• Chris Brogan

Nerdy is a Business Differentiator

Here I am showing off my friend's book and I'm wearing a Mercy tee shirt (Overwatch). I own quite a few nerdy shirts and I wear them when I'm not onstage or visiting a client. But that doesn't mean I don't talk about nerdy things when I'm with clients. In fact, I've come to accept that being a video game nerd is quite the differentiator.

Nerdy Sets Me Apart

A lot of business communications deals with getting clients to understand a point. That means I often get to use analogies. Sometimes, if I help a company understand that onboarding new employees requires a way to "level up" the people, I talk about how Super Mario Brothers works. You learn first that if you don't stomp on a mushroom, your character dies. You learn to jump. You learn to explore and push down to find the tunnels and secrets. But that gets spread out over that 1-1 world.

I used to worry and try to act more professional but it's never quite served me all that well. So instead, I've doubled down. I talk about games. I sneak in nerdy references. I talk about how Sand People always travel single file and that the cake is a lie and so on and so on forever.

So far, this has served me well. Sure, some customers are stodgy or have never played a game in their lives. I know that some of my references go over their heads. But that also just tells me what kind of client I'm dealing with. There's never a doubt on their side that I'm weird. The only question is whether they're weird like me.

What about you? How do you let your nerdy side fly?

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