Saturday, October 1, 2011

Be Bold. Rise Above The Noise.

Be Bold.  Rise Above The Noise.
Image by BBM Explorer via Flickr
As an entrepreneur, it is important to be bold.  We live in a world where there is so much “noise” of all sorts, that if you’re not willing to be bold, it’s likely that you will get “lost in the shuffle”.  Think about it; how many TV ads, radio ads, emails, billboards, print ads, and other marketing messages do you receive in a day?  What percentage do you think you pay attention to?
The bold are not always loved, but typically they are respected and in a lot better position to be remembered and ultimately, to be successful.  Particularly as a relatively new venture, but also true for more mature businesses, one of the biggest challenges you will face is making yourself and your company stand out from the rest of the pack.  Without being bold and trumpeting your strengths and differentiating factors, it is unlikely that you will stand out and succeed.
I realize that this concept of being bold will not appeal to everyone.  In fact, a lot of the time, I’d rather “fly under the radar” as well.  Unfortunately though, as an entrepreneur, you typically need to find a way to be noticed, in order to be successful.  This is not to say that you should be obnoxious, but it is to say that you will probably have to do some things that you’re not entirely comfortable with, in order to become known.  Use your imagination.  The wilder, the better.  Stay within the law, of course, but with those guidelines, the sky is the limit.
Take for example mega successful billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson – he used to do all sorts of death defying daredevil stunts to promote his early and very successful company, Virgin Records.  I’m not advocating necessarily that you risk your life, but the more different and exciting that you and your company can be (within reason, given the industry you’re in, of course), the more known and successful you are likely to become.  Be creative in your boldness.
If it makes your stomach turn just thinking that you need to be bold, try looking at it a bit differently.  Don’t think of it necessarily as the peacock, strutting its beautiful, loudly colored feathers in an effort to be noticed.  Rather, think of it as “finding your voice”.  I hear this phrase used quite a bit in the online, blogging and social media space, and being more of an auditory person, it has a visceral appeal for me.  In essence, it says that you don’t necessarily need to make yourself stand out by being “loud and obnoxious”.  Instead, you can do so by finding “your voice,” or unique and distinctive way that you communicate with your target market and other constituencies.
As long as the “voice” that you choose resonates with your constituencies, you can establish yourself as someone (or some company and brand) adding value with a unique perspective and approach, which makes you someone worth listening to.  I think Apple, one of the most recognized brands in the world, with one of the most loyal groups of followers and customers, does a great job of getting its “voice” across to its markets.  It does such a clever job of doing so, in the way its products are designed and in all of its communications, that the target market actually believes that it’s “their voice”.  And as you know, most people love the sound of their own voice.
So, if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t want to be bold and obnoxious,” well, you really don’t need to be in order to establish your “voice” in the marketplace.  You must, however, be unique and most importantly, be adding value, from the perspective of your target market and other key constituencies.  Remember, if you don’t find a way to rise above the “noise,” no one will ever know about the great products, services and solutions you provide.
-Paul Morin

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