Do you feel as though your business really stands out from the crowd, or is that something you find quite challenging?
Personally, I think for the vast majority of us, we have a lot of competition out there these days. There are very, very few businesses that do not have a stack of competition out there and a lot of people doing very similar things to the way we do business.
Which means this whole concept of standing out from the crowd is, if anything, only getting harder and harder over time. Yet, the marketing gurus all tell us that we must stand out.
They tell us we MUST have our own USP, our Unique Selling Proposition, and that we’ve got to define our perfect niche.
Now, that might all sound very straightforward, and yet when you sit down and try and work it out it can be incredibly difficult.
How DO I stand out from the crowd? How DO I show myself as unique?
So, I want to share with you today two tips on how you could actually help yourself stand out from the crowd that little bit more, without having to bend over backwards; without having to brand yourself as the new unicorn in the industry; and without having to try and do something ridiculously dramatic.
Because let’s face it, none of us really are unique.
There are loads of other people doing what we do. But, the brutal truth of the matter is that it’s that level of competition which means we HAVE to learn how to stand out.
There HAS to be a way for customers to see us and know that we are the right person for them.
So, here are my two speedy tips to actually help you stand out better from your own crowd.
Stop taking yourself for granted
My first tip, which may sound a little strange, is to take some time to sit down and think about the things that you really take for granted about your product or your service,
You know those small areas of service where you probably go the extra mile or where you over-deliver?
Those moments when you’re a real perfectionist, or when you promise the customer something, and you absolutely, categorically, always deliver well beyond that.
Or something that you just naturally add in without even thinking about it.
As an example, I worked with a tradesman a few years ago, and one of his key standards was to always leave the customer’s premises immaculate. Now, he absolutely took this for granted, but customers told him that they loved it and really appreciated it. So, when he started to shout about this and make it a part of his service promise, then it started to bring him extra business.
Ask your customers for feedback
The second option is to ask your customers for some feedback. And this is interesting, because very, very few businesses do this.
A lot resist, because they worry: “I don’t want to be intrusive.”
And sometimes there’s a genuine fear of: “I don’t want to hear any negative feedback.”
Whereas, ironically, negative feedback from customers is one of the most powerful things that you can ever receive to help you really grow your business.
Because if you can find out what customers DON’T like and then make sure you do the opposite, that’s the type thing that really puts you ahead of the crowd.
So get that feedback from your customers, and don’t just focus on your favourite customers or your happiest ones!
Find out what it is about you that they really appreciate and start shouting about it! And if you really want to take this a step further, ask them what it is that they don’t like about your industry, or what frustrates them or leads them to mistrust the industry as a whole.
As an example, one of my previous clients was involved with SEO, Search Engine Optimization. The big cause of a lack of trust was the feeling that the whole things was a dark art, designed to confuse customers and rip them off.
A lot of potential customers fed back that they had spent money on SEO and seen no results, so there was a huge amount of mistrust.
In order to stand out from the crowd and overcome that mistrust my client put in place a series of steps and a cast iron guarantee that customers would make a return on their investment.
And that won him lots of business!
So, finding out all of these positive and negative thoughts amongst your customers can be really, really powerful.
I would honestly encourage you not to worry about the possibility of negative feedback because, as silly as it sounds, that feedback is incredibly positive in helping you to see exactly how to push your business forwards.
So, in summary, think over the things that you already take for granted about your business and about the service you offer, you know all those great things about you that you just skim straight over.
And think too about the things that customers don’t like about your industry. Because when you’ve got clarity on those two things, then you’ve got the ability to start to really stand out from the crowd.
I hope that’s helpful. If it is then I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
And please share this with other people, if you think that it would help them too.
And if you know that you really do need to stand out more from the crowd but still don’t know where to start then get in touch, and I can help you.