I feel like smacking your brain with a valuable list post. Because you need to do stuff that matters. And to do that, you need to differentiate yourself. Here we go, crusaders:
1) Think epic right from the get-go. In my post about the bridging principle, I have stated that in order to do remarkable work you have to own a remarkable mindset FIRST. Even if your current skills blow, and you produce one clunker after another, you WILL do epic stuff as long as you think that way.
Epic mindset + passion = outstanding work in the long term.
Remember, skills are cheap, passion is priceless.
2) Get inspiration from unusual places. Most people get their main inspiration from sources in the same market and niche, and it’s incestuous. If you are in marketing, please don’t just read marketing blogs – “déjà vu”ing know stuff is career suicide.
I take my inspiration from consuming Japanese comic blogs and video game outlets, and this is helping me freshening UP my work.
Pick a complete different niche of inspiration and soak it all in !
3) Get into a good state FIRST. Most people just sit on their ass and crank out stuff we have seen to many times before. Why ? One reason is there in a lousy state. Before I create content & work, I get into a good state. I dance like a monkey on fire, do exercise and listen to my favorite music (Angels and Airwaves – HELL YEAH). This slams me in such a goood mood that writing awesome stuff becomes EASY !
4) keep reading my blog ( a no-brainer, I know)
5) Combine two concepts that normally don’t go together. I use Japanese comics and basic videogame design as my major inspiration to style my new blog. Instead of designing it like cranky-cookie-cutter blog, I use fresh input. Do the same. No matter which market you are in, combine it with something else to create something “new”. If you are into self help and movies, why not create a movie-themed design and blow people away with Hollywood references in your self-help posts ? Go creative.
6) Dominate your own word choice. Have you ever heard epic, digital crusader, white magic, shine and sweet-a-licious ? If you are reading my blog I know you have. Because those are my trademark words, and I’m repeating them until I get sick in the finger.
Gary V unofficially owns the expression “crush it”, and Chris Guillebeau secretly snatched the “unconventional lifestyle” term. It’s a bad-ass way to spread your brand awareness, so start using your own words and see your community spread them like a wildfire.
7) Charge your niche with emotional ammo. In my recent Blogcast interview I . People don’t just want niches, they want to be connected. So when you , be sure to emotionally bond with them. Follow an inspiring mission that leads to a greater future, connect people in your community with each other and charge your word choice with vivid, emotionally-charged word blasts. “I believe good, natural soap drastically improves your lifestyle and wellbeing” is much better than “Natural soap is good because (benefit 1) and (benefit 2).” Emotional and inspiring is the magical fuel that connects people.
8) Become known for your own thing, and then expand. Don’t try to juggle multiple careers in the beginning – singer, artist, speak, entrepreneur etc. This will divide your focus and result in “averaging” in each discipline. Focus on one path first and rule it. As soon as you gain influence and “fame”, you can do whatever you want to do, because your success and expertise in one area automatically transfers to other skillsets.
Seth Godin worked hard on becoming a grrreat marketer. He’s now considered to be America’s (or even the world’s) best marketer, and that status has allowed him to do pretty much anything: consulting, speaking, writing, DIY MBA’s, self-publishing – you name it, he got it.
Dominate your own thing until you become a “name” and then do whatever you want to do.
9)Turn your work into a cause. In Tyler Tervooren’s brilliant guide “the guerilla influence formula”, he states that you if you want to attract a raving fan base, you have turn your business into an inspiring mission. I agree. Instead of “just” being a designer, be the designer that is “helping web designers to impact the world awesomely”. You will attract a loyal fan base that wants to join your cause.
10) Deliver daily. Do your work as GOOD as possible and then just deliver the sucker. Perfection is for pussies. Your “art” useless if you don’t share it with the world. I also call this hitting the street running: create, deliver, create, deliver.
The more you get out, the better you get. The better you get, the more awesome stuff you deliver.
Isn’t this a beautiful cycle ?
11) Fail forward. I try a lot of stuff: new concepts, different posts, unique designs. Some of it rocks, a lot of blows. Experimenting with your work must be a habit like breathing. Copying someone else’s success and just slamming your own flavor on it isn’t enough anymore. Weclome to 2011 suckers.
You have to innovate and try new things, and that ALWAYS entails failure…or shall we say learning experience ? Fail forward.
What’s a principle that you follow CRAZILY in order to differentiate yourself ?
Share it in ze comments.
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