Welcome back to the Coaching Hive Podcast. Today is going to be all about standing out in the crowd because I know that if you are building a business as an entrepreneur, then you want to be the Go-To Resource. You want to be the person that everyone comes to to solve their problems, to get help, to buy the product. You want to be the Go-To Resource.
The problem is that there are all kinds of entrepreneurs out there. They are everywhere. You turn around, and it can feel like you are just one in a sea of many entrepreneurs, and that is not what I want for you, and I’m sure it’s not what you want for your business. So today we are going to take time to talk about how to stand out in the crowd.
If you’re ready, if you are excited to be the Go-To Resource in your industry, whether you have a service or a product or some combination, then grab your pen and paper and let’s dive in.
Keys to Standing Out
Today is all about standing out. Now, some of you may be thinking, geez, I don’t want to stand out. And sometimes it’s okay to hide. You can hide behind the chair, that’s all right. But if you are going to be successful in business, you have to stand out as the Go-To Resource in your industry. That’s tricky. In a crowded marketplace, it can be hard to make your business stand out.
Look at social media! You scroll through and in the span of five minutes, you have oodles of advertisements. Some of them are seemingly for all the same thing, just different providers. Take a look at Amazon. You can put in, “Lava Lamp” and get a lot of different options. They’re all just a little bit different, and that’s what you have to look for.
You have to think about how you can be just a little bit different so that you can set your business apart from the rest. That is where we’re going to focus today. Standing out in a crowd; be the Go-To Resource.
Know your Target Audience
The first thing that you can do is to really get to know your target audience.
I was on Facebook not too long ago reading through posts, responding, and offering some ideas. I came across a post of an entrepreneur and they were saying that they weren’t sure how to really word their message and their sales page. And I asked a simple question. I said, well, tell me a little bit about your target audience.
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- What do they like?
- What do they not like?
- Where do they live?
- What are they doing after work?
- Where do they work?
And the person responded back, I don’t know. How would I figure that out?
I was so thankful that this individual was open to learning more about their audience. And that truly is the first thing that you need to do. Learn more about your target audience.
Tell me who are you trying to reach with your business?
What needs do they have that your business, your service or product can address? You need to know what they’re doing after work. You need to know if they have kids or if they don’t, if they are working in their home office, if they’re driving and they have a commute. What does their life look like? Almost think of it as a day in the life of Sally, Susie, Bob, Joe. A day in the life of, or even better, a week in the life of your client. Get to know your target audience. It may seem like you’re limiting yourself if you say, well, I know that my client, Joe, is someone who works outside the home. He has a 30 minute commute each way, but honestly, most days it takes 45. He likes to shop at Costco. He likes to hang out at Target with his wife as she shops for some things. He adds some things to the cart, and they are excited that their 17-year-old is starting to look at colleges.
You get the point. We know more about our client or our customer.
The reason you need to do this is not because you’re only speaking to one person, but because if you try to speak to everyone, you will speak to no one. When someone reads your social media posts, your emails, listens to your podcast, watches your YouTube videos,or searches you on LinkedIn they want to know that you get them, that you know what their life is like.
Because if you know what their life is like, then you can probably help them solve their problem. John Lee Dumas talks about the idea of nicheing until it hurts, and then keep going a little bit more. The idea here is that not that you’re closing the door on potential clients, although you might be because they might not be your target audience and you really don’t want to serve them, that’s fine. But because the more niched you get, the clearer your message becomes, and that person that you’re trying to reach can see themselves. They can say, yes, this person gets me.
If you have never done an activity like this, you might be thinking to yourself, this is silly. I, of course, know who my client is, but take some time, pull out a piece of paper and actually write down what they are doing after work? Where do they work? Do they have a commute? What do they like to eat for dinner? Tell me about their family. Tell me about their hobbies. Where are they shopping? Tell me about all of that. And if you can’t do that really quickly, chances are you haven’t done that target audience research.
But how do you get this stuff? Well, you can search Google and look for forums that have your target audience in them. You could search, of course, our social media outlets, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest. You can go look at all of those. Join some groups with your target audience in them and notice:
- What they are frustrated about.
- What they’re celebrating.
- Where they found the best deal over the weekend.
- What they’re saying they can’t fix.
- What’s wrong?
- What challenges are they facing?
And in doing this, what happens is the message that you create then speaks to that person instead of no one. So the first step to standing out in a crowded market is to know your target audience better than they even know themselves, because that will get them in the heart, in the gut, and in the mind as they’re reading what you’re sharing.
Have a Unique Angle
The second thing that you can do to stand out in a crowded market is to not run from the crowded market. It is actually good that there are competitors in your market because it means that you have proof of concept.
Your competitors know that your audience needs what it is you’re offering. You know that what you’re offering your audience, they need and will pay for. Don’t run from the crowded market.
In this sense, what I want you to do is look at all of your competitors. This is one of my favorite things to do because there’s plenty of space in the market for everyone.
Please don’t feel like you’re in competition where there’s not enough space for everyone. There is. There are billions of people in the world. I promise you. There’s enough of a market for everyone. Look in your marketplace. Look at what other people like you are offering and notice where the holes might be or what you might do a little bit differently. This is the key.
Find something unique that you do that your competitors don’t. What can you offer that will appeal to your target audience and make them want to do business with you? What is that little piece of something? Because the beauty is you have a ready-made market, but they’re being underserved somehow. Where does your zone of genius and that missing piece align so that you can offer that missing puzzle piece?
If you do this, they’ll choose you. Even in a crowded marketplace, they’ll realize they’re missing something. They’ll see your offer and go, ah, that’s it right there. When you pair that with messaging that is so clear about who your target audience is, they know it’s a no-brainer and they want to hand over that credit card so that they can get what you’re offering right now.
So what can you offer that will appeal to your target audience and make them want to do business with you? Right now? It might be as simple as a payment plan. If you have a high ticket offer and no one else in your space is offering a payment plan, it might be as simple as offering a payment plan. Don’t overthink this.
The solution, that missing puzzle piece might actually be teeny tiny, super simple, easy peasy.
Now, the third thing to think about is to make sure that your branding is strong. Now, what do I mean by this? Lots of people use branding and messaging kind of interchangeably or to mean different things. What I want to talk to you about today is the concept of being consistent.
When you are putting things out into the universe, talking on your website, on your blog, on your podcast, on your social media, and in your emails to your list, I want you to be really consistent, almost to the point of being boring.
If you have kids or have been around kids, you know that when they try a new food, they need to try it like 8, 10, 12 in some cases, 20, 25 times before they’re willing to accept it or to really pay attention to that food. The same is true of our branding and messaging of your business. People need to interact with your business a lot of times before they’re ready to do anything. And the more consistent you can be in that message, the easier it is for them to understand.
Let me give you an example. Many of you know that I follow Colin Boyd. I very much like his Sell from Stage Academy approach to speaking, serving, and selling. And because of that, I hear a lot of stuff that he does. He tells this one signature, or conversion, story all the time. I’ve heard it over and over and over, but each time I hear it, I learn something new. I notice a different nuance to the story. I notice a little bit of a new nugget that I need to take away and incorporate, and I never get bored. Now, one would think that if you are listening to the same story oodles of times, well, my audience is going to get bored.
No, they won’t because each day they’re in a different place in their life and their business and their needs, then they were the day before. Should you tell the exact same story over and over every single day? No, no, no. That’s not what I mean. But I don’t want you to feel like you have to create endless piles of content when in fact, what you need are some core content pieces that you are going to repeat over and over and over. You’ll add a different little spin on it. You’ll add a new tip or trick or idea, but the concepts that you talk about are going to be consistent.
I love what Stu McLaren says. He says, you know what? Let’s map out your 52 weeks of content in about 15 minutes or so. I love it because what happens is you can have 13 ideas that you want to talk about in your business, and then think about having a tip, a trick, an idea, a motivation for each of those times four. So four tips, four tricks, four pieces of information or maybe one piece of motivation, a tip, a trick, and a resource. That’s four. When you multiply 13 by four, you end up with 52 weeks of content. You need 13 core ideas, not 52 core ideas, 13. Now, you can obviously do the math however you like, and I know many of you post or talk to your audience more than once a week but this gives you a starting place upon which to build.
And when you have that consistency of content, when you have consistency of your message, of the stories you tell, of the concepts you cover, that’s going to create a brand that your clients recognize is also going to include your tone of voice. If you tend to be super positive in everything that you do, be super positive. You don’t have to be negative. You don’t have to point out the negatives in life. Look for that spin. If that’s what you’re known for, do it. It’s okay. Be you. That’s who your clients and customers want, but they don’t want to be confused. So when you think about this concept of making sure that you’re telling the same stories, the same concepts, and the same content.
You get to create new stuff. Don’t get me wrong. The idea here is that you want your customers to get to know you and know what to expect from you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t surprise and delight them, but you shouldn’t be surprising and confusing them. There’s a difference there. We want to surprise and delight, not surprise and confuse with our branding, with our messaging, with the content that we are creating.
Now, for your action item, I want you to choose one of three things to do.
But let’s quickly recap first.
- First, you need to know your target audience. You need to do the research.
- Second, you need to offer something you need that your competitors don’t.
- And third, you need to make sure that your brand and your message is strong, it’s consistent, and that you are really helping your clients or customers get to know you and know what to expect from your brand.
So the action items are going to come from those three pieces of content today.
1. The first thing that you can do if you have not done it, is to do some target audience research.
Get to know your research, get to know your target audience rather through research. There we go. Now, if you are still unsure about how to do that, like I said, go to Google, find some forums, go to your social media accounts. Look for people who are in your target audience. See what they’re doing, see what they’re thinking, what challenges they’re having, get to know them. You can also, if you are part of a group of other people, you can say, Hey, would you sit down and just chat with me for 10 minutes? I’m trying to get everything aligned in my business, and I would love a chance to get to know you better and understand where you’re struggling with X, Y, Z, so that I can make sure that the product I’m creating or the service I’m creating really does help people. Would you be willing to do that? So sit down with someone, whether it’s virtual or in person for 10, 15, 20 minutes just to get to know them.
You’re not selling them anything at this point is truly just a conversation. So that’s the first option for your action item.
2. The second option, if you have done that target research, I would like you to think about your competition.
I want you to look actively at what your competition is doing. Many business owners are pivoting, are starting to add in new things for the coming year, check out what they’ve got planned, and then look for the little sliver where you can slide in your unique approach, your unique spin on what it is you’re doing so that you can stand out as the Go-To Resource in the marketplace. And then finally, if you have done that recently, kudos to you, that’s amazing. You are way ahead of the game.
3. I want you to go through and think about your branding and your messaging.
I want you to make sure that it’s consistent across platforms, that it’s consistent from week to week, from day to day, so that people do get to know you. They know what to expect. You are surprising and delighting, not surprising and confusing.
There you have it. Three action item choices based on where you are at in your business. If you are just getting started, go with that target audience research. If you are further along in your path, I want you to do a little bit of a double check on your branding and your messaging this week.
Hopefully, as you start to follow these tips and ideas, you are going to make your business stand out in the crowded market.
You are going to become that Go-To Resource that everyone reaches out to, that everyone goes to in their time of need, whether that’s for a product or for a service.
I trust that this has been helpful to think more in depth about your target audience, how you can offer something unique that your competitors don’t, and making sure that your branding is strong and consistent.
There you have it. Few quick ideas for standing out as the Go-To Resource in your industry, standing out in that sea of entrepreneurs so that you can make a difference, you can do more good in the world.
I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive Podcast, where a focus on mentoring and community and implementation removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum.
Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.