I’m a middle child, and, over the years, people have asked me how I managed to get noticed. After all, my older sister was the (almost) perfect “Marcia Brady,” and my younger sister was “the baby” who could do no wrong.
The real lessons, however, on how to stand out, came from my extended family, sprinkled across New Jersey and New York.
I didn’t truly understand how “different” we were until I had children of my own. My “kids”—now 25 and 23—asked me questions when they were younger that most parents DON’T hear:
I’ve been incredibly close with my mom’s side of the family. Even though I’m one of three children, our home was always abuzz. You’d think there were 10 kids; something was always happening and fun. Now that we’re all married and have families, it simply means more people, more East Coast attitude, more laughter, memories, stories…and boisterous voices.
Life’s little observer
As a shy 8-year-old in New Jersey, I remember watching my relatives from the sidelines at holiday get-togethers and visits. My mom, her brothers, parents and cousins were catching up. The one-liners were flying. I didn’t understand most of them, but what I saw—and heard—was remarkable. It was like a well-orchestrated comedy show.
Whoever chimed in the loudest with the fewest words and the best takeaway or dramatic reaction was center stage. That is until someone else’s zinger stole the show. I saw my relatives as stand-up comedians.
Make no mistake, this was not an easy way to grow up. There was pressure to “perform” or worse, be a wallflower. Still, the communication style has served most of us well.
We learned early on to be observant, witty and enthusiastic. We learned how to choose our words carefully and deliver them effectively. We learned how to jump into the fray and pull back when it was someone else’s turn. Above all, we learned laughter is a vital part of families—and communication.
For good or bad, my children—and their growing roster of cousins—have had similar experiences. They know how to pull that one single gem out of the treasure chest, think on their feet and share it with gusto.
They know how to capture the attention of busy chatterboxes with a line or phrase that’s going to stop the room and get people to react. They know how to make memories and be memorable.
How about you?
Are you adept at using just a few select words that will hit your audience between the eyes and get them to stop…for one brief moment? Look, there’s an obscene amount of content and information being shared on social media hourly, daily and weekly.
To stand out, you must know that the magic is in the writing. You have to be able to capture people’s attention by writing meaningful blog posts and creating videos that appeal to your ideal customer. That’s why your headline has to dance off the page or computer screen and come alive.
You must understand how to:
Most entrepreneurs are sitting on a treasure chest of valuable content and experiences. However, you don’t know how to identify that gem for your headline to keep people reading your post or watching your video.
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