“Content is not a scarce resource; attention is a scarce resource,” notes Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore.  In an age when so many messages are thrown at us every day, how does anyone become memorable? What is it that makes our work, our brand stick in people’s minds.

This question was very much on my mind at a BNI business networking event I attended this morning as a guest.   The whole reason for the gathering is to connect with others to do business.  Each of the 50 or so folks in the room got 30 seconds to talk about their company so that the rest of the people in the room could think about possible referrals or other opportunities.  Thirty seconds is at once an eternity and a nanomoment.

Branding Yourself

As a communications strategist, I was really fascinated by the way that people went about this.   So who was memorable?

1) The automechanic.

He was the first one to speak.  He also began his remarks with something that really strikes a chord–the check engine light.   He then told us that he had the latest equipment to diagnose what was wrong when that happens.   What struck me about his message was that his focus was on solving problems and that conveyed honesty.

2) The attorney.

This lawyer who specializes in estate planning was funny and witty about subject that makes everybody nervous–planning for your death.  Her tagline was something like “I’m the attorney you hire before you expire.” It’s cheesey yes but I remembered it and her.

3) The residential real estate advisor.

I don’t remember a thing she said but I do remember how she said it.  She was almost unnaturally enthusiastic especially at 7 a.m.  At first, I found her manner a little grating but upon reflection, her high octane delivery made her memorable and that energy probably helps her sell a lot of houses.

So what can we learn from these three business people about being memorable?

1) Have a great opening line.

People are most focused on you at the beginning.  Grab them right from the start.

2) Connect with a need or want of your listener.

The mechanic talked about something that inspires fear and then showed how he could remove that fear. In the case of the attorney, she reminded us of an important need that maybe we don’t like to think about and with her humorous manner showed that she would navigate us through the unpleasant task of estate planning in a way that it wouldn’t feel so gruesome.

3) Be passionate.

Energy is infectious.  If you aren’t excited about what you are communicating, why should anyone else be?

Do you have a story about being memorable?  Please share.