Being a business owner can often be overwhelming. There’s so much to do, so much to learn and so, so many voices to be heard.
Some voices we seek because we know we need advice on this journey and it’s always better to speak with someone who’s been there before you.
Other voices appear, as if by magic. They can be the voices of friends, family and other entrepreneurs at different stages themselves. People who care about you and want to see you “on the right path”.
This is all positive.
Until it isn’t.
With so many voices advising you how to “steer your ship”, it is quite common to stop hearing your own.
I know this space. I’ve been here myself and so have most entrepreneurs.
It’s a space that demands a reset.
When you do, reset, everything becomes clearer and you will be ready to take the steps you need to take to stand out from the crowd.
If this is where you are right now, may I suggest the following approach.
1. Act On Business Advice That Resonates With Who You Are
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I always talk about the importance of being the navigator of your own business. The buck stops with you. So always act on business advice that resonates with you and makes sense to you.
It’s easy to get off track, and this is why I spend so much time on Purpose, Mission and Vision and building a strong foundation for your business so that when it comes to marketing the business you are anchored in your own truth.
Seeking advice has to be grounded in this purpose and this knowledge of who you are and what lights you up. If it doesn’t light you up don’t do it.
If the advice you receive makes you hand over the power in your own business, then it’s the wrong advice. That creates dependency and not empowerment.
You’ve chosen to be in business and build it to give you the freedom that matches your needs. The advice you take should also match that.
Listen to advice, and see if it resonates with your purpose and what you want for your business. We’re people as well as business owners, so the two things need to align.
Caveat Here: This blog is also advice. Take it only if it resonates.
2. Nobody Can Choose Your Customers For You
Your job is to choose your customers, even though we’re conditioned to think that it is only our customers who choose us. This is a two way dialogue so you get to choose too.
You get to choose who you work with, the space you operate in and what you want to become known for.
Who you start out serving may not be who you serve in one, five or ten years’ time. You can grow your offering and change your customers, and that’s your decision, no-one else’s.
If you decide to change your customer this must be your decision and your decision alone. It has to be a decision point to move you forward, that aligns with you and is as a result of your own growth.
You are also allowed to say “no” to work that doesn’t serve you, and to anything that doesn’t help you grow.
3. Your Customer’s Needs Must Also Align With YOUR Needs
Why? Because when you have joy in your work, you’re the best you can be and as such you are better able to serve your customers. You’re in the perfect position to help them – you’re the right person to bring something new to their situation.
Those needs can be nurturing your own brilliance, or they can be financial, or anything you like. Choose the customers who align with your needs and you’ll pass an important milestone in the growth of your business.
Author Jonathan Fields carried out a study into burnout, analysing over 25 million data points. One of the key findings was that we can serve ourselves and others best by doing what we love and what supports our passions. That’s how we do our best work.
He’s developed the idea of ‘Sparketypes’ (a play on the word archetype) and created a free assessment that helps you identify what fires you up. The test reveals your primary spark, and sometimes a shadow spark which is also very useful.
You can use the test to help you check that you’re in alignment with your values and choosing the customers that spark you up. It’ll make your business more successful, too. Check it out: https://sparketype.com/assessment/
4. Leaning Into Your Customers is a Great Way to get Business Advice
What does that mean? It means actively listening to what your customers are telling you. It might be a subtle, off-the-cuff comment, or something they share on social media. Whatever it is, it’s a clue to what’s happening.
Create opportunities to hear them. Lean in and listen, because they’re whispering all the time. They’re telling you what’s wrong AND what’s right, through what they say or how they behave, and you need to pay attention.
Every nuance is a message that shows you how to stand out and deliver exactly what your customers want. But you can miss them if you disconnect. The reason we spend so much time building marketing engines to help us automate repetitive tasks is to give us space for listening.
Too often entrepreneurs are on automatic pilot. They’re focused on getting out as much content as possible because they think that’s what works. It isn’t. Automating as much as possible gives you the space to lean in and engage with your customers.
Try to lean in once a day to be inspired by your customers and serve them better. That’s what makes the difference and shows them that their opinion matters. Show them you’re listening by what you do after the conversation is over.
5. Consistency is Rare. Choose to be Consistent
The greatest way to stand out in the crowd is to be consistently there in the space that you’ve chosen for yourself. I advocate finding four key words or phrases that sum up who you are. Do the keyword and hashtag research on them and use your content to tell that story from every angle.
Show up consistently in these core messages and you will establish a reputation and story for yourself that will work towards making you the go to person for that product or service.
There’s so much noise and activity that if you want to be noticed, you need to be consistent in showing up in those spaces and sharing core content that focuses on your messages.
What are your ideal customers looking for? What are their pain points, their challenges? Can you provide them with the answers that they need? Whatever they are, make sure you talk about them as often as you can.
If you haven’t done this before, or you want a refresher, go away and think about the four spaces that you want to become known for. If someone was going to describe you, what would they say you’re an expert in? That’s where the spaces come in.
What is consistency? It might be showing up every Wednesday lunchtime to do a live video, sending a weekly email or publishing a regular blog. It sounds simple, but consistency in itself is rare.
And rareness is what will help you stand out. So, commit to owning your space and use it to share value. This means you’re in front of the right customers consistently. They won’t forget that you’re there and you’ll stand out.
6. Be Personal When Nobody Else Thinks it’s Possible
The business advice you get might be that it’s impossible to deliver a personal service and successfully scale your business. The bigger you are, the less time you have to give to individual customers.
In fact, there’s never been a better time to personalise an experience or a relationship. Using automation clears space for you to be personal. Technology lets us plan in advance and share information at the appropriate time to reach our customers. When you can reach more people without any extra effort, you’ll start to scale.
Once that’s done, you can use the time saved to lean in and engage with people. Listen to what they’re saying. Be personal at scale. Use DMs and emails, and give people an opportunity to reach out to you personally.
Get creative and look for things that nobody else is doing to be personal. Send a card, or a book that you think they’ll like. When you start a project, send a gift or a personal note. Record a video to thank them for signing up to your newsletter.
Whatever you’re able to do now, do that at scale too. It IS possible. Taking a personal approach brings your customer to you, shows them you care and what makes you unique. You’ll stand out and your clients will value you.
Take business advice on board when it’s offered, but remember that you only have to act on it if it’ll really help your business. If not, feel confident in ignoring it and continuing with what sparks you up.
The Get Strategic Get Results™ program is designed to help you tune into who you are and what you want to achieve in your business. If this sounds like something that might resonate with you; why not take the FREE 14 Day Trial.
The best time to start thinking more strategically about your marketing is now.
Do it with an experienced guide at your side.