Stand Out.001

It’s a really tough question.

“How can I succeed in such a crowded market? There are so many other {insert “life”, “career”, “health”, “business”… in here} coaches out there. Will I be able to stand out?”

I’m not gonna lie.

It ain’t easy. But you can. It’s totally doable.

The secret is knowing how.

(Pretty obvious, right? Isn’t that always the secret?!)

And the good news is I have a super simple formula that I’m gonna share with you today that’ll help you figure it out.

Bye, bye comparing yourself to your competition and never measuring up, hello glorious success!

The key is that it’s all about a word that’s thrown around a lot in this online kingdom.

Positioning.

Now stick with me. I can feel you wanting to say “Ugh! I can never figure that out! I have no idea how to position myself. It seems so hard.”

But it doesn’t have to feel so difficult (like getting your fave skinny jeans to fit after all-you-can-eat pasta night).

I’m gonna give you 3 questions that’ll make the whole process a heck of a lot simpler (like sliding into your comfy sweats instead).

But first, we need to get clear on what we’re talking about (and what we’re not talking about) because there’s a lot of confusion out there on the definition of positioning.

What Exactly is Positioning?

Your positioning is how you want your potential clients to see you.

The adjectives they’d use when they talk about you.

They words they’d use to describe how you make them feel.

The images that your name conjures up in their minds.

How they’d compare you to other coaches like you.

And your positioning is what’ll help you stand out from the boatload of other coaches who – to anyone on the outside – look just like you.

As Al Ries and Jack Trout said in their classic book Positioning “Positioning is the first body of thought that comes to grips with the difficult problem of getting heard in our overcommunicated society.”

Translation?

Positioning can help you stand out from all the other coaches screaming “Me! Pay attention to me! Me! Me! Me!” (I always picture the seagulls from Finding Nemo when I talk about this kinda stuff…).

And the best part is that you can (and should) have total control over this.

You can decide how you want your potential clients and customers to think about you.

As Ries and Trout proclaim “…since so little of your message is going to get through anyway, you ignore the sending side and concentrate on the receiving end. You concentrate on the perceptions of the prospect. Not the reality of the product.”

So instead of trying to have totally unique features and benefits and colors and strategies compared to your competition, you simply focus on how your potential clients view you.

And make sure that how they view you is how you want to be viewed.

It’s kinda like how millions of life coaches talk about how perception is reality.

What you think you see, you see.

Who you think you are, you are.

This is true in business.

It doesn’t matter what you think is true about you, your brand, your business.

It’s all about how your readers and potential clients see you.

But Pay Attention. Cuz Here’s What Positioning is Not

So here’s where things can get a little confusing.

(Stick with me. I gotcha!)

Your positioning isn’t your branding.

Your target market.

Your logo.

Your tagline.

Your website design and colors.

Your “unique selling proposition” – or USP as the cool kids call it.

Your writing voice and tone.

Your packaging for your products and services.

Your positioning should be the foundation that influences the decisions you make about those things (and lots of other things).

But it isn’t those things.

Remember, it’s a perception you create in people’s minds.

And that doesn’t come from the size and shape of your logo.

It’s much deeper than that.

Let’s Talk Examples, Shall We?

I was always the person in class who raised her hand and said, “Can you give us an example?” because examples always seem to make things click for me.

So let’s look at some examples of positioning for some famous brands – so you can see how it really works.

When I say the name Taylor Swift, what comes to mind?

How about generous?

She makes a point to make her fans feel like she actually cares about them.

And while I’m sure she truly is a great person with a good heart, this is very smart positioning.

She’s positioned herself in a way that makes her stand out in the music industry because there’s no one that goes to the length she goes to make it feel like she’s a down-to-earth bestie of every super-fan.

She’s positioned herself as the generous artist who doesn’t hesitate to give back.

That’s how people describe her.

That’s what drives how she acts.

That’s her positioning.

Or what about CrossFit?

How about community?

It’s a fitness program that encourages a strong sense of “we’re in this together”.

Everyone does the same workout. Everyone cheers everyone else on. Everyone hangs out together at events outside the gym that the owners organize.

CrossFit is positioned in a way that encourages people to not be the loner at the gym in the corner doing bicep curls by themselves.

It’s all about knowing the people you workout with by their first name and making friends instead of seeing everyone else as your competition.

CrossFit is a community-building franchise.

That’s how their clients would describe it.

That’s the feeling you’d get when you walk into a CrossFit gym.

That’s their positioning.

What springs to the forefront of your brain when I say Nasty Gal clothing company?

How about unapologetic freedom to be yourself?

Nasty Gal, founded by former rebellious thief turned multi-millionaire CEO Sophia Amoruso, is a clothing company for “fashion-forward, free-thinking girls.”

In other words, they ain’t no Old Navy.

When women buy from their store and wear their clothes they’re telling themselves – and the world – a story of who they are (or who they want to be seen as).

It’s all about rockin’ out as your bad self.

Nasty Gal is the brand for girls and women who take charge, take names, and don’t take sh*t from anybody.

That’s why women buy from them.

That’s how women feel when they wear their clothes.

That’s their positioning.

Let’s Be Clear – These Aren’t Accidents.

While some brands may naturally fall into a certain kind of positioning, in most cases it’s carefully created over time.

(Emphasis on over time. This isn’t something that’ll magically happen overnight).

Successful business leaders recognize that if you want a brand that people will talk about, you need to stand for something.

Your positioning needs to speak for you so that it’s easy for someone to know why they’d wanna follow you, buy your stuff, and tell everyone they know about how awesome you are.

And that’s why you need to answer 3 very important questions to give your positioning a boost.

3 Questions That’ll Help You Nail Your Positioning

I’ve been working a lot lately on my own positioning. I’m doing some research. I’m diving in to explore and refine my copy. And I’m going to shift and refine until I’m happy.

(And then a few months or a year from now I’ll probably refine it again. That’s the thing about positioning – you’ll probably always be tinkering with it. It’s never done. Always evolving).

So naturally I turned to other experts to help me with this process so that I have the best chance possible of nailing it.

And that’s how I came across these 3 questions.

They’re inspired by questions that Ramit Sethi over at IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com came up with.

(And they make it seem super simple to at least get a start on your positioning).

Let’s dive into ’em…

1. When someone buys your product or service they’ll say:

“This is exactly what I need because {why they need it}.”

2. When a client is talking to someone else about you or your product they’ll say:

“It’s about {something that everyone seems to be offering} but it’s different because {reason why it’s different}.”

3. When you ask someone why they bought from you they’ll say:

“I would absolutely recommend it. It was totally worth it because {reason why it’s so ridiculously good}.”

By answering these questions – based on real conversations you’ve had with potential clients and customers so you know what they want and need, and you’re not just guessing – you’ll get a much clearer sense of what makes you different.

How you can stand out.

And what that something-something is that you’re bringing to the table to delight your buyers (and get more of ’em).

Let’s Try These On For Size

So, for example, say I created a weight loss program called “Fit Mama: Lose The Baby Weight For Good, Get Lean and Toned, and Feel Super Sexy”, here’s how I’d answer those 3 questions…

Fit Mama

Or, say I’m a relationship coach and I created a service called “Dream Man: Find Him, Attract Him, Keep Him” here’s how I’d answer the Qs…

Dream Man

Your Turn. Give it a Go.

Now keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong way to position yourself.

It’s not about getting it “right” or “perfect”.

It’s about creating a certain feeling in your potential clients’ minds about who you want to be for them.

And remember, it’s fluid.

It can change over time.

The key is to figure it out, then use it.

Once you answer those 3 questions and get a better idea of the angle you’re trying to go for, infuse that into your business.

Write blog posts that capture that essence.

Work on attracting clients that are searching for that something.

Create programs that make your buyers say “I love her because she makes me feel {insert super awesome adjective here}!”

Sprinkle your positioning everywhere and watch your anxiety over being able to succeed in a crowded market start to disappear because people are suddenly talking about this gift you have for helping them {insert fabulous result here} like no one else can.

You probably won’t knock it outta the park right from the get-go, and it might feel frustrating and frumpy for a while, but stick with me.

Powerful positioning isn’t something that simply happens.

It’s like finding the best chocolate cake recipe. It takes research, testing and feedback to find it.

But once you find it, you know you’ll never use another chocolate cake recipe again.

So go find your recipe.

I bet it’ll be deliciously delightfully when you nail it.

 

Big hugs,

My Blog Signature

 

 

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