What makes your business different from others? Can you articulate why your customers have chosen you over your competitors? These answers come easily when you know your customer and market the solution to their problem. 

Standing out in a sea of competition.

  • Define your unique selling proposition.
  • Identify your prospective client's pain point.
  • Create a solution to that pain point.

The marketing industry is highly competitive so when it comes to standing out as a business owner, defining your unique selling proposition is key. This involves establishing a value prop that speaks to the specific needs of your market and positions your brand as superior against your competitors. Be sure to keep the scope narrow; you can't be all things to all people. 

Market research allows you to understand your current market's potential and take stock of what your competitors are offering. Review your current clients and research your ideal future clients. What is the common struggle or pain point among all of them? By identifying their pain point, you can define the target of the product or service you want to market. 

Succinctly communicate the solution to your future client's problem. To improve your marketing efficacy, you need to identify that solution in their language. Inform them on how you are able to help them achieve their success.

Networking with the best of them.

  • Network with industry experts.
  • Always be prospecting.
  • Invest in thought leadership.

Whether it's Google search, social media, or paid advertising, marketing your business online is a hefty endeavor to achieve successful results. Only data-driven strategies will get you there, and even then, you can find your business knocked down a rung as your competitors aim to stay ahead of the curve.

With this in mind, networking should be part of your "covert ops" marketing strategy to get your business noticed locally and online. Connecting with industry experts, bumping virtual elbows with leading professionals, and attending local events works to build brand awareness on the ground.

Don't let your marketing strategy plateau by getting complacent with your prospecting. Business leaders should be on high alert when it comes to identifying new opportunities to connect, create awareness, sell, and cultivate customer relationships.

Thought leadership is a key part of marketing your company's brand. Guest contributions, speaking events, online conferences, and social media groups have allowed me to generate name recognition and generate consistent referral business. I've worked hard for the past 20 years learning how to reverse engineer the Google algorithm, and I want to give back by sharing that knowledge with others.

Forget the "other guys." 

  • Know your audience best.
  • Fine-tune your processes.
  • Find your "groove."

It's easy to get sucked into the comparison game, especially when you're in a foot race against local competitors. Rather than worrying about what "the other guy" is doing, focus on knowing your audience best and tailoring your offer to suit their needs, goals, interests, and struggles.

There's a common phrase in marketing: "The business that knows the customer best, wins." Audience research and creating detailed customer personas are essential when it comes to figuring out what makes your audience tick.

Fine-tuning your standard operating procedures will increase effectiveness and efficiency. Cue your team into how your marketing processes work -- from awareness to acquisition to sales to close. Analyze existing customer data and behavior to optimize your campaigns for maximum results.

Don't underestimate the power of momentum. Once you find your groove in your niche market, ride the wave. In offering SEO, I've been loyal to targeting the legal industry to determine what works specifically for lawyers and tailor our strategies to fit the demands of their local clients. 

Personal branding is everything. 

  • Identify your area of genius.
  • Be known for something.
  • Market your brand effectively.

Personal branding is what's allowed me to grow my small consultancy to a $10 million-plus business in six years. I've worked closely with my team to define our unique area of genius, define a compelling unique selling proposition, and generate name recognition that's put my agency on the map. 

Generalists will be the death of the business. Instead, share your story, not just your product or service. If you want to be known for something in your industry, you'll need to cultivate a strong brand identity. This is defined by your values, your offer, your brand's mission, and your understanding of your target customers.

The question to ask is: What do you want your brand to represent? Further, how will you relay this mission to your audience? These values should be woven into the framework of your entire business, including your content, marketing campaigns, and customer support philosophy.

Where you market your business will depend on where your customers are. Rather than throw spaghetti at the wall and hope that it will stick, dig into existing analytics to determine the key platforms that are generating the best results for your business. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be everywhere at once.

Personal branding, networking, and positioning have allowed me to scale my agency in one of the most competitive markets. Whether you're new to business or have been grinding for years, you too can market to your niche if you strive to understand your customer best and find an area of genius that stands out from the rest.

Written by: Jason Hennessey jason@hennessey.com

Questions: Contact Kathryn Lundberg, EA to Jason kathryn@hennessey.com