marketing-lessons-sugarhill-rappers-delightOne of the founding members of the Sugarhill Gang passed away yesterday. RIP, Big Bank Hank.

It had been a while, so I pulled up “Rapper’s Delight” and gave it a good listen. And as it happens, they had some pretty good advice:

“Whatever you do in your lifetime
You never let an MC steal your rhyme.”

In other words, be yourself.

Of course, one part of being yourself is, well, just being yourself. Not being afraid to interject some of your personality into your work.

But there’s another part of being yourself: talking about yourself. Being yourself is a lot more powerful when people know who you are. Case in point…

Recently I was chatting with a friend who works at an ad agency, and she told me about a client they had recently acquired. They’d never pitched the client, never made a single phone call. In fact, they’d never even heard of this company. Their client found them on Google, went to their website, and decided the agency would be a good fit. Then their client looked at the bios of everyone at the agency, literally dozens of agency employees, and identified the people they wanted working on their account team (the people they thought they’d get along with best). All of this before they ever called the agency to start a conversation.

We’ve all heard that there is no B2B anymore, that people buy from people, that personal relationships often trump business interests. All of that is true. People like to do business with people they like. And that’s true whether you’re selling jewelry or soap or legal services or anything else.

But there’s another reason to make sure you add a personal touch to your business. It’s not about being liked. It’s about standing out.

Take me, for instance.

I’m a market researcher with an MBA and 17 years of experience working with clients in a variety of industries. That’s all fine and good, and perfectly true, and maybe even relevant to some prospective clients who might want to hire my company. But looking at those bland, generic words on this page, it’s painfully obvious that there are thousands of MCs who can steal that rhyme.

So I’m going to be taking the advice of the Sugarhill Gang to heart and tackling a rewrite of my LinkedIn page and my corporate bio.

How about you? How easy is it to steal your rhyme?

*Photo credit Wikipedia

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