No matter what you want to achieve in life, the reality is that you will need to stand out. Whether you’re working in a corporate environment, selling courses online, or own a brick and mortar business, you need to prove that you have value of some sort. With so many others looking to stand out, how do you differentiate yourself? How do you make people see your value and stand out in front of the crowd? How can you be seen as an equal to the people sitting at top making the big decisions?
As for standing out on first impressions, dare to be different. If you think you know how you are perceived, act opposite to that. With unexpected actions, you may challenge how people see you. This makes a far larger impression and can be a good competitive advantage.
Do the Work to be Different
For any of these directions to be relevant, you will first have to do the work to be different from your competition. What is going to separate you from others in your industry? Have you taken the proper courses to gain leverage? You will need to stay ahead of your competition to prove that you are the best candidate. This will be a work in progress throughout your whole life of course, but we all want to be unique in our own way anyway. How will you spin your differences against a world of heavy competition?
Show Your Competitive Advantage
When it comes to competition in business, you will want to show them that you’re the right bet. To leverage your advantage, you want to make yourself equal to competitors. By proving that you have similar attributes to your competition, you give the message that you are just as deserving of whatever you’re being considered for. Saying you’re different doesn’t hold a lot of weight and doesn’t measure your value. Prove to them that you have the same skills, knowledge, and passion for the work. Once you’ve done this, the next step is showing them how you are different than the competition.
Prove Your Uniqueness
We have to be the same quality as our competition, but we also have to separate ourselves from them. This is where proving your uniqueness comes in. Regardless of what kind of competition you’re experiencing, whether it’s competing for a job or a contract, you want to make yourself equal at first. The people that are making the decisions will want to see that you possess the necessary skills.
Then you can up the ante and make yourself different from your competition. You have a special gift, and it might be your character or special skills. This is what you want to show them past the normal skills they are looking for. That’s the extra value that will make you more memorable and more likely to succeed.
When You Differentiate Yourself, You’re More Likely to Succeed
When you can prove that you’re different, you’re more likely to experience success in the long haul. Business strategist Michael E. Porter has this to say about it,
“The fundamental basis of above-average performance in the long run is sustainable competitive advantage. Though a [person] can have a myriad of strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis [her] competitors, there are two types of competitive advantage that a [person] can possess: low cost or differentiation.”
You can be known for being a reasonable option or for being different. Which one do you think is going to be more ultimately successful? Probably being unique and proving your value instead of undercutting competition. You’ll make more money with less effort just for the ability to show your uniqueness.
Figure Out What Others Expect and Exceed Past That
I used to work for a luxury resort chain. Part of the moral code and core of the business was to exceed guest expectations. Why? It makes people loyal; it makes them feel special without you saying so. It impresses people, and they won’t soon forget. Deliver the unexpected.
So first you want to be the same as everyone else, and then you want to prove your unique qualities. It’s important to walk into the experience being humble. This is where you let them know how you are similar in skills and knowledge with the competition. Nobody is going to be impressed if you walk through the door and boast about how much better you are than others.
So walk in that room with confidence and give them all the reasons they need to feel comfortable with your fundamental abilities. It’s pretty easy to know what they need to hear from you if you’re familiar with your industry. From there, as they become more receptive to you and gain more interest, you can start showing them the added value you offer.
The unique part of you that they may not have seen with the other candidates or competition. This is where you differentiate yourself. If successful, they will most certainly choose you over others, even if they are undercutting you. It may take some thought on your part, but it’s well worth any effort you put in. Making yourself and then making yourself unique is an effortless way to stand out in a crazy competitive world.