Business: Would you like to stand out from the crowd with your company? Everyone has probably seen one of these posters, on which a red blossom stands out from a sea of flowers that look the same. They usually have motivating messages like “Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd” or “Be yourself.”
While they often inspire personal life, businesses should not overlook them either because they can be related to their business practises.
As much as most would like to believe that their business idea is unique, chances are many others are offering the same service – if not in the local market, then certainly online. Fortunately, however, every freelancer can do things to stand out. No matter how crowded its niche is.
Business: Communicate Things You Dislike
To differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out from the crowd, stop talking about what you stand for. Instead, ask yourself what you dislike. Look for things in your industry that you don’t like. Things that upset you. Things that make others bad and you do better. Or something that others ignore.
If you take this perspective, you will see what makes you different from others much better. This will help you present your product or service as unique and resonate with your customers. For example, a speech coach can use her dislike of boring speeches to market herself with the core idea of ridding the world of boredom.
Determining what you reject can be a lot more memorable than the generic “We stand for…” statement that so many companies have come to use.
Stand Out From The Crowd: Use Your Experience
Many freelancers and the self-employed start their business projects immediately after earning a relevant university degree. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it won’t automatically help you stand out either. However, if you have unique and relevant experiences for your startup, you can differentiate yourself and build a credible brand.
An excellent example of this is Nicholas P. Clark, the founder of ProBike FC: A large part of his business consists of coaching, bike assembly, and professional bike servicing. In this industry, the situation is very similar to many others. However, one thing that has given him an edge in business is that he was a professional cyclist for a decade. This now gives him a unique competence in front of the customers.
Like Clark, many self-employed people choose a business venture based on prior experience in the industry. So this is how you can use your background to build a niche competency that others can’t replicate and stand out from the crowd.
Offer Add-On Products And Services
Another way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to offer additional products or services that add value to your customers. Look for something your customers want, but your closest competitors aren’t currently showing.
- A little extra is often offered free of charge when customers use a service. However, this is only recommended if it does not take too much time.
- For example, you could give away a product you have already made.
- Otherwise, you should consider whether it is an additional service that you should charge for.
Look for ways to improve your service to customers or offer them help with the next steps.
Deliver Excellent Customer Service
Regardless of your niche or other differentiation efforts, customer service is one of the most accessible areas to differentiate yourself from the competition. Customers acknowledge outstanding and terrible experiences. This is a critical factor in word of mouth. For this reason, most online reviews are incredibly positive or highly negative because we don’t remember average experiences.
It is essential to create and meet expectations to provide good customer service. To do this, you have to identify your customers’ needs before they do it themselves. You know you’re doing well if you don’t hear from clients during a project unless, of course, you expect to hear from them. That means they don’t check progress or have questions. What initially sounds difficult will succeed if you pay attention to your customers, learn from experience, and fine-tune your processes to the customer.
Suppose you can stand out from the crowd. In that case, you’ll get repeat business and referrals, even if your core performance doesn’t differentiate that much.
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