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Stand Out to Excel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Colleen Walsh Fong

 

Are you professional camouflage or do you stand out from the crowd? Your answer describes how others will respond to your content for branding.

 

I definitely advise differentiating yourself and your content from your competitors. But the way you choose to do it will determine the type of customer who responds. So it’s important to identify your ideal client before you embark upon a marketing strategy. And your content for branding should be developed to appeal to that ideal.

 

Every day I receive several cries for attention in my email inbox. They all contain calls to action (CTAs) that are smart and useful things to insert into your marketing content. Some are laid back and others are aggressive. But most are middle-of-the-road pleas for me to read, click, call, or do some other thing. CTAs are good tools to help you get potential clients to places where they can see how you’re different from the crowd. And there are different styles of calls to action that should correspond to your ideal client and your differentiator.

 

Those styles remind me of my three dogs at morning coffee time. Lola moves toward me with a smile on her face, tail wagging, and hopping back and forth on her feet as if she’s dancing a jig. Lexi zooms in just as my hand is descending to stroke Lola’s head and steals the pat. Licorice stands behind the two, content to have her name spoken while waiting for her due. As the pack leader she’s confident it will come. And most days it does, unless I get distracted during my dog greeting duties.

 

The marketing communications I receive take the same approaches: Lola’s friendly “pick me,” Lexi’s aggressive “steal-everything,” and Licorice’s “don’t-forget-about-me-old-friend.” Their sheer volume causes me to delete most after scanning just the first few words to get a sniff of which dog each one represents.

 

I gravitate toward Lola’s “pick me” and Licorice’s “don’t forget about me” since attention hogs have always turned me off. Lexi may get the first pat, but she won’t get many more from me and they won’t be filled with affection. And even though I’m most attached to my mellow, sweet-tempered Licorice, I have to admit that Lola probably gets the best return for her effort, because she consistently makes one.

 

It’s the same in business. We promotional pooches need to decide what kind of return we want from our attention-grabbing efforts before rushing in for the close.

 

Those selling commodities to one-time customers can jump in, as Lexi does, to steal the competition’s thunder.

 

Many consultants and service providers find that client development and relationship building is crucial to their success. Lola’s friendly-yet-not-too-pushy approach tends to work best for that type of client. Once a solid relationship is built you can blend in the Licorice approach with less frequent Lola-type communications.

 

After you’ve determined your style turn your creativity loose. Find something to tell the world that people won’t hear anywhere else. Use your differentiator, the thing that makes you truly unique. And make sure it is phrased to resonate with the crowd you seek to please.

 

Every dog may have its day, but he will only capitalize on it by distinguishing himself from the pack.

 

If you’re the kind of business owner who wants to stand out from the crowd, contact me to help you determine your ideal client and your differentiator.

 

 

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