Starting with Why
There was a consistent, underlying, message from most of the presenters that I listened to over the past few days at HubSpot Inbound 2022 — that knowing and understanding your “Why” is a mandatory starting point for success.
If you’ve read Simon Sinek’s popular book “Start With Why”, then you know how important it is to leverage your “Why” as the foundation of every decision that you make for your business and for your Brand. The most well know branding and marketing leaders have been saying this for years. The speakers at Inbound22 were on the same page.
Once you know your “Why”, you need to consistently show it. Avoid doing anything that doesn’t fully support your Why. Be authentic and make your why the core of who you are. Dr Jane Goodall said that “Authenticity Builds Trust” and that “you’ll create impact when people believe in what you’re doing.
The more direct themes of this year’s conference were Connection and Community. Eric Su, CEO and Founder of Smart Grain said that “People show up to buy products, but they stay for the community.” Building a community around your why is an excellent way to cultivate and grow your brand. But communities don’t form around products or services.
Communities form around a purpose. If you want a group of followers, they need a compelling reason to show up and to stick around. If that purpose is rooted in your “Why,” then a community that you cultivate will effectively extend and grow your brand. When building new communities, numbers are far less important than substance.
Yosef Martin, Founder of BoxyCharm, said that, “For a community to be successful, it’s not about the number of people. It’s about how passionate people are about the community.” A small number of passionate members is going to go much farther in supporting your why than a massive number of inactive people would.
You Want to Start a Podcast … Why?
If you’re a Podcast listener, you can probably think of a number of Podcasts that have an almost cult-like following. If you’re not a listener you’re likely to at least be aware of the immense popularity of the format.
Podcasts can be an excellent tool for cultivating community. Passionate podcast audiences join Facebook and Discord groups to discuss their favorite shows. Live tapings for podcasts can draw large, in-person, crowds.
According to Karen Burgess, Executive for People, Production, and Culture at Pacific Content Company, “You need to be brave about standing behind your brand”. “Podcasts can’t just be a big add. You need to create something people care about.” Michael Gilday, VP of Storytelling and Creative at DataRobot said that “The Why of why you are making a podcast is super important.” Your why can’t just be to reach more people. There needs to be intentionality behind your content in order for it to connect with an audience. When you’re brainstorming ideas for your podcast, “Start with the why and the what and how will follow from there.”
Why, when speaking to your audience, selling to a customer, choosing a new service, adopting a new marketing format, or anything related to your business, is the most important question you can ask.
I have over 10 years in design and identity development for businesses. I joined Hot Dog Marketing in 2013 as branding specialist focusing on new small business and start ups. I love my beer, my dog Brew, Batman and anything Lego.