Brand positioning and messaging coach, ferocious ice cream eater and leopard print lover.
I'm here to help talented women with personal brands to rise up and make fierce waves in the minds of their ideal clients by helping them to carve out their powerful position and clarify the big message they want to become known for.
So they can become:
- The ONLY choice for their idea clients.
There are 3 common myths that are thrown around when it comes to differentiating your brand and in today’s episode of the Fierce Impact podcast I’m setting them straight. Because if you believe any of these common myths, you could be holding your business back.
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PEOPLE & RESOURCES MENTIONED
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
Well hello my friend and welcome to episode 18 of the Fierce Impact podcast.
How the devil are ya? I hope all is well in your world. Mine’s pretty good to be honest. The sun is shining and that is alway a good day right?
So today I want to talk about 3 common myths that are thrown around when it comes to differentiating your brand.
And differentiation is really the process, the means, by which you set yourself apart from the competition.
Over the years when talking to clients, when having conversations with other business owners, there are three myths that repeatedly come up. So I want to share these with you today because it is so important for us to consider how we are going to stand out and how we can become more memorable.
So let’s not waste any time. Lets crack into it!
YOU NEED TO HAVE A COMPLETELY UNIQUE OR INNOVATIVE SERVICE OR OFFER.
Ok, so let’s tackle this one, because it’s completely false.
The reality is, for the majority of us who are solo service providers and personal brands – coaches, consultants, subject matter experts – there’s little in the way of service innovation.
What I mean by that is we all typically offer similar services to our competitors. The deliverables being offered up are typically very similar.
So, website copywriters all offer website copy.
Sales coaches help you to improve your sales skills, sales mindset, and increase sales.
Virtual assistants support you to take care of administrative and business tasks.
So even though, within an industry, we might offer very similar services. That’s ok. Sure, if you are delivering a unique service, then great!
But the service doesn’t need to be completely unique or innovative.
Instead, as a personal brand or solo service provider – your point of difference lies in your positioning, your qualities, talents, and expertise. Your message. Your processes and the experience you offer.
The combination of these elements is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. How you stand out among the clutter to capture the attention and interest of your ideal client. Not any client – but your ideal client.
So it’s less to do with having an innovative service and more to do with how you carve out a unique place in your ideal client’s minds so you get remembered and picked.
YOU NEED TO BE AN EXTROVERT
As a solo service provider or personal brand, differentiating yourself so you stand out from the crowd isn’t anything to do with being extroverted or introverted. And it’s not about being louder or brighter than anyone else. Unless your extroverted personality and bright colours is part of your differentiation strategy.
It’s about being true to who you are. It’s about leaning unapologetically into your personality, your values, your purpose, skills, and experience. It’s about understanding and drawing upon your strengths and being able to align them with the goals, desires, and transformation your ideal client has.
It’s about communicating your unique blend of qualities clearly based on what your ideal clients’ need, so they can understand why YOU are the right choice for them and imagine themselves working with you.
When they start to imagine themselves working with you, that’s when you start to move into the “ONLY” territory. That is, the ONLY real choice, the only person they want to work with, when it comes to your particular area of expertise.
And they can only do this by getting to know YOU and your unique qualities – so they can decide whether YOU are the kind of person they’re looking for.
So lean into what makes you, you.
NARROWING YOUR AUDIENCE OR NICHE MEANS YOU’LL GET LESS BUSINESS
This is probably one of the most common myths I hear. It’s one of the most often raised concerns that clients or people I’m talking to worry about.
They worry that if their focus is too narrow, they are essentially cutting off a whole pool of paying clients.
But here’s the thing. The opposite is actually true.
Because when you still down and logically (not emotionally) think about the number of clients you NEED, to generate the profit that you want within your service business, it will be a relatively small number of clients.
So the first thing is, when you narrow your focus, it’s incredibly likely that there are more than enough potential clients within that niche or target audience. So there are plenty of fish for you even if you narrow down.
The second thing is, the reason why narrowing your audience, narrowing your niche and your area of expertise helps not hinders you is you are able to highly target your messaging to those specific people.
The message you share becomes highly relevant, highly meaningful. It becomes potent. You end up with a more potent message which will capture attention, spark interest and make you more memorable.
The wider your niche, the more disparate services you offer, the wider the target audience – the more diluted your message becomes. The more generic it becomes.
A further reason, and I’ll demonstrate this with an example, is that the wider you go, the harder it is to carve out a memorable space in your ideal client’s mind.
The harder it will be to become known for anything specific, or to get known as an expert at what you do.
Making it infinitely harder to get picked.
So if you were a virtual assistant, and you wanted help to grow your business would you be more likely to choose a business coach for service providers or a business coach who specializes in helping virtual assistants to grow their business?
Obviously this is a very broad strokes example, because there are other factors like personality etc that come into it, but specialisation and narrowing our focus can play a huge role in helping us to differentiate ourselves. Helping us to stand out from the crowd. Helping us to get chosen – which is why narrowing your focus, simplifying, doubling down on one core area of expertise, putting all your energy into that, doing a really good job, and getting known for it before expanding (if in fact you do want to expand) is one of the most powerful ways you can stand out.
And the confidence that comes with having a narrow target audience and being obsessed about understanding them, and having a single specific niche or specialism means you get to know it inside out. And this gives you a competitive advantage because you are able to start talking about your topic with authority. You are able to start developing your own thought leadership on your topic.
And so all of that helps to position you in an expert light and will help you to grow your business in a far easier and more profitable way.
And I want to talk quickly about Marty Neumeier who is the author of the books Brand Gap and Zag and others, and in Zag he talks about Clutter being your biggest competition.
Because there is so much clutter in the marketplace it makes it incredibly hard to capture attention, and for our clients to remember anything. Now this book was written in 2007. And what do you think has happened since then?
The clutter, your real competition, has only got worse.
As Marty Neuimier says, we live in a world of more. He talks about more messages, more features, more services, more competing channels, more elements per message.
And what happens when we are being bombarded with the huge number of messages that our brain receives everyday, is that we don’t take those message in. We actually start blocking messages out.
So the more we can simplify. The deeper we can go, instead of wider – with our niche, with our audience, the more likely it is that we will be able to break through the clutter, because our messages, our services, are wildy relevant.
So that helps us to differentiate ourselves so we can more effectively cut through the noise.
So that’s it for today’s episode, I’d love to know your thoughts on these myths. Are there others that you would add to this basket? Come on over to Instagram and let me know what you thought @hayleymaxwellwrites.
And as always, if you’ve enjoyed this episode and want easy access to my episodes when they drop, follow or subscribe to this podcast in your favourite podcast player.
Until next time, go forth and be fierce.