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The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters) Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
Somewhere along the way, business owners got the idea they had to be popular in order to be successful, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Every successful brand in history—from corporate behemoths to your neighborhood coffee shop—is vastly unpopular with a distinct demographic, yet succeeds wildly with the right audience. Isn't it time to rethink "unpopular"? In The Power of Unpopular, you'll discover what the world's greatest innovators have always known: popular is the last thing you ever want to build a business to be.
Stop focusing your brand-building on groups who will never like you and learn how to identify the audience you want to serve. The Power of Unpopular simply—and bluntly—explains concepts that you can immediately graft onto your existing business strategies:
Discover your brand personality and explore what you gain from taking a stand
Find the people who will benefit from what you have to offer, and then tell them a story that they want to hear
Become an approachable brand that invites conversation and a high level of customer input
Build your community and get your brand shared
Scale your brand in a way that ensures that it will survive its own growth
Understand profitability—in both financial and emotional terms
Featuring real businesses from across the globe, this irreverent guide couples theory with practice, blazing pathways that businesses of any size or age can follow. Becoming unpopular shows you who you are and what you have to offer—and lets you tell all the naysayers to shove it.
Change the way you do business and live your life—become unpopular.
From the Back Cover
"Being popular may get you elected to public office, but if you want to be successful in business, you need to understand the power of being unpopular. Erika Napoletano clearly and cleverly lays out the path to unpopularity, a critical new paradigm for business success."
—Carol Roth, Business strategist and New York Times bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Equation
"The dreaded 'unpopular.' Why the hell do we accord it all manner of awfulness? Whoever convinced us that popular = good / unpopular = bad, majority rules, end-of-story anyhow? In business, or in your personal life, it's finding YOUR right people that matters. That's inbound marketing at its best. Figure out whom you serve and what you do for them, and paltry issues like competition basically disappear! When you're unpopular with all of the right people—the ones who don't want, need, or understand what you have to offer—the ones who fall in love with you will eventually show up at your door. In her hilarious, witty, read-out-loud-to-your-friends prose, Erika is that idyllic best friend you can rely on to slap you back into a reality that 'they' never told you about."
—Laura Fitton (@pistachio), Inbound Marketing Evangelist at HubSpot and coauthor of Twitter for Dummies
"A brilliant concept, powerfully delivered. I've already ordered six copies for my closest friends."
—Seth Godin, author of We Are All Weird
Top Customer Reviews
That said - so what? That's Erika's point. Be who you are - know what you do - and do it, and F*&^) anyone who says different. At least, that's how she'd put it.
A lot of the stuff, I already knew - that's why I give the book 3 stars. In my view, she padded out her central idea with a bunch of gunk. But otherwise, she wouldn't have had a book.
The main idea really is NOT the power of UN-popular - that's just a catchy title. It's the power of not being afraid to claim your niche, and be it to such a clear extent that those who are not part of it, might loathe you. It's really the power of knowing who you need to be popular with in order to be successful in your field, and then, expect and WELCOME criticism and attacks from everyone else. If you're not getting attacked, you're probably too bland to really make any difference.
It's a fun and fast read, and may just reboot your approach to your biz. A full 3 stars for that!
You're going to find out how to, on a DEEP level, resonate and connect with the people who mean the most to your business.
But the scary thing is, this will mean the rest don't matter. I know, sounds scary... but if you follow the advice clearly laid out by Erika in this book, it will not be scary any longer.
In fact, you'll love whatever it is you do that much more (and the people who love what you do).
Great book, highly recommended.
*This review is being given after reading an advance copy of the printed version.
Of course, I was looking for the gems, the takeaways, and within the first 64 pages I found enough to apply them to my business. As a full time conference speaker, author and workplace performance advisor (or, is that three full time jobs?!), it is important that clients know what they are getting, when they get me.
If you're an entrepreneur, small-business owner, or freelance solopreneur, I highly recommend you read this book. At least the following pages:
26, 45, 61, 113, 168
Let me share 5 reasons I love this book:
She provides an outline to begin thinking about your popularity - or unpopularity - and what to do to enhance it. Early in the book, her activities, suggestions and stories make it easy to want to read more.
Move. Move toward and move away from plans and ideas. I breathed a big (and I mean BIG) sigh of relief when I realized that Erika isn't preaching AT us, she's simply sharing what she as found through her dozens and dozens of conversations and interviews. Remember, "shift happens."
She offers step-by-step solutions to one of the most interesting business problems I face: "What to do to let potential clients know I exist?" After reading the chapter on "Personality," I reviewed and changed up how I'm reaching out to people that come to our office as referrals. The goal is to engage, and she showed me how.
It's all about trust. I trust Erika to tell her truth. (Even if her truth is not your truth, at least you'll have someone in your hands who's willing to stand up for what she believes in.) The meta-message throughout this book is, "Figure out what you want and hang out with the people who are willing to push on you to do more of that."
Erika tells it like it is, and says what we don't always want to hear. She "reminds" us that when someone (a customer, a mentor, a friend) tells us we made a mistake and offers an idea of what we could to do improve that we've made it. Go, seek out the people who will tell you where you're off "just a little bit."
* The contents is inspiring. Yes, it's repackaged stuff that you can find elsewhere, but it is presented in such a way that makes it relatable, easy to use, and valuable. Isn't that why we buy information?
* The author is genuine. I think this is the book's best selling point. Despite my objections (below), there was something very attractive about the book and I believe that it is the author's sincere desire to help. She gives lots of pertinent examples of what she means and acknowledges a lot of people. It made me feel that this was not an "all about me" book, but one where she truly cares about helping.
* My business is big and unruly. It's been functioning for years, but not as a cohesive whole. This book made me see it differently and tie things more closely together so that even *I* understand it better and like it more. I can't help but think that my potential clients will too.
* Blue language. I think it lacks professionalism. I get that the author is encouraging authenticity, but I think the professional world should still be professional.
* "The Power of Unpopular" is a really bad metaphor. I think that trying to sell people the idea that they should rejoice at being unpopular is a hard sell. There was something nagging at me about what I didn't like about this book and that was it. I have always been one to stick out. Even if you didn't like me, you knew who I was, so I know what it is to have a presence and be popular with a set of people. Still, that packaging is kind of weird.
For those who complain that it's the same old thing, maybe. But sometimes you need to hear the same old thing in a different way for it to click. That's what it's done for me.