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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  |  May 25, 2017

How to Stand Out When Everyone Looks the Same

Many non-profits face the same challenge as their for-profit colleagues: how to stand out in a sea of good causes. Especially when every non-profit has killer anecdotes of need and impact.

In the era of personal stories and dress-up galas, heart tugging isn’t enough. This Fast Company article outlines how Charity: Water’s annual gala went above and beyond the standard format. The best take-aways for the rest of us:

• From stories to real-time experience. Yes, the gala had profiles of the residents at each table. But the stories were a springboard for the real-time video from the stage. The stories primed the pump (pun intended). So, ask yourself: How can my stories be a conduit for something else?


Listen: 2 ways to create momentum


• Combine story with a small ask. Another great idea: Tell a personal story, then make a small request. The $30 donation was certainly doable. And watching the photos light up from the stage created momentum, as well as positive peer pressure. Ask yourself: Do I always have a next step?

This charity stood out because it created an innovative gala experience.

Using the tools of attention getting is a great first step. But how standard tactics springboard into something unique—that’s how you can rise above the chorus and get the attention you deserve.


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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.