Fear is the most basic of human elements and plays a major role in business success and failure.
I spend a great deal of time trying to help business owners understand that one of the most important marketing strategies they must embrace is finding a way to stand out from the crowd. Because this is such a focus for me I can tell you that one of the single greatest fears that many business owners have is being different than everyone else in their industry.
I suppose it goes back to the schoolyard where being different made all but the most independent kids nervous as heck. I find that this goes well beyond simply copying what others in the industry do, it’s a real fear of doing anything that might appear odd. I can tell you right now this fear, and knowing that others in your industry share it, is the single greatest small business marketing opportunity at your disposal.
Here’s an exercise I would like you to tackle. Go to the website of your four biggest competitors, copy the introductory paragraph from their home page and paste each on a document. Now add the same from your own website. Lastly, blackout any mention of the names of the firms and pass this page around the office or to anyone familiar with your business.
The object of this little game is to see if anyone can identify any of the companies listed, including your own. My experience when I’ve done this is that many business owners struggle even identifying the entry from their own company, but what is usually painfully obvious is that each of the companies is saying essentially the same thing.
I can tell you right now that if the world of prospects can’t tell you apart from your competitors, they will be forced to use price as their only guide.
You must get over the fear of being different and find a way to demonstrate that you serve a very narrow target niche, package your services in unique ways, provide an over the top experience, own a certain way of doing things, do something that someone wants like no one ever thoughts of – and then, proudly declare this difference in every fiber of your communication.
So tell me, how do you stand out, how do you tap the fear of being different?