Roots, Rock, Reggae

When I was 7 years old I spoke with a Caribbean English accent. (If you don’t know what that is, listen to this interview with Bob Marley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj2JQWhiFS0 . It’s kind of like that. Now imagine a 7-year old, blonde haired, blue eyed kid speaking with that kind of accent…)

When I moved with my family from Saint Thomas, USVI where I was born to Advance, North Carolina where I lived until college, the other kids at Pinebrook Elementary must have thought my accent was really strange.

It didn’t take long for that Caribbean English accent to be replaced with something more like a Virginia Piedmont regional dialect.

And later, I intentionally changed that accent to something more neutral after I got made fun of during my first year of college.

Accents are fluid, or at least they can be. You can passively receive one, or you can create one of your own choosing. Kind of like your market position!

My first market position was a generalist position. It’s common for a generalist to do the following in their marketing:

  1. Talk about the skills they possess much more than the problems they can solve or how their expertise is applied
  2. Struggle to find a differentiator or something that makes their services unique and compelling
  3. Point out how flexible and versatile their process, approach, or skillset is

After you take control of your positioning by choosing a narrow, specific market to serve or problem to focus on, that marketing approach changes. You begin to:

  1. Talk about problems you solve or at least speak in very market-specific terms
  2. Use your depth of experience or a unique approach that may involve something you’ve invented to differentiate yourself from alternatives
  3. Point out how effective your approach is (instead of how flexible it is)

RE: point 3 on those two lists above, just imagine getting sick, seeing a medical specialist in whatever’s ailing you, and them saying “I want to collaborate with you in a way that’s comfortable for you to heal this disease. My recommendations are all optional and you should just follow the ones that are comfortable for you. Of course, I can’t guarantee results but I’d hate to make you uncomfortable in this process so I have developed a very flexible treatment process!”

That’s not what we really want from specialists. We want results, even if it’s an uncomfortable and inflexible process.

Anyway, just like Oscar-winning actors and regular folks like myself have changed their accent, you can change your market position to a better one.

This book is the only step-by-step resource to help people like you move into a better market position: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon mon,
-P

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