The Power of Small Comments

People often ask me how I was able to make the first switch within my Company from one group to another.  I had been in the IT group for about eight years at that point and then switched over into our Consumer Products Marketing group. Up until that time, going from IT to the Marketing group was not common and there might have only been one other person to do it before me, even though many talked about it.

While I’m sure my amazing abilities and born greatness for marketing had everything to do with it (sarcasm), one of the main factors was actually much simpler.

Shortly after starting to be the IT relationship leader for the Marketing group that I would eventually join, I went to an after-work happy hour event with the Marketing team.  While I was there, one of the senior leaders in the Marketing group and I started talking. I mentioned to him that “I had always wanted to try a position in the Marketing group.”

A year later, that same person called me up, reminded me of our conversation at the bar, and asked if I wanted a Marketing role within his team.

Because of that, I always try to remember the power of small comments:

  • never underestimate the power of a random / inconsequential conversation.
  • always seize an out of office conversation opportunity.
  • realize that the comments I make may have power, even if not immediately.
  • understand that people do remember what you say.
  • remember to communicate and tell people things that I want to happen.

So what can you tell someone about today?

A Different Kind of Niche Learning Site

Want to know a quick way to stand out in the increasingly crowded marketplace for online classes?  Get smaller, go niche.

Sure, you could take niche to mean “we’re only going to offer classes in this particular subject and be the absolute best source for online classes for that subject”.  Or you could take a page out of The Amazings and focus your niche on who actually provides your content.

The Amazings is a great site that is built on the idea that society has always learned from its elders and therefore is focused on having teachers that are over 50 years old.  A great niche concept that is sure to standout in the marketplace.  Hopefully it’s also going to be a site that helps get even more experienced expertise into the public.

So, what’s your niche?  What aspect of your online learning concept will you “make smaller” and focus on?  

How about a site where people in Corporate positions at large companies can teach others looking to excel in those types of positions?  Hmmmmm.

Stop Hoarding Your Work

A few days ago, I got an informational handout from a company that made me laugh. Basically, the bottom of the page featured the disclaimer: “Reproduction by any means is prohibited without permission. If you’d like to purchase copies of this handout please…”

This was from a consulting company that makes all of its money from in-person engagements with medium to large companies.

If you were running a consulting business and wanted to get more leads and help other people share how great you were as a company, wouldn’t you let people copy and distribute simple handouts? But let’s be clear. I’m not saying they should allow folks to steal their copyrighted information or intellectual capital.

The more your name and information is out there, the more chances you have to book an engagement.

What are you giving away?  What are you not giving away?  Worse yet, what are you scaring your existing customers from not sharing by means of your outdated policies?