You must be the same as everyone else, but different.
Isn't that just the way it always is? And isn't that why the not so creative as well as the overly creative kids always ate their own lunch tables? The ends of the bell curve are recognized and sometimes even rewarded but let's face it, they're not embraced by the many.
Most people want difference... to a degree.
Being the same but different is the ultimate goal of all marketers. You have to push boundaries and yet still be recognizable. Not an easy thing to do.
Which is why so many fail at doing it.
Many people think that constantly living on the edge is what will get them recognized, they want to be the Lady Ga Gas of marketing. They want to be the superstar making headlines for another crazy move on their part.
It's a technique that works, and in some cases works well – until people get tired of it. Then what?
Promoting yourself in any manner or by following a trendisn’ta disciplined approach to getting noticed. No one who has gotten far in the name recognition business has ever succeeded like that. Oh sure, a flash in the pan is exciting, you get immediate attention but before you know it, the only recognition you're getting is in one of those retrospective “Where are they now” pieces.
How do you ensure lasting recognition?
Shout out your niche
You just can't be all to all but you can be all to some. If you're area is too broad, you lose respect in the areas of your true expertise. Concentrate in what you are good at and of which you possess extraordinary knowledge.
Why on earth would I want to be represented by a jack of all trades when I can get the services of someone who knows exactly who my competitors are, their strengths, and weaknesses? If I'm getting a divorce, then I want the best divorce lawyer around, not someone who can has handled a few divorces cases over the years. If you're consistently good, people will find you, stick with you, and most important, recommend you to others.
Let people know what it is that you do and then do it well.
Constantly stress why people need you and not why you need those people
Too often are the promotions that scream something along the lines “Choose me because I am … (qualified, credentialed, educated) and too little are the promotions that focus on the audience first. When I was selling my first condo, the young realtor I had contacted first led me through a PowerPoint presentation of his company (did I really care? I had already done my research) and then presented his pitch which was basically, you need to sell the house and I need to make money. We both benefit.
Forgive me for being a little selfish but I didn't necessarily want to hear how he would make money off of my investment, I wanted to hear how he was going to go about getting the best price for my property. I showed him the door and contacted the next person on my list.
Remember, it's not about you, it's about them. You might be surprised at how much marketing is done to stroke the client's ego. While you might end up with a pleased client, you're going to also end up with a lot of customers who are going to be thinking “yeah, well what about me?”
Instead of telling people how you would benefit if they chose you, tell them how they would so greatly benefit from your services it would be ridiculous to even consider anyone else.
Have an ongoing vision
Create a future for your audience, don't let them stagnant. To use a current writing example, design your story with sequels in mind. One of the first questions a publisher will ask of a story is “how can we turn this into a series?” J.K. Rowling was one of the first to do this with her Harry Potter stories and as a result, rare are the Young Adults books now, that aren't part of a series.
If something is good, people inherently want more.
There should never be an end point for your services. As a marketer you always need to hint at the next step., the next product, the bigger, better, and stronger. At the very least you can update previous information or products to reflect current changes. Let your customer know that you've got their back and are willing to do the legwork in order to make them look good.
Wendy E.N. Thomas is a freelance writer and Instructional Design Consultant for High-Tech Businesses. She is located in New Hampshire, U.S and has over 25 years experience in the High-tech field as a Technical Writer/Instructional Designer.
A features writer, interviewer, and columnist, Wendy has been published in national magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs.
Her current project is to blog about life lessons learned while living with 6 kids and a flock of chickens.