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What do Seth Godin, Scott Galloway, and Morning Brew have in common? They have all hired Wes Kao for her marketing expertise. The Maven Co-Founder and powerhouse marketer has led over 150 launches of Fortune 500 companies, brands, and startups. She was also Co-Creator and Executive Director of Seth Godin’s Alt-MBA program. This week she’s teaching us how to communicate effectively and efficiently so we can show up as experts in our industries.
Wes is a natural communicator. Her writing is uniquely distilled, which makes sense as she is the queen of viral Twitter threads! Here are her top three ways to eliminate the fluff and communicate effectively and efficiently.
1. Read Harvard Business Review’s ‘Guide To Better Business Writing’. It gives great insight on how to write with clarity, even for non-business topics.
2. Don’t regurgitate or recycle what’s already been said. Go deeper by uncovering the how not just the what and why.
3 Edit your writing so it is crisp and clean. When people are reading on a platform like Twitter they’re only giving about 10% of their attention. Any place that causes mental friction or cognitive load is where they might stop.
Additionally, Wes often shares a “spikey point of view”. In other words, a POV that goes against the grain, but it’s not used for the sake of arguing. Your spikey POV helps bring another layer to the conversation.
“Sharing a spikey POV isn’t to do a mic drop or share a flighty opinion. It’s rooted in your lived experience, track record, work history, etc. It’s a defensible truth you’ve proven to yourself by solving problems over the years.”
Wes admits this can be intimidating. Be sure you’re communicating effectively and efficiently by creating your thread, sleeping on it, and publishing it in the morning.
If you’re wondering how to communicate effectively and efficiently online, Wes says to start with topics you’re familiar with. For her, that’s marketing, leadership, course creation, and personal branding. For me, it’s marketing, career, business, and networking.
“The line between our personal and professional lives are softening and blending more than they were 10-20 years ago. I personally post on work topics. Sharing something you know has offered others value already makes it less scary.”
Start sharing your spikey POV and flexing your communication muscles by combining Wes’s tips with my 7-Day Content Kickstart!
At work, most people highlight transferable skills but Wes’ says being talented in one area doesn’t always translate to another. For example, a blog writer may not do well with tweets or threads. Or someone who is great at reading a teleprompter naturally may not do well speaking off the cuff.
“I agree, a lot of skills are transferable but I also acknowledge that within a field there are subfields and just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean that strength will transfer to another.”
Wes is right. A mechanic could change the oil in a Ford, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. However, there are people who only work on Fords, or Ferraris, or Aston Martins and it makes a difference in the quality of service because that’s their specialty. Focus on your specialty when thinking about how to communicate effectively and efficiently.
Wes and I agreed managing up is an underrated superpower! Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out by taking initiative. Not only does this put you on the radar, but you get to control the narrative.
“If you wait for your boss to say, “I need X done by Y date”, you become instantly less valuable. Approach your managers with a plan. Share why you think it will work, a way to test your theory, examples of how competitors handle the topic, and a plan to keep them in the loop.”
In short, communicate effectively and efficiently with your higher-ups by shifting your approach from ‘What should I do?’ to ‘Here’s what I recommend.
Taking initiative also makes it easier to get a yes from your boss or coworker.
As someone with many opportunities on the table and limited yes’s to give, Wes explained it’s important to frame your requests in ways that show they will benefit the other person.
“Give the person many reasons to say yes. Whether that’s an opportunity to learn from you, a chance to share their thoughts, or getting to work on an idea they’re excited about.”
Also, remember they have a ton of competing priorities. Communicating effectively and efficiently why helping you is worth it is imperative!
Homework: Share one of your spikey points of you. Choose something you’ve already taught and that adds value.
P.S. Tag Wes and me when you do!
Keep learning from Wes:
Twitter, Website, Maven Up Next: You can’t have all work and no play! Summer break is in full effect and CWK will be back on July 20, 2022, with Kristina Paider. The Hollywood screenwriter is breaking down the movie magic to show us how to tell our story. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your customers feel like the main character this is a must-attend session! RSVP Here!
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