While all of those blogs and blog posts may not be used as marketing for small businesses, that’s still a lot of people attempting to get their ideas out into the world and be heard.
No matter what industry you’re in, you know that it only takes a quick Google search to see that you’re not the only one teaching what you teach.
However, you also know that you don’t run your business to serve every single person, and that in this new online era personality is just as important as the solutions you provide.
So what can you do to be a “purple cow” in your industry, as Seth Godin recommends?
Here are ten areas that you can emphasize to show your potential clients and readers how you’re different while still staying authentic to who you are.
10 Elements That Make Your Business Unique
1. Your Journey and Your Story
Depending on the space that you’re in, you may hear similar origin stories for business coaches or freelancers, so you may be wondering how the story of being unhappy at a job and then starting a business is unique.
The truth is that your journey is so much more than a simple origin story. Your culture, your family, your beliefs and even your accent inform how you deliver information and helps your ideal client connect with you.
When you intentionally weave your story into your marketing and your services, you create a distinct flavor that represents you in a way that only YOU can.
2. Your Strengths
Your strengths, when you’re aware of them and use them to your advantage, have the potential to set you apart from the crowd.
Marie Poulin, digital strategist, writes about her strengths on her About page, and it helps the reader instantly know why working with her will be a unique experience.
My superpower is illuminating possibilities, and activating the potential in others. I help people think bigger, ask better questions, and focus on what really matters. I will challenge, encourage and inspire anyone I collaborate with. I’m ferociously curious and empathetic, and can’t help but see what’s happening between the lines.
If you’re someone who is looking for clarity and attempting to level up in your business, it’s likely that you’re going to want to know more about Marie after reading that.
Showcasing your strengths helps potential clients quickly understand how you can serve them in an unparalleled way.
3. Your Weaknesses
While the word “weakness” is seen as negative, you can reframe it by knowing your weaknesses inside and out in the same way that you know your strengths.
Tara Gentile, business strategist and author of Quiet Power Strategy, says it best when she talks about how she’s used her weaknesses to build her business.
My brand leverages my habit of intellectualizing and rationalizing. It sets my brand apart from brands that leverage fun & glamor or spirituality & poeticism. But it’s these unique strengths that allow each of these brands to deliver more value than they would if they were traveling down the middle of the road. And they are each things that could be perceived as weaknesses if not blatantly built into the very core of each business.
When you reframe your weaknesses and make a conscious decision to spotlight them, they can make the difference between being perceived as another health coach for female entrepreneurs or being THE health coach for the entrepreneur who wants straight advice & a no-frills mentality.
4. Which Words You Use to Describe Your Business
The words you use to describe your business speak volumes about your experience and your personality.
This doesn’t mean that you need to force yourself to use the most colorful language or tell the most personal stories, but it does mean that if those things fit with who you are, then you should emphasize them.
When you’re clear about what you do, why you do it, and who you are, it’s so much easier for people to see that you’re distinct.
The words I often use for my business break the mold of what creative entrepreneurs think is relevant for their businesses.
Here’s an example of what I say on my About page:
SystemsRock breaks the stereotype that systems are just for big enterprises and put damaging constraints on creative spirits. My unique approach nourishes the creativity of entrepreneurs while helping them establish the essential foundational systems that will enable their businesses to truly flourish.
When you read Ashley Ambirge description of The Middle Finger Project, you know that you’re signing up for something that is going to be profit-focused and conversational.
The Middle Finger Project is a website, a community, and an educational platform for you to learn how to take your dreams seriously and turn them into a business that makes awesome money that feels great to make.
How you describe your business lets people see a glimpse of your particular style and gives them an idea of what they can expect if they decide to spend more time with you.
5. Words Others Choose to Describe Your Business
While finding the words that you can say to make your business unique is wonderful, hearing how others describe your business is even more valuable.
In the case of many solopreneurs, the people who give you feedback usually aren’t just describing your business, but are also describing you as an individual.
When you read praise about Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, it’s clear that her audience knows exactly what sets her apart from the crowd: generosity, inspiration, and support.
“Female Entrepreneurs Association – what a way to celebrate the amazing and very often hidden talents of us ladies! Carrie’s amazing ability to connect with people and her generosity of spirit, have ensured this is something very special – truly inspirational. As I continue to grow my very exciting business, I will look for guidance from those in the know at FEA. In turn, I hope my experiences and knowledge, will help budding entrepreneurs of the future.”
— Michelle Potts
By paying attention to how others choose to describe your business, you can gain clarity about what other people think makes you special and use that knowledge to your advantage in your marketing and your services.
The Remaining Five
These are five of the ten ways you can make your business to stand out. The entire list can be found in the free mini-guide 10 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd:
It’s critical to know what makes your business unique and what comes naturally to you, because then you can develop your own natural systems out of that.
You’ll notice that systems created that way don’t restrict your freedom or creativity. They nurture them.