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Your secret source of stand out ideas
👉 you're almost certainly overlooking this
One of the most powerful ways to make your newsletter stand out is to share new ideas in your field that give your readers new insights and trigger “lightbulb moments”.
If that sounds difficult, it’s because:
a) it is.
b) there’s a good chance you’re underestimating how unique and valuable your ideas and experiences are.
You’ve most likely heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect where people with limited experience in a field tend to overestimate how much they know and have unwarranted confidence in their opinions.
There’s a flipside to Dunning-Kruger that’s less often talked about.
It’s that genuine experts tend to undervalue their own expertise. Not because they don’t think they’re experts. But because they think everyone else has a similar level of knowledge.
One of the reasons experts are experts is that their accumulated experience and knowledge allows them to see things quickly that the rest of us would take ages to get. And often we wouldn’t get at all.
But the very fact they get these insights quickly and easily means they often undervalue them. Because it wasn’t agony, they assume those insights can’t be valuable or rare.
When I used to do 1-1 and group coaching I was always staggered by the non-obvious insights my clients had that they just assumed were common knowledge. To me they were laying down groundbreaking ideas. To them it was just bread and butter.
So they would rarely use those insights and big ideas in their marketing. Which meant they just looked like everyone else who claimed they were an expert.
It was really brought home to me recently by a comment from Amanda who was a participant in a recent Persuasive Email Writing course I ran.
Amanda had been having the same kind of thoughts we all get from time to time:
“I know I’m an expert…at least I think I am…but how do I prove it to people who don’t know me yet?”
And then she realised something I hadn’t thought of before but really rang true…
As she explained, "If I regularly give people expert tips and advice in my emails then...I am an expert".
In other words, the best form of proof is demonstration.
So if you’ve got all these expert insights and ideas that would help you stand out in the inbox all bottled up inside you without realising how valuable and unique they are…how do you pop the cork?
I’ve found a good way to do it is to ask yourself a series of questions.
You won’t necessarily be able to answer every one. But you will be able to answer many of them. And each one will highlight ideas you have that will help you stand out.
Here’s a shortlist if questions I typically use with clients:
What are the common mistakes or misconceptions your clients often have in your field? (if they’re common mistakes then your solutions will likely be new and eye-opening for them)
Where do you disagree with accepted wisdom in your field and/or your competitors? (if everyone else is saying something different, your ideas will stand out - provided you’re right!)
What are the ideas, concepts and solutions that have the most impact on your client’s success? (ideas with a huge impact are always seen as valuable)
What are your clients most surprised at when it works for them? (this is a hint that the ideas were new to them and will be new to others)
What were the biggest “lightbulb moments” you had yourself about your field? (if it was new to you it will certainly be new to others who don’t spend so much time thinking about the topic)
What are some new trends or new research in your field that most people won’t know about? (chances are most people won’t be continually looking for new trends and research like you do)
What are some successful practices in other fields you can transfer into yours? (something that worked in a different industry, or transferring innovations in supply chain to R&D or from leadership into sales)
This will help you surface some of your best ideas and insights that you perhaps didn’t realise would be interesting and different to your readers.
You don’t need something completely new in every email. Most of us - even those considered to be innovative or full of great ideas - really only have half a dozen big concepts we use again and again and just expand on them or illustrate them in different ways.
Next time I’ll show you how you can prime yourself to become more of an idea generating machine. But the reality is you probably have a ton of great ideas you could use in emails already. You just need to surface and share them.
And the questions will do that for you.
PS - want a super fast way to tap in to new ideas and turn them into valuable and engaging emails? My Email Templates will spark your ideas and get you writing powerful emails quickly. Click here for details.
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