No yin but a lot of Yang

Home Column No yin but a lot of Yang

yangOne of the advantages of attending just about every industry event is the opportunity to listen to a variety of speakers, some more interesting and useful than others. One of the advantages of reading this column is the opportunity to get the Cliff Notes report of some of the better speakers. Last fall I attended FloorCon, the Broadlume event in Tuscon, Ariz. There were several quality speakers, not the least of which was former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

I thought it would be useful to provide some takeaways from his speech. After all, how often do you get to listen to a Presidential candidate when the cameras aren’t rolling.

  1. The path to success today is putting yourself in front of the customer online when he or she is beginning the search process for any product or service. Yang, who launched a test prep company called Manhattan GMAT, said his blog posts generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of business. Manhattan GMAT grew to become No. 1 in the country in standard test prep because it would invest in anything that would generate an edge over its competitors.
  2. The technology you are investing in does not solve all your problems, but it keeps you one step ahead of the curve. How did an anonymous entrepreneur wind up on television screens in front of 70 million Americans running for president of the United States against a field of well-funded, lifelong politicians in seven debates? Technology. “I used the tools at my disposal to get in front of people in ways that other people weren’t,” Yang said.
  3. How do you differentiate yourself? You take advantage of tools that others don’t want to use or don’t know how to use. “I raised $40 million. We don’t have to do things the same way we have always done them.”
  4. How did Yang use the $40 million to make himself a household name that flooring retailers can possibly employ in their businesses? “Investing in content pays off for your business. Podcasts, YouTube interviews. Those things live online and over time attracts people—and occasionally something breaks out. The challenge is you never know what will break out.” As an example, Yang suggested generating interviews with satisfied customers about their experience. “Or breaking down specific flooring problems and say, ‘We recommend this, and this is why.’ If you invest in those things, sometimes you won’t see an immediate return but often the return will shock you. In my case, the podcast that really launched us was Joe Rogan—6 million people saw that,” Yang said.
  5. When Yang owned that education company, whenever a new platform came along he would have a dedicated person create an account on that platform and feed that account with content. “With social media you only get out what you put in.”
  6. How do you get people to see your vision? Come up with a value statement. You move your organization in that direction and customers will respond to it. Writing down your goals help make that vision happen. That’s been proven. Then it becomes real for your team and your customers.
  7. When it comes to social media, if you’re boring and corporate no one will care about anything you do, Yang said. If you inject some personality it ends up having a higher engagement level, a higher reach and more energy. “But be careful not to offend because 99% of things today gets politicized.” Can you capture people’s eyes without going too far?
  8. Yang: “If I were a flooring retailer, I would ask, ‘What platform does 45+ use?’ My goal would be to build a Facebook page that is active and connects with something that 45+ demographic might have interest in. Make it look alive. Make it differentiate you and make you look like an expert. Videos are helpful.”
  9. Always ask yourself, “What have I done to make the consumer experience better?”
  10. The approval rating for a U.S. congressman is 25%, but the re-election rate is 94%. If your approval rating was 25%, you can bet your repeat business would not be 94%.

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Feb. 20/27, 2023

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