Brian Clark: Power Positioning-Get a Personality SOBCon09

Lightly edited notes taken at SOBCon09 from Brian Clark’s presentation.

Brian says his presentation “Power Positioning: From Personal Branding to Online Assets” is all about telling a story that accomplishes your goals [yay! storytelling!]

What is Positioning? “Your Winning Difference”

It’s that you’re unique in a way that no one can copy you. If no one’s talking about you, it’s not enough to differentiate your from the competition.

Naomi Dunford and Frank Kern are persona driven personalities that talk about marketing in an unconventional way by offending all the right people.

Personal Positioning

When you identify that strongly with your audience, they’ll buy everything that you sell because they want to part of you. Extremes are remarkable; you have to be willing to be extreme. You have to have a think skin and understand that criticism is personal. Biggest reason why Brian Clark doesn’t do this is because he likes to sell stuff and cashing out is difficult. Room thinks that “personal branding” is an obnoxious term.

Creative Intersections

Take two seemingly unrelated things and you connect the dots for people. Intersection between copywriting and content = copyblogger. Viral action = creativity + productivity. Amplify the things you can talk about at the intersection. Don’t assume that they get it. The Madici Effect- Lower Associate Barriers – book.

All good about pages should be telling your story.

Metaphor – Most Powerful Approach, but can be tough to come up with one that works

Duct Tape marketing creates instant understanding: duct tape is simple, practical and it works. When you’re dealing with information, it’s the most fertile ground for metaphors.  Go to the bookstore and look at titles: Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae

It All Comes Down to What’s Your Story?

Positioning is the most important part of your strategy, especially if you’re trying to get people to pay for your information.

Q: Will having a personal brand help your partnership strategy? question from Chris Garrett

A: Look around and see what’s needed and you find a way to get it done. You pair up with someone else and then you come up with another strategy as in Teaching Sells. It really depends on your goal. It’s more important to have a strong individual brand that makes you well know.

Q: Can you say more about content – how do you be nice, but not wishy-washy? question from Jen Knoedl

A: On social networking, just be new. “You don’t want to be a digital sharecropper.” Create an asset of your own. If you’re just conversing with people what’s the value of your goals? Content marketing is the most powerful thing you can do. All Brian does is publish his blog and tweet. “Google will love you if people love you first.” Real estate is interesting: you have to get other bloggers to link to you. Have to content for customers that relates to other realtors to get links.

Q: Has twitter changed your approach, content, writing style? Do you value twitter more than comments on your blog?

A: We write about twitter sometimes when we want traffic. Twitter has changed the content landscape. It’s very difficult to attract links from other blogs because everyone is sharing no follow links on twitter. Aaron Wall is talking about this – not good for SEO. Check to see if links are no follow and then contact the person who’s giving you a link to ask them to change it – they usually will. [tip from Daniel Honigman] The dynamics have changed in that blogs are being shared on twitter. Start creating valuable content that people love now.

Q: We always talk about content. Why don’t we talk in terms of products?

A: Teaching Sells starts off with the marketing and positioning is somewhere down the step. Free isn’t as valued anymore. Trust is down: free isn’t free. You need to start with who are you talking to: who are you trying to attract and how are you trying to convert them

Q: Back to the nice thing again . . . out of all the things you said . . .

A: You don’t have to be mean. You have to be extreme. Provocative – and willing to tick people off so that other people actually like you and love you. Be off the hook like Gary V. What does the whole authenticity thing mean? Who’s the real you? Personas work best if you pick the most extreme aspect of your personality and turn it up to an 11.

Q: It’s a matter of having an opinion. It’s more about not being wishy-washy. Do you agree with that? Kristen King

A: Don’t back track and don’t be so nice to the trolls. The best thing ever is when your fans blast them for you.

Q: How does this apply to a small business or a larger business? in a larger context? Geoff Livingston

A. So few businesses do this – and it’s vital – most people aren’t brave enough and it’s tough. The companies that do this well don’t care about other people. People are looking for a reason not to pay attention to you. We all seek attention, but what are you going to do with it? Copyblogger is not about writing, it’s about marketing online.

Q: What do you think is going to happen with video re: content marketing?

A: Audio is the easiest form of content to make. A lot of people who were drawn to the web were readers. Thanks to the Oprah-Ashton effect, most people don’t read. More and more we’re going to have to do other forms of content. Video is hard to well, but some of the more successful people online are starting to invest – we’re migrating more to professional standards than where we are right now.

Liz Strauss– Last year, Karen Putz said she was really concerned about the Internet going to video because so many deaf people won’t be able to hear. We need to have closed captioning. The accessibility market is huge.

Q: Video quality – is handycam okay?

Anything new and different is appealing until it’s not new anymore. We’re really at the early stages here. There’s so much opportunity left. Make friends with the people in the room.

Q/comment:  We’re changing what professional is – we still have to learn how to be amateur professional videographers. Melissa Pierce

Q/comment: It’s much the same as blogging, video is very similar to writing. Even the hugs guy – there was a story there and it was edited.

A: Brian is really into writing scripts for video. That’s where it’s going.

Q/comment: One media doesn’t kill another. There is always going to be an audience for what you’re doing if you’re doing it really well. Geekmommy

A: In a lot of competitive and lucrative niches and you do video, you’re going to win.

Q/comment: In the porn industry, handycam video sells better than high quality.

Q/comment: You can learn from anything, you have to serve your readers. Look at what people completely unrelated to you are doing – take advantage of this. Don’t discount porn. Lorelle

What do you think? What “extreme aspects” of your personality would you be willing to amplify? Why?

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