San Antonio–According to the Pareto principle twenty percent of people make things happen grabbing the gusto of success. When it comes to social media marketing the actual percentile may be half of that. Much closer to the actuary tables used by insurance companies. But before we get to those numbers the question that begs answering is why such a low figure and what proof is there?
The short answer is successful people have shtick and a proven strategy to stand out. Webster defines shtick as, one’s special trait, interest, or activity. Every single person has it but few ever really develop it to its full potential.
Larry King will go down in history as one of the most successful broadcasters in the history of radio and TV. He worked at developing his shtick by being passionate about broadcasting. But this came after he paid his dues. Early in his career he had an unstable work history being fired and even having a brush with the law. Fearful of his creditors calling the radio station live on the air, he manged to keep them at bay long enough to turn things around. How did Larry rise from being a deadbeat to being a multi-million dollar brand?
Through an accident, fate, or both he found his shtick when he got a gig from an advertiser at the radio station he worked for. A restaurant seeking to increase their lunch hour traffic and a starving disc jockey thrown together by forces that would make history. They contracted to do a remote live broadcast from the restaurant. Needing to fill the time slot, Larry decided to interview ordinary patrons. This was the school of life where Larry honed his skills to develop the art of the interview.
In a short time listeners could not get enough of this reality program. Of course they wanted to try out this new restaurant hoping to be one of the lucky few to be interviewed to tell their story to The King. The ratings bonanza proved to be a win3 success. The advertiser and radio station won and Larry could finally take his shtick to the bank.
What can one learn from Larry and other people with shtick that are influential social marketers? The first step is to uncover or define clearly what your shtick is or could be. If you have no idea, not to worry, neither do the majority. Knowing thyself is the key.
If you were being interviewed by Larry how would you answer these questions?
- What do you do and how did you get started doing this?
- How long have you been doing this?
- What part of the country or what other country are you from?
- What was your very first job and how did that influence you in selecting your career?
- What is your chosen field and when did you selected this?
- What awards or recognitions have you acquired doing this?
- What is one thing that you are outstanding at?
- What are you most proud of?
- If your work was featured on the cover of The New York Times what would the headline?
- What expert knowledge or training do you have that people should know?
- Describe what you do using only adjectives to describe the benefits you provide.
- What value added do you bring to the table?
- How can you help individuals or organizations better than anyone?
- What are your forecasts for the future in your industry and why should companies know this?
- What is the biggest deal you have done and what did you learn from that?
- What has been the most difficult setback you have triumphed over and what did that teach you?
- What have you done to help customers benefit from or minimize the setbacks from the economic downturn?
- How do you help clients not lose sleep from worrying about their business?
- What is the most interesting and unusual client or deal you have executed or handled?
- If the roles were turned knowing what you know, why would you do business with your company?
- Why would you offer with confidence your product or services to friends and family?
- What time sensitive compelling offer do you have for companies?
- What would you do just for the love of it?
- What charities do you give time or resources to?
Answering these interrogatives will flush out and distill your social dna to package into your shtick. Once you are clear on what it is, you can be shameless in broadcasting it to your social network. One recommendation from personal experience is keep your family and close friends in a separate group. You can use pictures, quotes and stories to advertise your shtick. If you develop an art doing it, you will be on people’s radar. You will stand out as someone to know and a magnet to attract the “right” people and make genuine friends. Social media is what superstars in the three to seven percentile have always known, you know and are known by the movers and shakers that are deal makers.