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  • Cameron Finlay

Do You Stand Out?

Most people are good at what they do. The problem is, so is everyone you compete with, and this is just the start of who we need to worry about. Our marketing problem is that no clients or prospects have a good understanding of how technically skilled we may be.

Let’s look then at four things beyond expertise, all of which have a role in your getting noticed, shared, and hired.

If we ask a provider ‘What makes you better?’, the focus is on Expertise, more “blah blah …” about the customised solutions, high-quality service, understanding needs, and their name on a free pen. Everyone claims to have these, so they are not a Unique Selling Proposition (the one thing that makes you better than the competition).

So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

1. You need a Network

Most clients come from word of mouth, and referrals – people sending people they know to you for help. So, you need to know who’s in your network and find a way to stay in touch with them.

How should you do that? Spreadsheets, CRM, note cards, all of these work. However, you want to be systematic and consistent in keeping the relationship alive.

2. You should have a Speciality

There is a saying, ‘You need to be a leading expert in something’. If you claim you specialise in many skills, the less likely your name will be given when there is a request from someone in the network.

Find something you can be known for – a problem you fix, a customer group you serve, an unusual solution you can provide. Consider: “Pay less income tax by family businesses, all included in an affordable annual fee”.

3. You need a Point of View

I’m not sure that everything in business has to be ‘absolutely correct’. But as a service provider, whatever the field, you need to have an opinion – about what matters, what works, what’s irrelevant, what to watch out for, why attention has to be paid to …, etc. Think through what you believe in, explain how it is important for the client, and talk about it.

4. You need to Connect

There is no right personality or approach, the best clients are the ones who connect with us for whatever reason, whether we wear a tie and look serious, or jeans and so fit into every group.

Your job is to make sure your marketing – website, LinkedIn, newsletter, brochures, and all the other outwardly-facing aspects of your business – reflects that prospects and clients can see there is a good match for us.

Would people still know this material came from you, even if your name was removed?

The Bottom Line

When it comes to competency, you are way, way ahead of the average. That’s not what’s holding you back.

Spend your marketing energy doing things that will help you stand out and be remembered for who you are and what you believe.

Cam Finlay (Arnold & Finlay Accountants & Planners Pty Ltd)

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