Stand Out in a Crowd: Three Questions for Marketing Strategist Dorie Clark

Stand Out in a Crowd: Three Questions for Marketing Strategist Dorie Clark
2/23/2016 1:04:46 PM


Motley
Stand Out in a Crowd: Three Questions for Marketing Strategist Dorie Clark

In this recent interview, Clark offers her perspective on how content creators like associations — and the professionals who work for them — can stand out in a crowd.

By Apryl Motley, CAE

"In any competitive marketplace, the thing you must avoid at all costs is becoming a commodity — a random, faceless provider who will suffice if the price is low enough,” writes Dorie Clark in a recent article for Entrepreneur.com.

An adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University, Clark has written extensively about how best to distinguish one’s self in a crowded marketplace. She has been recognized as a branding expert by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine. She is the author of Reinventing You(Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), which has beentranslated into six languages, including Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.

Her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Develop Your Breakthrough Idea and Develop a Following Around It, was named the #1 leadership book of 2015 by Inc. magazine. In the course of writing the book, Clark interviewed more than 50 top achievers in their fields to determine how best to identify the ideas that set you apart, promote them successfully, and build a community of followers.

In this recent interview, Clark offers her perspective on how content creators like associations — and the professionals who work for them — can stand out in a crowd.

Sidebar: As associations face competition from other content providers, how can they distinguish themselves and make their content stand out from the rest?

Clark: Associations can distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace by doing two things. First, they can create hyper-targeted content that will be of keen interest to their membership. They understand their needs, problems, and opportunities their members face better than anyone, and if they speak to this clearly, it will resonate.

Second, they can invest in detailed, long-form content — the kind that takes time and energy to create. Many content providers these days slap things together and share quick opinions rather than providing facts or useful information. Associations can set themselves apart by going in the opposite direction.

Sidebar: What is the biggest lesson that you learned about publishing while writing your book,Stand Out?

Clark: In a world where so much content is being produced, if you’re going to get noticed, you need to develop your own audience. It’s essential to build a permission-based email list where you have the ability to communicate directly with the people who are most interested in what you have to say.

You can do this by creating an interesting and valuable giveaway that people will be interested in signing up to receive, such as this 42-page Stand Out self-assessment workbook I created to complement my book.

Sidebar: How can association media and publishing professionals best establish themselves as leaders in their organizations who have influence and a following?

Clark: In the course of writing Stand Out, I discovered that one of the surest ways to gain influence inside your organization is to gain influence outside of it.

When others begin to understand that outsiders value your ideas and opinions, they’re much more likely to take you seriously and value your insights. So taking on leadership roles in professional associations and sharing your ideas by blogging or using social media is a great way to give others a window into how you think; as a result, your repute will grow.


Apryl Motley is a communications consultant and freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor to Association Media & Publishing’s Signature magazine and a member of its Content Creation Committee.

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