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Sally Hogshead, the 7 triggers of Fascination and personal branding -

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Sally Hogshead, the 7 triggers of Fascination and personal branding

Sally Hogshead Author of Fascinatefascinating event by Bryan Elliott’s LinkedOC at the Gothic Moon Studios in Orange. Great atmosphere, awesome people but no phone coverage, so no life tweets… What?

That gives room for people to actually meet and look each other in the eyes before the event started and have conversations about Sally’s book: “The fashion choice for a book is to find one catchy word, soon all the cool words are gone. Brian Solis his Engage and now Sally’s Fascinate.” said Chapman University’s social media professor Niklas Myhr. And it created room to brainstorm what would be up next if all the words in the English alphabet would be gone.

Bryan’s started the night of with an introduction of LinkedOC. LinkedOC is free for the community. But a community that costs nothing is worth nothing, according to Bryan. You can “pay” your dues by being active for the community. Spread the word with friends.”

“The term social media will fade away in 24-48 months and will be replaced by the term Social Business” – says Bryan Elliott. An interesting observation for sure and we will see if that’s coming true.

Who is Sally Hogshead?

Sally wrote a book on Radical Careering in 2005, her book on personal branding as she calls it. She is married and has 8 kids (wow!). She started working as a copywriter at an advertising agency and started her own agency in Venice Beach, CA when she was 27 years old.

When Sally started she was really fascinated to find out who the good drivers in the audience were; where the smart kids were and who the most attractive people were. Well, according to ourselves. We all overestimated ourselves was Sally’s conclusion after doing research on this, but where we underestimate ourselves is on how fascinating we are. 39% of the people only thinks they are more fascinating than the average person.

But we are born to fascinate, we are born to be fascinating. Why do we think this way?

“You don’t learn how to be fascinating.
You unlearn how to be boring.”

Everybody has a moment in their live when you want to stand out and it didn’t happen, and you conclude to pull back, not stand out and play it safe. We can all be fascinating:

1. Your brain is hard wired to FASCINATE

2. Your brain is hardwired to be FASCINATED

What I really enjoyed about Sally’s ideology, is that she is on a hunt to understand fascination from way before the marketing era. Social Media is usually compared to different marketing techniques of the 50s, 80s and the 90s (tv, print and PR). But before the 1920’s that kind of marketing didn’t exist – but people did attract clients, relationships and opportunities and according to Sally that is through fascination.

What is Fascination?

Fascination comes from one of the oldest words in Latin: Fascinare and it means to bewitch or hold captive so people are powerless to resist. Fascination is an intense emotional focus.

We as humans are far better in fascinating people and captivating our audience then brands do through their marketing.
In fact, while Sally’s book: Fascinate, was originally written for companies and brands, her second edition will be re-written and include concepts related to personal branding and how we can use the triggers to fascinate.

Why do we need to fascinate?

We live in a world where being the best is not enough. If no one knows that you exist, it doesn’t matter. You need to reach out and get the message across that you have something of value to offer, and you do that through fascination. The average attention span is now 9 seconds (thanks to our online life), but long term relationships are not created in 9 seconds and loyalty doesn’t happen in 9 seconds either. You have a 9 second introduction to open the door to connect; that’s the moment you have to fascinate and be fascinating.

“We have outgrown Personal branding”

This was really the biggest shocker that I heard from Sally. As I am under the impression that we are just getting started. Sally says personal branding is something from the 90s. There is no one-way plan to create a successful personal brand for all the different kinds of people in the world. And she is right on, but are there 7? or 49? ways to build your personal brand. (I will explain these numbers later). She shares the reasons why personal branding is not the way to go. Personal branding tells you to be memorable, but It doesn’t tell you how, a corporate brand can be artificial, a personal brand can never be and your personal brand shouldn’t be based on who your audience wants you to be instead of who you are. And I agree with her points and more reasons why listed in her blog that discusses the 6 pitfalls of personal branding.

But I don’t think personal branding is on its way out, she might want to change the phrase personal branding to personality branding, and I am all for it, hence my company name. 🙂 Rather I think personal branding is a work in progress, a sculpture that is never just finished yet, and will never be. As long as we keep peeling layers off of ourselves we discover new ways that enhance or focus our personal brand. Vincent van Gogh wasn’t his first painting – or his last, it’s what he did throughout his whole life why people call him an influential painter.

How can you be fascinating?
How do you immediately captivate someone. Sally created a system of 7 triggers that fascinate. As not everybody will fascinate people in the same way.  I definitely think she is on to something: finding a system that fascinates and fits your personality, instead  of a one-fit-for-all approach.

Here is Sally’s System of 7 triggers:

  1. Power – people who take command
  2. Passion – people who attract with emotion
  3. Mystique – people who arouse curiosity
  4. Prestige – people who increase respect
  5. Alarm – people who create urgency
  6. Rebellion – people who change the game
  7. Trust – people who build loyalty

Lust and Vice were mentioned in her old book, and are now replaced by Passion and Rebellion.

Sally says that we can use this system and apply it to almost anything.

Find out how you can be fascinating

Sally had some great exercises that made her system of triggers come to life. One exercise was to think of a situation in which I want to fascinate. And she came up with numerous ways how you can use different triggers to fascinate for each different goal.

If you ask what fascinates people the most, rebellion is always what wins.

Sally Hogshead now has had 70,000 people take the test. And if you want to take the test as well, go take the F-Score test.

“Remember who you are.”

Fascination is really about remembering who you are.

Now Sally is launching Howtofascinate.com, that take her system of 7 triggers even further. At the LinkedOC event she announced for the first time her matrix of triggers, the 49 personalities that you will get by combining your primary and secondary trigger. Your secondary trigger plays a major role in who you are and makes you 2 dimensional.

She also gave some examples from famous people and their personality type:

The Ringleader – Richard Branson – Primary: Power, Secondary: Passion
The Guardian – Warren Buffet – Primary: Power, Secondary: Trust
The Mastermind – Mark Suckerberg – Primary: Power, Secondary: Mystique
The Maestro – Georgio Armani – Primary: Power, Secondary: Prestige
The Final Authority – Darth Vader – Primary: Power, Secondary: Power
The Watchdog – Suzy Orman – Primary: Power, Secondary: Alarm
The Change Agent – Steve Jobs – Primary: Power, Secondary: Rebellion

If you look at the diagonal of the matrix, they are people that have too much of the same. They are one dimensional.

It is also good to learn your alternate. Your alternate is who was your secondary trigger as primary, and your primary trigger as secondary. So if you are a passionate rebellion, learn what is a rebellious passionate.

From here we went to do another great exercise and created a 9 second elevator pitch. Creating an elevator pitch was never that easy! The Elevator pitch includes three parts:

1. Who you are
2. How you fascinate
3. And what you do

We all had received a handout with the 49 personality types and each personality had adjectives, and by choosing the adjectives from our personality type and our alternate shares how we are doing what we do. We chose 3 in which we best persuade.

And then she had a list on the screen with nouns that we could choose to share what we do. What is the actual thing we deliver.

This list of words included: Sales, Sales results, Thought leadership, Ideas, etc.

In the end the exercise revealed the following result for me:

I am the Catalyst
My competitive advantage is:
Unique thought leadership
Out of the box sales results

The exercise was on to something, but unfortunately it didn’t fully feel me.

This is basically her formula:
My competitive advantage is: 3 adjectives + 3 nouns

At the end of the event we were able to ask several questions and I asked her: “Are you using several triggers simultaneously to fascinate?” And she responded that, Yes indeed, you can use several triggers to fascinate, but you wouldn’t use all of the triggers at the same time. Another great question from the audience was: “How do you decide which trigger you are going to use?” and her answer came down to that it depends on the results you want to achieve.

All in all, it was a great event. Thanks to Bryan Elliott for pulling these great speakers to Orange County. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this for the world. I do think her 49 personalities matrix can use some fine tuning. But this was not the final version yet and I am looking to see the results of her work in the future on this matrix and on the website howtofascinate.com. Thanks Sally Hogshead for being fascinating!

Sally is updating the current version of the book Fascinate and it will come out in the spring.

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8 Responses to “Sally Hogshead, the 7 triggers of Fascination and personal branding”

  1. Great recap and thank you for sharing this with your community!


  2. marieke says:

    Thanks so much Bryan. It’s been amazing that you have attracted so many well-known and inspiring speakers to Orange County. I’m looking forward to the next one! 🙂

  3. Niklas Myhr says:

    Thanks Marieke for the extensive and impressive summary! I enjoyed it as well and it was interesting to note that we have overlapping personalities both being in the “catalyst” box. Thanks to Bryan from me as well if you see this comment for another great event, appreciate it.
    P.S. Please update the “Engage” author above to Brian Solis which is what I hope I said at least 🙂

  4. marieke says:

    Thanks Niklas. Oh how fun that you are also a catalyst. There were probably quit a couple of other catalysts in the room.

    I have edited the author, I am sure you said Solis. Not sure why I wanted to get Chris Brogan involved. 🙂

  5. Kai.ra says:

    I think Sally’s 7 triggers are quite fascinating themselves!
    In this day and age it is of utmost importance that every individual has something unique and is able to fascinate/sell themselves to an employer etc. The exercises are very useful that you have written about and I will definitely be taking all of this into consideration, when need be!

  6. Super smart book and I love your run down on here. I’m going to use this in a presentation this week. Thanks a lot!


  7. Maya Ana says:

    When is Sally’s revised book coming out?
    There is a note that suggests “this spring” at the end of the article, but only the comments are dated, not the article.

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