Ditch Your Feeble Business Persona
5 Simple Ways to Stand Head & Shoulders Above the Competition.
Whatever business you’re in today, the competition is almost certainly fierce, so there’s a huge need for differentiation.
To succeed, you must outshine your competition by demonstrating expertise, commitment, and value in a crowded supply market.
There are a number of things you can do to position your business ahead of the competition, and it’s important to recognise the reverse situation is also true. By not taking these simple steps, you’re essentially gifting the initiative to the competition, who could easily ‘out-market’ and ‘out-sell’ you.
So, let’s take a look at five relatively easy ways to stay ahead of the competition:
Is your Digital Presence letting you down?
Your digital presence is principally your website and your social media profile. Does your website demonstrate credibility and thought leadership, or does it do the very opposite? Do you talk about the customer issues and challenges you solve, or do you simply describe the services you offer, making your site all about me, me, me? Can people really understand what you do, or is it full cliched corporate gobbledegook? How well written is it, and how well structured is the site navigation? People’s time is precious and they’ll give up on you if your site lacks empathy, is badly written, and hard to follow.
Your LinkedIn profile ‘About’ section will reveal much about your attention to detail. In the main, most profiles tend to read more like CVs than helpful description of the services and value you offer. And there’s already an Experience section lower down, so best practice is to make your's read more like a (good) website than a CV.
People trust and buy from Thought Leaders - so are you trying to be one?
The use of Blog tabs, news, and insight sections demonstrates that you are prepared to talk about current market issues, challenges, and solutions. Blog and insight content can be posted and shared on social media platforms, and hyperlinked to take interested readers to your site to view the full article.
Developing a number of thought-provoking opinion pieces and articles shows that you are in touch with your market, and its dynamics. Don’t be afraid to be controversial, and try to deal with thorny, difficult areas that others may avoid. You should also ensure blog content is up to date.
A snappy title is important, because people are more interested in bad news and difficult subjects, than hearing you just won an award or big contract. Blogs like that are about as dull as it gets!
Time and budget may have to be invested, but do you think that by doing this, it might put you ahead of your competition who haven’t bothered? And do you think it might help people remember you in the future when they need your services? .......You bet it will ....... because demonstrating thought leadership builds credibility, and people buy from people they trust.
Do you have evidence of your capability - Case Studies and Testimonials?
You may have a great website, but do you have recent and credible evidence of delivery and capability? Case studies and testimonials show clients that you do more than talk a good game. Unfortunately, most case studies are either non-existent or out of date.
Salespeople are always asking for new case studies to help them win business, but they’re slow at helping marketing create them in the first place. Testimonials and customer quotes are helpful, but they lack the credibility and detail of a case study, and their authenticity is often questioned. Take time to ask satisfied customers if they’ll help you with a case study, and if possible, build customer commitment to a case study into commercial arrangements, especially if you are being pushed for a hefty discount!
Are you building a network of business social media connections?
LinkedIn has become the ‘de facto’ business social media platform, with over 610 million members and 90 million influencers and decision-makers worldwide. Search features within the platform enable you to identify specific people and job functions in your particular industry sector and location.
The platform’s premium options enable you to do much more, but even the basic searches will identify business contacts to connect with. Take time to reach out to decision-makers, and use the platform to communicate the value you offer.
Are you ensuring a wider group of decision-makers know you exist?
Now that you’ve built and extended your contact base across business social media, and you’re armed with some new case studies and thought leadership content, you’re ready to raise your business profile.
Share your website hyperlinked content and opinions on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to create the awareness that will build your brand.
It’s a cyclical and iterative process … build your contact base, create some compelling content, share it with your network, all the while continuing to build contacts, creating additional compelling content, and sharing it with …… yep, you get the picture.
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