5 Ways to Authentically Stand Out from the Crowd
Do you ever struggle with marketing your business or even yourself? Marketing is one more struggle of being your own boss to add to the list.
If you’ve hit a plateau, exhausted your current network or just want to expand your reach, this blog post is for you.
Whether you want to gain more followers on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, or attract people through live networking or speaking engagements, there are many things you can do.
Of those many things, I’ve narrowed the list down to the items that will have the biggest impact on your business. These are things that don’t necessarily take a lot of time, but will yield big results. And no, it’s not a list of apps, services or ways to cheat the algorithms. This list is focused on things that you can do to shine brighter, be authentic, and will positively impact everything in your business. Because I believe, when we keep our focus on a more strategic level and don’t get sucked into the “marketing games”, we will be exponentially more successful.
5 Ways to Authentically Stand Out and Gain More Followers that Convert
1. Be a Leader
This one should be intuitive, but common sense isn’t always that common, right? If you want people to follow you, you’ve got to lead. This means that you aren’t imitating the majority. You’re being your authentic self, taking your unique passions, strengths and experiences and spinning that ‘ish’ into gold. You should have a clear vision that guides everything you do. I don’t necessarily mean everything you share with your audience needs to be original content, but anything that isn’t coming from you should be aligned to your core values and goals. Invest time and effort in developing a brand strategy. You will see a big return on your investment further down the road when everything in your business becomes easier.
2. Know & Engage Your Audience
This is an important one. You should have a clear picture of who your ideal target client is. I know in the beginning it can be hard to narrow your niche. But as the old marketing saying goes, “if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re actually marketing to no one.” This is especially true in today’s global, social media-driven culture. Even if you know many kinds of people could benefit from your product or service, start with one identifiable group. Who benefits the most? Once you gain those followers, you can expand using the momentum and insight gained from that audience. Also, it’s a lot easier when you narrow your focus to start an authentic dialogue and really engage them. Not simply engaging them for likes and shares, but in a way where you are learning how to effectively convert those people into customers or clients.
3. Don’t Apologize or Minimize
Own your power. In a recent post, I spoke about gender differences and highlighted the work of Dr. Pat Heim. As women, we tend to apologize and minimize our value. This might seem small, but when we start a presentation or video with “don’t mind my appearance today...” or, “I can offer you a discount”, before you’ve even told them what you’re selling… we undermine our value. Be confident in yourself and own your value. Leverage your strengths instead of duplicating what others have done in the past. This will help you be a leader, and avoid the traps of underselling yourself. It also helps you to be authentic, which helps you build the necessary trust to convert followers to sales.
4. Be Consistent
This means sometimes showing up even when you don’t feel like it. Consistency can be challenging when you’re trying to find the balance between working on vs. in your business. And if you have another job, or family on top of it all, it can be especially hard. But, it shows people you are real and committed to running a legitimate business. Consistency also ensures that you don’t lose momentum with ideas, projects, or campaigns. It also leave little space for the negative self-talk that steers us off track. It gives people a sense for how reliable you are. Before becoming a follower, they need to get a quick glimpse of who you are, which is more clear when you are consistent in your messaging and branding. And when they’ve become a follower, seeing how reliable you are will build the necessary trust, which again will convert them into customers.
5. Be Open
As you’re showing up consistently as a leader in your niche, also share who you are. Or if it’s a larger team, who are the team members, what are the shared values, and what are you doing behind the scenes? People love to understand not just what you are offering but why. The more you can share this passion, the more you will attract the people you are looking for. This doesn’t mean you have to share every single detail, but be intentional about sharing things outside of the product, service, or cause that will help people get to know you. A lot of this is about being authentic. You can read more about how you measure up in the authenticity department in this blog post.
Now that you know what it takes to stand out and be the influencer that people want to follow and engage with, pick one area that you believe will have the biggest impact on your business. Focus on it for one week and let me know how it goes! Be patient, as sometimes when you make a change, especially one worth making, it takes some time before you see results.
Comment below and let me know what you thought of this article. Did more questions come up, what have you found challenging, what has worked well? I look forward to continuing a dialogue and offering more solutions for you to authentically grow your business.
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