Common marketing missteps waste time and money. These 5 fixes are GAME CHANGERS.

What Is Your Superpower?

what is your superpower

What is your superpower? Are you Clark Kent by day, Superman by night? Can your employer or clients recognize what you’re really capable of doing?

Between 2003-2015, I took on contract work for dozens of companies, big and small. Some hired me as a copywriter. Others wanted copyediting. A handful hired me to handle business, branding, proposal, or award strategy. Around the same time, I began teaching my proprietary Persuasive Writing Engine courses for a few corporations and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Writing, copyediting, and branding and content strategy are my superpowers. Clients who hired me for one of my superpowers rarely recognized the others — even after I waved my other superpower flags.

Clients hired me to teach persuasive writing and hired someone else to handle brand strategy. They hired me to write newspaper and journal articles and hired an agency to serve as their fractional chief marketing officer. And so the story goes.

It’s a common challenge. For me and for most everyone. Possibly even for you.

Your Superpowers Aren’t Valued Everywhere

In the North Pole, the ability to fly is a commodity. It’s the price of entry into the night-before-Christmas gift delivery business. In the North Pole, Rudolph’s superpower was, in fact, his nose. Anywhere else in the world, his speedy, round-the-world flying capability would be his superpower.

Superpowers don’t have a set, universally accepted value. Let’s say you’re an ace SEO strategist. If your employer or clients don’t care about SEO, they probably won’t value your superpower. Or if you’re Annie Leibovitz behind the lens but accept bottom-dollar freelance bids, you’re probably attracting box-checkers who value minimal damage to their pocketbook.

What Is Your Superpower, and Who Knows It?

Sometimes you can make a breakthrough. Your employer or clients know you have Superpower A, but you’re able to successfully introduce them to Superpower B, thereby expanding your job satisfaction (and pay) and the value you’re able to provide. Win-win.

Other times, the brick wall you hit is so thick and tall that you would need to be Spiderman to scale it or Superman to power through it. The scenario goes something like this — Over the years, you shift gears. You started your career doing web design, but your real passion is digital strategy. You wave your new digital strategy flag with a flourish, communicating your changing interests and burgeoning skills to your employer or clients. But they’re incapable of seeing it. It’s like colorblindness, only here what’s hard to see is evolutionary development.

In many families, children are known for various traits and skills. This one’s the life of the party. That one’s the dutiful party planner. The other one’s the pretty one or the smart one or the creative one.

Human beings tend to snapshot other human beings, capturing an image that never fully disappears from view no matter how many images come after it. Human beings are mindbendingly complex, and snapshotting helps us make sense of the world around us and the roles people play in that world.

Over and again, people leave their jobs because their current employer simply can’t recognize their true superpowers. I’ve handled hiring for dozens of companies over the years, and I’ve interviewed hundreds frustrated employees just as I’ve witnessed hundreds of frustration exits.

What Is Your Superpower — Identify It and Own It

What projects give you a sense of accomplishment? What skills are you determined to master come hell or high water? What are you inspired to do with the limited time you have on this earth?

What is your superpower (or your many, many superpowers)?

Let’s say your employer or clients are most interested in what Rudolph calls “the nose thing,” but you can fly through your work like nobody’s business and make monumental headway on important projects at breakneck speed. Do everything you can to make sure they see you for who you really are and values you for the depth and breadth of what you actually bring to a table that’s filled with snapshots.

And if your employer or clients can’t see past your initial snapshot no matter how high you fly your superpower flag, it may be time to find someone whose initial snapshot will show who you are right here and right now — the real living, breathing YOU.

As Phyllis from The Office once said, “I think we all deserve to be with someone who wants to be with us.” What holds true in romantic relationships also holds true in all relationships. Even at work.

Let’s Talk

Schedule a 30-minute complimentary brand or website review. I’ll help you identify what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next.

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