You Might Be Surprised at What it Takes To Stand Out
I get asked every week about how to stand out from your competition. Most of the time, clients are asking me to help them think of unique ways to market. They want to be quirky. They want tactics to help them stand out.
That's not going to get the job done. To stand out from your competition you have to be unique, not quirky. You have to take a strategic perspective about your business rather than a tactical one. You have to drop your huge concern about more credentials, and instead share all the knowledge, wisdom, and experiences that you uniquely bring to bear on what you do.
And yet, when we are doing our entrepreneurial thing, we try so hard to define ourself in just one way. Audiologist, coach, nutritionist, feng shui practitioner, professional organizer – we use a specific label to squeeze all of who we are in to this one definition. We're taught that's good marketing, because it lets people get a handle on who we are and what we do. Except that it isn't good marketing – it's a recipe for blandness and not standing out at all. It leaves out a lot of who we are that impacts our business. It leaves out a lot of ways that we impact others.
Tip: Put all of yourself on your “About” page
The other day I asked on Facebook how many people were “hyphenates.” Almost all service-based small business owners are. They find it hard to use a single word to describe themselves. We find it hard because we instinctively know that all of us is poured into our work. We are not born to be one-dimensional. Frankly, we don't do our best work as one-dimensional business owners.
So, without writing a novel on your “About” page, I encourage you to focus your message about who you are and what you do, and also to mention those “other” parts of you that inevitably impact your work. You must have brand clarity but you must also present all of yourself, give your prospects a sense of who you are underneath your specific expertise.
- This helps build trust in you
- It helps establish an emotional connection
- It helps attract those who will be a good match for your products and services
Can you begin to see that all of who you are weaves into your business, makes you uniquely you, and makes what you offer unique, too? This is important! It's at the very heart of standing out, gaining visibility, and attracting others to your particular vibe. We have to be clear about our mission and our messaging – it's totally necessary as business owners to nail this. But we can't forget that our mission and our messaging is informed by all the things we are.
For example, I've owned The Confident Marketer for 14 years now. I'm a solid strategist for small businesses looking to get started or expand their reach and income. But I'm also still a licensed massage therapist who knows anatomy and how to calm the mind/body. I'm a writer. I'm a traveler, wife, sometime scrapbooker, meditator, intuitive, keen observer, connector of people. I'm an energy reader. I'm a lover of learning and exploring. All these things make me stronger and better at the coaching and consulting I do when I work with people like you – small business owners who want to succeed financially and emotionally in their business.
Start your list of all the things you are
So my question for you is, can you list all the things you are? And will you take a moment to appreciate that each of those things in some way makes you better and stronger as a business owner? Use your list of all the things you are to hone in on what makes you and your business unique – what makes you stand out from your competition.
Someone said to me the other day, “You can't build a business without passion.” I think that word is overused. Maybe that's true – I'm not so sure. But I do know that you can't build a business without knowing who you are, and what you have to offer that others need and want. All the things you are – so vital to your business.
Want help making your list and seeing how it impacts your business? You can schedule a brief chat with me to talk about your need and how I might help you.