If you’re like me, your inbox is filled with offers promising to grow your business. For instance, I just read tips to update my LinkedIn profile, create an email campaign, and develop a 7-step signature system.
These offers were all excellent. If you do those things you have a good chance of success.
But all too many people apply these tactics diligently with no success. In fact, they feel they’re pounding their heads (or laptops) against a wall. When you look closely, you notice the success of these tactics depends on something that nobody talks about: a compelling claim that sets them apart from the competition.
For instance, one marketer taught a class on writing your LinkedIn profile. His sample profile begins with, “How these ordinary 6 people added 5000 qualified prospects to their opt-in lists in 90 days.”
Most people can’t come up with a claim like that. But most of us don’t need to.
What I’ve found is that many of my clients are like Brenda, a life coach who sent me some material to review. When we talked on the phone, Brenda shared a unique perspective on business mindset. She knew exactly why some people responded to business challenges and some didn’t. She could explain why some people needed gentle accountability partners and others needed mentors who were drill sergeants.
But her content didn’t reflect this knowledge. Brenda put up some me-too copy about “heart-based business owners,” “magic wand solutions” and “conscious solo-preneurs.” Her message was, “Just another woo-woo coach.” I barely recognized her as the same insightful professional I heard on the phone.
Bill Russell, the basketball player, has talked about the way sports figures develop their own signature styles of play, just as artists do. Even at the beginner level, you’ll find that everyone who makes art tends to develop a style; in my ceramics class most of us recognize our own work.
Your style of play will be as unique and distinctive as your signature, and it’s a way you stand out from the competition. For many of us, the challenge is to use our signature style to take advantage of our strengths and compensate for areas where we lack skill or don’t want to learn about. For instance, I take ceramics classes to fuel my creativity. My ceramic style tends to be uneven and off-center; I can’t produce elegant wheel-thrown vases and bowls. So I work in sculpture, making objects that don’t need to look polished and finished.
It’s often hard to figure out your specialness on your own. It’s a two-part process: you discover what makes you unique and then communicate your strengths in the context of your offer.
For instance, a client was able to show that his background in police work was directly relevant to his new career as a personal financial planner, by highlighting the importance of listening skills in community policing. A consultant was frustrated when prospects rejected him, saying, “You’ll probably find this project boring.” When we discussed the comments he’d gotten from different sources, he realized his strength was walking into a mess and getting things straightened out — not creating systems for well-functioning programs.
If you’d like to talk more about developing your own style, you can sign up for my one-on-one consultations. My clients have been surprised at how much we get done in just one consultation. It’s not unusual to start by fixing some troubled copy and end up with some opportunities to develop new income streams. More info and sign up here.
Monday – Labor Day – Special free laser consultations! Check it out here.