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What Do You Want to Be Known for in Business?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/04/2016 M. Shannon Hernandez
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In the work I do with brands across the nation, I always begin our conversation with this exploratory question: What do you want to be known for in your business?
It doesn't matter if I'm giving a keynote session at a conference, sitting down one-on-one with a client for a Power Play Day in NYC, or talking to someone new on the phone. This single question determines:

  • the core essence and values of your brand
  • how you spend your time as a business owner
  • how you will differentiate yourself from what the masses are doing in your industry

So, I want to ask you the very same question today: What do you want to be known for in your business? Take out a piece of paper and jot down the first few ideas that come to mind.
Now, it's okay if this question stumps you! It's quite possible that you've never thought of what you want to be KNOWN for in your business. This is because we often think in terms of solving problems for other people. We can easily answer what we do, but answering what we want to be known for is a whole other beast.
Let me walk you through the process of discovery here. Hang with me for just a few minutes.
Last month, I spoke at an association meeting in New York City. I handed everyone a sticky note and asked the question: What do you want to be known for in your business? A few people started jotting things down right away. The eyes of several others glazed over. But, I waited and gave everyone time to think about the question.
And do you know what happened when they began sharing their answers? The room lit up with possibilities and energy! Excitement cut through the air.
  • An event planner shared that she wanted to become the go-to person in New York City and Long Island for bar and bat mitzvahs that incorporated highly-detailed personalized pieces into the events.
  • An architect stated that she wanted her firm to become one of the top Passive House Design experts and designers in the United States.
  • A physical therapist shared that she wanted to highlight the individualized therapy attention that is given to her patients, in private rooms, at her office.
  • Two women who own a jewelry company wanted to be known as a lifestyle jewelry brand, focusing on sharing their pieces, as well as the vivid art and culture in New York City.

As a content strategist and copywriter for thought leaders, this question is GOLD--for both the work I do with my clients, and for the brands I am working with. Once there is an answer to this single question, it will frame everything that happens in the brand.
Here are just a few examples:
  • Revision or creation of a mission statement
  • Marketing that attracts the right prospects
  • Topics for branded content, such as a video show
  • Basis for establishing thought leadership
  • Tone to use in content and social media
  • Clarity on brand personality and values
  • Narrowed angle for writing a book to build your brand

So...back to you. How did your brainstorming go? What do YOU want to be known for in your business?

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