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Having an Opinion is No Longer Optional

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HAVING-AN-OPINIONThere’s a saying which I’m sure you’ve heard about opinions…and how we all have them.  I’m not sure if that is entirely true. Because if what I see out there some days in the entrepreneurial world is any indication, it’s a whole lotta vanilla.

If this content was ice cream…it wouldn’t even be yummy French vanilla or delicious vanilla bean, but the cheap knock off discount kind of vanilla that’s not even in a proper container but those freakin’ boxes that no one even can close properly. The kind of ice cream that’s just a sad waste of calories and leaves you pretty unsatisfied.

When it comes to creating a voice for your brand and telling stories, you need to have a damn opinion. Not convinced? Think of the brands you love. Companies you admire. They’re leaders because they have opinions. They’re worth following because they aren’t discount vanilla, but the most exotic and tantalizing jamoca almond fudge in packaging that makes you feel like a total someone for only $5.

In short, you know exactly what they stand for.

Why Taking a Stand is Good for Business

Information overload is very real. Scary real.

It’s called “overload” because at a certain point our brains simply can’t process all of the information being thrown at us. According to Science Daily, 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years – which means more email, texts, social media and content for us to consume.

So, when you send your message out in the world, your competition is stiff. And it is getting harder and harder to get noticed and actually be memorable, because you’re just another piece of data in a day brimming with information.

To cut through the clutter and actually stand out – you need to take a stand. There needs to be something in your message that makes people “hook” into it so it sticks. That could be a story that connects emotionally, an unexpected point that creates a pattern interrupt, or simply sharing a point of view that creates curiosity.  You need to tap into a different part of their brain or you’ll quickly just be another Buzzfeed quiz or hyperactive goat video added into the mental clutter.

What Having an Opinion is Not

Sounds like a tall order right?

Notice I didn’t say you had to be completely balls to the wall crazy opinionated? You don’t need to suddenly be dropping    f-bombs like I’m ought to do after one too many Forty Creek Whiskeys and Diet Coke when I’m out with the girls.

Having an opinion doesn’t require you to be anything you aren’t. But it does require you to NOT be wishy washy. You can’t please everyone. And EVERYONE isn’t your customers. If you’re afraid of offending someone good, just make it someone who isn’t your ideal customer.  You don’t even need to offend, but your job is to repel the wrong people and draw your perfect-for-you clients to you like Yogi Bear to a picnic.

[Tweet “Want to draw clients to you like Yogi Bear to a picnic? Have an opinion. via @magspatterson”]

While there’s a lot of personal brands around that you can easily point to that hook people in by being brash, not every brand needs to do that. So if that’s not your style, know that you can (and should) still have an opinion.

You can have an opinion and be kind. Hell, you can have an opinion and be nice about it. The key is that at the core of your opinion there’s some actual foundational beliefs backing it up. Because the best opinions, stories and connections come from you showing up and putting skin in the game.

So please stop being vanilla. Please stop agreeing with people because you think you “should” or you’re afraid of rocking the boat. If you are thinking it and feeling it, other people are too. I can guarantee it.

Take some time to figure out what you stand for. What do you want more of, less of, feel is right/wrong? Make sure as you figure it out you have a well thought out set of ideas around it, and remember, you don’t need to own everything.

Step up and talk about things that make sense for you and your business. Start sharing it. Because you can be another health coach that talks about juicing, or you can be the one that thinks there’s another way to do it.

Figure out what you stand for and start sharing it. You don’t have to lead a revolution, you just need to get your people to follow you.

Want a Launch Party Loot Bag?

You may notice I have a shiny new opt-in that is a pile of fun. It’s like mad libs for your marketing, so you definitely want to get in on that action! Click here to get the Storytelling Shortcut direct to your inbox.

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And this week only – I’m running a draw! You can enter to win one free session of The Story Distillery. Winners will be announced on my Facebook page and by email on November 10th.

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[Tweet “The party’s going on over @magspatterson’s brand new site. Enter to win a Story Distillery Session”]

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