8 manières de le prendre au prochain niveau

16 août 2008

par Dustin Wax

N'importe ce que vous faites, là vient un moment où vous allez vouloir prendre des choses vers le haut d'une entaille. Peut-être c'est votre carrière - même si les choses vont le long de l'amende en ce moment, finalement vous voudriez obtenir une promotion, augmenter votre base de client, ou atteindre une plus grande assistance. Ou peut-être c'est un passe-temps que vous pensez que vous voudriez se transformer en carrière.

Obtenir commencé par n'importe quoi peut être une lutte, mais une fois que vous atteignez un certain niveau de succès, il peut être difficile de figurer dehors comment faire celui que ce soit toi fassent vraiment remarquable. Les choses nous avons une manière de développer leur propre inertie, et si nous ne faisons pas attention, nous obtenons portés le long dans la routine sans réaliser jamais la pleine capacité de ce qu'être nous et nos vies pouvons.

Comment pouvez-vous secouer des choses levez-vous un peu ? Que devez-vous faire pour prendre votre projet, votre carrière, votre produit, ou votre vie au prochain niveau ?

1. Établissez votre marque

Les lecteurs à long terme savent que je n'ai pas toujours été fanatique de l'idée de stigmatiser personnel. Considérez-moi convaincu.

La force de votre marque est à quel point vous êtes associé à quoi que vous fassiez. Par exemple, lifehack.org offre des bouts et entaille pour augmenter la productivité personnelle. Quand les gens entendent le mot « lifehack », ils pensent à la productivité personnelle, et quand ils entendent « la productivité personnelle » ils pensent au lifehack. C'est une jolie marque forte. Certains ont des marques également fortes : quand vous entendez parler du marketing de permission, les chances sont toi pensent à Seth Godin.

How strongly is your name linked with what you do? What could you do to link them more strongly? Some things to consider:

  • Traditional marketing: Commercials, print ads, billboards, bus wraps — anything that gets your name and message in people’s faces. There are a few problems, though: people might mistake your message, linking you with the wrong speciality; people tend to tune out a lot of advertising as a survival mechanism; people often respond negatively to blatant branding efforts; it’s quite expensive.
  • Blogging: A blog is a conversation with your audience, and can help build up a loyal following that actually cares about what you do.
  • Word-of-mouth: Hard to create and hard to fake, but very effective. Seek out people with a great deal of influence and focus on convincing them of your value. If Seth Godin wrote on his blog that I was the best web writer he knew of, you can bet that within the day my career would be at the next level (maybe the level after that, even!).

2. Build Your Audience

Make a concerted effort to increase the number of people who know about you. Branding is part of this, but it’s not all of it. Give something away, find a new outlet, tell everyone you meet what you do, hand out cards wherever you go, show up at conferences and exhibitions, go to your kids’ classrooms and talk about what you do (and make it interesting enough that they tell their parents). Make yourself useful so people have a compelling reason to pay attention.

3. Increase Your Output

Give your audience, whoever that is, more of what they expect from you. Double, triple, or septuple your output. If you’re a writer, write twice as much. If you’re an actor, get into more plays. If you’re a filmmaker, pledge to produce four short films this year instead of one. Make a painting a day. Aim to top your sales quotas by 50% every month. Do whatever it takes to make yourself more productive. Learn to do whatever you do in half the time — then halve it again. (Read lifehack.org every day, of course!)

4. Improve Your Output

Make whatever you make twice as well. Improve the quality of your work until people have no choice but to stop and gape. Create benchmarks for your output, and aim to top them every single time. Take classes, read book, follow a mentor, practice twice as much, commit yourself to doing what it takes to master your craft or profession.

5. Expand Your Niche

Do what you do now but with a wider outlook. If you write about dogs, start writing about pets in general. If you sell widgets, get into the widget case business. If you’re a musician, learn how to produce. Think about the people whose needs you aren’t meeting, and figure out how to meet them. Don’t try to create a new niche altogether, just look for ways to complement and leverage the work you’re already doing.

6. Restrict Your Niche

Or, do the opposite. Focus yourself on a narrow part of your niche until you’re the only one doing it. If you write about sports, write about baseball, then write about left-handed pitchers. If you make household appliances, make appliances for college students (and then for left-handed college students, maybe). If you paint landscapes, paint trees. If you do marketing consulting, offer viral marketing techniques that work with teenage boys. Become the person people have to go to when they have very specialized needs, because you’re the only one that does it.

7. Cross-Develop

Figure out how to use what you know in an entirely different way. If you coach little leaguers, write a book about coaching. If you offer one-on-one organization coaching, work with a developer to create home organization software. If you’re a TV camera operator, tutor middle schoolers in video podcasting. Find a new way to challenge yourself and put your knowledge to the test — while developing new knowledge and skills.

8. Expand Your Network

Your audience are the people who buy, read, or otherwise use your product; your network are the people that help you make it, market it, or distribute it. Focus on building strong relationships with a variety of people both in and out of your profession. Don’t try to fake it — strong relationships have to be genuine or they won’t last. Join a social networking site like LinkedIn and work it like mad. Go to trade shows, conferences, and exhibitions and talk to every exhibitor and every presenter. Make a list of 20 people in your field you want to know and email them introductions. Build relationships with your 10 best clients. Build relationships with someone from your top competitors (if that’s legal). Join a professional organization and run for an office.

Obviously these are not all exclusive — you can and sometimes have to do more than one at the same time. And they’re not all necessary — some even contradict others. But all of them shake up your routines and make people pay attention to you, whether those people are potential clients, potential customers, or potential partners.

None of these are keys to instant success. All of them require hard work and time to show any effect. If you’re ready to take it to the next level — and you’re ready to put in the work and commitment that entails — then go through the list and ask yourself how each item could help get you there.


5 Responses to “8 Ways to Take It to the Next Level”

  1. Sid Savara on August 17th, 2008 3:12 am

    I especially like the point you make about cross developing . It reminds me a lot about the stories I hear of how startups are founded. They start of trying to solve one problem, work on something related (or in the case of Flickr, totalls unrelated!) and expand their business in a new direction. I think that same lesson applies to people as well.

    Sid Savara’s last blog post..Leveraging Expertise - On The Shoulders Of Giants

  2. Mighty on August 18th, 2008 6:07 am

    I like number 5 and 6. Although at first they seem contradictory, they are actually complementary. After knowing the bigger picture, you get down to the details and start focusing, narrowing down topics and activities.

    I would paraphrase it by saying that we need to know the big picture, but work out the nitty gritty details. :D

    thanks for a great read!

    Mighty’s last blog post..Kinds of Communication

  3. etavitom on August 18th, 2008 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the great wisdom and inspiration. Finding a niche is key!!

  4. DanGTD on August 20th, 2008 4:52 am

    Besides expanding your niche (or restricting your niche), you can move to another niche, taking what you learned from the first venture and applying it there. Every business reaches its “growing pains”.

  5. sunnyray on August 21st, 2008 12:58 pm

    I like your points 5 and 6, probably because they are so opposite. But you are right, some times we are too much focused, too much specialized and we fail to see the greater picture. Or the opposite, we want to achieve too much, we want to know too much, so we fail to concentrate our energy. Thanks for the inspirational article.

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