Every commander knows that on the field of battle we want to be on the higher ground. Every brand manager, every business owner should really be thinking the same. In order to grow a brand and business, we have to know our position before we can advance.
Opportunity Is Knowing Your Position on the Playing Field
Position is relational. It’s part property — what we own. If we own more and manage more we become more visible, more audible, more amplified.
Position is part expertise — what we know and can do well. Keep learning. We’re constantly offered opportunities to learn new strategies, skills, and techniques. It’s also good to teach. Teaching builds position and visible expertise.
Position is part perception, packaging and communication — what others see. If we live the values we want to be, then people see, perceive, and know us as those values. Do you live and talk a clear message? Do you hear and encourage other people to pass on that message about you?
Position is part the networks and relationships — how we interact with the industry. Do you have a brand and a business that attracts others to you?
Use this checklist to build yourself a view of your current position.
where you stand Are you standing on solid ground? Is your foundation connected and stable?
- as a player in the industry Who’s next to you? Who do you need to meet? Who’s irrelevant to where you’re going?
- as a citizen in your customer, partner, vendor networks What sort of people value you? Who needs to know more about you?
where you’re seen Are you visible in the places that you need to be to meet the people you want to meet?
- on the blogs, sites, webinars, and spaces online What does your web presence say about you? Do you only hang with people who do what you do? Do you only talk to people who buy what you sell?
- at the stores, events, meetings, and campaigns offline Do you go out to meet people in person? Are you as social offline as you are online? Is your offline presence projecting the same image of you? Do you show up before and hang around after you speak?
- in the books, mail, email, and videos sent out about you Do you have a presence in print and video? Should you? Do you need a newsletter?
where you’re heard What’s being said? Who is listening? Who is talking about you?
- when you speak, talk, visit clients. Do you initiate contact with new people in the networks you want to reach?
- when people talk about you. Do you know what people say about you?
where you’re investing How do you invest your expertise and time?
- when you offer your energy, advice, help, or service Do you share your expertise with the right people at the right times? Who wants to be you? Do you keep your promises, answer questions, and offer your best consistently?
- when you claim your success Who knows what you know how to do? Who should?
- when you grow How often do you connect outside of the network of people who do what you do?
Think through where your brand and your business is right now. Find a question that stopped you, that made you think longer than the rest. Work that first. Once you’ve worked most of them through, you can plan a campaign that truly leverages your position, plays to your skills, and advances your position toward higher ground.
Position is all opportunity. Knowing where we stand lets us see the possibilities of where we can go.
Which question offers the most opportunity for you?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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