The term entrepreneur has become the popular title everyone wants to add to his or her Instagram and Facebook profile. Entrepreneurs are a dime a dozen these days, have you noticed?
The digital economy has made it possible for anyone to set up shop and call themselves an entrepreneur. With a low entry barrier, there has never been a better time in human history for you to build your empire from scratch. I see it as a good thing.
Unfortunately, the fact that we can all play in this digital economy means that those who don’t know how to differentiate themselves from the ocean of entrepreneurs will end up in the extra-large heap of “failed” businesses.
It’s one thing to get excited about hanging your entrepreneurship hat on the door for all to see and admire, but a completely different story when it comes to earning a good income and living the good life as a direct byproduct of your business activities. The key to accomplishing this desire that many of us share is simple, in my opinion. It comes down to brand building.
And how does one effectively build a brand?
By offering lots of value to your ideal audience, working consistently, and establishing yourself as the best viable solution to a specific problem that your ideal client would be willing to pay for. That’s where things get tricky.
Even those who are adding value in the online marketplace (though very few are) struggle to make themselves stand out as a solution to a pressing problem for their ideal audience.
If that’s something you have experienced, here’s a simple action step to help change the trajectory of your business so that clients can stop bypassing your content and offers
Step one: Identity what makes you unique.
The fact is there are others who are doing what you’re doing, perhaps longer than you, and they are crushing it!
If you want to enter the game and do something significant with your efforts, I encourage you to dig deeper. Invest less time talking about your product or service and more time articulating how your unique life story has enabled you to serve your clients and offer them this solution that is bound to improve their life in some way, shape, or form.
Allow me to share an example to elaborate.
Susan is a certified life coach looking to have a thriving digital business. Three years into it, and all she has to show for it are hefty credit card bills and a handful of free sessions that never panned out.
Unfortunately, this is an everyday reality for most coaches. There’s no shortage of life coaches on the web trying to make it big. Selling a $5,000 program will require more than formal certificates, a pretty website, and her desire to help transform lives.
Instead of wasting time trying to be the loudest on social media and Facebook groups to get attention, I encouraged her to dig deep into her life story, prior work experiences, and background. Then I realized that she had a degree in finance, worked as an intern in a well-established fortune 500 company, and built quite a successful career before she gave it all up to raise a family.
Coming back into the game now, what makes her unique isn’t her coaching certificate or desire to help women; it’s all the other stuff that she’s taking for granted. The experiences and skills that helped shaped her into the woman that she is today.
Time to reflect:
What stories, experiences, skills, and events can help bring an edge to the current product or services you’re selling?
Step Two: Learn to properly position yourself and your offer.
Most entrepreneurs are so in love with their offer (and themselves) that it becomes hard to implement this next step. If that’s you, get help!
You need to know that your client won’t buy from you if you play the hero in this story. Your client is the hero, plain and simple. It’s not you or your offer. That’s a hard shift to make, but I want you to reflect on how you’ve done things so far. Something tells me that you might be positioning yourself or your offer the wrong way in your marketing communications.
Step Three: Start demonstrating your unique value.
That includes clearly defining and communicating the value you deliver. It also means being generous and sharing that value with others as much as possible. I suggest that you execute on both points simultaneously.
Without a clear message that demonstrates value, you won’t earn or retain your ideal client’s attention.
Craft a clear, memorable message that helps your ideal client comprehend the value they will receive if you enter their world and journey with them.
Whether you are focused on brand building or increasing cash flow, you must prioritize getting your business narrative and marketing message right. That is one of the things most entrepreneurs like to skip over because it’s rather hard to nail down the communication. Yet it slows down their success and hurts their growth.
Almost every business I’ve come across that struggles to make more money has a messaging issue. They haven’t yet learned to effectively communicate their differentiator and therefore attempt to convince a cold audience to buy their product or service either by offering massive discounts or creating hype.
These tactics might work short term, but they won’t help you grow or scale your business. When your value is substantial, and you generously share it with the right audience, you will always win. A true giver will always gain business victory.
Trying to fit in and allowing your business to blend in will do you no good. Those ambitions you have of a good life and lifestyle of travel won’t come about because you have a fantastic product or one-of-a-kind service to offer. No one cares about your big idea. As harsh as that might seem, it’s the best advice I could ever give any entrepreneur. You have to figure out a way of expressing your uniqueness. If you’re showing up in the online space with the same messages as established competitors or peers, what reason does your ideal client have to choose you instead of a more mature brand?