Small businesses have many marketing challenges, but one of the hardest things small business owners need to do is determine what makes their business stand out from the competition and present it in a way that attracts their ideal client. Being able to differentiate your business by communicating your unique capabilities that your competition does not have is paramount to attracting your ideal client.
When someone asks you, what makes you different from your competition:
When you differentiate your business, you make it memorable and credible. It helps your prospects to quickly understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.
The secret to creating your differentiation, or unique selling proposition (USP) is understanding what your ideal client really wants and making sure you deliver it better than anyone else. Don’t be fooled – this exercise is not easy to do. It takes a lot of thought, brainstorming and sometimes some trial and error to see what works. Sometimes we are just too close to our businesses to truly see that differentiating quality that makes us stand out.
Plus, you may find what is unique for your business evolves as your business grows.
Take some time to really think about the following and come up with a list of things you do really well. Don’t underestimate anything because something that you do that is so simple may be just the key to you standing out above all others:
The challenge for service businesses is to clearly identify what you do best in a way that is visible to your target. Consultants, accountants, financial planners, coaches, designers, web developers and other service-oriented businesses appear to all be the same: they offer the same services for about the same price. Stand out by really understanding what you do best and exploit it. Or come up with something unique that adds value over your competition that you can offer.
Use the following ideas to help you determine that one unique, differentiating quality that only your business has:
Notice I didn’t put price in the list as a way to differentiate yourself. Although price can be used as a differentiating factor, it really isn’t ideal in a service-based business. Who really wants to be the cheapest? Cheaper can evoke perceptions of lower quality, less breadth of knowledge or a less stable business environment.
With all the tools, gadgets and platforms, the trend is to spend a lot of time on marketing execution. But one thing we must not forget is that regardless of the channel of execution, you still need the basics of your marketing strategy in place or all of your efforts will be wasted.
Take the time to determine your strengths and communicate them to your target audience in a way that gets them to notice you above all else. Once you have defined and can demonstrate your unique difference, be sure to incorporate it into your messages everywhere.
What is your unique difference that makes your customers want to work with you?