Embrace Your Uniqueness

Girl sitting on a purple bench by Heather Liebensohn

I talk about authenticity in sales and marketing a lot, and this Freakonomics episode with Malcolm Gladwell really resonated with me.

Malcolm says, “what people respond to as an audience is authenticity … so you want to be as unusual as you can — spend time thinking about ‘who am I’ … what is the image and message I’m trying to project, about the kind of person I am and how I see the world”.

He’s saying to embrace your unusual-ness.

If you’re a business owner, non-profit, professional, or artist, it’s arguably more important to sell yourself — you, the person — more than your actual product or service.

Think about it — what’s worth more money, something rare and unique or a commodity you can get anywhere? An original painting or a knock-off made in China?

Video is a great way to capture the realness that words don’t do justice. The little mannerisms and body movements. The pauses in between the words. And of course, the voice tone itself. Remember back when we actually used voice mail? Have you ever called and heard a person’s voice for the first time, and you immediately created a mental judgement about them. Do I trust them? Are they nice?

Many people resist being on video because they don’t want to show their flaws, or they don’t want to make it about “them”. But, people connect with people. And especially with today’s overcrowded landscape of ads and social media posts, if you’re not being real, people will tune you out.

It’s important to somehow capture the real you and put it out there.

The best way to get good video of yourself is to film a long conversation, then pull out the best moments. The result is a video that evokes a feeling of trust with the viewer — like they’re meeting the real person behind the business, not just a talking head.

The great thing is that there’s only one you. If you get a soundbite or two that capture some passion and feeling, with a touch of vulnerability, the right “buyers” will resonate with your personality and the wrong ones will be filtered out. You’ll do more business with people who are aligned with your values — people who are happy to pay what you’re worth, and the others are free to go be someone else’s headache.

Originally published at https://michaeldefern.com on January 22, 2021.

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Michael Defern

Michael Defern

Author, songwriter, video producer. 15 years sober. Obsessively curious about mindfulness. marketing & human connection. Sharing stories with practical insight.