One of the concerns of new clinicians, in general, and private practitioners who are stepping out of a comfort zone is “how can I stand out without looking ________ (different, weird, inept, inexperienced, too full of myself — you fill in the blank)?”
The best way to stand out is to sing YOUR song. When you are singing YOUR song, your eyes sparkle, you’re smiling from ear to ear, and your create a magnetic field around you that is inviting and which powerfully draws people to you. Some of those people will be drawn there to basque in your energy. Some will be there to heckle you or to put you in your place. (Hopefully), the majority will be there to be active members of your “tribe”.
Dan Kennedy (in his rough and tumble way) said it clearly when he said “If SOMEBODY’s not pissed off at you, you’re not marketing hard enough.”
Seth Godin said it with a little more tact — but the message is the same:
The mathematical impossibility of universal delight
Jack Nicholson calls it, “rabbit ears.”
If you’re hyper-aware of what others are thinking, if you’re looking for criticism, the unhappy audience member and the guy who didn’t get the joke, you will always find what you’re seeking.
For it to be any other way, you’d either have to be invisible or performing for a totally homogeneous audience.
Invisible is an option, of course. You can lay low, not speak up and make no difference to anyone.
That’s sort of like dividing by zero, though. You’ll get no criticism, but no delight either.
As for finding a homogeneous audience, good luck with that. The one thing that’s true of all people is that they are different from one another. What delights one enrages the other.
Part of the deal.
Don’t be afraid to sing YOUR song. If I’m going to do business with you or follow you in any way, I have to know why, and I have to get that information from YOU!!
This post really resonated with me because I question “How can I stand out withiout looking __________?” all the time. I understand myself enough to know why I put those negative terms in the blank BUT there is also the “coinsumer” part of me that is put off my pushy people, pushy sales approaches, “in my face” people, etc. so I see both sides There has been so much informatin for mental health professionals about how to market and advertise, and how to design a crackerjack website that will get potential clients to make the phone call, that they are all blending together in my mind. Mental health professinals are not standing out! How can I sing MY son when I’m following the same makrketing, advertising, and website templates like all of my colleagues?