People Like Us Do This (And Don’t Do That)

“People like us do things like this” is the exact Seth Godin quote.

He uses the concept to talk about understanding the attributes of your tribe.

To hone in on who should be in your circle.

But when you’re a consultant building a business, you can use it for much more.

Take your point of view.

Your point of view is your belief system. About your industry, your client base, your expertise—even how you like to work with clients.

If you’re a take-no-prisoners technology strategist and thought leader, then your point of view is going to be sharp, incisive and use language that culls the herd.

Because you won’t suffer fools kindly and you want—right up front—to send anyone who won’t appreciate your working style packing.

People like us are smart, direct and looking to the future for the next big thing. And we don’t spend time with people who aren’t looking forward.

If you’re the opposite—say an executive coach whose distinct preference is to meet clients where they are—your point of view will emphasize collaboration along with your technical expertise.

People like us help those who aren’t as far up the food chain as we are. We don’t shame people for not knowing our craft.

You can also use it when you work on messaging from your website to your email list to your social channels.

Say you’re a leadership development consultant and your target audience is Director level women shooting for the C-suite in Fortune 500 companies.

What do they believe and do that ties to your brand of leadership development?

Maybe they believe that they can get better faster with a coach who’s walked in their shoes.

Or that going to a development program is not enough to make new behaviors stick. They believe in regular feedback loops with human intervention at key pressure points.

Perhaps they’ve mentored others coming up behind them and believe deeply in the power of lifting and learning.

It can also be highly illuminating if you address it backwards, as in: what do people like us NOT do?

Because having a flaming neon “no” sign can serve as a bond—connective tissue even—amongst your tribe.

As in:

People like us don’t treat our colleagues as disposable.

People like us don’t say “it’s always been done this way”.

People like us don’t tear down new ideas just to hear ourselves talk.

Drilling down into the minds and hearts and actions of your sweet-spot client is never an idle exercise.

The clearer you get on what they want that ties to the best of what you deliver, the faster you’ll build your tribe.

Not to mention your business.

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