Can you answer these two questions confidently?
- What do you offer that makes your business stand out from your competition?
- What makes you unique?
I was stumped the first time a marketing coach asked me. I knew that Lightbox SF wasn’t like every other creative business coach out there, but I couldn’t put into words why or how. After really mulling it over I finally came up with a few answers. The tag team of Shelly and I gives all our clients a power packed perspective and our philosophy of marketing a business that focuses on storytelling, embracing uniqueness, and community, as well as our focus on creating a sustainable life and business are what make us different. It took us almost a year of repeatedly asking the question to find the words to express it.
Today I’d like to pose the same question to you. Do you do anything that no one else can or does? Do you offer a product that can’t be found anywhere else? Is your design style so unique that no one comes close? There are a few of you that may answer yes to one of those questions, but many of you won’t. Don’t despair!
Your strengths, the things that set up apart, can be as simple as how quickly you complete custom orders or the personalized service you give. It doesn’t have to be amazing new technology or even a product no one has seen before, but it does need to be something that people want to come back for. It needs to be a distinction that makes it easy for customers to decide to pick you over your competitors.
Think of your product from the customer’s point of view. You’re looking for a new pair of shoes and you see two that look very similar and you like the style of both of them, but one is almost twice the price of the other. Seems an easy choice right? You choose the cheaper one. But what if you knew the expensive shoes would also be so comfortable you could wear them all day, running errands, to work, and even out for a night on the town and your feet wouldn’t hurt. The cheaper ones, you’re not sure, they might give you blisters by lunch. If the expensive shoes fit within your budget, wouldn’t you buy them?
The answer the question about what sets you apart often about perceived value, not straight up cost or detail. Customers like things to be easy, they like to have experiences that make them feel special, and we generally buy because we want something, not because we need it.
Coming up with answers to the tough questions like this can be hard if you’re trying to do it by yourself with no one to bounce ideas off. This was very much in our minds when we put together the structure of our latest e-course, Ink Yourself: Using Story to Make a Bold Impression. We wanted to give participants the ability to complete the lessons on their own schedules and also give them the support and feedback of an in-person session. So besides weekly emailed lessons, we’ve set up a forum for participants to get feedback, post successes, and share experiences. There will also be a group call mid-course to make sure everyone’s questions are getting answered and to give each of you a chance to share your voice.
Ink Yourself: Using Story to Make a Bold Impression focuses on crafting your brand story and defining your target market. We’ll guide you in discovering your strengths and the benefits only you can bring to the customer, get inside knowledge of your ideal customer’s interests, and bring it all together into a business identity that stands out in the marketplace.
Registration is currently open for this 20-spot e-course. We intentionally keep the number of participants low so that you receive all the support you need and can also get to know some of the other creative entrepreneurs taking the course with you. The course begins May 21st so sign up now to reserve one of the limited spots.
Genevieve Brazelton writes about creative marketing strategies over on the Lightbox SF blog. She also works with creative entrepreneurs to brand their businesses by telling their stories and embracing what makes them unique.