Marketing You: How to Play to Your Unique Strengths

Do you struggle when it comes to marketing yourself?

Are you wondering what your unique strengths are?

To learn how to promote yourself based on these strengths, I interview Sally Hogshead for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

Keep reading to discover more.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate and How the World Sees You. She was an award-winning copywriter at the age of 23 and worked with brands such as Nike, Target and BMW. She’s one of the few women in the Speaker Hall of Fame and a popular keynote speaker (Sally keynoted Social Media Marketing World) and a simply fascinating woman.

Sally shares how you can be successful and fascinating in your work and your life.

You’ll discover how fascination can increase your value, put you at an advantage and enable you to get more satisfaction out of your work.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Marketing You

The journey from Fascinate to How the World Sees You

Sally explains that the hardest part for her when writing a book is when it goes into the print stage.

When her last book Fascinate was ready to be shipped to stores, she felt at a loss and didn’t know what to do with herself. She started to think about doing a personality assessment, which was based on the same system that she had created for brands. So instead of it being about how consumers see a brand, it’s about how the world sees you.

Once the test was ready, it was put out on social media for free and it became a huge part of her business. It surpassed Fascinate.

fascination test

The initial test was free on social media.

Sally soon realized that people really wanted to know how to make themselves—not their brand—fascinating. She pivoted her entire company and started to study more about it and go deep into what makes one person perceived as valuable, and someone else perceived as a commodity.

Once you have done the assessment, it becomes clear why certain people like, respect and admire you, and why you turn others off.

The key here is that you don’t have to change who you are; you have to become more of who you are.

stock photo 19382773 who are you concept words on blackboard

The results from the assessment help you become more of who you are. Image source: iStockphoto

Listen to the show to find out why it helps to see the patterns among your work colleagues, and how it can help you communicate more effectively with them.

How social media has played a part in the development of this entire concept

Before the days of social media, our average attention span used to be 20 minutes. Now with social media, it’s around 9 seconds. People can now form an opinion of you instantly on social media.

With that in mind, you now have to find a way to front-load your value. It’s your opportunity to make the most accurate and authentic first impression.

You’ll hear what Sally and her team discovered when they ran a one-year free beta test for about 30,000 people, and why it led them to turn it into a paid model.

At present, the Fascination Advantage Assessment costs $37. However, you can get free access to an in-depth, custom report, which identifies your personality advantages. Check out the key takeaways at the end of this article to find out how to enter.

fascination advantage assessment report

The Fascination Advantage Assessment will be free to a limited number of our podcast audience.

Listen to the show to hear the two main things that people who took the initial assessment wanted to know.

Fascination and the research behind it 

Sally states that fascination is a state of intense focus. When you’re fascinated by something, you are totally focused on that one particular thing. It can be a person, an idea, a movie, a book or a product.

As part of the initial market research that Sally carried out a few years ago, she measured how much more people are willing to pay for a product or service that fascinates them. Sally and her team discovered that people will pay 400% more, even when there isn’t any appreciable difference in the utility.

businessmen is holding out a red heart

In moments of fascination, the brain in an MRI scan looks like it’s falling in love. Your brain opens into a state of yes. Image source: iStockphoto

As they began to expand this and look at high performing employees within companies and entrepreneurs, they found that the same is true of people.

If you can immediately communicate what makes you valuable, then people perceive you as more worthy, even if you offer a lower-quality product at a higher price.

You’ll find out what happens once you understand how to fascinate your listener.

Listen to the show to discover why Sally’s assessment is totally different from the ones done by StrengthsFinders and Myers & Briggs.

How to be fascinating

Sally explains that first of all, you have to understand that it’s not about identifying and leaning on your strengths. She says that when you focus on your strengths, then they become a commodity. Instead, you need to focus on your differences.

Sally measures differences in the way that a brand would want to be able to stand out in a distinctive way. When she went to companies and looked at what makes certain people more valuable than others, she found that it directly links to how fascinating an individual is.

the special one

Be distinctive. Image source: iStockphoto

People who are fascinating are valuable because they are admired for a specific ability. It sets them apart and immediately differentiates them from others. They cease to become a commodity. This is why people are willing to pay more for them.

Listen to the show to find out why it doesn’t pay to be the same as everybody else in your workplace.

Examples of different archetypes and their advantages

Sally first shares her unique difference. Her archetype is called the Catalyst and her primary advantage is innovation, the secondary is passion.

sallys advantages of fascination

The advantages of the Catalyst.

At Social Media Marketing World 2013, out of all of the attendees who did the assessment, the Catalyst was one of the more prevalent archetypes. This is because people in social media tend to be creative, like to think outside the box and are highly engaged.

A Catalyst will succeed through three different adjectives. These are outgoing, social and out of the box. These people love to connect, create new ideas and brainstorm. One of their downsides is that they aren’t good at follow-through.

You’ll discover why Sally is at a disadvantage if she is asked to create an intricate spreadsheet; whereas Corey, who’s Sally’s content manager, would excel at spreadsheets. Corey’s archetype is the Detective. The primary advantage is Alert and the secondary is Mystique.

corey advantages of fascination

The Detective archetype has Mystique and Alert as their advantages.

The three adjectives that describe the Detective are clear cut, accurate and meticulous. This means that Sally needs Corey on her team and vice versa.

Once you find out what your archetype is, then you can write your anthem. This is the tagline for your personality. You’ll discover what both Sally and Corey’s anthems are.

My archetype is the Intrigue. You’ll hear Sally dissect this archetype in full detail.

the intrigue

How the world sees the Intrigue.

Listen to the show to find out why it’s important to know your qualities and how it can make life easier for you.

The concept behind the phrase, “your highest distinct value” 

Sally describes it like a pyramid and at the top is your highest distinct value. This is when you’re at your most irreplaceable value and you can charge the most money. You’re the only one who does what you do.

The bottom of the pyramid is where you are the same as everybody else. For example, replaceable, can’t charge a lot of money. This is a bad place to be. You’re unlikely to rise in your career.

You’ll hear when Sally is both at her most valuable, and her lowest distinct value.

There are certain traits that define what makes you most valuable. Once you identify these, then you can base your entire career around it.

highest distinct value

You should capitalize on your highest distinct value.

A lot of people feel uncomfortable when they have to write their bio on LinkedIn or Twitter, but once you take the assessment, Sally says that it literally gives the five adjectives for you.

When Sally and her team did their pilot program, one of their clients was AT&T. When employees found their anthem and were able to write their two- or three-word phrase, they were 200% more confident in understanding their own natural advantages.

When they looked at each of their team members, they knew that they all had a different anthem and understood how each team member contributed differently. They were then able to function better as a team.

Listen to the show to discover how it helped employees at Unilever feel more confident when it came to introducing themselves.

What you should do with the results of the assessment

Sally explains how a lot of CEOs and business leaders tend to hire people who replicate themselves, rather than optimize themselves. This leads to lopsided companies or teams, where you have a bunch of people who are really good at certain things, but nobody is good at something else.

First, you need to make sure that you understand what you’re good at, and then identify what types of traits you need to bring into your team, to make sure you get the best results.

The real magic happens when everybody on your team understands each other’s anthems.

group of business people meeting teamwork

Teams work well together when they all bring their own personal advantages to the table. Image source: iStockphoto

You’ll hear why Sally and her team are in the process of doing a year-long training program with Hyatt, and why the hospitality industry is a tough category.

If you find that you have team members you don’t click with, and you don’t understand what value they add, then you need to realize that what they deliver is exactly what you don’t deliver. Sally states that teams become better through diversity, not through similarities.

You want to have people on your team who complement you, but are not the same as you. Sally deconstructs how high-performing teams create the recipe for success.

sally hogshead image for podcast

Check out the full podcast episode with Sally Hogshead.

Listen to the show to find out what you should do when you have two people with the same archetype on your executive team.

Discovery of the Week

I’ve recently discovered a really cool tool called Placeit.net. It allows you to create professional-looking photos of your website running on various devices.

placeit iphone

Create high-quality photos.

When you visit the website, you’ll notice that there are hundreds of different shots to choose from. You also have the option of which electronic device you want your website or image to be displayed on.

Once you have chosen your shot, all you have to do is either upload an image or paste in your URL. Within a few seconds you get a beautiful photograph.

placeit ipad

It’s even smart enough to match the device to the correct mobile view of your website.

I think you’ll agree that the visuals look extremely high-end. The only downside with the free version is the tiny watermark over the image. To have it without a watermark it’s around $8 per shot.

I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on marketing you? Please leave your comments below.

Images from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • KristiGarrett

    Thriving on innovation! That’s me — a “Rockstar” archtype with key advantages of innovation + passion. Funny thing is, when I listened to the podcast this morning I had already taken the test! I saw the link on your email. That’s a tip for your readers: If we read your daily email carefully we can be in on the very latest you have to offer — even before the podcast.

  • http://www.thesocialmediahandyman.com Paul Chaney

    Just took the free test. One word: Amazing! I’m recommending this to all my clients and friends. It’s perfect for teams. BTW, I’m an Archer.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you enjoyed it Paul

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Good point Kristi :)

  • Frances Bowman

    Artisan! I think that’s accurate and it’s shocking how few questions it took to create the profile

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    How interesting. lol, I definitely can see how we (social media peeps) would fall under innovation and passion. Very interesting and inspiring topic to share with others to inspire them to hone their difference not shy from them. Bless you Michael :)

  • http://www.7eyetechnologies.com Kristina Roy

    Thanks Michael to share interview of Sally Hogshead with us. I am already familiar with him but she shared some new points here.

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein

    I really loved this episode. I also took the test and I need time to consider the implications of what it means for my strategy on how I position myself in light of this information. Michael, have you made any changes as a result of your results? Your team’s results?

    Thanks for always finding such great guests. I really appreciate all you do.

  • http://socialstrategypodcast.com Ross PR

    Michael you have a knack for doing interviews right when I need them! Seriously my assessment was spot on and it really helps me gain even more clarity about a few situations I’ve been working through. I’m the “Rockstar” Innovation+Passion which is so true. I was surprised that trust was a dormant advantage but it does explain so much.
    Thank you for once again over delivering again. I really enjoyed this.

  • treb072410

    Another great post Michael! Thanks for sharing!..

  • http://stephaniegraham.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Graham

    Thanks for this fantastic podcast! I like to call myself a mogul in the making! Im a visual artist, and entrepreneur and I want to use my creativity and energy and simply do cool things. My bread and butter is working in television production but I’ve wondered what else I can do.. especially until I am able to make 100% of my income from my art. I’ve searched tools, spoken to recruiters, and career coaches, on just how to translate my film experience into any other type of career. Its been hard to figure out just what that is for anyone I speak to, and while I’m figuring that out I still have to be the best I can at my current position. I took the test and I am “Catalyst”! This is a great start for me to build a foundation on who I am and where I would best fit in any company culture. Oprah Winfrey is an example of my archteype!! How is that to match with my dreams of being a mogul!!! YES!! Thanks Sally and Thanks Michael. I always listen to your podcasts and learn so much to apply to my art business.

    Glad the world has created you two LOL :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Stephanie and glad you found value in the interview and the test. Best of luck with your mogul making :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Ross – I can see the Rockstar in you :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Dave – I have not made any changes but it helped me understand how to describe myself to others

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Kristina

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Raquel

  • Denise McCanles

    Michael I hope you believe in karma because yours is through the roof!!! This was so fantastic!! Really helpful and totally nailed me. Just when I think your podcasts
    can’t get any better they do! Thank you!!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you enjoyed it Denise :)

  • Paolo_Sini

    I’ve just completed my free assessment: I’m The Evolutionary and it’s amazing to see that it’s really me. It also matches with my Strenghtsfinder report.

    I will share and recommend the assessment to everyone.

    Great job Sally.
    Thanks Michael, I liked both the show and the discovery of the week.

  • Pingback: Show Me The Money: 8 Things Twitter Can Do To Improve Your Bottom Line | SocialBro

  • http://thebusymarketer.com/ BJ Smith @ TheBusyMarketer

    Wow! I took Sally’s test and I have to say it is spot on. The video at the end was eye opening. I’m “The Talent” with passion + prestige according to the results. Thanks for another great episode and guest, Mike!

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/about/ Paul Jolicoeur

    Just took the test and all I can say is WOW! After getting my results, I watched the video at the bottom and all I could do is laugh, it was very accurate. I just move to Portland, OR and am on the job hunt! Having a tool like this to help me understand myself better is very beneficial. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/about/ Paul Jolicoeur

    Oh I guess I should have included my results. I am The Victor! My primary is Prestige and my secondary is Power.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you enjoyed it Paul :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks BJ

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found it interesting Paolo

  • Arthur Loewen

    Fascinating article. Well done Michael and thanks for sharing this with us. The road to self-discovery is a life long journey. Simply brilliant!

  • treb072410

    Your welcome..

  • HowToFascinate

    How fascinating, Kristi! As The Rockstar you combine Innovation
    with Passion. This makes you bold, artistic and unorthodox. Make sure to create your own sharing code at projectfascination.com and put your advantages to work!

  • HowToFascinate

    Awesome, Paul! You can recommend the assessment by creating your own sharing code a projectfascination.com!

  • HowToFascinate

    Great to hear, Frances! Create a sharing code at projectfascination.com and inspire others to take the assesment!

  • HowToFascinate

    Well said, Raquel! combining innovation with Passion makes you bold, artistic and unorthodox. You can inspire more people to discover their highest value by creating your own sharing code at projectfascination.com!

  • HowToFascinate

    Glad you liked the assessment, Ross! Create a sharing code for your own followers and friends at projectfascination.com!

  • HowToFascinate

    Great to hear, Denise! Share the assessment by creating your own sharing code at projectfascination.com!

  • HowToFascinate

    Thanks for sharing, BJ! Combining Passion with
    Prestige makes you expressive, stylish and emotionally intelligent. Share your results and the assessment by creating a sharing code at projectfascination.com!

  • HowToFascinate

    Awesome, Paul! Make sure to create your own sharing code a projectfascination.com and put your advantages to work!

  • Pingback: Episode 17: How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead - Brilliant Business Moms

  • Sherry Hayes-Peirce

    Wow! Learning that my primary is Power and my secondary Innovation is the formula for making me a “Change Agent” puts a name on who I am and have always been. Know matter what I’ve done in my life I’ve always been the catalyst for changing things. It doesn’t always make you popular, but now I see that it’s not about popularity it’s about making a difference! Thanks Mike and Sally! Now I gotta find that $177 dollars to draft a new anthem!!!!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hi Sherry,
    Glad you found it useful. What is this about a $177?

  • Sherry Hayes-Peirce

    Oh! Part of the fab report they give you is an option to have them help you design an anthem to describe who you are and it’s $177 to take advantage of the service. In my mind it’s an investment in my branding.

  • Kevin Tucker

    Thanks Mike for hosting Sally Hogshead’s talk. I’m actually thinking about using for my clients (I currently use the DISC). And for sharing…I’m sure our paths will continue to cross – as long as the basis is God, church, and family! I’d love to learn more about your work!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Kevin, I agree with your values :)

  • Kevin Tucker

    That is, using the test…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Got it, thanks

  • Pingback: How to fascinate in a job interview with your fascination advantages | Career Dreaming

  • Rachel B

    Just now had a chance to listen and try and take the assessment, but the code doesn’t work. Did I miss my chance?

  • Christina Tarkoff

    Placeit is awesome – I’m using it for my clients and my own marketing! Crazy Good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  • Lauri Flaquer

    I tried the code, it’s not working. Did I miss the free opportunity? Thanks for a great show.







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