Imagine a hotel brochure. You’d like to take a get-away weekend to relax and unwind.
Now I want you to think about the room. What do you imagine?
You imagine a 5-star hotel room. Everyone does.
This is because when the only information you have is about things that are exceptional, you transfer that quality onto everything about that specific experience.
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When you present yourself as exceptional, people assume you are exceptional at all things.
When you present things that are average, it reduces that value of the things that are exceptional.
What this means is that you need to be brutal and cut everything that is not amazing out of your brand. Cut.It.Out.
When you put your best foot forward and highlight only the most amazing things about yourself, your audience tends to believe that everything about you is amazing.
Let’s go back to this hotel example. What if you found out that they have a 5-start restaurant AND a 3-star spa. What do you think about the hotel now? Are you less certain about the value that you will get, across the board?
You feel less confident in the quality and you value it less. By sharing both the exceptional and the average, you have actually reduced your value.
A 3-Step Method for Highlighting Your Best (by cutting the rest)
Identify Your Audience’s Key Needs
Your brand ALWAYS starts with your audience. Unless you understand their goals and how you can help them achieve them, your brand will tread water.
So, to start, figure out who you are targeting and exactly what pain you are trying to relieve for them. Then peel back the onion another layer and determine why they are struggling with this challenge. The more work you do here, the more it will payoff in the end.
Here are more questions to ask yourself about your audience.
Determine Your Exceptional Strengths
Once you know who your audience is and why they need your help, it’s time to consider exactly how you are going to help them.
What about you is so exceptional that they should choose you? Don’t focus on 10 things that you can do for them… focus on only 1-3. Each of these core items should be MANDATORY to reach their goal as painlessly as possible.
Make sure you ask yourself…. why me? how will I make this easy for them?
Remember, we’re talking exceptional (and nothing else) right now.
Ruthlessly Cut Everything that is Not Exceptional
Now that you know who your audience is, why they need your help and how you are going to propel them to excellence, it’s time for the fun part. Cutting.
I want you to look at your materials – your resume, your cover letter, your sales brochure, your RFP – and highlight the parts that focus exclusively on your exceptional strengths.
Cut everything else.
I know, it sounds crazy… but, remember the hotel from above? You had assumed that everything was five-star because the restaurant was five star. There probably wasn’t a doubt in your mind that it was a very classy place.
And then we added that they had a 3-star spa. Everything changed. You weren’t confident what kind of quality you would be receiving. Would you get an exceptional, or mediocre room? What about the staff?
These are questions that don’t get asked if the only things you display are exceptional.
Cut it down to the point that all that you have is exceptional responses to their pain points and you will get hired. I swear to you.
Get more from your brand. Highlight only the exceptional.
PSST – Having a hard time figuring out your strengths? Click here!
Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more. You can learn more about the fundamentals of a remarkable job search on her site, The Resume Revolution.