make your business stand out from the crowd
It feels like an endless Niagara Falls of noise out here in the online business space, doesn’t it? Every time you hit publish it feels like yelling into the void. Every piece of content you painstakingly create seems to get drowned out by somebody else selling the same thing as you. So how do you get the attention of your ideal clients? How do you make your business stand out from the crowd?
Let’s begin this post in the same way all great posts begin: with me, sprawled out naked on a table.
I was at my monthly massage appointment, and as my massage therapist was working on my shoulders she tried to bring my left arm up above my head. It did not, in fact, go above my head.
What she said next made me want to cry.
Shoulder mobility has been a problem for a few years now (I’m sure my history of deckhanding, floral design, and 10+ hour days of photographing weddings with heavy equipment has nothing to do with it!), so when I try to lift my left arm up above my head it feels like it gets stuck. And despite my many creative expletives, I can’t physically push it any further.
And when my massage therapist noticed, she said, “hmm, it feels stuck.”
And like holy shit, YES! STUCK. That is EXACTLY the same word I use to describe what’s going on.
In that moment, the reason my eyeball squirted out one tiny, dramatic tear was because I felt so extremely validated. I didn’t need to prove to her that I was uncomfortable or in pain. I didn’t have to defend my lack of flexibility. I didn’t need to explain how it felt using anatomically-correct language.
I just felt utterly understood and relieved.
She could have easily used a bunch of industry jargon and scientific terms I wouldn’t have understood or connected with – but she decided to use MY casual language before explaining the muscle mechanics of what was going on and fixing the problem.
The way she communicates is the reason I trusted her enough to become a client, makes all the difference to my actual experience as her client, and it’s the reason I will forever be her loyal client. And it’s really that simple: that’s exactly how to make your business stand out from the crowd.
When you’re a professional and an expert at what you do, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of communicating like a professional and an expert. Instead of simply taking the time to understand our target audience and then talking to them in a straightforward way, we overcomplicate our language by using boring industry terms and obsessing over perfect Instagram captions and rewriting our blog posts so many times they sound like they came out of a crusty, dusty encyclopedia.
My massage therapist’s decision to use her clients’ language wasn’t an accident – it’s a direct result of her focusing on her brand strategy and realizing communication is one of her most important brand values.
That’s why I always say BRAND clarity is BUSINESS clarity – because your brand dictates the way you do business. It empowers you to make decisions based on your values. It allows you to operate under the authority of your big vision instead of your profit margin.
And since I know I’m going to get some fear-based pushback on the idea that your business has so much more depth than just trading products and services for money:
I promise you do have an important message worth sharing. You do have endless ways to share that message. You do have people dying to hear what you’ll say next. It’s your duty to show up for those people, boldly share your ideas, present solutions to their problems, and make them feel understood, validated, and important.
Are you overcomplicating that process? Because messaging, marketing, client relationships, offers, content creation, making your business stand out from the crowd – it can all be so butt-slappingly simple with brand clarity.
And humor me for just a second, but have you considered maybe the answers AREN’T hiding in a shiny new marketing tactic or your commitment to working harder or another $99 monthly membership?
Maybe instead, you already have the answers – you just need some help articulating them. Maybe it’s time for some brand strategy of your own.