Be Remarkable: Follow the Lessons of the Purple Cow By Chris King (with excerpts by Seth
receive a ton-load of magazines and other great reading material daily,
weekly and monthly, but there is one magazine that stands out from all
of the others - one that I can barely put down once it arrives. It is
the "remarkable" publication, Fast Company.
we shouldn't be surprised that the February 2003 issue included
a "remarkable" essay adapted from contributing editor Seth Godin's
forthcoming book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Becoming Remarkable.
Godin's essay has made such a profound impact on my thinking, in the following
article I am going to highlight a few of his great marketing ideas and
the ways in which I feel, as independent professionals, we can make them
work for us and our businesses.
words, "For years, marketers have talked about the 'five Ps'
(actually, there are more than five, but everyone picks their favorite
handful): product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity, packaging,
pass along, permission. Sound familiar? This has become the basic marketing
checklist, a quick way to make sure that you've done your job. Nothing
is guaranteed, of course, but is used to be that if you dotted your is
and paid attention to you five Ps, then you were more likely than
not to succeed. No longer. It's time to add an exceptionally important
new P to the list: Purple Cow.
Let me explain." He goes on to tell us about driving through
France with his family and how in the beginning they were "enchanted
by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing in the lovely pastures right
next to the road." After awhile, however, they started ignoring the
cows, because, "the new cows were just like the old cows." They
became common, and "worse than common: it was boring." What
a terrific metaphor for our businesses and marketing. We need to ask ourselves,
"Are we and our approach to business so common that we have become
boring? What will make us stand out from the herd and make us and our
businesses remarkable - like a Purple Cow would?"
examine some of the questions Godin suggests asking ourselves in his list
of "10 ways to raise a Purple Cow."
you could choose your customers, who would they be? Who would be
the most profitable? I know that, even though I charge comparable prices,
the customers who are the most difficult to work with and satisfy are
the ones who drain me of my time and energy - a reduction of profit.
It is time to start catering to the people we would choose to work with
if we could choose.
is an underserved niche market that we could dominate if we could
launch a service that would appeal to that market - even if it would
compete with one we already offer?
if we started providing a super special service just for those clients
who love us? What could it be? I already send out a free newsletter
with loads of tips and ideas, but am now thinking of sending my favorite
clients a free e-book that is filled with tips that could impact their
lives and careers.
small or detailed practices could we make remarkable? Godin suggests
getting into the habit of doing things in an "unsafe" way
every time we have the opportunity. That way we'll find out what is
working and what isn't. It is so easy to stay in our comfort zone. We
use the same software, network with people we already know, attend the
meetings we always attend.
the limits. What if you're the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest,
the hottest, the coldest, the easiest, the most efficient, the loudest,
the most hated, the copycat, the outsider, the hardest, the oldest,
the newest, or just the most! If there's a limit, you should (must)
test it." WOW! I love this suggestion. How about being the most
outrageous? Or the most organized? The most outspoken?
small. Godin points out that the present day thinking is that what
we do should appeal to the masses. What if we imagine the smallest conceivable
market and create a service that overwhelms them with its remarkability?
things are "just not done?" Once you think of them, go
ahead and do them. It can almost become a way of life to do those things
that are "just not done." My children learned long ago that
their mother was going to do those very things, and finally they and
I celebrate the differences. It certainly keeps one from ever being
"Why not?" Almost everything we don't do has no good reason
for it. Almost everything we don't do is a result of fear or inertia
or a historical lack of someone asking, "Why not?" This goes
along with the answer we so often receive when asking "Why?"
and receiving the standard answer, "We've always done it that way."
Certainly, this describes the common and boring brown cow.
I hope that
through sharing some of the Purple Cow ideas and suggestions with
you, I have sparked some ideas and actions that will help make your 2003
free agent, independent professional and freelance living remarkable in
all ways: career wise, money wise and enjoyment wise. Please send me your
thoughts. I love getting your FEEDBACK!
is available at www.Apurplecow.com
and other select locations. And, treat yourself! Subscribe to Fast
Company fast! It is a Purple Cow.
A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Career Success Planning, is on the way. I will be contacting former sbscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test to subscribe to the new FREE e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!
When I started doing the research for this book, I knew that my own experience as a Portfolio Careerist (having more than one career at the same time) wasn’t going to be enough.
After all, those of us who love and maintain Portfolio Careers also love the variety and thrive on doing things our own way. So, I put out a call to those I knew have or have had Portfolio Careers and would be willing to answer a series of questions.
Thirteen Portfolio Careerists answered my call, so you will get the full story
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