I’ve been staring at my WordCloud lately. You know, that hodgepodge puzzle of words that peeks into my blog to see what hides in the pages. So many words there make me smile – places and names and things like mercy and kitchen therapy and friendship.
It’s no secret that I love words. I think they are beautiful morsels to be shared like warm bread with butter and a sprinkle of salt. I’m passionate about using them to reveal both my personal and business voice, and that same passion is there when it comes to helping your bring your brand to life with a great story. Crafting your brand’s personality and finding its voice transforms how you engage with your audience, employees, and stakeholders. As Melissa shared in her post, people crave a good story and connect to it.
Lately though, I’ve been pondering a word that may be fast becoming my least favorite word of all – more than moist or dirge or even spatchcock (though after watching videos on what happens to a chicken when it is spatchcocked, I feel the word is spot-on).
Now, I’m sure the word really means no harm. It’s certainly been around a lot longer than I have. But I’ve noticed something over the past few years, as this strange global community grows and builds new virtual gathering spots for connection-hungry people. Expert has become far too easy a card to carry. It seems everyone wants to be – and can be – an expert these days. I shudder when people use “expert” to describe me – whether they’re talking about marketing or writing or making cupcakes. I might have ideas. I might even have something relatively smart to share. I may even sound like an expert because of my years of expertise in marketing and branding. But there’s a difference between having expertise in a particular subject and claiming the title of “expert.” More often than not, expert opinion is just that. Opinion.
And those expert opinions can play tricks on you and me as they collapse in on us. Think about it. Depending upon the expert I listen to, coffee is either going to kill me or make me a better runner in the mornings. My granddaughter needs to sleep on her back/side/tummy/side/tummy to be safe. You need a daily dose of sunshine to calm your nerves and prevent disease, and you better stay out of it to avoid aging and cancer. We need to blog every day so we can build our “tribe,” but only need to blog enough to make our tribe seek us out.
And anything – EVERYTHING – will ultimately kill us. Or not. Yes, there’s an expert out there just waiting to prove it to you, whatever it is.
So today, that WordCloud helped me silence the experts and the too-many-opinions, and helped remind me of things that really count in the long run because they’re the things that are part of who I am. Those words reminded me of what matters – my real purpose – in the marketplace, in the world. and to those connection-hungry people. I know you and your brand are called to be more too. So, today, shake it off. Silence the experts and stop striving to be one. Be something more.
So, what is your more? How will you silence the experts? What is your brand’s purpose?