How do you get your company to stand out in a sea full of brands and waves of content? We have three suggestions for you as you think about what makes your brand a step above the rest.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Tell Your Story
We did not get here alone, we came on the shoulders of those who came before us. We came because others paved the way. There’s a great graphic that shows the anticipated path to success, which is often this nice straight line on a comfortable incline up. But then it also shows the actual path to success, which is messy and knotted and essentially a line that looks like pasta. We are living at time where people want to know what you’re made of and what you stand for (as an individual, as a company). I do think we have to be mindful of what we share, so this isn’t an open invitation to let it all out. But instead, it’s an opportunity to set some intention and purpose around the story you tell. To do the work (we offer that storytelling journey by the way, as the first part of our brand experience, so feel free to reach out if you need this). There’s an art to telling the world about who you are, and making sure you do it right.
Once you know the right words for your story, carry that authenticity into your company. Let that be the fabric your company is made of. If your company believes in community, or casual Fridays, or in silly tshirts, then that’s what you let show too. There are tons of social media accounts out there, and maybe we don’t look at them as always been some vessel that we must maximize all the time to bring in customers or make us money. Maybe we see them as outlets for telling our story, for letting people in.
2. Embrace Who You Are
Confession: I don’t like to wear dresses or super formal attire. I know! It’s hard and why can’t we just wear jeans and a comfy tee and call it a day? Well, the truth is, the world does not always bend to our wishes and it’s up to us how creative we get to be with that reality. So, if I’m working with my team and there are no formal meetings of the day, I’m definitely rocking a pair of jeans with a nice top and fully engaged in my projects and my computer. When I need to be more public facing (team meeting, client meeting, etc), you’ll find me dressed appropriately for those things (which means a blazer, and sometimes ///insert long sigh here/// a dress). But if you look closely you’ll see little items that are a nod to my personality, like a fashionable scarf, a pin, or funky purse. Don’t lose yourself in who the world tells you you’re supposed to be. Yes, we have to play by those rules sometimes, but you can find yourself in them, and let them be a catapult into showing who you are.
I can tell you that I’ve rarely felt like I’ve fit in anywhere, and it’s only through experience and years that I’ve learned to embrace everything that makes me unique. You have to be authentic, you have to be who you are. Doing so can make you more comfortable and keep your mind at ease so you can focus on representing your brand and company with confidence.
In the movie X-Men First Class, Erik Lehnsherr tells Mystique (a mutant who must shift her physical appearance to fit in with the world) “If you’re using half your concentration to look normal, then you’re only half paying attention to whatever else you’re doing.” He goes on to say “I’m just pointing out something that could save your life….” and this is true.
3. Ask For Exactly What You Want
We are nice people, but we are not in the business of being nice where it hurts us (hint: our bottom line). If we could we would work like the wind and help everyone who asked. But again, the world doesn’t work this way. And there’s this funny thing called bills we keep hearing about and it turns out, you can’t pay them with promises or tales of how you discounted your services because it was thought to be too much for someone. We want clients who can afford our services and see the value that they are getting by working with us. We want clients who are serious about wanting to see a change in their business. We want clients who are willing to put in the work and go the distance with us, because in the end, we are in a committed relationship when we sign a contract together. Yes, we do impact projects sometimes, but that is not the norm. At the end of the day, you can’t slight your business, or your livelihood, or your ability to pay the rent, because you want to help at less than what you’re worth.
You’re not for everybody, and that’s okay. The sooner you learn that, the better you’ll be at making decisions around what projects and clients to take on. We believe in perfect timing. We believe in being the right fit. We believe in giving good advice no matter what. The way you present yourself on your website should let a potential client/customer know right away if you’re the one or not. They should be like “Yes! Tell me more!” or “You know what, this is great but it’s not for me.” And both of these outcomes are okay because you want to attract the right people to you and nothing less. Take the time to figure out who your ideal target is (it’s not everybody, so don’t say that) and then put in the work to make sure your messaging is spot on to attract those folks. Those are your people. Using your messaging, imaging and brand to clearly define who you are for is a sign of integrity, of knowing yourself, and you will definitely stand out from the crowd.