SMBH 115 – With Dorie Clark

1.smbh-Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark a Stand Out

Who Is Dorie Clark And Why She Is A Standout?
She is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai. Her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, was released by Portfolio/Penguin in April 2015.

Dorie consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, and to name a few, these includes Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service. She is also a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Visiting Professor for IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. She has taught marketing and communications at Tufts University, Suffolk University, Emerson College, HEC-Paris, Babson College, the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and Smith College Executive Education. She has been named to the Huffington Post’s “100 Must Follow on Twitter” list for 2013 and 2014, and to the #Nifty50 list of top women on Twitter. She was also named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference,” and recognized in Forbes as one of “25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015.”

Why She Does What She Said She Will Do

Dorie grew up in a very small town in North Carolina – pre-Internet era – and felt incredibly frustrated with the lack of opportunities and like-minded people, left home early to head to college, so she could get a jumpstart on doing the things she cared about, one of which is like getting a master’s degree in theology and becoming a political reporter, presidential campaign spokesperson, nonprofit executive director, and documentary filmmaker.

In 2006, she launched a marketing strategy consulting business, and eventually started writing, speaking professionally, and teaching for business schools. What she is passionate about? She is very passionate about helping others take control of their professional lives and make an impact on the world. And because of this burning passion, she have written two books – Reinventing You and the Stand Out – to help make that a reality which we are going to dig dipper later on.

Why You Need To Stand Out

She encountered so many people out there, so many talented people that has great ideas, so much promise and potential but unfortunately this world gets noisier and more crowded that their ideas aren’t getting heard and that’s sad a very sad news, not just for them but also sad for entire humanity. Let’s face it, we all want to live in a world where the best ideas get heard, get circulated and can improve things for all of us. Because of that she wrote this book that essentially helped the good guys to try to create a clear pathway that regular professionals could follow, that when they have an idea that they are burning to share or if they know that they want to make a contribution but aren’t quite sure where or how to do it so that they can get clarity on that so that they can make the full contribution that they’re capable of.

Struck Me With A Lighting

Are you one of these people who waits to be struck by a lightning just to have an amazing revelation? Or a type of writer who waits for some whispers to get inspired, or simply the person who just rolls up their sleeves and say, “let’s just do it”.

Too many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard, they will be recognized as experts on the merits of their work. But she disagrees on this by saying, it is simply not true anymore. Her advice. To make a name for yourself, you have to capitalize on your unique perspective and knowledge and inspire others to listen and take action. You have to be a Thought Leader. Can you really experience breakthrough by just being a thought leader? The answer is Yes, though becoming a “thought leader” is a mysterious and opaque process. Like answering the questions, where do the ideas come from? And how can I get noticed?

She then explains how to identify the ideas that set you apart and how to promote them successfully. And now, you might be wondering, what are these ideas, the keys to set you apart from the rest of the world? The keys are; recognize your own value, Cultivate your expertise, and Put yourself out there.

Her featuring vivid examples and drawing on interviews with great thought leaders like Seth Godin, Dan Pink, David Allen, Robert Cialdini, etc., she then teaches readers how to develop big ideas, leverage existing affiliations, and build a community of followers. Not offering mere self-promotion, but an opportunity to change the world for the better while giving you the ultimate career insurance.

Did Starbucks Invent the Coffee?

Following through her statement of thought leaders developing ideas, leverage, affiliations and community of followers. These thought leaders are not just waiting for some magic moment. Instead, they roll up their sleeves, get active and involved, and engaged with the general ideas bringing them to the beginning of greater openings. They explored and play, and they’ve played well. Did CEO Starbucks Howard Shultz invent the coffee? No. He did not invent the coffee nor the coffee shops. What he did, he simply invented a different way to do coffee shops and yet that was enough to be a genuine breakthrough that has changed the world of food and of retailing and has become a global empire.

The Five Strategies of Getting People Focused

As she came across a range of thought leaders as to how they came up with their breakthrough ideas, she was able to come up with these 5 amazing strategies that I’ll be sharing with you.

1. Niche Strategy – A narrow area of inquiry. Allowing you to become recognized as the undisputed master in a certain terrain and then you can move incrementally from there to expand your reputation as an expert.
2. Mixing Disciples – She defined this by giving an example of a certain guy she profiled in Stand out who was able to combine biology and mathematics in a really interesting way and it lead to a lot of breakthroughs when he was applying big data to studying disease.
3. Research – Not just research, but doing an original research and this can mean a lot of different things but it doesn’t have to be a highly technical pursuit although it could. But original research could mean writing reviews or it could mean making like a journalist and interviewing people. It could mean doing case studies. But it basically just means creating something original that’s not just your opinion that you’ve pulled out of your head and adding to the discourse. That’s a third thing that can really establish you as an expert.
4. Tackling – It is having a worthy problem. What I call tackling a worthy problem. Basically the idea here is that if you pick a subject that people are already talking about, that people already really care about then they’re going to be far more receptive to listening to your ideas about it. It’s kind of going with the wave instead of against the wave. So if you are focused in on a big problem that gets people excited
5. Create a framework – It is you having a foundation of principles which will result into you getting a disproportioned share of recognition amongst everyone else’s.

It Is Time To Stand Out And Be A Thought Leader

During the course of her interviewing great people for her book Stand out, she began to realize that there were really clear patterns about how those ideas had spread and what had enabled people to become recognized experts and really build their following around it, parsing the phrase “thought leader”. What she actually like about it, is that it’s very clear about what it means and what it does not mean. The “thought” part means you are famous for your ideas. There has to be some substance to what you do whether you’re an international thought leader or just maybe a thought leader at your company but it has to be about the quality of your ideas and then the leader part, by definition, you can’t do it if you don’t have followers. This statements leads to the question;

How Do You Get Followers?

How do you get them? What does the process look like? And what I discovered is that it is a three phase process in terms of spreading those ideas

Build your network.
Develop one on one relationships with a small group of trusted people. These are folks who you can think of them as a kitchen cabinet, as a personal board of directors but they should be people that you like and whose opinion you trust so that you can get their honest feedback in the early stages about which ideas are good and which are bad. Focusing on how you can refine things to make them better and they can provide initial advice or resources or support to get it off the ground.

Speak Out. Blog about your Idea
This is where you begin blogging about your idea or speaking about it or doing webinars or whatever you desire to reach out spreading your ideas beyond people that you already know personally. This is the action where you are talking to the masses and where you’re taking the steps to make yourself discoverable to people who are or might be interested in your ideas

Build your community
Once you have a group of people that is listening to you and likes what you’re saying the final step is connecting those people so that your audience starts talking to each other and once that happens it’s kind of this magic alchemy because the word can begin to spread exponentially. If other people are talking about your idea it will carry infinitely farther than it ever could if it’s just you talking about your idea. If it’s something that they’re passionate about and that they find actually valuable in their own lives then the word can spread and it can really take on the characteristics of a movement.

The Magical Secret Sauce.

Cheryl Sandberg of Lean in who is another popular book. Who became a media phenomenon by just by just the word “Lean In”, a powerful element that people believed and were interested in it enough that they started literally all across the country, all across the world, to “Lean in”. Which leads Dorie to the common denominator. You just need the word lean in. And that is the magic secret sauce. Have a great idea and make it easy for people to understand the idea until it becomes self-sustaining.
In terms of building the community, the internet can be really a powerful tool here. Some of the communities that are very strong and resilient are formed around very simple low cost, easy to maintain things like Facebook or LinkedIn groups or email listings or online discussion boards. Any of those things literally can become communities of a sort, only if you are thoughtful and strategic in how you moderate them and how you frame it and present it to people that they really are part of a community and should begin to think of themselves that way.

The Motivation Behind Stand Out

Being curious, we asked Dorie about her personal motivation, her passion behind Stand Out and to quote, “In writing Stand out I really started out essentially by wanting to try to solve my own problem which is that I, for the past nine years, have been a marketing strategy consultant and have done well but there is a lot of people in the business, there is a lot of people doing lots of things that I do. There’s a lot of marketing consultants, there’s a lot of business authors, there’s a lot of keynote speakers. I do all of those things and so I became really fascinated with the question of how do you differentiate yourself, what do you actually do, what do you have to do to become recognized for your true talents and become known as one of the best in your field and I figured that the best way; perhaps the only way of figuring that out would be to study the people who had already reached that echelon and try to piece together what they had done because for most people it’s not like you necessarily have a conscious methodology that you follow. Yes, thanks for asking. Here’s the five things that I did that sequentially led to my success. I mean, most people don’t have it mapped out that way. they can just tell you their story but so what I did and the reason I interviewed 50 people is so that I could look for the patterns in it and try to create a structure based on that essentially because I wanted to figure it out for myself but also because I like to think I have a sort of a democratic impulse and I thought you know what? If there’s other people who have really good ideas to share, I want them to share it. I would like to hear that. I would like to see their potential be fulfilled because there’s a lot of people who just really don’t know where to start and it’s sad when their ideas go to waste and I would prefer that no one’s ideas go to waste”

Can You Stand Out?

This is the question that she would like you to ask yourself. Can you stand out? On her book she put together a free 42-page workbook which are all adapted from Stand out. At the end of every section in Standout she have a series of ask-yourself-questions to assess yourself and put all of your self-assessments together into this workbook. It is 139 questions that literally walks you through step by step the process of how to find your breakthrough idea and then build a following around it and so if folks are interested in learning how to do that they can download it for free off of my website which is dorieclark.com. It’s D-O-R-I-E-C-L-A-R-K.com

Click here to read the full transcript of the show +

Dorie: Hi. This is Dorie Clark and I’m here on the social media business hour with Nile Nickel. We will discuss today how to develop your breakthrough idea and build a following around it. How to become a recognized expert in your field and how to make sure your true talents are recognized.

Woman: In business and know the way forward most include social media. Perhaps you find it a bit confusing. Even frustrating. Well, you have no idea how to make it work for your business. Fear not. We interview some of the best social media experts in business who will share their experiences, ideas and knowledge. Plus offer tips and tricks to make using social media a breeze. Leverage the power of social media and grow your business now. Welcome to social media business hour with your host Nile Nickel.

Jordan: Hello and thank you again for joining us. This is Nile’s trusty sidekick and co-host Jordan and I’d like to take a moment to share with you how you can benefit from Nile’s incredible experience using social media for real business success. If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking about starting your own business then using social media might be the most cost effective and time effective way to get your business real results. That’s not to mention much of what you can do to get those terrific results on social media is even free. Take Linked In for example. Nile always says it’s the best social media platform for business today. And that’s why I recommend you go to linkedinfocus.com and start your social media education today. Sign up for Nile’s free tips, tricks and strategies. Once again, it’s free and it only takes a few seconds. Go to linkedinfocus.com today. You’ll be glad you did.

Nile: Hey, welcome back and as you heard in the tease we have Dorie Clark with us today and Dorie is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University School of business and the author of Reinventing you, Stand out, her current book. We’re going to talk a lot about that today and a former presidential campaign spokeswoman. Now, I have to stop right there Dorie because I always get puzzled sometimes with bios and where we weave things together. So you’re a business professor but you’re a former presidential campaign spokeswoman.

Dorie: Yes.

Nile: Sometimes those things don’t go together. In fact, most people think politics and business, they just -- it’s like oil and vinegar. So how did that happen?

Dorie: Yeah. well, I actually think that politics is the best training for business because the thing in business is you always have competition and you always need to get noticed in a crowded world where everyone is trying to get noticed but the one thing that politics has that business doesn’t is that it usually has someone who literally is directly aiming a gun at your head and trying to take you down. And so in some business circumstances I mean, maybe you have that with Coke and Pepsi or something like that but in most cases you’re just competing against yourself or competing against the general marketplace. In politics, you’re doing that but you’re also trying to dodge bullets. You’re also trying to make sure that you’re able to stay on message and keep moving forward even when other people are trying to tear you down and I think that that actually inculcates a useful level of paranoia and a useful habit of really asking yourself alright, what are the chess moves three moves down the board so that I can be prepared and so I can maximize the situation and I think that’s pretty helpful in business.

Nile: I couldn’t agree more. One of the things that I was fascinated by going through business school. It was during the period when Japan was really kicking the US’s but just about everywhere and one of the things that I was amazed was they didn’t develop one year or five year plans. They developed 50 year and 100 year plans and so when you’re talking about multiple moves down the chess board they were certainly there and that’s what you were competing with. It was really a tough thing to compete with if you were worried about your next quarterly report or your next annual report as we do in a lot of American business so just a side note there. But hey, that gives me great insight into how those tie together. I really appreciate that.

Dorie: Yeah. Thank you.

Nile: And listen, I know that what you have to say is important because you’re a frequent contributor to the Harvard business review, Time, Entrepreneur. You’re recognized as a branding expert by the Associated press and Fortune and then you also happen to do market strategy consultations and you’re a speaker for clients including Google and Microsoft and Yale University and big, big, big names so I think you’ve got this mastered just a bit.

Dorie: Thank you.

Nile: So I’d like to say welcome to the show. I am really honored to have you here today and I’m fascinated really with your new book Stand out because it’s really some -- I don’t -- I’d say grass roots practical advice to getting focused on a business that you might want to do that you love you haven’t maybe been doing and then develop that business so one of the things that I know is you’ve got some strategies to help people when they’re really getting ready to start and they’re analyzing what they’re going to do.

Dorie: Yeah, absolutely. The reason that I wrote Stand out was that -- and you’ve probably seen this too Nile. There’s so many people out there, so many talented people that I’ve encountered who have great ideas, so much promise and potential but unfortunately as we enter this world where it just gets noisier and more crowded their ideas aren’t getting heard and that’s sad for them. it’s also sad for humanity because I want to live in a world where the best ideas get heard, get circulated and can improve things for all of us and so I wanted to write a book that essentially helped the good guys to try to create a clear pathway that regular professionals could follow so that if they have an idea that they are burning to share or if they know that they want to make a contribution but aren’t quite sure where or how to do it so that they can get clarity on that so that they can make the full contribution that they’re capable of.

Nile: One of the things I’m really curious about because I see this an awful lot and you’re going to see it from a completely different perspective so I’m really interested in your perspective on this but I see so many people that have really a great passion. They have great knowledge and insight into some business idea but they look out at the business world or the business environment and they say well, that’s already being done and so I can't contribute anything there. Do you find that often and how do you respond to that? So it’s a sort of a two part question there.

Dorie: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I think there’s a few things in play. I mean, number one is -- you’re exactly right. There is in the popular imagination a real bias towards thinking of what’s necessary for success as complete originality. They think oh, people need to be struck by lightning with this amazing revelation and then if I have that, that’s what’s necessary. But that’s the equivalent of being a writer and saying oh, well, when the muses whisper in my ear that’s when I’ll write something and it’ll be amazing but I think we all understand that the most successful writers are the ones that roll up their sleeves and just do it. They pound it out because you can't -- if you are a writer that is waiting to “feel inspired” before you do anything you’re going to be somebody who is a hobbyist. You’re going to be somebody who writes one short story every 10 years. You’re not going to really be able to do it and it’s the same thing in business. People think that it’s this magic state of affairs but the truth is for -- first of all, for a lot of these thinkers in the course of researching Stand out I interviewed about 50 top thought leaders in a variety of different fields. In the business world I interviewed a lot of big names that your listeners may be familiar with. People like Seth Godin, the marketing expert or David Alan of getting things done fame. Daniel Pink, Tom Peters. And in speaking with them really what I learned is that these guys are not waiting for this magic moment. They’re rolling up their sleeves, they’re getting active, getting involved and it’s in the course of doing, it’s in the course of actually engaging with these general ideas that they begin to see the openings. Where they say oh, wait a minute. People aren’t really talking about that. Let’s explore that, let’s see where that goes, let’s see how it plays out. So I think that’s really critical. The other point that I think is useful to make is that originality in general is overstated. I mean, how many things are there in the universe that literally no one has ever talked about or thought of? I mean, Leonardo da Vinci was talking about helicopters. I mean, it would be pretty easy for someone who invented the helicopter to be like oh, this isn't anything special. Da Vinci was talking about it. I mean, seriously, my favorite example here is someone like Howard Shultz, the CEO of Starbucks. He did not invent coffee, he did not invent coffee shops. He simply invented a different way to do coffee shops and yet that was enough to be a genuine breakthrough that has changed the world of food and of retailing and has become a global empire.

Nile: That -- great examples there for people to see and I think maybe the coffee shop wouldn’t be the first because been around a while. Been there, done that, been done a thousand different ways so the fact that you’ve got an idea for a new style of coffee shop and it’s going to make you the success that you want to become -- a lot of people -- no doubt my mind would be saying yeah. Give me a call when it’s open.

Dorie: Yeah. Exactly. If I went to you Nile and I said hey, I’m going to open a coffee shop. It’s going to be great. And you know what’s really going to be different about it? It’s going to be kind of more like your living room. I mean, you’d be -- I mean, you’d think one of two things. One is oh, well it will probably fail. But the second thing is even if it succeeded that would be a nice business story but you’re not going to make any money off of that. I mean, these are low margin businesses. Maybe you’ll have created a job for yourself. That’s not a real business. It’s a lifestyle business and yet Howard Shultz proved us incredibly wrong.

Nile: Absolutely and you mentioned one of my old favorites Tom Peters and I adopted -- which is also -- I love because I think it’s what you said. You learn in the course of doing and of course his statement is ready, fire, aim. Hey, get started, get the gun out, fire a round and then worry about exactly what the target is because you’re going to learn so much and what you’re going to learn is going to be so much different than what you thought you knew going into it.

Dorie: Absolutely.

Nile: Well listen, I know that you help people really refine and develop that idea that they have and you’ve got five strategies. Would you mind sharing even from a bullet point fashion what those five strategies are and how you help people really get focused and clear on what it is?

Dorie: Yeah, absolutely. So we can go into depth on any of these that you’d like but very briefly what these five strategies are as I was analyzing across the range of thought leaders about how they came up with their breakthrough ideas that they’re most associated with. And I’ll just clarify. It’s not that everybody did all of these. It’s typically that you pick one or maybe you pick two strategies and double down on them. That’s really all it takes. It’s more of a smorgasbord but the strategies are number one, a niche strategy. So going very deep into a very narrow area of inquiry so you can become recognized as the undisputed master in a certain terrain and then you can move incrementally from there to expand your reputation as an expert. Number two, mixing disciplines. So taking perspectives from a couple of different things. There’s a guy that I profiled in Stand out who was able to combine biology and mathematics in a really interesting way and it lead to a lot of breakthroughs when he was applying big data to studying disease. So combining disciplines is the second strategy. Number three is doing original research and this can mean a lot of different things but it doesn’t have to be a highly technical pursuit although it could. But original research could mean writing reviews or it could mean making like a journalist and interviewing people. It could mean doing case studies. But it basically just means creating something original that’s not just your opinion that you’ve pulled out of your head and adding to the discourse. That’s a third thing that can really establish you as an expert. Number four is tackling -- what I call tackling a worthy problem. Basically the idea here is that if you pick a subject that people are already talking about, that people already really care about then they’re going to be far more receptive to listening to your ideas about it. It’s kind of going with the wave instead of against the wave. So if you are focused in on a big problem that gets people excited. Let’s say Elon Musk and space travel or something like that. People are going to pay attention and you are likely to be recognized as a thought leader disproportionately fast. And fifth and finally is what I call creating a framework and the basic idea here is that interestingly and this kind of goes back to an earlier question you had about -- oh, don’t a lot of people feel like everything’s been said before? Yeah, they do. And it turns out they’re wrong because for most fields interestingly enough even though you would assume the opposite it turns out that sometimes the basic tenants of the field, the sort of foundational principles really have not been talked about or articulated and as a result if you end up being the person to do that you can get a disproportioned share of recognition because you’ve helped everybody from that point on better understand it. so I mean, just as one example, clearly myths, mythology has been created, written, passed down orally from the beginning of human civilization. This is the foundational thing. But it wasn’t until Joseph Campbell actually created the structure and he said you know what? If we look at all these myths, they have something in common. Here’s the structure of the myth and here’s what happens. And once he explained it and you look at it you’d say oh, jeez. He’s right. And it makes it clearer for everybody else and so for a lot of fields you can do things like that.

Nile: Yeah. That’s really -- I love that example because he really dramatically shifted everybody’s thoughts in that whole area and it had only been around -- what? A few centuries or so --

Dorie: Yes.

Nile: At least most of the myths and if you will stories that he talked about so --

Dorie: Yeah.

Nile: Some of them certainly since the beginning of time.

Dorie: Yeah.

Nile: I love that. I love that because I could see how you’re probably going to pick as you said one or two of those and how they really work but one of the -- your strategy and I’m going to give it a number. Strategy number four, tackling a worthy problem. One of the things that I’ve had a couple of guests recently that have talked about the generational differences and specifically how millenials are such a big generation and how they’re so dramatically different from the generations that have come before them. One of the things that is critical to engage with millenials is making sure that there’s a purpose, there’s a reason and -- or as your definition a worthy problem to be tackled.

Dorie: Yes, yes.

Nile: How does that play into some of the businesses that you consult with there?

Dorie: Yeah. So the generational issues are really interesting actually and of course we’ll start with a proviso that there’s a lot more variation among individuals even within a generation than there are within -- between generations.

Nile: Absolutely.

Dorie: But that being said, of course millenials have distinct characteristics just by dint of what they grew up doing and having the -- be second nature. So you grow up in this incredibly connected sphere and have the power of the internet and so really interesting thing that’s -- that I think is pervasive is the fact that a lot of people -- I think younger folks feel a real weight. Almost a sense of failure sometimes if they hit 25 or god forbid if they hit 30 and they haven’t invented Instagram or something like that because the --

Nile: Listen, I was happy to tie my shoes by that time so --

Dorie: That’s right. That’s right. And I mean, of course it’s ridiculous, right. I mean, the people who are YouTube celebrities, the people who are internet billionaires, those are the outliers. They’ve always been the outliers but everybody has the tools now and so I think that there is a real sense of pressure. That oh, I need to be doing this. All that being said, I mean, the way that this kind of ties in with some of the work that I cover in Stand out is that I do think, I would argue -- I mean, it’s not that we need to hold ourselves up to some mythical standard and say oh, yeah. If you’re not a billionaire then clearly you’re a failure. But I do think that it is essential for all of us to think about and to strive to find ways to stand out. not necessarily that you have to be on the cover of Fast company or something like that but we are living in a world where thanks to the internet, thanks to globalization there is real pressure on all kinds of workers, all kinds of professionals. There’s a communization that’s in play and unless any given employer has a real concrete reason to do otherwise they’re going to choose the lowest priced option. That’s the only rational behavior. And so the play that we have as professionals is we have to find a way to justify why we should -- why people should be seeking us out specifically and doing business with us specifically because I guarantee you. If you live in the US, if you live in Canada, if you live in Western Europe you are never going to be the lowest price option. So you have to go for the quality play. You have to come up with something that you do better than anyone else. And it doesn’t even necessarily have to be like oh, I’m the world expert. But if we start thinking about well, what can you be a local expert in? Can you -- if there is 10 IT guys at your company and you’re one of the IT guys can you be the person that is always helping the senior executives fix their iPhones? I mean, it sounds really basic but if they know that you’re good at that and they trust you with that when push comes to shove you’re going to be the last one that they let go if they have to let people go or you’re going to be the first one that they promote because they know you, they like you, they trust you and you have a special skill in their eyes that makes you valuable.

Nile: And there’s just such great insights there. One of the things that I do is I like to talk about golden nuggets that are in interviews and that’s a little bit of a cue for our listeners as well because there’s a lot of meat that you just packed into the last few minutes there that I’d encourage people to go back and listen to. Yeah. I’m blown away. My mind’s going in so many different directions now based on what you’re saying. it’s great but I want to go back a little bit because there’s another -- and we’re not -- you’re not a millennial expert if you will but I like the worthy cause thing and one of the things -- and I let that worthy cause if you will resonate with millenials but we know that it goes well beyond that as well. That being said, one of the things that I also see with millenials is the way that they measure success. Their currency of success if you will. So much of prior generations’ currency of success has been dollars and cents or whatever the currency, the monetary currency is in their locale. Not so much with millenials. However, based on the description of success and what they have to accomplish do you see that that becomes their biggest currency or do you see that there are other currencies that are more important to them?

Dorie: Yeah, yeah. So in terms of professional success -- I mean, always inevitably that is going to be crucial. I mean, that’s the thing that for -- our culture, our families are pushing and so that’s key but I do think that millenials are in some ways beginning to hew a different path. I mean, one example that I think is really interesting actually is -- he’s based down your way in the Tampa Bay Area is -- so Tony Robins as you may be familiar has a son and his son is a cool guy. His name is Gerick and he is doing something that I think is pretty impressive. It takes a lot of chutzpah when Tony Robins is your dad and that is that he has started his own business as a coach and entering his father’s field where there’s obviously massive footsteps to fill and -- but Gerick is trying to carve out a new and different approach for himself and part of the way that he has done that which I think is really fascinating is that he has sought to inject a kind of social consciousness into the work that he’s done. I mean, Tony has excelled for so long by focusing on individual growth and personal development, the sort of archetypal thing he does is walk across the hot coals. That’s great. But it’s really -- it’s all about you as an individual. And so Gerick, his take, his -- we can call it his millennial take on it. He’s about 30 years old. Is that he actually will take groups, lead them through similar discussions and thinking about themselves and their own personal growth but he’ll actually lead trips to developing nations and have these group adventures where people do public service projects as part of their growth trajectory and he’s somebody that had volunteered in Africa and that’s really important to him. And so I feel like that’s interesting and emblematic in a lot of ways that there does seem to be a broader recognition among millenials that all the existing stuff is really important. Of course personal development, personal growth is important but we have to have an outward focus as well in order to make that truly meaningful.

Nile: Great example there and I know Gerick. We’re actually friends so that’s --

Dorie: There we go.

Nile: That’s sort of a neat thing. Actually my wife and he are better friends than him and I but hey. What can I say? She’s easier to engage with than me anyway so -- but you’re right and I haven’t thought about that and it’s interesting too. I might have to see if we could get Gerick and who knows, maybe even Gerick and Tony on because they’re delivering much the same message but it’s delivered in a massively different way.

Dorie: Yes.

Nile: And I could see that. So a lot of people, they might want to look up Gerick and not be overrun with all the Tony Returns that they’re going to get when they Google it or something like that but they’ll find Gerick there and --

Dorie: Exactly.

Nile: Great example. Now I know -- and I appreciate that. I want people to get the book Stand out because of the great information you have in it. I like the five strategies that you have and I could see where you could really spend a great deal of time and personal reflection and development probably with each one of those strategies in your business to find out really what resonates with you the best. But you also say okay. now that you really have your creation strategy, you’ve created something, now you’re going to take it to the world and you’ve got a three step process for that and I really want to spend some time with you on that three step process. I deal with Linked In through Linked In focus and a lot of people hear that on the show so I’m not going to go into detail on that but your three step process mirrors so much of what I teach people to do with Linked In but Linked In is just a tool. It’s the strategy, the steps that are critical so let’s spend some time with those. Would you mind doing that?

Dorie: For sure Nile. Absolutely. So when it comes to spreading your idea once you’ve begun to refine it and develop it -- during the course of interviewing people for Stand out I began to realize that there were really clear patterns about how those ideas had spread and what had enabled people to become recognized experts and really build their following around it because of course if you parse the phrase thought leader what I actually like about it is it’s very clear about what it means and what it doesn’t mean. The thought part means you are famous for your ideas. There has to be some substance to what you do whether you’re an international thought leader or just maybe a thought leader at your company but it has to be about the quality of your ideas and then the leader part really what that’s saying is you can't do it if you don’t have followers. Definitionally you can't do it. If you are up in your ivory tower and you’re just coming up with your schemes but nobody listens to it, you don’t share them with anybody, you don’t take the time to market them or to spread them, that’s not doing anybody any good. You must have followers. And so the question becomes well, how do you get them? What does that process look like? And what I discovered is that it is a three phase process in terms of spreading those ideas. I’ll go over them briefly upfront and if you’d like we can go into more depth about them but basically the first step is what I call building your network and basically what this means is that prior to doing anything what you really need to do is develop one on one relationships with a small group of trusted people. These are folks who should -- you can think of them as a kitchen cabinet, as a personal board of directors but they should be people that you like and whose opinion you trust so that you can get their honest feedback in the early stages about which ideas are good and which are bad. How you can refine things to make them better and they can provide initial advice or resources or support to get it off the ground. The second step once you’ve got the thumbs up from your network is building your audience and this is the most public and visible part. This is where you begin blogging about your idea or speaking about it or doing webinars or whatever it is but it’s about spreading your idea beyond people that you already know personally. this is where you are talking to the masses and where you are making -- you’re taking the steps to make yourself discoverable to people who are interested in your ideas and then finally, the third step is what I call building your community and what that involves is that once you have an audience built up, once you have a group of people that is listening to you and likes what you’re saying the final step is connecting those people so that your audience starts talking to each other and once that happens it’s kind of this magic alchemy because the word can begin to spread exponentially. If other people are talking about your idea it will carry infinitely farther than it ever could if it’s just you talking about your idea. If it’s something that they’re passionate about and that they find actually valuable in their own lives then the word can spread and it can really take on the characteristics of a movement.

Nile: It’s so fascinating. You and I talked about this briefly before we started the interview today. Because I use Linked In for all of these same steps and I talk about all of the same steps and it’s amazing to me how many people ignore this. This is sort of a basic as you said three step process. But it’s critical that you do all of those three steps. Now, one of the things that I want to focus on a bit is -- well, I really want to question all three of them. Let me go to the set of advisors first as you talk about a board of directors or whatever it may be. I think a lot of boomers might refer to this as their mastermind group if you will.

Dorie: Absolutely.

Nile: Because they’re backing that lexicon and some of the later terms might not resonate with them but you really do want that trusted group and you want them to be brutally honest with you, supportive at the same time but you don’t want to spend a lot of time going down a path that’s just not going to be productive.

Dorie: Yes. Exactly.

Nile: And I think there’s a lot out there on that but I think there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to your second and third step because a lot of people see that as the same step. So I’d like to delve into the sort of difference in that building your audience strategy versus building your community and maybe some of the nuances that go there. So we’ve got our idea, we think that we’re ready to start carrying on a conversation about that idea. Obviously we’ve talked to our advisor group but we’re ready to talk to a bigger group and I think that group is what we’re going to define as an audience.

Dorie: Yes, yes. So the way that I think about this Nile and the distinction between these things -- so building your audience definitely comes before building your community because you need to get the numbers of people listening to you to start with so basically it’s -- if building your network is a kind of one to one communication -- how do you build a small group of trusted advisors? Well, you can't do it by putting up a Facebook ad and saying hey, will you be my BFF? I mean, clearly --

Nile: Well, there might be some people that try that but --

Dorie: That’s right. That’s right. I’m not sure how successful it would be. But I mean, you fundamentally -- that’s something that happens one on one. It’s somebody you meet at an event and you say wow. That’s amazing. You seem cool. Let’s follow up, let’s have lunch, let’s get to know each other and you develop these relationships. Clearly that doesn’t scale and so at a certain point if you want your idea to be heard by more people you need to do things so that a lot of people can listen to you at once and so that’s where the internet certainly is helpful. It’s about broad base public sharing so you write a blog post and put it on Linked In and then a thousand people see it. Not just five people that you’re able to talk to over the course of lunch or something like that. You start a podcast and you get 10000 people listening or whatever it is but it grows the audience in a much larger fashion. But then once you have that base of people, that base of interested people who are hearing your message that’s great and you could keep it at that level forever and you may even be able to be successful. That’s fine. They know you, they like you, they’re happy to get messages from you. Let’s say they’re email subscribers and so they get your emails or something. That’s all cool but if you want your idea to really spread then it can't always be you that’s talking about the ideas. There’s only so much that one person, no matter how big that person’s megaphone is, there’s only so much that one person can do. Where it really grows is where other people start talking about it and being your ambassador in the world and then your reach just becomes eye popping. So by way of example, one of the people that I profile in Stand out is a guy named Eric Reese who some of your listeners may be familiar with. He’s the author of a very popular book called the Lean startup and today Eric Reese -- it’s actually almost unbelievable. There are 750000 people around the world that are registered for Lean startup meet up groups. I mean, it’s astonishing. These are literally people who have raised their hands and expressed enough of an interest that they have signed up to participate in Lean startup meet up groups around the world. Now, Eric Reese literally -- I mean, he could certainly never talk to that many people one on one but it would even be hard for him regularly to talk to that many people no matter what he did, no matter how many conferences he spoke at, no matter how many webinars he did. You can't really be talking with 750000 people but because people believed in his message so passionately you actually got independent actors who said you know what? I’ll start a meet up in my town, I’ll start one in Johannesburg, I’ll start one in Riga, I’ll start one in Melbourne and as a result you have no involvement from him and yet people are sharing the ideas and talking about it and they’re telling their friends and so it begins to really grow exponentially.

Nile: That’s a fantastic idea and I’ve seen that done in so many industries. I did not know the story about the Lean startup groups but that’s just such a really fascinating way to do that. Never would’ve thought about it. But you talked about during -- in that explanation -- brand ambassadors which we talk about engaging with and all of that. And we talk about bringing in guest contributors and obviously like you said there’s only so much you could say but that’s still in the audience building phase. You’re getting people to participate with you and all of that but now you’re going out to the community. Obviously the startup groups around the world are a way to build that community but I love that. It’s just fascinating and great insight there. Do you have a number of -- or more examples of that? Not that I  want you to share right now. We’re going to run short on time but in the book. I haven’t went through that section. I wanted to but haven’t got there yet.

Dorie: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, there are definitely many other examples. I mean, another one that I’ll just quickly allude to is like Cheryl Sandberg for instance with Lean in. I mean, it was a popular book. Certainly it’s become a media phenomenon but for me the most powerful element of all this is that people believed in and were interested in it enough that they started literally all across the country, all across the world, they started Lean startup -- or sorry. Lean in. I guess that’s a common denominator. You just need the word lean in it but so they started --

Nile: That’s the magic.

Dorie: Yeah. Exactly. Secret sauce. But they started Lean in discussion groups at their workplaces. I mean, that says something. I mean, there’s literally -- in 2013 there were 1.4 million books published in the United States. I mean, it’s astonishing. And yet how many of them actually spawned a phenomenon deep enough that people said oh my gosh. Let’s start an ongoing discussion group about this at my workplace. It’s crazy. But because the idea resonated enough and -- this is the critical thing. You have to have a great idea. You also have to give people tools. And so Cheryl Sandberg -- I mean, she had a foundation that’s involved in this and so they would help with discussion guides or ideas or whatever. They made it easy for people so that if somebody said yeah. That sounds cool. But not everybody knows how to organize a discussion group so they gave them some tools to make it easier and so sure enough it becomes a self sustaining phenomenon because with just a little bit of help, a little bit of push people were able to do that and it dramatically increases the impact of her word and her ideas.

Nile: Well, I have to say you’re inspiring me in our conversation today so I have to thank you for that.

Dorie: Thanks.

Nile: Now we’ve got a great audience, we’ve got a well engaged audience. Obviously some of what we’ve talked about is community building but now I want to focus on building the community and really some of the strategies or steps that you might have in there.

Dorie: Yes, yes. Absolutely. In terms of building the community -- I mean, I think it’s -- I’ll also mention -- when I was alluding to Lean startup or Cheryl Sandberg’s Lean in that was talking about things like discussion groups and stuff like that. I also mention -- I mean, the internet can be really powerful here as well. Some of the communities that are very strong and resilient are formed around very simple low cost, easy to maintain things like Facebook groups or email list serves  or online discussion boards. Any of those things literally can become communities of a sort if you are thoughtful and strategic in how you moderate them and how you frame it and present it to people that they really are part of a community and should begin to think of themselves that way. I think there’s a lot of really good examples of things like that.

Nile: Yeah. One of the things that I like to do and you really went perfectly in that direction is in Linked In -- I love doing Linked In groups. Now, you could do the same thing on Facebook and Facebook may be the better platform depending on what you’re talking about, what the discussion is if you will. But you have private groups where the group that you’re chatting with is really focused and only talking about your topic. They’re not going to get way off topic. Obviously it’s a group, they’re people so it’s going to take on a human element which means it’ll go different places but they feel protected to carry on this discussion on this topic in that place and I like talking about creating that safe protected environment that is -- you don’t have the spam going on and all that stuff which is a problem on social media. But you’re really getting to a heart of a good discussion and people could feel vulnerable, they could let their hair down and maybe say something that they wouldn’t share in a more public form. So I think when you could create that sort of a private protected space for them you tend to allow the community to blossom more. Have you noticed anything like that?

Dorie: Yeah. I think that’s exactly right. I mean, it’s a question of guiding people in the direction that they want to go anyway. I mean, my kind of real world analog example of this is that I live in New York and I moved here about a year ago and one of the things that I’ve been doing quite frequently since I moved is hosting a lot of dinner parties just so I could get to know people, kind of build up a community and I have a real philosophy you could say or a methodology around it which is that people really want to get to know each other, they really want to hear from each other and to a certain extent have structured conversation. I mean, if you’re going to a small dinner party you want to leave knowing who everybody is. That’s pretty basic. But on the other hand the natural tendency of conversation is to fragment off and you just -- you talk to the person next to you or you talk to the person on the other side of you and that’s really about it. And no one except for the host feels like they have the power to interrupt things and say okay guys. Okay, okay. Let’s be quiet for a minute and let’s go around and everybody introduce themselves or something like that. but they’re so grateful when you do that because they want to hear from everybody, they want to get to know everybody but this sort of natural tendency is for it not to go that way and for it to be chaotic so if you can impose a sort of structure whether it’s online or offline interactions and make people feel -- as you say, feel safe, feel like oh, this is great. This is what I wanted. I wanted a substantive experience out of this. They’re going to be incredibly happy and incredibly grateful for that.

Nile: I know that certainly this is part of your business, it’s what you’ve done and all of that but you’re incredibly passionate about it and that tells me that there is a personal connection there so I’m really curious about the motivation, your personal motivation behind sharing this message and really trying to help people share theirs.

Dorie: Yeah, yeah. Thank you. well, in writing Stand out I really started out essentially by wanting to try to solve my own problem which is that I, for the past nine years, have been a marketing strategy consultant and have done well but there is a lot of people in the business, there is a lot of people doing lots of things that I do. There’s a lot of marketing consultants, there’s a lot of business authors, there’s a lot of key note speakers. I do all of those things and so I became really fascinated with the question of how do you differentiate yourself, what do you actually do, what do you have to do to become recognized for your true talents and become known as one of the best in your field and I figured that the best way; perhaps the only way of figuring that out would be to study the people who had already reached that echelon and try to piece together what they had done because for most people it’s not like you necessarily have a conscious methodology that you follow. Yes, thanks for asking. Here’s the five things that I did that sequentially led to my success. I mean, most people don’t have it mapped out that way. they can just tell you their story but so what I did and the reason I interviewed 50 people is so that I could look for the patterns in it and try to create a structure based on that essentially because I wanted to figure it out for myself but also because I like to think I have a sort of a democratic impulse and I thought you know what? If there’s other people who have really good ideas to share, I want them to share it. I would like to hear that. I would like to see their potential be fulfilled because there’s a lot of people who just really don’t know where to start and it’s sad when their ideas go to waste and I would prefer that no one’s ideas go to waste.

Nile: Well, the passion certainly comes through. There’s no two ways about it so I know I appreciate you sharing that. I know you’ve done some -- well, some. You’ve done a Ted X talk. You’ve got all sorts of resources for people. In fact I know that you’ve got something that might help them that you offer for free.

Dorie: That is true. Thank you Nile. Yes, I do. As a matter a fact I put together a free 42 page workbook which I adapted from Stand out. at the end of every section in Stand out I have a series of ask yourself questions, kind of self assessment questions and I put them all together into this workbook. It is 139 questions that literally walks you through step by step the process of how to find your breakthrough idea and then build a following around it and so if folks are interested in learning how to do that they can download it for free off of my website which is dorieclark.com. It’s D-O-R-I-E-C-L-A-R-K.com

Nile: And we share all of that information out on the social media business hour web page so it makes it easy for you to find that. Her book line and all of those great things because we know a lot of people actually consume the podcast. Obviously we have a live broadcast but consume the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher or whatever and then they’re running or working out or on their drive to work so we don’t want you stopping in the middle of that but just come back to socialmediabusinesshour.com and you’ll get all the resources there. So Dorie, if people want to engage with you more deeply than getting your free resource guide and highly recommend getting the book what might they do?

Dorie: Yeah. Thank you Nile. So my website is dorieclark.com D-O-R-I-E-C-L-A-R-K they can email me off of the website. They can access about 400 free articles that I have available on the site and I’m also on Twitter @dorieclark and my books are Reinventing you. That’s my first one. Stand out is the latest big book. And for folks who are interested in networking in particular I have a short eBook that I also have available called Stand out networking.

Nile: I like that.

Dorie: Thank you.

Nile: I’m going to have to go check that one out myself.

Dorie: Cool.

Nile: I can't wait. Well, Dorie sincerely thank you so much. I have learned so much. I’d like to continue the conversation but of course sometimes the clock doesn't allow us. I know that the listeners have enjoyed it as well so again, thank you for joining us.

Dorie: Thanks so much Nile. Great talking with you.

Nile: And to the listeners, thank you for joining us as well. You’re the ones that make the show for us. We try to get great guests for you, we try to give you great information but without you we wouldn’t have anything so hopefully you’ve learned a few new ideas or concepts. Maybe you were just reminded of a few things you already know but you haven’t been doing to improve or grow your business. You know that my desire is that you take just one of the things that you learned or were reminded of today and you apply it to your life or your business this week. Take action now. We know that a small change can make a big difference and I’m committed to bringing you at least one new idea each week that you could implement. So go back and listen to this over maybe a couple of times and identify just one small change that you could make to your business or life this week and see what a big difference it will make for you. So until next week, this is Nile Nickel. Now, go make it happen.

Woman: Social media business hour is powered by linkedinfocus.com. For show notes, updates and to pick up the latest tips and tricks head over to socialmediabusinesshour.com. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

Weblinks:

Free 42-Page Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook
Website: www.dorieclark.com
TEDx talk – 
Finding Your Breakthrough Idea
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorieclark

Books: Stand Out and Reinventing You