So, how do you differentiate yourself from the crowd?
There are thousands of other people out there doing exactly the same thing that you do, and maybe for less money. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in, this is just a part of running a business. Competition has always been tough for entrepreneurs, but especially now that we live in a digital age. Consumers can go online, and with just the click of a button, find hundreds of people that offer the product or services they are looking for. If you want to stay in business, and succeed, you need to make yourself stand out.
Differentiate by Niche
Niche can mean a couple of things. First, it could be a specialty product or service which you provide, and no one else does. Like, maybe you’re the person to go to if you need the motor in a 1958 record player console replaced. Possibly, you’re the only one in a 200-mile radius that can do that. Niche can also refer to the particular market that you cater to. Maybe you specialize in working with 30 to 35-year old female first-time home buyers who work in the tech industry and are looking for a $350k+ house with a barn. Your niche has to be super specific! Whatever your niche, make sure you’re offering to do something no one else can do.
Differentiate by Convenience
Simply put – make yourself crazy easy to work with. Make sure your website is functional and mobile-friendly. Place clear call to action buttons where people can find them and make your “contact” page easy to find. Clearly list your services and rates so people don’t have to dig for the information. So many business owners have clunky, confusing websites, that simply making yours convenient to use will win you some loyal fans.
Differentiate by Understanding
The best brands understand their target audience. They communicate with them, watch what they do, and get to know them. They understand what they need, what’s missing from their lives, and what they enjoy doing in their downtime. Every time any client or prospect sees one of your communications, they should feel like it was written just for them.
Differentiate with Sincerity
While other brands in your niche are replying to comments and emails with canned responses, go out of your way to make a real effort to connect. Take the time to give a thoughtful, genuine response. Let your audience know that you hear them, and you’re willing to take the time to make sure their concerns are addressed. When you sincerely care, you will gain audience trust and loyalty.
Differentiate by Service
Go above and beyond in all you do. Answer emails quickly. Respond to phone calls as soon as you can. If a client has a complaint, address it immediately, and be sincere in your desire to fix the problem. When you do a consultation or take a discovery call, be thorough in the questions you ask and really try to understand your (future) client’s needs. It’s so easy today to let client relations slip by the wayside – especially when most of the work and communications you do are online. Make yourself stand out by providing some good old-fashioned customer service.
When the market is saturated with countless people, all in the same market, differentiation helps you stand out from the crowd. Make your differentiator something meaningful that will actually benefit others, and you’ll have no problem finding your audience.