Hi Hurray! You’ve realized we’re not just nutty spiritualists waiting for the clouds to part and money to fall like a tender rain.
We are unabashed capitalists. Free marketeers. Supporters of entrepreneurism.
With heart. Lots of heart.
But at the end of the day, money is one of the spiritual forces of this universe — constructed by the force, enormity and insistence of the will of human beings over centuries. It is the way we provide safety, show love and enjoy the richness of the world.
(That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with people who want to convert what they love, their talents and their gifts, into real-world value. Value that others want to be a part of.)
It wasn’t that long ago you could just put a crappy, uninspired product out and wrap it up with some zippy marketing and make a cool couple of million. Threads of this still exist today. Just look at pop country music.
But that’s not you. You want to do it right. You want to maintain your integrity.
The first thing you need to do is to accept you have genuine talents that can create value for other people in the world. Without this acceptance, you can’t become a brand. At best, you can become a moderately well-marketed entity.
The second thing to embrace is that your particular set of gifts, passions and talents is perfectly designed for some audience out there. But if you don’t get behind these gifts and express them, you’re just singing in the shower.
There’s a beautiful moment in our Root Sessions when our clients awaken to a truth: that their gift is their mission and their business. They are all interconnected in order to make a dent in the universe.
The third idea to roll around between your ears is that you need to get specific. Like, really specific. We have observed that for many people, the phrase, “we help people get better” is what they believe their brand promise to be. While we know there is a lot more underlying this truth than that, and uncovering the deeper truth at the heart of the work of a Root Session, this is not specific enough.
You have to know how to name and describe your talent — without run-on sentences and marketing speak. This needs to be sans copious explaining. It needs to be a direct, tangible expression, both of your abilities and of the directly related value to your audience.
We’re going to be blunt here. This last exercise is not something you can do alone. The chances of you being successful at crafting this language are about one in a million. Outside of Lloyd Christmas, nobody thinks those are very good odds. You need an editor, a truth-teller, a bullshit detector.
In most cases, the value you think you bring is not the value in the mind of your audience. The real value is usually hidden in some other ability you have, which you are currently taking for granted or overlooking because you think others might not care.
Uncovering this is also where you are going to need assistance from someone who knows you, understands the dynamics of modern business and has mapped portions of the human soul.
What happens if you don’t do this? Nothing.
Ultimately, all of this is up to you. Doing nothing or doing something. Your choice.
But Wayne Dyer said it quite nicely: “Don’t die with music still inside you.”
Your talent is your music. It is not in you to be hoarded or doubted. It is meant to be sung.
Maybe occasionally a little too loud and a little off key, but that’s OK.
It’s the music that produces the value. Because it can be bought, consumed, shared, experienced, which is the very essence of creating a real, true brand.
If you’re curious about building a brand that is not a one-hit wonder, but is a long-time, touring band that continues to sell out shows without selling out, then you’ve found a like-minded group of humans to help. Being a brand means changing the way you speak about, think about, share about your brand. We help people find their way to that new way of being. We always offer free exploration calls to find out if a Root Session is right for you, right now. Go here to schedule a call.
Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster are cofounders of the intrinsic branding practice known as Root + River. Together with their defiantly different clients, they uncover then articulate the foundational elements of the brand. Then, they provide brand strategy and brand coaching as the brand is rolled out internally and externally. Obsessive about language and differentiation, Emily + Justin are also authors and speakers. Follow @rootandriver @fosterthinking and @emilyatlarge.