Be a Voice, Not an Echo

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Okay, this isn’t grade school, but I’m seeing more of this going on in the small business community these days and I can’t take it anymore. I know that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but no.

This entrepreneurial space can be a bit noisy; everybody wants to add their two cents to the conversations that are spinning up every 5 minutes and disappearing even faster. There’s NO problem with that, this is known as trend jacking in the marketing world, and it can be a powerful tool when you’re trying to gain exposure quickly.

BUT, if this hack isn’t done correctly it can backfire on a business by doing the exact opposite of what was intended, and paint the brand as an opportunistic ignoramus. Which brings me back to my original point…

With so many discussions going on and so many people offering their two cents, the voices are becoming less original. People are simply repeating what others are saying.

This isn’t strategic, sustainable or good business.

I don’t like copycats. This is pure laziness because the benefits are only short-lived. There are no shortcuts to building a successful business, and if your foundation rests on someone else’s thoughts, words and  content you’re putting your business in a dangerous position. You may think you’re taking a shortcut but won’t be able to move until the person you’re imitating moves. Not investing the effort to add your own flavor to the topic at hand deprives the world of your unique style of greatness. There is a perspective that only you can bring, that your unique journey has prepared you to deliver.

To do anything other than that would be such a waste of your experience, expertise and insight.

Here’s what I’d encourage you to do instead:

  • Keep it real – I know that it’s difficult to watch other companies use slang, memes and whatever else these kids are doing to connect with a younger, social media savvy audience and get 7,000 retweets and likes. If these things don’t align with your brand, DON’T DO IT. You don’t have to be on every trend train.
  • Find your unique angle – so what if your competitor was witty and everybody liked it? You’re witty too (in a different way), so take the conversation in a new direction, one that you orchestrated! Use every opportunity you have to position yourself as another option for your audience, someone else that creates conversations about their interests that aren’t like anybody else. Use your secret sauce.
  • Be the leading voice – instead of waiting for somebody else to speak up first, you do it! The business environment isn’t about waiting to be chosen, its about nominating yourself to be a leader and choosing to lead. The world needs your voice, don’t dilute your awesomeness by parroting what somebody else is saying.

Remember that you have something unique to offer, allow your own voice to break through and see how many echoes you inspire 🙂

To your Greatness,

moniek james