How do I stand out from the crowd?

We all want our business to stand out from the crowd.

stand out from the crowdActually we need it to stand out in order to really succeed.

You’ve created a business, you’ve taken that step many dream of. And then you start questioning yourself.

What makes my business special?

When, in fact you should be asking “what makes ME special?”

Since there is no such thing as an original idea, the chances are that you aren’t the first person doing what you are doing.

Your biggest advantage point is YOU.

Yes, YOU! (and unless you are clone, they broke the mould when you were born)

Here are some simple tips on how to get your business to stand out from the crowd:

1. Tell your story!

Why did you start your business?
Chances are it’s because you identified a skill you had and a place in the market for it.

The why is a really important

It’s the story that surrounds your why is what’s going to help people connect with you and make you stand out.

2. Be absolutely clear on who you are helping

  • Who is your target market? Get super detailed – what do they eat? What clothes do they like.
  • How does your business help those people? Be specific

Remember, you cannot be something to everyone.

In order to make a difference and stand out you need to create polarising emotions – the stronger, the better.

2. Embrace who YOU are

Get over the whole idea that you aren’t enough! We are all experts of our OWN experience! Believe it, know your worth and, tell that inner voice to shut it!

3.  Find your voice (and your secret somethin’)

Give yourself permission to be YOU completely. All too often we try to dilute who we really are in order to appeal to more people which usually leaves you selling yourself short on so many levels.

Now, you might not be ready to race out into the world with total reckless abandon (and I don’t really recommend that approach) but you can start off by doing one of the following:

  • Record a call with your best friend describing your industry. What do you love? What do you hate? And WHY?
  • Write an article or newsletter with ONE person in mind – the idea that only one person will ever see it will help you unlock your real voice!
  • Note down some of your own funny vocabulary you use with clients or friends. Some of the phrases are fantastic nuggets you can use to make your communication super fresh, fun and totally you.
  • Keep repeating the steps above, often.

4. Ignore your competition

Yes, ignore your competition.

You can’t lead if you are following your competition << {click to tweet}

5. Be prepared to stand out

It might sound silly, but many fear that if they stand out people will laugh at them.

And, maybe they will.

In order to stand out you have to be ok with the occasional feeling of running down a street naked screaming “look at me”.

It’s embarrassing, it’s uncomfortable, and well, it’s a feeling you are going to know all too well when you first take the plunge.

Now it’s your turn!

I want to know:

  • What makes you stand out from the crowd? 
  • Which of the steps above are you going to start working on today? 

16 Responses to How do I stand out from the crowd?

  1. And Ameena you’re a good person to encourage us, since you do this so wonderfully. I was pretty inspired by #1 tell your story – you know I haven’t really written that yet on my site! New homework, fun homework!

    Seriously, you’re the one who helped me get clear and confident, these points are quite powerful. I’m surprised more of us don’t do it (but like you said, it IS scary!)

    xox

  2. Terrific post and points Ameena. It has taken me a long time to be comfortable with sharing my story and finding my voice – I still work on this daily. I’ve finally decided that it’s ok to be me! I know what my skill sets are, I know who I can help and I’m simply putting myself out there. Thanks for your inspiration! Shelia

  3. Something I noticed about myself while reading this is how much more comfortable I am with my craft business than my fitness business-thing. This past week I’ve been reflecting and I realized that I need to pick ONE focus and really give it my all to see where it goes! And I’ve decided to go with my craft business! Not only was I already telling my story on my etsy site, I was adding personal touches to it everywhere. I feel so much more comfortable with this business, and I love every aspect of it! I was trying to get into the fitness world to help people physically, but it was way too far out of my comfort zone and was beginning to be a major stress. Now that I have a clear focus, I can go on to provide quality services to people interested in cute things for themselves or their friends!
    Now that I have this confidence, I’m ready to stand out and see how far I can take this business. Everything is connected, and once you can piece the picture together, clarity and direction step right in! Thanks so much for writing this post! It really helped me make a final decision. 🙂

  4. I really needed that, Ameena! Thank you! I’ve been struggling with putting my “story” together – there are just so many parts to it! And I think part of that is just not believing in “my” story and looking around at my competition a little too much. I’m just starting out, I should really give myself a break – and some trust! Thanks for the reminder! LOVE your work!

    • Thanks Laura! I hear you on the complicated story! I remember saying “well, how long have we got?” whenever anyone asked me where I was from or what I did – I eventually, after repeating it so many times managed to get it down to a shorter, more concise answer – the other option is just to say it really fast! 🙂
      Keep ignoring the competition!!!

  5. I love the ignore the competition bit, Ameena. We’re in business to make a difference in our customers’ lives, not win some childish, corporate game.

    I’m actually moving my “magazine” (blog) TO print this year. It gets better and more exciting each month. I’ve got 88 subscribers right now and they’re more important to me than the thousands of consumers who just visit the site and leave reach month. The last three months have been more meaningful than the three years preceding them (though you can’t have one without the other).

    Never give up. First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.

    • How exciting Brian! Thanks for coming by to share your exciting news!

      And I LOVE this “Never give up. First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.”

      Here’s to winning “)

  6. This article is right on time for me. The last few weeks I have been struggling to convince myself that there’s “room” for me in the online space I’m trying to play in and the truth of the matter is that it’s MY space, as long as I’ve done what you mentioned above. Too much following the other guys makes me think I am the other guys and that’s just not the case. Great read.

    • Thanks Sean, it’s normal to go through that and I am sure you’ll go through it again. Of course there is room for you – when ever you feel a bit cramped you might want to consider upping your game, trying a new crowd or having a blackout to really regenerate and come back with a clear vision and action plan?!

  7. Hi Ameena, just read your article on not focusing on competition, I’m sorry I have been extremely busy!! I loved this article, wow, you are so right!!! I have been taking interior decorating classes for a year and a half!!! (three more months and finished whohoo!!!) and everytime it’s presentation time I feel that I want to quit when I see other people’s designs!!! I start to think maybe I’m not that good, and it always has surprised me the marks and comments that I get from my profs. This second last course winds down in a couple of days and I’m proud to say Ameena that every assignment has bee 100%! also I just did my first real interior decorating job!!! It was really scary!! but in the end, my client can you believe this!! called me an angel, she was so pleased!! Sorry this is such a long email Ameena, but i just wanted you to know that some of the techniques you said to try have definately worked. Now I’m calling you and angel!!!! thanks so much Pat

  8. Thank you so much for this great article! It’s so true and we have to get out of the comfort zone, stop being who we think people want us to be and just be ourselves!! Living in a country where people are expected to not stand out (Switzerland likes people nice and neat who blend in) it’s not easy, but I’m trying! Be disruptive! 🙂

    • Hi Christine! Standing out doesn’t always mean you have to be disruptive but if that’s your style go for it! It’s funny how some cultures are more understated than others! At the end of the day, being true to yourself and communicating all that you do in your own way is usually enough to help you stand out from those who are trying to fit in!

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