You focus on your brand, but do you focus on your mission?
Pubcon 2014 Las Vegas kicked off this morning with a keynote from Chris Brogan, who impressed upon us the need to focus on the “why” we do what we do.
He describes your mission as “what drives your deepest purpose.” You have to understand your mission, and truly believe in it. If you believe in your mission, you’ll find that extra gear to drive your energy and your work further than ever. Who do you care about, what do they need, why do you do what you do? That has to be apparent to your audience. That’s why the phone and tablet versions of chrisbrogan.com ensure you cannot avoid seeing the mission.
Your branding, the logos, the colors, the looks and feel, how your voice and tone sounds, is the outward expression of that mission. You have to invest in it, but when you do, you must make sure your brand truly complements your mission. “Match these well for excellence.”
Then Brogan asks us to consider what we’re competing on. How are we measuring ourselves against others, and selling ourselves? Should we be competing on cost alone? No. There’s greater opportunity to compete on mission and better service. That’s where you can differentiate from your competitors and stand out.
Believing in and living your mission drives better service, which in turn drives better success. And that’s why we have to better understand our purpose. According to Brogan, owners struggle with making the best use of their freedom and time (sometimes trying to do everything), and what we need to identify is how we can best serve our communities. Start with a need, design a solution and create that product. When your product is in the form of content, whether books, newsletters, blogs or webinars, deliver value. Whatever your product is, deliver value.
And if your income is currently based on work not driving your mission? Stop doing that and refocus. It may seem hard to do this, but it’s possible.
Business is about belonging. Brogan points out that too often, we try to go through our business dealings while we avoid talking to people. We don’t want to interact with people, we just want them there to buy from us. Change that. Engage. Keep your mission alive with content and participation that drives your business. Their stories will become your content. Rather than a sales pitch, these stories will reinforce the true value of your brand, and your fans will sell for you. Brogan’s newsletter allows you to reply directly back to him, because he understands the value of that engagement and that connection.
And finally, make sure you’ve giving people the next move they need to take. Give them something to do. Suggest that action you want them to take, using language that encourages them to do so.
By standing by your mission, delivering value and keeping value alive with content and participation, you’ll see great gains. And very likely, you’ll feel more satisfaction about the work you are doing and the services you are providing.