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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  February 11, 2016

Do This Before You Articulate Your Value

Focus is everything

I don’t always have fun conversations with lawyers. But this time I did. A client’s spouse had some legal questions before she signed on the dotted line. We talked about market direction, and he asked a great chicken-or-the-egg question: how do you know what to say if you don’t know what to say?

A lot of people start with articulation. They search for the perfect words that describe what they do and the results they get. The problem with that is it puts the cart before the horse. First you have to decide what to convey. What do you have that the market can’t live without? What is the most important problem that you solve?

If you don’t have the right answers, your value proposition will sound like the dreaded “flavor of the month.” And being perceived as having the same solution with a different description is the biggest reason why so many thought leaders work for free.


Related: Competing with Free


Many people can’t find the right words, so they think they are not good communicators. How can you tell if your market direction is off? Evaluate how you write the wrong idea. If your writing sounds compelling but a little nebulous, articulation is not your problem. You’re marketing the wrong message.

Figure out what to convey first—and make sure the marketplace wants to hear that. Then your best words will flow. Focus is everything.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.