A good comedian gets the crowd roaring by daring to speak the truth. It brings a relief to the audience, a sense of "Finally--somebody has the guts to say this."
The dose of humor is what slings the truth straight to the heart--leading to unstoppable laughter.
What differentiates a great comedian from a mediocre comedian is the same thing that differentiates a great business with a solid brand from a mediocre business with weak brand.
While catching up on past seasons of Last Comic Standing--the judge that consistently gave the best advice was Keenen Ivory Wayans.
As I got inspired by his advice I realized how it related perfectly to building a strong business brand. Below I've distilled the core four:
1. Point of View
In business--you need to have a point of view. The stronger the point of view the better. Many people shy away from this for fear of being shunned, judged, or misunderstood. In the process they dilute their message. In trying to appeal to everyone--their brand weakens.
To stand out in business you need a clear strong voice, with a sharp point of view. Daring to take a stand on issues and having a solid opinion will strengthen your brand. You may turn a lot of people off but you will turn a stronger more loyal crowd on. Plus--you won't run the risk of fading away in a crowded marketplace.
The good news: by being who you are--no holds barred, you will have a strong point of view. The lesson is to bring all of who you are to the table.
2. Build Your Set
In a comedic act you need to build you set and continue to build on your foundation--from your opening line to the final joke, you need to keep building and strengthening your comedic set.
The same is true in business. Start with a solid foundation and keep building on it.
Always focus on growing and getting better. Consistently ask yourself:
• How can I be of service?
• How can I give?
• What would my ideal customer love?
• What's my next project?
• What's the next step towards growth?
Stay alert to what your ideal clients are saying and talking about--by paying attention to what they ask for, what they struggle with, and what they want support with, you'll be sure to continue building your set in business: adding more relevant products, programs, and courses.
Business requires that you stay innovative and build upon what you've done and ask yourself how can you steadily work on making your offerings better.
3. Great Writing + Practice Your Writing
In business--good writing equates to good marketing. Depending on what your business revolves around, good writing could be integral to your core business--especially if you're an aspiring author, teacher, or program/course creator.
No matter what you sell in business, you need to market it to sell it. And that entails writing. Whether your writing shows up in your website marketing-copy, or via video or audio--just like a comedian who gets on stage to speak--it all begins with the behind-the-scenes work: the writing.
The most important takeaway is keep practicing. Because the more you write the better you get. Plus you shouldn't expect to "just be good" right off the bat. Every excellent writer and marketer only became excellent by devoted disciplined commitment to writing. If you're in business, you need to commit to this too.
4. Bring Your Pain/The Truth and Spin it to Help Others
This key is magic. As humans we're hardwired to connect with others. The reason somebody will choose to work with you over a competitor is because of you. In order for them to choose you they need to connect with you. When you're authentic--coming from the heart, people can feel it.
When you dare to open up and "bring the pain" - also known as what author and speaker Brene Brown refers to as vulnerability--you connect deeply with others. People see your human side, and once they see that you've gone through something they can relate too, they naturally feel closer to you, trust you more, and want to do business with you.
As Brene Brown says: vulnerability doesn't mean over-sharing or letting it all hang out. It's about being strategic and mindful about what you choose to share, and to make sure that whatever you share--you spin it to help others.
When you can share mindfully, bring your pain and then find a way to spin it to help others--you've hit gold. This creates a connection with future clients that builds loyalty and trust: the fundamental principles to a thriving business that leads to constant referrals and repeat business.
Tova's a Writer and Consultant based out of Vancouver. She teaches creatives and holistic entrepreneurs how to create clarity, focus, and take action on their work. For a Free E-Guide on 5 Keys to Starting and Finishing Your Dream Project Sign Up at www.tovapayne.com Her new book Soulful Entrepreneurship will be released later this year