Sticky (Not Stuck)

personal development Sep 29, 2021
men pushing a van stuck in mud

Have you defined the difference only you can make? Have you identified the audience that needs you to show up for them? Do they resonate with the promise you share with them?

It took me years to answer those questions. And even when I had clarity about the change I seek to make, who it's for, and what transformation was on offer, my endeavor didn't take off.

It's not enough to know who you are, what you do, and why you do it. If you want your ideas and offers to resonate in a way that makes the right people respond, your messaging, positioning, and signals have to stick.


To get others to enroll and invest in the journey you want to walk with them, you have to earn fellow travelers' awareness, attention, trust, and permission.

To do this, you must compete with the dissonance in their head caused by negotiations with their imposter, resistance, anxieties, and fears. 

On top of that, there's all the external noise, challenges, misfortune, and choices. Most of us find it all overwhelming.

None of us have the bandwidth necessary to understand or connect with what's on offer the first time we collide with it (or the second, or the third, or the fourth...).

How do you create messages and send signals that stick? Here are a few ideas that I learned the hard way.

  1. Less is more - fewer words are more likely to be read and leave space that encourages others to lean in and learn more.
  2. Delight - use language that is compelling, surprising, evocative, and inspiring.
  3. Be transparent - no obfuscating; make it clear, direct, and respectful.
  4. Be believable - make promises you can keep and then overdeliver on them.
  5. Appeal to fundamental concerns - no one buys based on features and benefits; we connect through how you make us feel.
  6. Tell us a story - we make sense of ourselves, our situation, and each other through narrative.
  7. Make it shareable - what will the right people tell the others? 
  8. Make a vow to commitment and consistency - we won't likely see, hear, understand, or trust you right away; show up daily and deliberately.

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. In your pursuit of cultivating stickiness, don't get stuck...

If your brilliant idea about how you frame and talk about the difference you make is persistently not connecting, you must let it go. When you're stuck in a messaging rut, the worst thing you can do is to keep broadcasting it.

Are you stuck in a cycle of communicating in a way that isn't sticking? Commit to measuring your messaging up against the markers above. How can you tweak or turn what you're saying into a story that's more lean, delightful, clear, believable, and shareable?

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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