I Couldn't Figure Out Exactly What You Do

Got a random email yesterday afternoon from New York Times reporter Motoko Rich. She is writing a piece on Tony Hsieh’s new book, Delivering Happiness, and after reading my blog review of the book she wanted to ask me a few questions about it.

This amused me for 3 reasons:

1. Because a NYT reporter wanted to ask me about something.

2. Because a NYT reporter wanted to ask me about something.

3. Because a NYT reporter wanted to ask me about something.

We talked for 10 minutes or so, and I tried to be as honest and engaging as possible. Who knows if any of my soundbites will make it in the piece, when it will run, or if it will be online or in print. (Of course I’ll let you know when I find out.)

But one thing she said to me made me laugh. I don’t remember exactly how she put it, but it went something like this.

“I read your review and checked out your blog and honestly, I couldn’t figure out exactly what you do.”

To which I laughed and responded,

“I know. I kind of have a branding problem right now. But I’m working on it.”

I’ve been told similar things before by other people I respect. I think it was in my FreshPod interview with Ben Arment last year (or maybe it was off the record) when he told me, “Bryan, I’d love to have you come in and do something for the Story Conference, but honestly I don’t know what I’d bring you in to do. Are you an emcee? Are you a comedian? I don’t know what your one thing is.”

So yeah, I’m working on all that.

What about you? If I went to your blog/website would I be able to figure out exactly what you do?

Now if you’re like me, you’re still trying to figure out what it is that you do…and that’s okay. But I think some of you out there have a clear idea of who you are and what you’re trying to do and your online presence doesn’t do it any justice.

Maybe it would be worth it to look at your site through the eyes of a stranger to see if there are some quick tweaks you could make to clearly establish who you are and what you do?

Just something to think about in case a New York Times reporter stumbles onto your blog later today.

You never know.