The connector? The maven? The salesperson? All of them?
Feel free to email me your answer before reading the rest.
In his book, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, he addresses the science behind viral trends in business, marketing, and human behavior, and how to create wildfire-like reach and impact. Fascinating, right? Gladwell walks the reader through various stories demonstrating the role of the messenger, the message, and the context of the message in seeing such infectious impact.
The riddle above has to do with the messenger — in our little circle here that is your brand and/or yourself if you have a personal brand.
As you must have guessed the three types of messengers are the connector, the maven, and the salesperson. Some characteristics or archetypes are more effective at obtaining different things and the point of this email is lean into that philosophy. I want to encourage you to play to your strengths and to know how to fill in the gaps for the rest. So what are these three personas?
We will only focus on the strengths for the sake of your e-mail reading time.
THE CONNECTOR — aka the social butterfly.
Connectors are social magnets. They seem to know everyone needed to be known. They are skilled networkers and community builders. They connect with others through shared values or interests, professional collaborations, and/or personal experience. They leverage the power of people — bringing different worlds together for the better. As you can imagine, connectors do fairly well on social media.
THE MAVEN — aka the information banks.
Mavens are data driven. They are the ‘know your numbers’ people. Their rich curiosity and great ability for doing research and retaining information sets them up for being knowledgeable and trustworthy. They are genuinely helpful and willing to do so. They leverage the power of knowledge — representing authority and trust. Mavens tend to become powerful educators.
THE SALESPERSON — aka the storytellers.
Salespersons are fascinators. They can sell anything to anyone. They take any concept, make it a compelling story, and bring out the value in it to get others to buy it. They know how to make an idea contagious by getting others to be emotionally and intellectually engaged. They leverage the power of persuasion — getting others to care and get involved. The salesperson is usually a leader and is rather good at making money.
Now, back to the riddle, who gets the deal? And more precisely, which brand persona will allow you to have an impressive impact and profit? All of them. The answer is all of them!
Of course, there’s a trick…gotta keep things interesting!
You certainly could see success just tapping into one of these personas. And that would be playing to your strengths, which is the start of recognizing your natural abilities and utilizing them effectively. Now the type of contagious impact we’re talking about does require all three types of personas’ assets. In other words, even if your brand lead persona is the connector for example (can easily build relationships, know a lot of people in your industry and even beyond) you will need expansive knowledge and a great ability to tell a compelling story.
That is the very reason we never skip on brand strategy with our clients. The brand strategy process is designed for epiphanies — it leads you to discover your brand’s archetype, to become aware of your zone of genius and your blindspots, to prepare your brand for marketing, and finally to set your brand up for success. Doing the necessary positioning work, crafting a magnetizing brand promise, defining a clear brand voice that shows your expertise… all of these things highlight and emphasize your instinctive persona (strengths) and give you the strategic tools to fill in the lacking areas (weaknesses).
So yes, the final answer is all of them. To build an impactful and profitable brand it is paramount to discover how your particular brand, with its particular characteristics, can embody the connector by leveraging the power of people, the maven by leveraging the power of knowledge, and the salesperson by leveraging the power of persuasion. That’s the key to longevity in this game of passion and purpose.
If you answered one of them, you were not wrong. You still get a high five!