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Work On Your Game Content/Personal Branding/Don't Convince. Just Let 'Em Know You Got It
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Don't Convince. Just Let 'Em Know You Got It

Drug dealers -- people who sell illegal street drugs -- don't actually "sell" anything. I would venture to hypothesize that the hard part of drug dealing is not the act of selling drug users on the idea of needing or wanting the product; the users have already decided that. The hard part of drug dealing is being the available dealer when and where that user wants the dugs.

(Anyone with real-life experience who wishes to confirm or contradict my educated guess, feel free to do so in comment -- under assumed names, of course.)

The product is proven and the market is there. The customers are out there and they want to spend their money. All that's left is to have the product and make it known that you have it -- the selling part is already done.

What does this have to do with building a brand? Everything.

You use your platforms -- tweets, status updates, email blasts, your blog -- to build demand for your product. Does it have to be an actual product you exchange for money? Not at all. Your product can be your knowledge of a topic. It can be your style of writing that people want more of. It can be the next video you decide to put out. It can your response to questions from the community you're building. The demand will always be there; the question is, To whom does the community go to have it supplied? The answer can be you, as long as you remain consistent in delivering what your community wants and needs. You deliver on your end, and your community sells itself. Not on a product, but on you. You are the product they want. Once they know you have it, you don't have to do much selling.

A sales program I was in back in my college days featured a speaker telling the class a story of how he used to work at Sprint mobile phone kiosk in a mall. He stopped a woman walking by, as those salespeople often do, and engaged her in conversation about her current phone, and his supposedly-better phone. The speaker told us how the woman didn't agree that the Sprint phone was better, and how he subsequently, and stupidly, debated with this woman for nearly a half hour because he was sure he was right. Long story short, he didn't sell that woman a phone, he didn't make any money for that half hour, he worked his and this woman's nerves with the pointless long debate, and he missed out on several potential customers walking by as he tried and tried to convince that woman to buy his product.

The minor lesson: Even back then, cell phones were not a new thing. If anyone wanted a cell phone, they knew where and how to get one. People buy what they like when it comes to phones; there's not much selling to be done.

The major lesson: When you have the goods, you don't have to convince anyone of anything. Just let them know you have it by being present and active, and they will come to you.

Once you build your house -- you sharing your passion and knowledge and experience with the world, and the community that follows -- you do not need to convince anyone to come in, sit down and have a cup of coffee. They will come in if they want to, and leave when they wish. Your job is to have the goods (delivering useful content) and be available when they want it (what do you have? how easily can I get it? Is this obvious to the casual observer?).

It sells itself, as long you have have enough to go around.

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