Have you ever landed on someone’s website or sales page, read a little bit of their copy and thought, “Dang! This chick’s message is so similar to mine! In fact, it could BE mine!”
While you understand how this could happen, because, hey, there are other people who do what you do, it still feels kind of yucky. Like you just lost another very teeny piece of your significance in the Universe.
And you can’t help but wonder, how can you stand out in your field of expertise? Now that Internet Land is so over-populated with entrepreneurs screaming for attention, and everyone is inundated with clever marketing messages, groovy offers and overwhelming amounts of information, how can you possibly rise above the noise, be noticed, share your message and make a connection with those you would love to serve?
Let me introduce you to my friend, Amelie.
Amelie is one of my dear friends and, like me, she’s a singer. A very talented jazz singer with a silky, sexy voice. Unlike me, she’s been trying to make a name for herself as a singer in New York City. I know! She’s a tiny bit crazy. But that’s why I love her so.
A few years ago, Amelie went to a well-known, upscale open mic event called Cast Party at Birdland, which is a renowned jazz club on West 44th Street. Now, Cast Party is anything but your typical open mic night. While there are some wannabe stars who come to sing, the overall caliber of singers who show up for this Monday night talent fest is stellar.
In fact, since Cast Party is always on a Monday night, which is the only night of the week that the Broadway theatre scene goes “dark” (meaning, there are no Broadway shows playing), it’s not unusual for some of the greatest singers on Broadway to stop by and sing a power ballad or two.
The night Amelie was there, she signed up to sing. And as she sat sipping her Pinot Noir, waiting for her turn to take the stage, she watched and listened as one amazing Broadway professional after another got up and belted out some jaw-dropping show-stopper of a song.
Criminy! How was she going to compete with these loud, bring-the-the-house-down singers? Each one seemed to be louder, more dramatic and enthralling than the next. How could she expect anyone in the audience to give a damn about her smooth, understated way of singing a song? Especially after being blown away by this parade of vocally-buffed-up Broadway divas?
Now, she could have just left. Or taken her name off the list. But no. She stayed and waited until her name was called, and she made her way to the stage. She gave her music to the pianist, and took center stage in front of the mic.
As the pianist played the intro, Amelie sank her whole self into the heart of her song. She took a breath, and started singing the first line of “At Last.” She sang it softly, very softly, as if she were whispering it into the ear of her lover. She stayed grounded and fully present in both the song and how it made her feel, and she stayed true to the unique quality of her own voice.
Well, you could have heard a pin drop!
The audience was glued to every note and swept up in the intimacy she created. And when she finished, there was first, silence. As if everyone needed a moment to regroup. And then, rousing applause.
And the moral of the story is…
When there are so many voices, so many super-star entrepreneurs shouting out their messages, waving their virtual hands to draw attention and attract a crowd, your best strategy is this:
Don’t try to stand out. Instead, sink in.
Whether you’re writing marketing copy or getting ready to speak in public or taking the stage to sing a song, sink in to your strengths, your message, your voice, and share what’s true to you.
Because when you do, your message (your song) will sink into the hearts of those you are meant to serve. It will resonate and touch something deep inside of them. They will hear you. They will remember you. And they will want more from you.
Here are 4 steps to help you sink in, and by doing so, stand out:
Your Message, Your Song
What is the message you want to share? What is it that you want to say?
Sink into the hot molten core of your message and let your marketing message bubble up from there. Let the words you use and how you use them come from that core place within you.
Your Why, Their Why
Why is it important to you to share this message? Why does it matter to you? And why should it matter to anyone else?
Sometimes, when I’m writing blog posts like these I find myself asking, over and over, “Who cares? Why should anyone care about this?” And if I can’t answer that question, I stop writing and don’t start again until I know why my message is important, valuable or worthwhile in some way.
Your Energy, Your Passion
How do you feel about your message? What does it stir up for you?
Anger? Guilt? Embarrassment? Elation? Excitement? Playfulness? Tune into how you feel about your message and let those feelings loose on the page or screen. Let the energy of who you are and what you feel determine the words you choose, the story you tell.
Danger! Danger! Danger!
If you’re bored or disengaged with whatever content or copy you are creating, give it up. If you’re not captivated and caught up in the driving desire to share your message, no one else will be. Believe me.
Your Own Voice
Please do yourself and everyone else in Internetland a big favor. Don’t try to sound like somebody else. Even someone you admire and respect. I know it can be tempting. But the last thing we need, especially in the online world, is another copycat imitation of something we’ve already had too much of.
Sink into your own way of writing or speaking. Even if you’re not sure what your true voice feels like or sounds like, set the intention to share your message in your own voice, in your own way. Give yourself permission to ignore the way others express themselves and follow the impulses that rise up from within you.
You don’t need to out-sing or even out-shine anyone. Just sink in to what’s true for you. Connect to the heart and soul of your message, and bring it forth in your own way, in your own voice.
So, tell me… what message do you most want to share with the world? If you only had one minute left on earth, and you could only share one thing before you were silenced forever, what would that message be?
Share it here, in the comments below. Tap into what you feel and the reason why you want to share this message, and let the words spill forth in whatever form they come.
We want to hear what you have to say.