I cultivate game changers. I don’t want to waste my time working with clients that still have their heads operating inside their industry’s box. Packing up and walking away doesn’t happen too often. In fact, it’s only happened twice. I have gotten a lot smarter in quickly identifying, during the first phone meeting, whether or not a client will be worth my time. More often, I’ll spend as much as two hours explaining to clients why letting go of best practices is the new best practice.
INNOVATE FOR NEW BEST PRACTICES
I hate to bring up the word innovate (yet another annoying buzz word imho), but it’s relevant to this post. You’ve heard it said before and really, it’s the truth. Things are happening incredibly fast. There isn’t much out there that can be considered *original* anymore. Just as pretty blondes are a dime a dozen in L.A. (yes, I went there), so too are startups with great ideas (well, some not so great but I give then an A for effort). What sets these startups apart from all the other ones within the same category isn’t so much the first to market, though that helps too. Sometimes, being first doesn’t always mean being the best. In fact, being first leaves you open to others studying your offering, knowing your weakness, and improving on the wheel that you’ve just created — and making it better *ouch*.
… understand best practices, but take it to another level and innovate for better practices. In other words, they lead the pack.
The point is, the startups that succeed are the ones that dare to be different. This is not a rule but based on startup historical facts. The “dare to be different” phrase isn’t new but when applied to startups, it does go a long way. Startups don’t even have to have a box to “think inside of”, as long as one or two of the components in their strategy is innovative. They innovate on something that has been done time and time again. They understand best practices, but take it to another level and innovate for better practices. In other words, they lead the pack.
BEST PRACTICES: ASK THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION
This is the million dollar question I ask clients. “Do you want to lead the pack?” If they say “yes” with a gleam in their eye (albeit a trace of doubt), then I know I can genuinely put my time, effort, bold creativity, and strategies into place. If they say “yes” without that gleam, I know it’ll be an uphill battle. I might as well change my name to Sisyphus. That might not be an exact analogy. Hopefully, you get the picture.
Pssssst. Being innovative is so easy. Basically, it’s looking at what others are not doing, and doing it. I know, I know, that doesn’t really sound like a recipe for success. That’s only part 1a. You need part 1b.
Part 1b is simply to be human.
Startups and companies that integrate basic human qualities and use these as a way to reach out to people (as common sense and logical as it may sound), is still an innovative way when it comes to communicating from a marketing standpoint. It’s innovative because it has not been readily adapted in best practices. In fact, clients are still worried and baffled at the idea of presenting their brand(s) as simply being human.
WHAT DO HUMANS WANT
When companies are honest about what they want to do, and welcome others to help out in their goal, it ultimately results in a win-win. The company gets to achieve their goal(s) in a manner that people want to support. And, people will get something in return that they want (be it a product or a service).
After all, your startup idea or company goal(s) shouldn’t just be about doing something you are passionate about. You can’t really make money just from that, per se. Your idea or goal(s) should also include what others can get passionate about. Make them want it, or want to use it. You then have a foundation for monetization, should you go that route.
Moving forward, I highly recommend that we let go of best practices, innovate for better practices, and lead the pack.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I took this post from out of my personal blog. A blog that I recently resurrected for the purpose of validating my own thoughts. You may not agree with the things I write about. That’s perfectly okay.