Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Creating a Niche in Your Marketplace

Differentiation ... it's an interesting word and an even more interesting concept. It's difficult to define. If I were to ask you what differentiates you from every other person, how would you answer that?

Would you say, "I'm very intelligent"? Well, so are a lot of other people.


Would you say, "I hold the world's record for the 100 meters, running backwards"? I dare to say that would differentiate you.

So in business, when we are all promoting who we are, what are we saying about ourselves? I've been listening to some great minds, reading as many articles as I can by some great thinkers, and a few things pop out that I'd like to share. Because with all the world being able to look at us so closely (ah yes, social media, blessing and curse), we have to understand what defines us.

Let me give you an example:

A client says, "Tell me about your company." And you respond:

  • We are available 24/7.
  • We have dedicated account teams.
  • We offer exceptional service.
  • We are creative.

Guess what? That's exactly what your competitors are saying, too. Here's a suggestion: Go to your competitors' websites (take the top 3) and line them up. Get a marking pen and mark the words that they use that you use, too, then find a way to eliminate them from your website. Instead, come up with those words and phrases that will set you apart. In other words, find your "differentiator."

If you do live pitches, think carefully about the words you will choose. You need to find a way to set yourself apart, and it's not by saying "blah, blah, blah" ... It's about saying specific things that show you understand your clients and their brands. In the words of Norman Drummond, "Be at the point of need, NOT at the point of repair."

Think about that one. And then define yourself.

Good luck!

Andrea Michaels is the president and founder of multiple award-winning Extraordinary Events, an international meeting and event planning and production firm based in Los Angeles. She is the published author of Reflections of a Successful Wallflower: Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life and a noted pioneer and speaker in the special events industry. To learn more about her and her company, click here.

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