October 2014 Featured Article
In a Sea of “Me-Too's”, Will You Sink or Swim?
Do you have any idea how many people are out there doing the same thing as you?
Take a moment and really think about it: for example, if you do a Google search for “Life Coach” there are 506 million results.
If that number scares you – good! That is an incredibly large amount of websites vying for the same prospective customers' attention. And it's probably the same in your market.
We're going to take a look at how many people you really are up against, and why it's so important for you to understand where you stand.
I'm also going to show you what Miley Cyrus and pizza have in common, and why you should be invested in both.
Last, we're going to talk about a really annoying habit of your Facebook friends that could turn your business into a huge success.
Now, I know that I've already scared you with that number… but it's a fact you must always be aware of – who else is in your field and what are they doing?
The internet has allowed us to create content in the blink of an eye, and the only thing that really can make you stand out is who you are.
In fact, Gary Vaynerchuk gave a staggering fact, in his keynote speech at the Inc. 500 Seminar in 2011: “All of the content created from the beginning of time until 2003 is being recreated in the same volume every 48 hours.”
Talk about a painful statistic.
You should find out who is creating that content in your field, and who is rising to the top. Why are they becoming successful? What are they bringing to the table?
This is where pizza comes into play – when you think of pizza restaurant chains, who comes to mind first?
Dan Kennedy, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, found in 2011 that 85 out of 100 people think of Dominos.
Can you imagine how well your business would do if you had the same percentage of people thinking about you in your field?
All Dominos did to get that sort of recognition was figure out what made them stand out from the pack. We all know that their pizza is so-so (although I know many who claim that it's the best), but what they deliver in spades is a promise:
I can't think of a single college kid that hasn't taken them up on that.
But more importantly, it gave them a very unique and specific position in a completely over-saturated market, causing them rise to incredible success worldwide.
And even though they backed down from that promise, due to car accidents and lawsuits, you can learn from them.
What makes you special? What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
If you haven't yet figured out your USP for your business, you truly need to take the time to do so before you start marketing yourself.
Remember, in a completely digital world, you don't have the luxury of being plain-jane vanilla. There are millions of people fighting for attention, and you have about 8 seconds to give your prospect a reason to care about you.
If you fail, they will move on for good.
This actually brings Facebook to mind, for a moment. Just thinking about your personal Facebook page, what is one thing that everyone does that can be kind of annoying?
I realize there can be many answers to this (“selfies” comes to mind quickly), but what I'm aiming for is the phenomenon we know as “image crafting.”
When you read a friend's page, you will most likely notice that their posts take on a certain theme. Perhaps they share their personal successes, things like getting a new job or going on a fun date – wonderful events in their lives that they want others to know about.
Some people are the opposite and prefer to share only negative experiences… or perhaps they like to be funny…
Whatever it may be, you start to see one dominant aspect of their character shine through.
And to the perfect stranger, that is solely the way they are perceived.
What I am saying is, you can make yourself come across any way that you want on the internet.
In the business world, I call this “A Market of One”. Basically, you can position yourself any way you'd like as long as you consistently deliver a message congruent to that image.
The way you speak, the way you write, what your content is about – all of this adds to your overall persona.
You are most likely an expert in something, so what extra thing do you bring to the table that makes you the right person for people to go to for help?
Miley Cyrus, and pop stars in general, are experts at doing this. Every moment they spend in the public eye is crafted to add (or in some cases take away) from their projected image.
Her entire younger life was spent as the innocent Hannah Montana, and never once did anything “scandalous” come out about her.
Now that she has broken away from that character, she has chosen to market herself differently.
And she and her publicity team make sure that every step she takes in public adds to that new image.
Whether you agree with her choices or not is irrelevant; the point is that you have to really consider what you want people to believe when they think of you and your brand.
506 million life coaching websites are vying for the same prospect's attention – how do you stand out in your market?
Carolyn Shaffer, a private life coach located in Oregon, popped up on the first page in my search. Her distinction? She's also a hypnotherapist.
What makes you different? How can you become a “market of one”?
I want you to take 30 minutes tonight with a pad of paper and pen in hand and really think about it. You do not need a fancy publicist or high-end credentials to be successful; you just need to leverage what makes you unique.
Write down everything that comes to mind: Do you speak a foreign language? Have you worked in one field for a long time? Perhaps you are one man in a sea of female siblings and are good at dealing with the opposite sex?
You don't have to be a Nobel Peace Prize Winner to have a successful business. But you have to stand out.
Once you have a list, start matching your unique qualities with the selling point that you have decided to embrace. Like Carolyn, you could be a life coach that specializes in hypnotherapy. Or perhaps you could be a Copywriting guru in marketing to a Spanish speaking audience.
Decide what works best for you, and then start focusing all of your efforts on crafting your image around that. Engineer an “expert” position in your field.
Write books, give speeches, do guest blog spots on other people's websites.
You are a “market of one” – no one else is like you and has had your life experiences. Start taking action to defining what that is, and your business will take off like you never imagined