3 Ways to Stand Out From The Crowd
So we all know just how hard it is to stand out in a crowd as it relates to our business, and sometimes it can be just plain frustrating.
It seems as everyone offers the same service as you do, and sometimes from the outside looking in, it looks like success can only come through a beautifully curated Instagram profile, where you have to put on the mask of perfection to get anything done.
And that, my lady, couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is, you too can set yourself apart from the crowd, even if you feel like your life isn’t Instagram worthy, and you find yourself reaching to understand what’s unique about you, as well as how to display that to the community that needs your service.
So today I want to offer some advice on 3 very easy ways that YOU, no matter where you are in business can set yourself apart from the competition and make an impact on the world, while earning a living through your business.
1. Understand your audience at all costs
One of the major mistakes I see entrepreneurs, both new and old, making is not completely understanding the audience that they are trying to serve.
A lot of times we think what makes us unique is how well we can portray ourselves, but it’s the exact opposite.
What truly makes us unique is how we display our understanding of our audience and relay the message to them that we get it.
Contrary to what you may have been told, your job as an entrepreneur is NOT to showcase how good your product or service is, but instead to display how well you understand the challenges that your audience is having, then carefully showing them how working with you or purchasing your product will put those challenges to bed.
If you don’t believe me, try this.
I want you to go to Instagram right now, and find the person and/or company that you most desire to be like.
I want you to look at how many times they mention their product or service versus how many times they address the pain points of their audience and offer some for of encouragement or solution to the pain.
I’m willing to challenge you that the quote-un quote, popular pages are doing a great job of just that.
Offering inspiration and encouragement, THEN finding a way to present it in a way that their ideal client or customer swoons over.
Try it, and come back and let me know what you find.
2. Be crystal clear in your messaging of who you are and the problems that you solve.
When you’re trying to stand out from the rest of the very noisy world, it’s important that you stand for something and are clear on what that is.
And when I stand for something I’m not talking politics or anything like that, as much as I am about being very clear in your messaging.
If you aren’t clear in what you stand for both personally and professionally, there’s no way that your audience will understand either.
Don’t leave anyone guessing what you offer, and what you believe in.
Make it as plain as possible.
How does that work?
I’m glad you asked, allow me to explain.
I know it feels good to call yourself “The Curator of Life”, but who really knows what that means besides you.
Remember, people’s attention span is extremely short, and you’ve only got about 6 seconds to make an impression so you’ve got to spend every second wisely.
If a person has to spend their 6 seconds trying to figure out what you do, they’ll un-engage and move on before you have an opportunity to explain.
So get to the point and quick.
If you’re a life coach, say so, this isn’t the time to get creative.
Standing out is not how creative you can get in naming what you offer, but instead how efficiently you can explain it when a person first approaches you both online and off.
So to help I want to offer you an activity that can help you define who you are and what you stand for in just two short sentences.
You can use these sentences in the bio of your social media as well as the introduction to a new face if you’re out and about.
Try it a few times to master it, and then try it out on a friend and see how it works.
In this exercise you’ll fill in the blank with the words in parenthesis to form your simple 2 sentences. You may have to do this a few times to get it down, but once you’ve got it, you’re in business.
I’m (Insert your Name) the most (adjective) (title that you carry) that you’ll ever meet. I help (insert who you help) (describe the problem that you solve) so they can (insert end result of what they’ll be able to accomplish).
I’ll give you one of my simple 2 so you can have an example to work from.
I’m Kae Whitaker, the most analytical digital marketing strategist that you’ll meet. I help female entrepreneurs focus on what matters most in their online marketing so they can stop wasting time and energy on things that don’t work, but instead invest their time into activities that generate revenue for their businesses and help them support their families.
From that simple 2 I can then go and alter it for Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else for that matter.
Not leaving anything to the imagination for my readers and new friends, helping them to understand exactly what it is that I do.
This is also a great way to get the conversation started because the natural reaction for someone reading or meeting you would be to ask, “How do you do it?”
You see where I’m going.
Attention grabbed, and now they are engaged, which is exactly what you want.
3. Collaborate for exposure.
Now this one is important, do not, I repeat, do not try to go at this alone.
Find a friend or two or three that can help you along the way.
The internet, especially is such an amazing tool, and there are so many avenues to collaboration.
Podcasts, Interviews, Guest Blogging, Instagram Take Overs, so on and so forth.
And if you’re looking to stand out, you’ve got to leverage the power of someone else’s audience.
You can do great things on you own, but if you’re struggling to get the exposure that you need, you’ve got to get in front of a complimentary business owners audience that can propel you.
The key to this, however, is finding the right collaborations.
All exposure is not profitable exposure, and by understanding your audience, you’ll be better able to identify the collaboration opportunities that can make the biggest impact on your business.
Now when you’re looking for collaboration opportunities, big numbers is not always your indicator of a successfully engaged audience or what you’ll need to help you get in front of the right people.
So allow me to share a couple tips as it relates to looking for the RIGHT collaboration opportunity in hopes that you can find the opportunities that you’ll need.
Does the person or business that you’re looking at currently serve your ideal audience well?Meaning are the people that they service or entertain actively engaged with them. Do they comment on their social media posts, is their a consistent amount of people visiting their profiles that you can see. IE if they’ve got 25k followers but only 80 people are engaged, might not be the collaboration that you need, because they don’t do a good job engaging on their own, and if they aren’t engaged with that business owner, the likelihood of them engaging with you will be very low.
Does your product or service offer a compliment to a product or service that they already offer and bring additional value to their audience.Most business owners will be very open to the opportunity to add additional value to their clients and not have to create the product themselves. If you can convey to the collaboration potential that what you offer will add value to them and their audience you’ll have a better opportunity to get the collaboration.
When you get the collaboration give freely without expectation of anything in return.Now I know this may sound counterproductive, but trust me on this one. When you give with a genuine heart it goes a lot further when you go into the opportunity with the sole intention to sell. Keep the needs of the person receiving what you’re offering at the forefront of your mind. You can’t give away all that you have in the short amount of time that you’ll be with a person, so share like you’ve never shared before. You’ve got one chance to make a lasting impression. If you do it well, they’re audience becomes your audience, if you don’t you’re in the same position that you started in, and that just becomes a waste of time.
Can you see how this all works together?
Now I know we talked about quite a lot today, and notice not once did I mention “Branding” or the visual identity of what you look like.
While those things are important, they’re just surface level if you don’t have the foundation set correctly and the foundation is your messaging.
There’s so much that you can do to set yourself apart, but I felt like these three things could offer the road to least resistance and you can get them implemented as early as, well, TODAY.
If there’s something that you need clarity on, feel free to drop me a message in the comments. I drop in to see what you are saying, and I’ll answer them the best that I can.
I hope that you see how standing out doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and doesn’t rely solely on what you look like.
I challenge you to try at least one of the things mentioned above, if not all, then let me know how it goes.
I’m willing to guarantee you’ll see a difference in the way people respond just in these three small tweaks.
I can’t wait to hear how it works out for you. Leave a comment, let me know how you are taking action!