A star does not compete with other stars around it; it just shines.”
- Matshona Dhliwayo
So I was going through a few websites recently on business coaches because I’m interested in the subject but after opening a few, I realised that they all looked the same! Same fonts, same colours, the way their photography was taken down to what they said! It was like a trip to the chocolate factory and not in a good way.
So, being the cool, calm, collected and helpful person that I am, I decided to help you get your business to stand out and not in the Oompa Loompa kinda way.
Tell your story
One place to get loyal followers is through your story. Not the image you try to portray but the deep, ready to bare your soul type of story. This helps your audience relate back to you and not see you as someone whose unapproachable. It changes your output from giving out content or information to having legit conversations. And it's those conversations that lead to sales.
Take Jenna Kutcher for example. I love her! She’s a woman who has been vulnerable, happy, sad and everything in between right in front of me (at least the virtual me) but the point here is I relate to her. What started with following her Instagram page, led me to read her blog posts and even binging on her podcast!
See what telling your story can do? It builds relationships and minor stalkerish behaviours.
Next on the agenda is to be cohesive. For those of you who don't know or are too lazy to want to know, here's a definition for you taken from the trusted and ever loving Collins dictionary: Cohesive - ‘Something that is cohesive consists of parts that fit together well and form a united whole.’
This my dear friend means that you can't have an image of your pet rabbit as your Instagram profile picture, no matter how cute he is! Keep those images for your personal profile. The moral of this story is that if you’ve done your homework and checked out your competition (which is a must in my book), you’ll most probably notice that they have the same or very similar images on all their platforms (Pinterest, Facebook and the likes) and they even go a step further to have the same bio or about me section throughout. Whatever they post or talk about is also cohesive. A food blogger can't wake up out of the blue and start talking about muscle cars. This will leave their followers so confused and double checking if they followed the wrong account. Others go so far as to unsubscribe because heck, this ain't what I followed you for!
Stick to a topic or two. This makes you look like an expert in your field, gets you loyal followers and it's much easier to create content when you know what you should be talking about.
Just in case you missed it, it happens to the best of us, I have a workbook that helps you to easily create content and not be struggling with finding a topic to talk about next.
This part makes me feel so guilty! I’m the first to admit that at times even I’m not consistent and I'll be honest with you, it's just because I'm lazy. No other reason. I will find even excuse known to man not to post on Instagram or write a new blog post even though everything has practically been outlined.
So, I've seen podcasts that would post 3 podcasts today and none for the next 3 months! That is being very unproductive and quite frankly, if you can't keep me hooked on a regular routine then down the trash bin you go. Being consistent means knowing how to create content and automating it so that every week or month, your audience expects to receive something and you don't disappoint.
My secret to staying consistent is by batching all my content creation in one week and then automating it on apps like Planoly for Instagram, HootSuite for my facebook and twitter and lastly tailwind for Pinterest. This lets me relax and do other more adult things (like binging on Netflix) without the worry that my reach is decreasing.
Another important thing I've noticed is that you don’t have to stress yourself over having the perfect content or image. Most of the times, people just want to hear from you. Not everything needs to be aimed at selling or list building or marketing. Go on facebook and ask your followers how they are, what they're doing to better themselves etc. This type of consistency is great because now you get ideas for future blog posts and podcasts and videos. Think of it like your very own treasure chest!
Now don’t get it twisted. This doesn't mean that you have to jump through hoops and walk on water. And it also doesn't mean that you under promise! Never do that. The concept of over delivering means that you give away such valuable information that your audience just have to come back for more. And when they see actual results coming from what you told them to do then you have got yourself what I call ‘the golden egg’. This person will be your loyal follower for life.
Here’s an example just so we are clear. Anne of Green Gables (if you haven't watched this then you are missing out!) would like to know how to lose weight without the crazy no sleep and only gym type of plan. So she's researching on the perfect recipes to change her diet. She stumbles across Alice in Wonderland whose website focus on how to lose weight the natural way through clean eating (Alice has niched down on her service offering). Anne falls in love with the site and all Alice has to say so she decides to opt-in for a short recipe ebook.
Now comes the magical part. Alice knows who her ideal client is, what her pain points are and how she can position herself to be the go-to girl. What happens now is beside sending the ebook, Alice also emails her a checklist for resources that Anne might find useful. Then she sends a weekly meal planner so that Anne can plan her weekly meals with ease. This action turned the perception from ‘this is a cool website with information on what I need’ to ‘this woman is my best friend’. She knows what I need and sends it to me no strings attached.
That ladies and gentlemen is over delivering! You have positioned yourself in her inbox with ease and class like the Jane Austen that you are.
DO IT DIFFERENTLY
Remember my friends the Oompa Loompas? You don't want to be that person. What I see are people who see someone doing something and be successful at it so they copy everything. There's no problem finding content inspiration from your competition but do it differently. The main problem when you copy someone else's work is that it’ll drain you. You won't fall in love with what you do because it's not you after all. And a few months later, you’ve closed down that blog or service and venture on to the next.
Take me as an example, there are thousands of people offering exactly what I offer and if I were to fall into the trap of star gazing then I'd never have such a loyal following. If you haven't noticed already then I’m a studio ghibli and Disney fan! Take me to Disney world and my kids will become the adults on that day. No one gets to ride on those teacups before me! (i still love my kids no matter what!). And I try to incorporate this into my blog posts. I love gifs and I think they are the coolest invention so I use them a lot. That's just how I roll!
And who doesn't just love Totoro?! He's so cuddly and cute.
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Now, I've given you five things that will make your brand stand out from the competition. What you do now is on you. If you’d like to stand out in your field then please do these things. But if you're like me on those lazy days where I just want my blog posts to appear on my screen well, see you in the afterlife!
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