How Being Different is Hurting Your Lifestyle Business

From the first day that you even thought about starting a business, you’ve heard that your business and your businesses marketing needs to be different to stand out from the competition. You’ve heard that when you’re different, you stand out and people will do business with you versus others who are the same.

While there is some truth to this, the desire to be different has caused a major lack of clarity in many businesses today. We live in a time with unparalleled access to tools, technology, and knowledge. We live in a time where personal development and Internet marketing have collided. While you need both to create a successful life and business, the combination could be hurting your marketing efforts and messaging.

It is not uncommon to see entrepreneurs brand themselves as the “transitional mindset consultant,” or the “social influence strategist,” or a business that helps you “connect your customers with their true purpose.” While these labels and descriptions sound interesting, they confuse the average person. When a customer can’t understand what you do, or more importantly, how what you do will lead to a practical benefit in their life, they won’t spend their hard earned dollars with your business. People spend money on things they understand.

Be Clear

Clarity is an amazing thing. When you are clear about your goals in life, you are able to create a plan to reach those goals and make them your reality. When you are clear in your core message and marketing efforts in your business, people buy from you and your business grows. Being clear is better than being different. Yes, you want to stand out, but not at the cost of confusing potential future customers.

The best brands are clear. Think about Apple. They are the software and hardware company focused on design and elegance. Think about Elon Musk and his companies. He wants to change what we believe is possible and everything he does works towards that clear goal. Now think about the brands that aren’t clear. You probably see infomercials coming to mind. It’s hard to sell those combination knife/vacuum cleaner, which is why the price is low and there’s a bunch of freebies. When there’s clarity in your branding, you can be in the higher tier of your industry.

The personal development catchphrases may sound cool and trendy, but they will hurt you in the long run if they aren’t clearly demonstrating what your business does. Examine the branding of your business. Is it clear who you help and what you help that group of people with? If not, getting clear could be what helps you reach the next goal levels in your business.

When you are clear, it also helps you figure out different ways to monetize. You are able to create more offerings because the clarity allows you to see your customer’s need.

Clear and Paid Consulting

When you start an online business, you’re taught about the need to niche. When you niche correctly, you find your right audience and know how to reach them.

In paid consulting, niching can help but it’s not as important. Being a little more general won’t work against you as long as you show expertise in that general message.

For example, if you teach general personal development, you want make sure your platform reflects your expertise in that topic. You want to produce content on your website, to your email list, on social media, and through large publications that gives people actionable/practical personal development tips and strategies they can use.

When an HR manager from a company comes to your platform, they’ll see the clarity in your branding even though it’s general. They’ll understand you are an expert.

The other side benefit is that if you’re a little more general, there are a ton of topics within that general message that you can offer a company in a multi-structured proposal.

So, if you are having a hard time nailing down your core message/niche, figure out what the umbrella is that covers what you want to talk about. It could be personal development, digital marketing, health & fitness, relationships, and many other larger messages that have a bunch of subtopics under them. Pick a main message and start building your platform and social proof around it.

Do you have a clear brand?

As a writer, you can get your articles featured on the largest websites in the world and some of them will even pay you good money for your words.

As an entrepreneur, you can contribute content to large publications that shows millions of readers you’re an expert and it gives your message and business great (and free) media exposure.

You can build a large email list, get new clients, sell books, and get the social proof you need to book paid speaking and consulting gigs.

In the past two weeks, I’ve helped seven clients get into 11 different publications. I’d love to help you get contributor accounts/published. I’m teaching a class in a few weeks that has produced crazy good results for the graduates. If this sounds like a strategy that could help your business, check out the details:

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Chrissy H

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