Crowded Industry? 4 Ways to Stand Out!
“All of the original ideas have been taken. From now on, we’re only copies.”
I can’t tell you when I first heard a variation of this quote, though I’m sure it was in my teens. As I tried to stand out of the crowd of pom-poms, horn-rimmed glasses, and trombones, the further I thought was “different” the more I realized that I had been placed in another, albeit different, class.
By the time I was old enough to realize the validity of the statement, I resented it.
I mean, why do we have to be copies? Surely our ancestors never came up with the modern day computer with it’s complexities and connectivity.
After all, the modern day Americas were once a mystery to many. Right?
I have gone to numerous events, small and large, in which I can generally expect at least 10-25% of participants are in the marketing field–presumably my competitors.
But I don’t see them as such.
Because I work hard to separate myself from others to this day. (Maybe I never did learn my lesson in high school.)
Often times I’m seen as the one without the pressure, the helpful marketer, the marketer who specializes in taking the complexities of internet marketing–social media, content creation, landing pages, sales pages, and the infamous search engine optimization (SEO) algorithm–and making them easy to understand, grasp, and do.
And I like it that way.
But the question remains:
How can my company stand out in a crowded marketplace?
We’re glad you asked.
Using these four tips, you can easily choose one that best fits your business goals, branding, and personal convictions. Follow it, trust in it, and you will find yourself carving your own island in an otherwise overcrowded market.
Nitty-Gritty Niche Strategy and Expand Out.
A big problem I see companies have is when they take the advice of blogging regularly to heart and never get excited because no one reads their information.
Well, what are you writing about?
Taking on big concepts that most other more prominent, longer running blogs have also written on is hard.
Because now you’re competing with them for page views and potential customers.
Instead, try picking a topic that these competitors only talk about periodically. For example, if you’re in the tech industry creating apps for the Apple Watch, your blog may be heavy on the different aspects or predictions for the future of the Apple Watch.
Though it’s a hot topic right now, meaning you can find a ton of inspiration, we will eventually see the other side of the bell-curve. If you keep up your talking about the Apple Watch, come next year when word begins to leak of a new version, you’ll be ahead as an expert with a ton of content to prove it.
This can happen in any field.
Take a topic that is small or definitive enough that folks only talk about it every once in a while–and set yourself and your company as the expert in it.
The most prominent example of this is with Henry Ford a hundred or so years ago.
Henry Ford is the “creator of the assembly line.” He instructed his employees to do one job over and over again–a simple job. The likelihood of errors decreased and productivity increased.
Years later, as WWII came to a close, we begin to see something very interesting occurring inside of the office buildings in which one person became a cog into the over all project.
To this day, when someone requests an advertising firm to complete an advert for their company, one person will do the graphics, one the writing, and one the piecing together. Let’s not forget the account manager who’s sole job is to keep the client happy and informed on updates.
What we have done is taken a discipline that was originally created for one industry–the automotive industry–and molded it to fit an entirely different industry–advertising.
Another great example is with The Rikess Group out of Los Angeles. The Rikess Group specializing in making car buying a bit more of a hassle. How? By teaching dealerships that car buying shouldn’t mean haggling but rather, it should take the same sales approach as any other item.
Like clothes, for example.
Meaning, when someone comes in wanting to buy a car, it has a set amount. This deters buyers from feeling like they got a “bad deal” when they leave–and salesmen are so much less scummy, right?
Transfer the discipline.
Create original research.
Channel your company’s inner journalist.
You don’t need to hire a group of scientists or convince 500 people to be a part of a social experiment.It’s so much easier than that.
Write case studies (basically, these are customer success stories written in an easy and interesting manner), conduct a survey or poll, review some products, or interview experts within your industry (and share on both yours and their social media).
This all helps to show that your business is in the know, you’re on the cutting edge, and you want people to have this information.
This helps build you as a thought leader and authoritative figure within your industry.
Attack a big problem.
Your business has a problem.
Think about it.
What’s one thing that takes too much time, energy, sucks productivity?
When you figure out what that is, what’s the likelihood that other businesses like yours have that same problem?
Pretty likely, right?
So, create a solution and market it. Because if you have a problem where there is no solution yet, why not allow that solution to come from you and your company?
I’ll give you an example.
Talking and befriending numerous small and medium sized companies about their marketing woes, I learned three things when it comes to their marketing:
1) They don’t know how to market effectively. (Which, thanks to the multitude of marketing firms and agencies, there is now folks who will do this for you.)
2) They don’t have the time to market effectively. (Which, again, numerous marketing experts could fix this problem.)
3) They don’t have the money to market effectively. (Now we have an issue, right?)
I thought about it and thought about it, really wanting to help those out there who needed it–who wanted to have a thriving business but didn’t have an angel investor to help out.
It came to me late one night with my sleep mask on: why can’t small businesses afford great marketing consistently within a decent budget?
Though we don’t plan to officially launch our new marketing subscription service until Monday, June 15th, we are now taking names of anyone interested in the new service.
At its essence, this service will present four tiers of marketing with four price points so that it’s suitable for all business levels.
Once subscribed and approved, you will get all of your marketing materials to your inbox on Sunday to be copied and pasted in the appropriate place (including when to post, where to post, and how to post) for the week.
It’s something we are absolutely stoked about as we know of so many businesses who could benefit from this.
Marketing is a big problem for many businesses. This is why we chose to attack it head-on.
Find a problem your company would like to solve and this will allow for your customers to care. You’re making them care.
Create a framework.
Remember when you used to receive those American Online CDs in the mail for a free 30 day trial?
You would insert the CD and then, with a prayer to the virtual gods, hoped to somehow get online without the phone ringing. And if it did, you were booted right back off.
I remember even holding my breath (literally) wondering if I would pass out before being allowed the famous words, “You’ve got mail!”
Oh, the good old days.
Thankfully, someone decided this framework of going online was outdated, frustrated, and not conducive for the connected and busy world we all live online.
So they changed the framework.
Now, we only need a wireless (or wired, if that’s your thing) connection and one click instantaneous. It’s amazing, right?
How do you use this technique in your own business?
Perhaps there is a book that you love, you’ve even built your business on it. But you know that it’s super complex, long, hard to read. Why not revamp it? Why not create a new framework for it?
You can do this with anything that you think is too complex for the audience of today (which, I’m sure, it a ton of things).
Find new ways of doing old things. Set yourself a part by using this new, updated version.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some ways you’ve used to set yourself out of the crowd? Have any of these techniques used for you?
Let us know what you think in the comments box below!
And as always, thanks for reading.