re So Damn Anonymous


Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win the clients they need using Value-Based Marketing - an approach to marketing based around delivering value, demonstrating your capabilities and earning trust through your marketing.


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Why You’re So Damn Anonymous

Most of us – and I include myself in this – are just far too anonymous.

We can do amazing things for clients. We've got brilliant ideas. We can really help them.

But just not enough of them know who we are, what we do and how we can help.

In this episode of More Clients TV I look at why that is, the two big reasons that cause it, and what you can do about it.

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Why You're So Damn Anonymous

There are two big reasons why you're just too anonymous with your potential clients.

The first of those reasons is you're probably not showing up differently enough to your competitors.

Now I'm sure you *are* different to your competitors.

But how different is the content you share with the world that teaches potential clients what you know, what you're good at and how you can help them?

Often, the answer is “not much”.

Historically, just putting out basic information was a safe bet. It would be useful to potential clients who didn't have many other sources of information. And no one would know it was pretty much the same “accepted wisdom” everyone else in your field was putting out.

Today that's very different. Clients are overwhelmed with information from all round the world, not starved.

And if your content isn't new and different, not only will it not create the right impression, it won't get much visibility either.

Because if blog posts, your videos and what you share on LinkedIn are pretty much the same as what others are saying, why would anyone share them?

They're going to get no social currency from sharing something that their contacts have probably seen before in one form or another.

There's probably no point in them commenting on your content on LinkedIn because they've probably commented on something like it before.

There's probably no reason for someone to invite you onto their podcast or their YouTube show if you're only going to share the same kind of opinions and ideas that their previous guests have already shared. There's nothing new that would interest or attract their audience.

Unless what you say publicly in terms of your content and your ideas is *significantly* different to what other people are saying you're just not going to get any visibility.

The second reason you're too anonymous is that you're probably not distinctive enough.

Difference is about the substance of what you say and what you do. Distinctiveness is about how it's packaged.

What I mean by that, for example, is that in a “sea of sameness” as people scroll through profiles on social media does your image and your headline look pretty much the same as everyone else's?

It might be nicely design and feel very professional. But does it look the same as everyone else's nicely designed, professional profile?

Do your posts look the same as everyone else's on LinkedIn or Facebook? Do your video thumbnails look the same as everyone else's on YouTube?

Because if they do, as people are scrolling through in their busy lives, there'll be no reason for them to click through to see more and to get the benefit of your content and see how different it is.

So even if you were saying something very, very different: if it doesn't stand out, no one's ever going to know.

And the other thing about distinctiveness is that it's linked to memory.

If your content doesn't look different to other people's content then there's nothing for people who consume it to tie it to you with. They might get value from it, but they won't ascribe that value to you.

How many times have you remembered something clever that you read or heard and then tried to remember who said it?

It's often really difficult because they weren't distinctive. They blended in with everyone else.

Distinctiveness is all about standing out and being remembered for the things you've said. And difference is all about saying something different and valuable in the first place

How do you go about being more different and more distinctive?

Well in terms of saying something different the reality is most of the work we do and most of the content we have is largely the same as our competitors because there are accepted good practices in any particular field.

Things that just work.

If you're looking for visibility when you share content, don't share the 80% or 95% that's the same as everybody else's. Share the 5% or 20% that's different and unique to you. Where you have a different or controversial or unusual point of view and ideas that other people aren't sharing.

If you do that then people will be interested in having you on their podcast because it's new information for their audience.

People will be willing to share your content on social media because they're sharing something new and interesting. Meaning they'll get social currency from that.

People will be willing to comment on your posts on LinkedIn or Facebook because they're commenting on information they haven't heard before. It's fresh and new so they're prompted to comment.

Making sure your content is different will make sure it gets visible.

In terms of being distinctive that's all about being brave enough to adopt a visual style that is different to what others are using.

In my case, for example, I've taken to using very comic book imagery in my videos and in my posts. Partly because I like comic books of course. But partly because I know that other people on LinkedIn and YouTube aren't using similar imagery.

So as you scroll through your feed my stuff will stand out.

And it's consistent so that perhaps in six months time you might find yourself thinking “you know I really need to stand out a bit more…there was that guy on YouTube who said something interesting about that…who…oh yeah he had those weird comic book background…yeah it was Ian Brodie”.

So if you stand out visually then people are much more likely to notice you so that they get into your content to find out it's actually different and valuable. And they're much more likely to remember you and associate that value with you.

So make sure you're trying to be distinctive to stand out and to get remembered and different so that you get much more visibility.

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win the clients they need using Value-Based Marketing - an approach to marketing based around delivering value, demonstrating your capabilities and earning trust through your marketing.