We all want to feel “special”, like a unique snowflake.
But there are billions of people on earth. And if we’re talking about business, there are competitors all over the world, in virtually every industry or niche.
Today, more than ever, your challenge as an entrepreneur is to discover how to differentiate yourself from everybody else.
Because this is how you’ll connect with your OWN market and establish yourself as unique.
That’s easy to say. But how can you do it?
After all, you and I are online entrepreneurs, working from a lonely corner office at home.
It feels overwhelming, I know.
But what if I told you that today, being a solopreneur offers you a golden opportunity to establish yourself as an authority and engage with a large audience?
I am going to show you what, in my experience, is the best way to stand out from the crowd.
It involves telling your UNIQUE story. Nobody can compete with that. And when you attach to your story a powerful message, a purpose, then you take a step forward from the crowd and establish YOURSELF as a BRAND.
How does that sound?
Good. Let me show you how to do this.
Why will people choose you rather than your competition?
O.K., let’s have some real talk. Why will your clients choose you over your competition?
The first factor is pricing.
It’s as simple as that. Sometimes clients just want to pay as little as they can.
If you are chosen because you are cheaper than your competition, then you probably recognize the following.
Your clients negotiate EVERY service you offer, and then ask for extra services at no extra cost.
This is when a client floods your inbox with questions and technical issues, and you start to wonder why you accepted this client.
This happens often. When a client chooses you because you are the cheapest option, they will give you more work than any other premium client.
Here’s the thing: If you position your brand by price, there will always be a cheaper option than you.
And then you’ll need to keep searching for your next “cheap client” in a rat race that never ends.
CONCLUSION: You shouldn’t position yourself by price.
How about positioning your brand by quality?
That’s a much better option, for a few reasons.
First, when you position yourself as a high-quality service, your potential clients know you’re a step above the common services.
Therefore, they are looking for services that deliver high-quality results, so it’s important to align your services to your client’s expectations.
In short, positioning yourself as a quality provider will bring you better clients and allow you to charge more for your services. But you’ll need to deliver high-quality results as well.
So, where is the problem?
The problem is that the cost of acquiring those clients will be high.
If you are targeting better clients and offering high-end services, you need time, resources and money to find and convert those clients.
But the real problem comes with client retention.
What will happen if another competitor, with the same premium services, steals some of your clients because they are offering better conditions?
All the effort and resources you put into converting those clients will be lost.
So, then what?
Here’s when we can go further and position ourselves according to who we are and what we represent.
Let me explain.
There will always be someone cheaper than you, and someone with more resources to deliver better quality services.
But what if your clients choose you because of YOU?
What if you market yourself for the UNIQUE services that ONLY you can deliver? What if you can establish a relationship with your clients, even before they are your clients?
At this point, I don’t need to tell you how much I believe in content marketing and how we can build “little empires” by just serving an audience and sharing remarkable content in industrial quantities.
But I need to say it again. The most intelligent way to position your brand —and YOU— in the market is by providing loads of value to your audience.
In this post, I want to talk to you about a specific part in that process: how your story can make you UNIQUE and how you use this in your content to differentiate yourself from anybody else.
Is important to notice that the goal in all this is to establish a connection with your market, a bond between you and your future clients.
Let’s see how you can find that SOMETHING that makes you unique and different.
I know this can be overwhelming – after all, we all are different – but for some reason, we become very critical with ourselves when it comes to finding our strengths.
Let’s make this process a bit simpler.
At the moment, I just want you to think about your personal story. Just that.
If you want, reverse engineer your life from the present moment.
If you are living in London or LA or Berlin, or wherever you live, have you lived there all your life?
Or did you move there from a previous location? If so, why?
It was because of work, love, adventure…?
What are you doing today? Where were you working 5 years ago, 10 years ago?
Why did you start that career? Is it what you wanted, or did some specific event put you there?
See? You can grab pen and paper, and write out your whole personal story since school until now. This is unique – and that unique story has shaped you.
Now we’re going to find a few key events that have changed your life.
Just as an artist uses a chisel to sculpt a piece of art from a rock, your life has been sculpted by a “life chisel” in the form of events.
I am talking about the kind of events that make you change the way you see the world, your life and yourself.
Maybe there was a horrible teacher who made you hate math. Or maybe you were bullied at school because you were overweight.
In my case, I was fired by a horrible boss because, and I am quoting, “You can never can leave the office before the boss, even if all your work is done.”
That changed my whole view as a professional.
So, go there back in your story and find those events that have changed your life. We will need these for the next point.
Create your PURPOSE for telling a story
Now you have a clear vision about your story and the key events that have shaped it.
This is basically why you do what you do, and why you are the person you are.
But now we need to connect the dots.
I want you to answer this question: What are the consequences of those events in the way you understand your life TODAY?
In other words, because of those events —being fired by a horrible boss, in my case— how do you behave today? How do you tell your story today?
Let me tell you my story again. It might help as an example.
When I was fired for that stupid reason, I was annoyed, of course, and very, very angry. I hated the world in general, and that guy in particular.
But after a few months, I moved back to my hometown near the coast of Spain. I had many things in my head, but one idea was taking shape.
I would never work again based on the paradigms of other people. I would start my own business and build something better than all that.
So I met with a friend from school who had just returned from the States and was in the same situation as me.
I then started my first business. We rented an industrial space as an office – more than 1,000 square meters for just two people.
Yes, we were stupid, but I enjoyed it like crazy.
You can see a tiny piece of the office in the image below.
But guess what? In that first business adventure, I learned for the first time how to set up a website, how to manage social media and some —now primitive— principles about SEO.
That was the basis of what I do now.
That sort of event created my purpose today: I help people start their online businesses based on their knowledge and values. I want them to build an amazing business that makes them happy.
This way, they can escape stupid bosses like the one I once had.
So, what’s your purpose?
Now it’s your turn.
Dig into your story and find that deep desire you want to express through your business.
Let me give you a few tips that will help you identify your purpose:
- It’s something bigger than you
- It’s long-term
- It focuses on helping others
- It’s fulfilling
Think of your purpose as a mission to help other people to achieve something they truly believe, for the simple reason that you know it’s the right thing to do.
DO NOT get impatient about this. A life purpose needs time. Lots of time.
Finally, you need to feel that sensation of fulfilment that tells you this is something important.
Your business, of course, is the instrument through which you are going to achieve your mission.
So far, so good.
But what now?
So now is the moment when you need to deliver all that with the world and make a difference.
Whatever you are doing right now —helping coaches to get more clients, helping developers to land amazing projects, whatever it might be—must be delivered according to your OWN principles and aligned to your personal story.
If you do so, you’ll find a UNIQUE way to deliver your services, YOUR way.
Ultimately, this is the key component to offer a service with no competition. Because your service is based on your principles, your story and the mission that you get from all that.
People can choose you or not, but the difference here is that your base of clients – your 1,000 true fans – that you are building truly believes in you.
I’ve bought many services like business coaching and mentoring from people that I have been following for months, if not years.
Why? Other people offer the exact same services. And there are cheaper options on the market.
But I wanted THAT service from THAT person. Nothing else.
It’s the same for you. If you follow these principles and start building your services based on your uniqueness, you’ll find it to be the best way to build a large audience that wants your services because they relate, engage with, and trust in YOU.
Tell me in the comments below if you relate to the situations I described at the beginning of the post.
Where clients don’t appreciate what you offer, and they choose you based on price.
I know that’s a frustrating situation, and all entrepreneurs have to deal with it.
But in a global world, where every day more people are going the way of entrepreneurship, you need to do something about it.
It takes time, like anything that’s worth anything in life. But once you start developing your unique angle and see people engaging with your message, I guarantee that you won’t go back to being one more face in your crowded market.