You’ve been told you need to be different.

You’ve been told you need to be better.

You’ve been told that your business will be wadded into a clump of similar businesses and spit out in the form of Google search results. Whether you come up at the top of the first page or the bottom, the question becomes how do you stand out?

See, all the things you’ve been told are right. Average is the kiss of death. Average means people aren’t going to stick around before moving on to the next choice. That’s what happens when we’re inundated with option.

So how, in this environment do you get people to stick around?

It’s something that every business wrestles with. Some more than others. Here’s a few suggestions for you:

How To Stand Out In A Crowd:

I’m not talking about a tattoo or spiked hair, unless that screams you. I’m talking about a little originality between you and your competition.

  • You’re not just a cog. Figure out what it is that makes you different than your competition and run with it. Do you handle one aspect of your business especially well, or specialize in one aspect of things? Are you the guy who bakes with gluten free ingredients or runs a kettlebell gym? It’s your specialty. You specialize because you’re passionate. That oozing passion is what makes you stand out in a land of average. Capitalize on it and tell people why your way fixes their problems.
  • Pick up scissors. Cut off tie. That’s right. Your company doesn’t need to be so formal. It’s OK to make your website content, blog, emails and other marketing content a reflection of who you are. It makes you feel more genuine and likable. It gives people an insight into who you are as a person. So go ahead and inject a little personality into whatever marketing content that you’re working on. You’re still being professional. You just don’t need to wear a suit and tie at all times. Are you a big football fan? Do you like rock music? Are you on a healthy eating kick? It’s OK to give us a window in. Tell us how your passions relate to your business. We want to know.
  • Don’t talk shop with us. I’m going to go ahead and speak for your customer base on this one. We don’t want to hear you talk shop. We don’t want your undefined industry jargon. It doesn’t make you sound smart. It makes you sound like you don’t know who your audience is. Before you write, step into the shoes of your average customer. Now proceed.
  • Say something smart. Does that sound like an unfair amount of pressure? Good. Speaking from your customer base again, we’ve got a problem. You’ve got a solution. It’s up to you to convince us that your solution is the best way. So cut to the chase and give it to us. We’re not dumb, we’re distracted. There’s a lot of other options out there, so talk straight with us.
  • Of course spelling and grammar count. This goes back to say something smart. If you’ve laid out the best argument in the world but your work is littered with misspellings, you’ve created stopping points for your readers and you’re eroding their trust. So if you want your readers to stay with you as you “individualize” your site you better know how to use the English language to say what you mean.

There you have it. Your mother always told you that you were special. Now is your chance to prove her right. Go out there and show us why you’re doing things better than the guy above you and the guy below you in the results.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.


Be Sociable, Share!