Episode 44 |

Stand Out in a Crowded Market: Sally Hogshead

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This Week’s Guest:

Sally Hogshead is a branding expert and author of two New York Times bestselling books, Fascinate, and How the World Sees You. Sally founded her own ad agency at 27 years old and has worked with clients like Nike, Godiva, Aflac, and Mini Cooper. Her program, How To Fascinate, makes her years of branding expertise available to individuals and small business owners. You can find Sally on Twitter as @SallyHogshead.


Your audience is being distracted by an overwhelming amount of noise. You don’t just need to draw their attention from your direct competition; you want them to listen to you when the whole internet is calling them. Sally Hogshead has created a complete system to help individuals and small brands stand out from the crowd.
We Discuss:

  • How knowing your “wellspring” and “quicksand” can help you make the most of your time and gifts, and how to apply these principles when hiring new team members.
  • The seven types of communication and why you need to know which one is right for your brand
  • Understanding your primary and secondary advantages and applying that knowledge as you schedule your day.
  • The importance of developing a brand “anthem”.

Here’s what I learned:

The Marketplace is Overcrowded

  1. Until recently, brands were seen through the lens of classic marketing: your brand was your tone, logo, product line, etc.
    • In our current market, though, a brand is defined by everything that a company stands for-both its tangible and intangible values.
  2. People will pay an extraordinary amount more money for a branded product from a familiar company.
    • Sally determined that people are willing to pay “for the logo” as long as they’re emotionally connected to the brand.
  3. Every time you interact with a consumer, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build trust and loyalty.
    • In order to build loyalty, your communication needs to be consistently in keeping with your brand’s unique style.
    • A single low-quality or off brand landing page, or any kind of perceived spamming, will make consumers see you as “noise” instead of content.
    • Contributing to the noise of the marketplace and the internet will damage your brand. You need to add value in order to make people actually listen.

How to Fascinate

  1. The principles and processes used by major ad agencies can be extremely helpful in establishing your personal brand.
    • Sally worked at a major Manhattan advertising agency for ten years and has helped enormous International companies define and develop their brands.
    • Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs don’t have the budget to hire this type of agency, so Sally decided to deconstruct her work in order to create a system for individuals.
  2. Sally identified 42 different “Archetypes” based on an individual’s primary and secondary advantages.
    • You can find out your Archetype by taking the Fascination Advantage assessment.
    • The basic assessment is available to The Optimized Geek’s listeners for free, and you can upgrade to a more in-depth analysis after you take the test.
    • Unlike most personality tests, the Fascination Advantage assessment tells you how the world sees you.

Your Wellspring and Quicksand

  1. Everyone has work that energizes them and work that exhausts them.
    • For many people, “big picture” work is energizing and detail work is exhausting, and the reverse is true for some.
  2. Work that energizes you puts you in your “flow” and feels easy and natural. Sally calls this your “wellspring”-it’s where you draw your energy from.
  3. Work that exhausts you takes longer and makes you feel drained. This is your “quicksand,” since it drags you down.
  4. You do your best work when you are drawing from your wellspring.
  5. There are three ways to handle quicksand work:
    • Delete it if you can-just take the option of doing that work off the table completely. You’ll instantly feel less weighed down.
    • If you can’t delete the task, delegate it to someone who considers it wellspring work (e.g. if details are your quicksand, you might hire an assistant who considers details their wellspring)
    • If you’re the only one who can complete this task, and it really needs to get done, use discipline-put your head down and power through!
    • Remember that you have a finite amount of willpower each day, so put difficult tasks (like going to the gym) early in the morning when you’ve still got your full supply.

Links and Resources Mentioned

How the World Sees You
Fascination Advantage System
Fascination Advantage assessment
Fascination Profile
Additional Fascination programs and products
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
Fascination Business System

Get Optimized!

  1. Take Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage assessment, free for our listeners with the code “GEEK”
  2. Identify your wellspring, which is work that energizes you-and quicksand, the work that exhausts you.
  3. Stop wasting your time with quicksand work! Delegate, discipline, or delete.

Thank you for listening!
As always, thank you for tuning in. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it!

2 thoughts on “Stand Out in a Crowded Market: Sally Hogshead

  1. Great episode! I just listened to Sally Hogshead at Jordan Harbinger’s interview on the The Art of Charm podcast. Really inspired me personally.

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