To succeed in business you have to stand out from the crowd. Being memorable is probably the best marketing tip you’ll ever get for your small business; and you don’t have to pay an agency’s expensive retainer fees to learn it either brcause I’ve just given it you for free. Here’s another: one of the best ways to stand out is by allowing your business to have an attitude.
Angle of Approach
Attitude can mean different things to different people. To a Life Coach it can mean your approach to what you do or how you live and this is usually expressed in either positive or negative terms. To an airline pilot though attitude (as opposed to altitude) means a different thing altogether; it refers to a plane’s orientation in relation the horizon and can mean the difference between soaring in the stratosphere or slamming into the ground. Which makes it a pretty important thing. That’s why pilots keep a careful eye on their attitude and apply many thousands of tiny course corrections during their flight. It’s my opinion that our attitude to our business is just as critical. There’s a wonderful formula that pilots use which goes
Attitude + power = performance
Seems like a good way to look at business performance, don’t you agree? Think I’ll examine that in more depth in a separate blog post.
You’ve Got to Sass It
How does your business stand out? I always ask new clients what their USP is but very few can answer me. Typically I get a wishy-washy answer listing some minor differences between what they offer and what their competitors do. Rarely do I see a fresh new approach that makes them stand out as radically different. Without clear and valid differentiation, based on what your clients want, you can’t hope to stand out. Shout it out, wear it on a t-shirt or hold a placard. It doesn’t matter how you do it, so long as you do it. If you don’t stand out, how do you expect a potential client to care about your success?
Attitude gives your business personality. It gives you a story. It makes clients sit up and listen to you. Take a Time Out now and ask yourself a few radical questions. What’s your story? What do you fight for? Where do you draw the lines? Unless you let others know what you’re passionate about, how can you expect them to be passionate about your brand?
Get an Independent View
Take a look at you website, your leaflets. your flyers, your adverts and your social media activity. Are you displaying any kind of attitude? What would a stranger think you believed in if all they saw was those? This is the time to talk to your web designers, copywriter and your social media advisers. Do you need their help? Ask them for an independent opinion. Don’t ask your friends or family, they’ll only tell you what they think you want to hear. If you want a straight answer, ask me to take a look. I’ll be happy to give you my assessment, but be warned: I’ll be honest about what I see.
The Next Step
Showing your attitude comes at a price though. Are you prepared to pay it? For every person that understands and empathises with you, everyone who gets what you’re about, expect to receive some flak from those who don’t appreciate or agree with you. That’s okay, though because it’s a sign that you’re standing out. Expect also to face opposition from people who will dislike you just because you aren’t afraid to take a stance. Ultimately though, they’ll be overshadowed by those who love you for your attitude. Take a stand, draw a line in the sand, then let rip with what you believe in.