Social Media Business Hour | Episode 106 featuring Dorie Clark Nile Nickel & Jordan Salamone
Who Is Dorie Clark And Why She Is A Standout?
She is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai. Her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, was released by Portfolio/Penguin in April 2015.
Dorie consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, and to name a few, these includes Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service. She is also a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Visiting Professor for IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. She has taught marketing and communications at Tufts University, Suffolk University, Emerson College, HEC-Paris, Babson College, the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and Smith College Executive Education. She has been named to the Huffington Post’s “100 Must Follow on Twitter” list for 2013 and 2014, and to the #Nifty50 list of top women on Twitter. She was also named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference,” and recognized in Forbes as one of “25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015.”
Dorie grew up in a very small town in North Carolina – pre-Internet era – and felt incredibly frustrated with the lack of opportunities and like-minded people, left home early to head to college, so she could get a jumpstart on doing the things she cared about, one of which is like getting a master’s degree in theology and becoming a political reporter, presidential campaign spokesperson, nonprofit executive director, and documentary filmmaker.
In 2006, she launched a marketing strategy consulting business, and eventually started writing, speaking professionally, and teaching for business schools. What she is passionate about? She is very passionate about helping others take control of their professional lives and make an impact on the world. And because of this burning passion, she have written two books – Reinventing You and the Stand Out – to help make that a reality which we are going to dig dipper later on.
She encountered so many people out there, so many talented people that has great ideas, so much promise and potential but unfortunately this world gets noisier and more crowded that their ideas aren’t getting heard and that’s sad a very sad news, not just for them but also sad for entire humanity. Let’s face it, we all want to live in a world where the best ideas get heard, get circulated and can improve things for all of us. Because of that she wrote this book that essentially helped the good guys to try to create a clear pathway that regular professionals could follow, that when they have an idea that they are burning to share or if they know that they want to make a contribution but aren’t quite sure where or how to do it so that they can get clarity on that so that they can make the full contribution that they’re capable of.
Are you one of these people who waits to be struck by a lightning just to have an amazing revelation? Or a type of writer who waits for some whispers to get inspired, or simply the person who just rolls up their sleeves and say, “let’s just do it”.
Too many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard, they will be recognized as experts on the merits of their work. But she disagrees on this by saying, it is simply not true anymore. Her advice. To make a name for yourself, you have to capitalize on your unique perspective and knowledge and inspire others to listen and take action. You have to be a Thought Leader. Can you really experience breakthrough by just being a thought leader? The answer is Yes, though becoming a “thought leader” is a mysterious and opaque process. Like answering the questions, where do the ideas come from? And how can I get noticed?
She then explains how to identify the ideas that set you apart and how to promote them successfully. And now, you might be wondering, what are these ideas, the keys to set you apart from the rest of the world? The keys are; recognize your own value, Cultivate your expertise, and Put yourself out there.
Her featuring vivid examples and drawing on interviews with great thought leaders like Seth Godin, Dan Pink, David Allen, Robert Cialdini, etc., she then teaches readers how to develop big ideas, leverage existing affiliations, and build a community of followers. Not offering mere self-promotion, but an opportunity to change the world for the better while giving you the ultimate career insurance.
Following through her statement of thought leaders developing ideas, leverage, affiliations and community of followers. These thought leaders are not just waiting for some magic moment. Instead, they roll up their sleeves, get active and involved, and engaged with the general ideas bringing them to the beginning of greater openings. They explored and play, and they’ve played well. Did CEO Starbucks Howard Shultz invent the coffee? No. He did not invent the coffee nor the coffee shops. What he did, he simply invented a different way to do coffee shops and yet that was enough to be a genuine breakthrough that has changed the world of food and of retailing and has become a global empire.
As she came across a range of thought leaders as to how they came up with their breakthrough ideas, she was able to come up with these 5 amazing strategies that I’ll be sharing with you.
1. Niche Strategy – A narrow area of inquiry. Allowing you to become recognized as the undisputed master in a certain terrain and then you can move incrementally from there to expand your reputation as an expert.
2. Mixing Disciples – She defined this by giving an example of a certain guy she profiled in Stand out who was able to combine biology and mathematics in a really interesting way and it lead to a lot of breakthroughs when he was applying big data to studying disease.
3. Research – Not just research, but doing an original research and this can mean a lot of different things but it doesn’t have to be a highly technical pursuit although it could. But original research could mean writing reviews or it could mean making like a journalist and interviewing people. It could mean doing case studies. But it basically just means creating something original that’s not just your opinion that you’ve pulled out of your head and adding to the discourse. That’s a third thing that can really establish you as an expert.
4. Tackling – It is having a worthy problem. What I call tackling a worthy problem. Basically the idea here is that if you pick a subject that people are already talking about, that people already really care about then they’re going to be far more receptive to listening to your ideas about it. It’s kind of going with the wave instead of against the wave. So if you are focused in on a big problem that gets people excited
5. Create a framework – It is you having a foundation of principles which will result into you getting a disproportioned share of recognition amongst everyone else’s.
During the course of her interviewing great people for her book Stand out, she began to realize that there were really clear patterns about how those ideas had spread and what had enabled people to become recognized experts and really build their following around it, parsing the phrase “thought leader”. What she actually like about it, is that it’s very clear about what it means and what it does not mean. The “thought” part means you are famous for your ideas. There has to be some substance to what you do whether you’re an international thought leader or just maybe a thought leader at your company but it has to be about the quality of your ideas and then the leader part, by definition, you can’t do it if you don’t have followers. This statements leads to the question;
How do you get them? What does the process look like? And what I discovered is that it is a three phase process in terms of spreading those ideas
Build your network.
Develop one on one relationships with a small group of trusted people. These are folks who you can think of them as a kitchen cabinet, as a personal board of directors but they should be people that you like and whose opinion you trust so that you can get their honest feedback in the early stages about which ideas are good and which are bad. Focusing on how you can refine things to make them better and they can provide initial advice or resources or support to get it off the ground.
Speak Out. Blog about your Idea
This is where you begin blogging about your idea or speaking about it or doing webinars or whatever you desire to reach out spreading your ideas beyond people that you already know personally. This is the action where you are talking to the masses and where you’re taking the steps to make yourself discoverable to people who are or might be interested in your ideas
Build your community
Once you have a group of people that is listening to you and likes what you’re saying the final step is connecting those people so that your audience starts talking to each other and once that happens it’s kind of this magic alchemy because the word can begin to spread exponentially. If other people are talking about your idea it will carry infinitely farther than it ever could if it’s just you talking about your idea. If it’s something that they’re passionate about and that they find actually valuable in their own lives then the word can spread and it can really take on the characteristics of a movement.
Cheryl Sandberg of Lean in who is another popular book. Who became a media phenomenon by just by just the word “Lean In”, a powerful element that people believed and were interested in it enough that they started literally all across the country, all across the world, to “Lean in”. Which leads Dorie to the common denominator. You just need the word lean in. And that is the magic secret sauce. Have a great idea and make it easy for people to understand the idea until it becomes self-sustaining.
In terms of building the community, the internet can be really a powerful tool here. Some of the communities that are very strong and resilient are formed around very simple low cost, easy to maintain things like Facebook or LinkedIn groups or email listings or online discussion boards. Any of those things literally can become communities of a sort, only if you are thoughtful and strategic in how you moderate them and how you frame it and present it to people that they really are part of a community and should begin to think of themselves that way.
Being curious, we asked Dorie about her personal motivation, her passion behind Stand Out and to quote, “In writing Stand out I really started out essentially by wanting to try to solve my own problem which is that I, for the past nine years, have been a marketing strategy consultant and have done well but there is a lot of people in the business, there is a lot of people doing lots of things that I do. There’s a lot of marketing consultants, there’s a lot of business authors, there’s a lot of keynote speakers. I do all of those things and so I became really fascinated with the question of how do you differentiate yourself, what do you actually do, what do you have to do to become recognized for your true talents and become known as one of the best in your field and I figured that the best way; perhaps the only way of figuring that out would be to study the people who had already reached that echelon and try to piece together what they had done because for most people it’s not like you necessarily have a conscious methodology that you follow. Yes, thanks for asking. Here’s the five things that I did that sequentially led to my success. I mean, most people don’t have it mapped out that way. they can just tell you their story but so what I did and the reason I interviewed 50 people is so that I could look for the patterns in it and try to create a structure based on that essentially because I wanted to figure it out for myself but also because I like to think I have a sort of a democratic impulse and I thought you know what? If there’s other people who have really good ideas to share, I want them to share it. I would like to hear that. I would like to see their potential be fulfilled because there’s a lot of people who just really don’t know where to start and it’s sad when their ideas go to waste and I would prefer that no one’s ideas go to waste”
This is the question that she would like you to ask yourself. Can you stand out? On her book she put together a free 42-page workbook which are all adapted from Stand out. At the end of every section in Standout she have a series of ask-yourself-questions to assess yourself and put all of your self-assessments together into this workbook. It is 139 questions that literally walks you through step by step the process of how to find your breakthrough idea and then build a following around it and so if folks are interested in learning how to do that they can download it for free off of my website which is dorieclark.com. It’s D-O-R-I-E-C-L-A-R-K.com