Core Concepts · · 3 min read

Become a trusted source

Over the last couple of years, I've done quite a bit of podcast guesting. And on a lot of those shows, the hosts very graciously did their best to introduce me to their audience.

That meant they did some independent research and pulled together an introduction. Most of the time, it sounded a bit like this:

Jay is the host of Creative Elements, a podcast interviewing the world's top creators...he's also the writer of the Creative Companion newsletter, the creator of Freelancing School, the creator of #Tweet100, an instructor for LinkedIn Learning, an investor in Maven and Gumroad...

It kind of went on and on. Because all of those things ARE current and ARE true!

But when you think about the experience for any of those listeners...if someone where to ask them, "Who is Jay Clouse?" there's basically no chance they'll be able to answer that question well. It's too much to remember. It's too many things. And even if they do remember ONE of those things, which one? And is that the one I would WANT them to remember?

No. The answer is no.

And so, to some degree, all of the great podcast guest opportunities I had went to waste. Because every time you are put in front of a new audience, that is both an audition and an excellent opportunity to grow your own audience.

But if you start that audition with a super long, messy, confusing introduction to who you's unlikely that new audience will stick. They don't truly know who you are or what you stand for – you just sound like someone who does a lot of stuff.

In a world of infinite choice, we are increasingly obsessed with making the RIGHT choice. We want to make the BEST choice.

Both of those terms are pretty subjective. But, generally, the right choice we seek out is a specialist who can do one thing really well. We want to have a trusted source for every part of our lives, and we are more likely to trust specialists.

👉 What are you the trusted source for?

What is someone looking for when you are the best choice?

The more you lean into that one thing, the better off you'll be. The more you lean into that one thing, the more referable you become. The more that one thing will do work on your behalf without you needing to put effort in.

We learn through repetition. We remember through repetition. The more your name and platform is associated to ONE thing, the more repetitions people will hear your name associated to that thing, and the more it'll become learned.

The more it's learned, the more it's shared.

The more it's shared, the more your audience grows.

The more your audience grows, the more people you have sharing your name with that one idea.

...and so the cycle continues and continues and continues.

👉 What is the one idea YOU want to be associated with?

I've seen this play out with members of The Lab. Recently, Justin got laser-focused on sponsorships for creators. And Dylan doubled down on helping newsletter creators. Both have seen substantial growth since making those decisions.

I want to be associated with creators. I want to be known as someone who really breaks down how today's top creators are so successful.

So I checked in with my audience...

I got a lot of responses. Responses like "warm, generous, genuine, freelancing, community..."

Great words! But few people used the word "creator."

So the insight was that I needed to address that misalignment. I needed to change the way that *I* talk about myself and my work to start, but I also needed to change the work itself to focus even MORE on creators.

From my bio to adding "Creator Coach" to my name on social media, the shift is beginning to happen.

But shifts require time. They require repetition. And they require consistency.

So if YOU need to make a shift, there's no time like the present to get started.

People are often going to put you into a box, whether you like it or not. So the opportunity you have is to define your own box and give it to people.

So I'll ask you again...

👉 What is the ONE idea you most want to be associated with? What kind of information or experience can you be the trusted source for?

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