You’ve invested hours into building your business; you’ve nailed down your USP, your visuals are on point and you have a truly fab website showcasing your services (or products) in all their splendour. The question is, how do you make your business stand out to secure those all-important sales?
There’s no getting around the fact that some industries are just saturated with businesses boasting similar offerings, and it can feel overwhelming watching others within your field (seemingly) successfully get their message out whilst you’re sat pondering how the hell they did it. But, the good news is that your business too can stand out – and here’s how to do it.
5 ways to make your business stand out
1. Be authentic – be human
Though it may sound ambiguous (after all, aren’t all businesses run by human’s?) it’s really quite straightforward. The crux of it is that humans connect with other humans. We relish in the relatable and build relationships through the sharing of emotion – the same rings true when it comes to business.
Consider, for a second, the brands that you know and love. The ones whose big launches you set reminders for because you can’t bear the thought of missing them, and the ones whose Instagram posts you continue to save because they somehow speak to you. It’s almost certain that there’s a human thread that ties you to these brands; a memory or a feeling, for instance. That’s what you’re looking to recreate (in your own, unique way), and you get there by showing up not as a stiff, faceless business, but as one full of humanity.
The best way to make your brand more human is to utilise your biggest asset: you! By sharing your story, your “why,” your qualities and flaws alike, you can begin to build connections with prospective customers that perhaps see something of themselves in your brand. The tale of how your product or skillset helped them solve a particular issue, for example, or even a mistake that they too made. Ultimately, the goal is to establish trust and build relationships.
A few easy ways to make your business feel more human:
– Share your story. On your about page, on social media, on podcasts. You get the idea.
– Show your face. Again, this could be on your website or social media, and so on.
– Create content that’s relatable (more on this later)
– Engage with your customers. Reply to their messages, share their success stories with your brand, support them back.
2. Have consistent, recognisable and memorable branding
Branding, as you may well know, is an umbrella term that essentially covers everything from your logo and colour palette to your tone of voice, values and messaging. For a business to stand out, it almost always needs to have strong branding. Yes, visuals that stop social-scrollers in their tracks, but also an ethos and communications that plant seeds in people’s minds too.
Successful branding is branding that speaks directly to the ideal customer. So, consider: do your visuals – your logo, colour palette, illustrations, and so on – grab the attention of your audience? Are they instantly recognisable as being associated with your brand? And, importantly, are they consistent across your platforms (website, social media, physical products, if applicable)? Also, think about how your visuals and communications convey your values and your message.
3. Create great content to make your business stand out
Great content is what helps you build brand awareness, connect with your audience and secure sales, so it’s worth its weight in gold.
The type of content you create will, surprise, surprise, depend on who your ideal customer is and the type of content they like to consume, but it could include blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, imagery, videos or various social media platforms. Mapping out a content strategy with your ideal customer in mind will help you to figure out the kind of content you should be creating and where’s best to share it (ask yourself: where does your IC spend the most time?). Top tip: consider heroing just 2-3 platforms so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Great content is consistent, high-quality and has a purpose. It’s relatable, inspirational, entertaining or educational, and you’ll likely want to schedule a healthy mix of each.
If content creation isn’t within your skill set, consider outsourcing if possible: do not underestimate the potential of a witty one-liner or beautiful image for progressing your brand.
4. Offer excellent customer service
Put simply: if someone has a stellar experience with your brand, not only are they more likely to return, but there’s the possibility of them recommending your business to others too – an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up (there’s nothing quite as valuable as word-of-mouth marketing).
So, go all-in on your customer service. Make it helpful, friendly and timely and, if you can, go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Of course, there’s the obvious; problem-solving, responding to queries and not to mention making 100% sure that your product is exactly as communicated. Then, there are the pleasant extras; hand-written notes of thanks, going out on a limb to order in something that’s out of stock or small tokens of thanks (discounts, competitions or freebies to accompany orders). Customers remember these gestures so, whatever you do, don’t let your service slip.
5. Get creative and take risks
Playing safe doesn’t secure success. Well, sometimes it might, but often it’s the (calculated) risks that see bigger rewards. So, think: trialling campaigns, experimenting with collaborations, releasing new products, services or freebies, or exploring different social platforms and marketing avenues.
You know what Thomas Jefferson said: ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ That to say, don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know where your creativity could take you and your biz.