Today we’re reading an excerpt from the MicroFamous book, along with some director’s cut commentary. Get your copy at MicroFamousBook.com, where we’ll cover the book if you cover the shipping.
Here is the text of the chapter we covered, Turn Attention into Demand.
For many thought leaders, there is a key point where we stall out.
We’re sharing good content, and we’re getting lots of encouragement, but we aren’t getting sales.
Unfortunately, this is more common than we’d like to admit, especially in the world of podcasting.
There are many “influencers” who can attract attention but can’t create sales.
How is this possible?
How can we attract attention without creating sales?
For the answer, let’s look at two contrasting examples of influence.
We’ll start with the iconic Barbara Walters. While being one of the world’s most famous and skilled interviewers, would you think of her for business coaching? Probably not.
All the attention she gained in her niche worked perfectly to build her personal brand, but that attention mainly created demand for more interviews.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Jason Klein, co-founder of Brandiose. Jason and his co-founder started the first design/branding agency to specialize in minor league sports teams.
They had a Clear & Compelling Idea: minor league teams should reflect the significance of their hometowns. This idea is both positive and polarizing because the traditional approach was to focus on the link to their parent teams, which were often hundreds or thousands of miles away.
The average sports fan has never heard of Brandiose, which is exactly the point. The Brandiose team stepped into a defined niche, claimed a leadership position, and then become MicroFamous in their niche.
They created content that did more than just attract attention. They continually drove home their Clear & Compelling Idea, building influence around an idea that actually creates demand for their service.
The difference between those two examples is demand.
When like-minded people hear a Clear & Compelling Idea that promises a solution to their problem, they simply can’t help themselves.
They must learn more.
If we aren’t seeing that response, we know our Clear & Compelling Idea needs to be sharpened.
Our Idea must be so clear, so razor-sharp to our ideal clients that it creates demand—it compels them to learn more. Anything less than Clear & Compelling might attract attention and get encouragement, yet it doesn’t create demand.
It’s critical not to fall into the trap of seeking attention for its own sake. For those of us who sell our expertise, the only attention that matters is the attention that builds real influence and creates real demand.
So how do we sharpen our Clear & Compelling Idea to create demand?
First, we look at what we’re promising our audience.
• Are we promising a transformation?
• Are we promising to cure an injustice?
• Are we promising a new way to solve an existing problem?
• Are we promising to solve a problem everyone thinks is unsolvable?
Ideally, our Clear & Compelling Idea promises to solve a problem in a new and surprising way.
Remember the original idea of Netflix? DVDs through the mail with no late fees.
They tapped into the sense of injustice people felt, while offering a new way to solve a common problem. All in just a few words.
Books that stand the test of time, like Think & Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill), Permission Marketing (Seth Godin), and Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey Moore), all share one thing in common.
At the heart of each book is a Clear & Compelling Idea promising a new solution to a real problem. So we start by looking at what we’re promising.
Second, we look for ways to be positively polarizing.
We don’t need to be the James Dean of our industry to deliver a Clear & Compelling Idea. It’s not about being the “rebel” type. We just need to take a stand and speak up for what we believe in. We need to “choose the hill we’re willing to die on.”
Do we believe something strongly that our competition would disagree with, and are we willing to take that stand in public? If not, there’s work to be done on our Clear & Compelling Idea.
There is always a way to share our Idea in a way that polarizes the audience into people who agree and disagree—without being negative or inauthentic.
Third, we look at sacred cows.
These are the good ideas that are actually the enemy of our Clear & Compelling Idea. The good people we want to serve in other niches that keep us from focusing on the right people.
Are we willing to sacrifice our good ideas so we can become known for our Clear & Compelling Idea?
Are we willing to focus on becoming famously influential to the right people, and turn away everyone else?
If not, we’ll find it difficult to uncover a Clear & Compelling Idea.
Finally, we look at our delivery.
What if we have the right Idea, but we don’t have the right phrasing, the right expression, or the right packaging?
Our Idea won’t be razor-sharp Clear and Compelling.
The good news is that the more we get featured on podcast interviews, sharing our Clear & Compelling Idea, the more we can play with our delivery. We can experiment with new phrases and expressions, finding what resonates with our Audience.
Uncovering and delivering our Clear & Compelling Idea is a process. We shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t come overnight. The key is to be aware of this process, so we are constantly refining, constantly moving toward our Clear & Compelling Idea.
When we have our Clear & Compelling Idea, and we systematically deliver that Idea to the right people, we turn influence into demand.