It’s hard to be different these days. Everyone has a website and can boast anything they want on the home page. Business cards look the same and many entrepreneurs state they are the ones to work with. So how do you tell who you should work with, it’s almost the same as throwing darts at the phone book ( If you remember phone books?) So if you are the client how do you choose the business you want to work with? If you are the business owner how do you stand out from the crowded competitor pack clipping at your heels?
As mentioned it can be hard to stand out and business cards alone won’t do it. The only way to be truly different is to use what is unique about you. I’m not talking about how you will give your customer better customer service than the next person. You have to look deeper than that when marketing these days. One trick is to look into your background. What did you do in your past that can be applied to your present? Here is what I mean.
I’m a cartoonist and there are many cartoonists in the world. In a space where the talent is amazing it can be very hard to stand out from some of the best artists in the world. Where many artists stand out and that includes myself is using our backgrounds and personal stories in our art to make it different than the artist next to you. Look at the syndicated cartoonists in the newspapers and you will see the stories are often developed from their personal lives. Even if the art is the same the personal story is what makes the artist unique.
When I look at my own career it is very prominent. With my background in the trucking industry much of my artwork is about that industry. I have a friend who is also a cartoonist in the area and involved in the trucking industry. So how are we different? I used to drive trucks for twenty five years and much of my work is about the driver. My friend is a pin striper for trucks. He has never driven, but has been working around trucks for years. He has beautiful work and I absolutely love his cartoons. Our backgrounds allow us to have booths side by side at shows and still not be in competition with each other. I am often hired by clients in the transportation industry because of my background when designing illustrations or creating advertising material for clients.
I have another friend who is really into airplanes. He volunteers at an airplane museum, he used to work on airplanes in the past, and goes to watch them whenever he can. He absolutely loves airplanes. His business is social media for clients. Now if I was a client, especially one that deals with airplanes or any products in that market my friend would be the first choice for that service. He has an in depth knowledge of the product focus and a passion for the product. He would be able to give you the best service in that sector.
If you are trying to standout from your competition dig into your background and work with your unique advantage. Not only will it allow you to differ from your competitors, but will give you a focus for your marketing efforts. Your unique background can help you relate to your audience and make you the unique person to deal with in a crowded room. Don’t be afraid to use your unique advantage, it may be the secret to success.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, and professional speaker on business, creativity, and leadership. He works with entrepreneurs and small businesses on creating content for their marketing efforts and content creation projects. You can learn more about Bruce by visiting his website at www.bruceoutridge.com