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You like to think you stand out from your competition; stand out so that we get noticed that is. The trouble is sometimes we may think we look different, but those searching for a supplier don’t see that difference! Then there are those that stand out for all the wrong reasons. How do you stand out from your competition and how could you improve it?

Learn to stand out from your competition, from my this diving experience

Why is it important to stand out?

You probably know more than one of any specific type of supplier, and if you don’t the internet can make up for that loss. If you were to pass a referral, or find a supplier for yourself, which would you choose? Now flip that the other way round, if somebody is looking for you and they don’t immediately think of you – you are missing business.

If you are not memorable, you don’t get as many people asking you for business. What’s more you don’t get as many referrals.

Worst moment of my life?

I was talking to my best friend’s wife and telling her that I don’t know where her husband is, other than he’s somewhere under the sea and I lost him while we were diving together. There was nothing else I could say or do but stand on the boat in my bright red diving suit (replete with florescent yellow stripes), frantically looking across the water. Fortunately a few minutes later he re-appeared and all was well (except he well and truly put into place by his wife).

When she finished lambasting him, I quietly asked him what had happened. Now, you’ll remember I have a bright red suit, with florescent yellow? That’s so that I stand out from the others. It turns out he’d been following me and the other diver that was with us, when he looked round for a moment. On looking back he saw two divers, one in red, and followed them instead of me. I thought I stood out from everybody else; to him I looked the same as everybody else. He didn’t realise his mistake for the twenty minutes I was on the surface trying to pacify his wife.

3 ideas to stand out from your competition.

To stand out from your competition is getting harder but also more important. The chances are YOU think you’re different, but your clients don’t. How could you start to change that?

  1. Know if you are standing out: Have you ever sought feedback form your audience? Do you stand out, what makes you stand out and how could you appeal to them more? Feedback can really help, and it’s a very good benefit of having regular networking contacts.
  2. Be memorable. Wearing a red suit might make you memorable, but not for the right reasons.Be memorable because you are clearer in the language you use about your clients and how you help them. Would you rather be remembered as the one in the strange suit, or the one that can really help?
  3. Specialise: Highlighting your experience with the specific problems your target audience has will help them to understand you really understand their problems. This doesn’t cut down the number of leads you get, it helps to increase them. The Daily Mail doesn’t try to adjust it’s headlines so that Daily Mirror readers may want it, it makes them even more “Daily Mail like” so it gets more sales. An important aspect of specialising is that you become really appealing, to a smaller audience, rather than an also ran in front of a larger audience.

Early steps towards being the The Go-To Expert

It’s common for professionals to be concerned about niching their practice so they stand out from the competition, as expertise in a niche is one of the best ways to be different. People often worry about taking the early steps to specialising, as they fear upsetting existing clients. Which of these small and easy steps would help you start the journey without worrying about upsetting existing clients?

  • Changing your words when networking
  • Changing where you network
  • Changing the pictures on your website, to focus on the eventual target
  • Including some specific pages on your website
  • Ensuring your expertise in your target market really stands out
  • Outbound marketing campaigns, that don’t get seen by everybody

How will you start your journey to developing expertise in a niche, so you really stand out from your competition?

 

 
Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Networking is a key part of getting great results in small firms. If you want great networking tips sent to your desk once a month, click here and I will start sending them to you, so you can make a real difference to your referrals.