Recently I attended the Telarus Partner Summit 2014. It was a great opportunity to learn more about what is going on in the carrier world and network with some terrific partners in the bandwidth channel. Telarus put on an amazing event. There were two amazing keynote speakers: David Arvin and Dale Murphy.
One of the highlights was a keynote presentation by David Arvin. He has written a book called “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You” where he gives advice on how to build your business by building your brand in the social media age.
His keynote was based on his book and his work with hundreds of companies over the past few years. He made some fantastic observations and really got me to look at things from a new perspective.
Highlights From the Telarus Partner Summit 2014 Keynote Presentation by David Arvin:
- What brand do you aspire to become as a company? Can you imagine the brand you want to be in the future? If you can envision that brand, make every decision every day to drive towards that vision of the brand you want to become. Use social media to ensure your brand vision is public and talked about.
- To what question would your business be the very best answer? Not a good option but the best option. If you can’t answer this question you haven’t truly defined your business. If you can answer this question you know exactly the market or customers that you should be pursuing. You can’t do everything so do something better than everyone else and become the recognized market-leader in one thing.
- How can you become the safe choice in a sea of confusing options? How can you leverage your expertise in a certain niche or market sowhen someone asks “ey, who does x?” the answer is always your company. Being known as the best in your industry is something companies aspire to.
- The four most dangerous words in business are “all things being equal.” Why should things ever be equal? Do something that makes it an unfair playing field tilted towards your business. You won’t survive in a world where it is equal so stack the deck in your favor. Create unique content that sets you apart, and use social media to share it with your community, and your team’s communities.
- Your people bear a striking resemblance to their people. Stop saying that your people are the difference. The competition is saying the exact same thing. Find something that truly differentiates you from them and beat that drum. Everyone is tired of the “our people make the difference.” Leveraging your people’s relationships will make a difference. Take advantage of their networks.
- Specificity leads to credibility. In most cases, outside of the old-time corner drug store and Walmart, people rarely trust the jack-of-all-trades or the business that has one of everything. Consider your next surgery – if you have a heart condition do you want the best, most experienced specialist in your city or the general surgeon who also doubles as a veterinarian on the weekends? When you do your thing better than anyone else, you become the credible, trusted, go-to solution.
These are just a few of the highlights from David’s presentation. If you get a chance to see him in person I would highly recommend it.
Highlights From Dale Murphy
Another highlight for me was meeting baseball legend Dale Murphy. Murphy played for twenty years for the Atlanta Braves (1974-1991), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1993), and the Colorado Rockies (1993.). He is a beloved player in Atlanta where his number (#3) was only the fifth in Braves history to be retired joining those of baseball greats Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Warran Spahn, and Phil Niekro and hangs today in Turner Field.
Murphy talked about how we have to do things the right way every day to be successful. He talked about the influence of a few great managers like Bobby Cox who always taught them to play the right way and to show the proper respect for the game. He talked about the discipline of great players like Tony Gwynn, who worked hard every day. He spoke to the group about his participation in numerous charities including the non-profit organization he founded in 2005 called the iWontCheat Foundation to promote ethical behavior and deter steroid use and cheating in youth athletics. Since 2008 all players from the participating teams at the Little League World Series wear the “i WON’T CHEAT!” embroidered patch above the Little League Baseball logo on the left sleeve of their jersey.
Murphy’s dedication to his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made him unique in the world of Major League Baseball. His clean-living habits off the diamond were frequently noted in the media. When I thought about his talk and David’s talk, I could really see how Murphy lived what Arvin was talking about.
- His brand is based on his moral compass and stems from his faith. He did not break his commitments to himself, his family or his church to “fit-in” with the rest of the MLB. In the days of pre-social media, the media frequently highlighted his character and he worked to make sure that he never embarrassed himself.
- He played baseball the best way he knew how to be a leader on and off the field. If someone was looking for a All-Star, Murphy frequently came to mind. As a seven-time All-Star, two-time National League MVP, five-time Golden Glove Award and four-time Silver Slugger Award, he was in the front of mind for many.
- On the playing field, Murphy worked hard to be treated as an equal, to treat others that way, and to shine in his own way.
Reflecting on these two keynotes, it’s really about building a brand you can be proud of and is unique. It doesn’t matter if that brand is a company or an individual.
And one last highlight…While we were at the Telarus Partner Summit 2014 in Park City, UT it snowed. This wouldn’t be an unusual thing for Utah – but this was June 17-19. Bizarre!
What do you think? In this world of social media how do you keep your brand top-of-mind with your customers? Do you think specialization is the key to success the current economy? What do you do better than anyone else?