Only one person can be the first. First to report, first to share. After that, it’s about the point of difference. Your point of difference is knowing what you bring to the party. And then making sure you actually bring it with you!
Don’t be the guest that turns up empty handed. This post is inspired by @chrisbrogan and his fabulously wonderful description of his clients and community as being like snowflakes. You can read it here.
What do you bring to the party?
I always try to turn up to the party in my best frame of mind. Like if you were attending a real life party, no one wants someone at their party who is miserable or moaning about all the terrible things happening. There is room for that in life, but it’s not at the party (unless that’s what you are building your personal brand around, of course!).
My best frame of mind is a bit like turning up in my best party dress, shiny accessories and best shoes, and my smiliest self on show. In social media/ online terms, my best self is about bringing to the party a sense of enthusiasm about being there, a hope of the connections that can be made, and a willingness to share positively with my community.
I like being a beacon for those around me. What I want to bring to the party is a sense of opportunity and possibility. A reminder that practically, it is possible. A sharing of the resources that shows, in fact this is the case (social media case studies, links to interesting and useful material).
I’m not the person who wants to be first. I want to share useful information, and I know my best self isn’t being the person who shares first. To share first, you usually need the contacts and the breadth for people to know you’re the first one out there with something significant.
You can add your unique slant
You may not be the first to use social, but you can add your unique slant for yourself and your personality (whether that personality is yours alone, or part of a wider brand you work for). Your unique slant is made up of a huge combination of factors that you can tweak until you find the right mix that really gets across what you want to be known for.
It comes from your background, your education, the work you do, the work you’d like to do, the sense of flow you have, the topics you want to be known for, the reason you are using social media, your learning style, your communications style. And much, much more!
Don’t announce it. Try it, play with it, enjoy it.
Sometimes we get caught in thinking we have to announce what “it” is. The being you, and your unique viewpoint, will come both from your knowledge of the subject, your engagement with it and what you believe you want to say.
You don’t have to announce that out loud, although you can if you like working that way. You can start small, on the edges. You can just start weaving more of that unique viewpoint into the way you write. Get comfortable with it, and question yourself to see what will help you bring out more of it in the way you work.
Not being yourself right now?
If you feel you’re just stuck in the crowd. Stop and take a deep breathe. Close your eyes. Reconnect with what the very best of you is. What you’d like to be known for. For the legacy you’d like to be behind. For what is at the very heart of the way that you work. And then get that out in the world.