While the internet has brought many possibilities for the small business to get their message across, in some way it seems the marketplace is so noisy that standing out feels like an uphill battle.

Setting yourself apart so that your (potential) customers find, like and trust you, is a process that starts at the very base of your small business marketing.

Let’s look at four ways that marketing will help your small business stand out from the crowd.

Understand your customer

No customer, no business.
Everything you do should be with your customer in mind. Hence the first step to be different and standing out is to understand your customer in-depth.
Getting to know your customer intimately goes beyond the hard facts (demographics and psychographics). It is also about their needs, fears, pains, goals and dreams. It is about making sure you are not operating under assumptions but that you take steps to validate whether your assumptions are valid and your audience has the problem you want to build a business around.

How to increase your knowledge of your customer

1.- Create a buyer persona profile (or avatar)
You can use any of the gazillion templates out there, make sure that in addition to demographic & psychographic data you also list:

  • pains & fears
  • goals & dreams
  • possible objections to buying your product
  • what this person is looking for in the solution
  • sensibilities (such as price, time to see results, the involvement of other stakeholders, etc.).
2.- Categorise the needs.
Once you have created your buyer persona profile (ideal customer, ideal client, avatar) organise the needs from most important to less important for your customer. Do the same with the goals/solutions.
3.- Compare needs/goals with your solution.
Which of these needs/goals does your solution help with? And if your answer is not addressing the most pressing needs/goals (any of the first three in your list), how can you tweak your solution, so it is geared to help those needs?
4.- Make your value measurable
Now proceed to categorise the benefits your product or service offers. Some will involve an increase (more free time, more muscle mass, more clients), while others a decrease (20 pounds less, less confusion, eliminate cash flow struggles). Next, give each item a metric and a timeline: 20 kilos less in 90 days, 3 qualified leads in 20 days,  more focus-see results in 15 days, self-confidence: priceless, 100% clarity, etc. Check which is the one your customer wants to solve and solve it!

Fine tune your message

Your core marketing message  (a.k.a the answer to the question of what do you do?) is how you attract your ideal clients. It is explaining what you do, for whom, with which results in such a manner that the right people for your business say:  Give me your card!

I could elaborate hours on this, but allow me to illustrate it with this example.

Imagine a networking situation:

[Me] -What do you do?
[Person 2] -I am an accountant

The conversation enters in a coma state and, in my head, I am figuring out ways to keep it alive.

Now consider this:

[Me]-What do you do?
[Person 2]-I help entrepreneurs [who] to save money on their taxes and other company expenses[what] so that they have more resources to invest in their growth [results].
[Me]-Wow, tell me more – How do you do that?

The difference is, in the first case, Person 2 is focusing on the process. In the second, Person 2 focuses on the benefits for his client. And that is where most of us go wrong: we tend to bring the process forward because that’s what we do for a living. That’s what makes us who we are. But clients do not care about secret sauce. They care about the outcomes.

Your message, or your client attraction message, trickles down to the rest of your business communications. If this is out of tune, your ideal clients will miss you. And if this is out of tune, it will reflect on the other areas of your small business marketing.

Provide a graphic representation of your solution

Your solution takes your clients from A to B. As mentioned above clients are seeking a solution or a transformation, not a process. When basing your communications too much on the how -like the modules of a course, the bonuses, etc.- instead of on the path to transformation, you are missing a great chance to stand out.

Creating a graphic of the logic pathway including the transformations along the road shows your clients that you understand their needs and that your solution is the right one for them. Showing them how to get from A to B, provides a significant competitive advantage and market distinction, which will make you stand out.

Know your competition

All businesses have competitors. Competition is not just another business that might take money away from you. It can be another product or service that’s being developed and which you ought to be selling or looking to license before somebody else takes it up.

Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, can help you to make your products, services and marketing stand out. It will enable you to set your prices competitively and help you to respond to rival marketing campaigns with your initiatives.

And don’t just limit yourself to what’s already out there today. Be always on the lookout for possible new competition.

Standing out in a crowd of competitors, and attracting the attention of an audience that is constantly bombarded with messages is no easy task, and it’s getting more difficult all the time. Making sure the difference starts from the very core of your business marketing will help you in the long run.

How do you want to stand out?

Create a visual representation of your signature solution?
Develop guiding lines to make decisions about your products, services, messages?
Develop the base of your brand visual representation?
Create a solid foundation for your business?
Know what to write in your copy that attracts the right clients for your business?

Ask me how. I can help you.

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