The words you use to describe yourself and the services you provide will attract a certain
audience. This in turn will open doors to potential clients or partnerships—and eliminate
others. A common mistake many marketers make is trying to promote a brand for “general”
appeal. Avoid sabotaging yourself from the outset by gleaning pro tips from three books that
should be on every content creator’s bookshelf.


The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point,” he explains how information is disseminated
by three personality types working in tangent—either consciously or subconsciously. And this
potent combo is how trends get sparked, before surpassing a “tipping point,” and eventually
phasing out. For most, your individual skill set usually correlates with being one of these three:
a connector, salesperson or a maven/maverick. Some might straddle the line between two of
these groups, but rarely is one person equally gifted in all three of these areas. The first step in
assessing exactly where your strengths truly lie is determining whether you are more of people
specialist or an information specialist. Thus, it essential you make time to build strategic
partnerships based on your interpersonal skills—strengths and weaknesses.


The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
In her book “The Art of Gathering,” conflict resolution specialist Priya Parker admits “I have
learned far too often in the name of inclusion and generosity…we fail to draw boundaries about
who belongs and why.” This is why Parker frequently asks her clients to consider in certain
instances whether ‘exclusion’ is in fact a necessary ‘kindness’ “in order to avoid the awkward
outcome of “trying not to offend, but failing to protect the gathering itself and the people in it.”
Drama being instigated at the outset will ruin meetings and events for everyone down the road
if not addressed proactively early on. She astutely points out “by closing the door, you create
the room.” Effective strategic planning often comes down to the project manager or meeting
facilitator being confident enough to fully own her/his/their role.

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
Godin is a master at encouraging others to “think outside the box.” And the reflective prompts
in each chapter are worth posing to your whole team to spark deeper reflection on brand
cohesiveness, product launches and more. He also makes a strong case for why authenticity
and a bit of vulnerability are necessary to attract—and keep—an engaged audience.

While making your way through this reading list, a good place to start is to avoid becoming too
fixated on increasing followers on social media; securing leads; or scheduling virtual events.
People want to know WHY your company exists so think less about ‘selling’ and more about
inviting others along on a “behind the scenes” journey.


Rachel Werner

BIO: Rachel Werner is faculty for Hugo House and The Loft Literary Center; a We Need Diverse Books program volunteer; and a book reviewer for Shelf Awareness. She has contributed print, photography and video content to Fabulous Wisconsin, BLK+GRN, BRAVA, Madison Magazine and Entrepreneurial Chef. She is also the founder of The Little BookProject WI, a community arts and nonprofit bi-annual collaboration. A passionate commitment to holistic wellness and sustainable agriculture keeps her a Midwestern girl at heart—and Madison resident. Follow her adventures around the country on Instagram @therealscript.

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