It’s increasingly difficult to stand apart from the crowd, so how do you do it?

Ideas are a dime a dozen. To hang your hat on something “unique” may not be the best approach. After all, how unique is an idea?

Concepts are not that special, by themselves. What gives them their mojo are the people who execute on them. I’m not the only web designer, marketing strategist or business coach out there.

So what makes what I do stand out? For me, I use my personality and I integrate it into everything I do.

  • I’m snarky.
  • I like to give people information.
  • I’m optimistic.
  • I love options.

So I take these aspects of who I am and I create a brand around these core values. I package it with the services I offer so that I attract clients who want to leverage their online brands in a fun and engaging way. My style is not for everyone and I’ve accepted that.

When redefining your market, these are the things to consider.

What distinguishes you apart from others?

Take inventory of your personality and style. What do your friends know you for? Are you organized? Are you outgoing? These personality traits are key selling points for when you’re positioning yourself among your competitors. Take a minute to look at your space.

Who’s doing what you’re doing?

If you’re a blogger, scoop out some other bloggers. There’s only so many times one can blog about fashion and relationships and most readers aren’t reading because your content is ground-breaking. They’re invested in you, the person, the voice behind the site.

Execution is key.

Take a minute to take stock of how you do what you do. Could you be doing it differently? If you are service provider, could you do something other than in-person sessions? Diversifying how you deliver the goods can help make you seem “different” in a game where everyone’s essentially the same.

With a out-of-the-box approach to executing your blog, services, products, etc – you could end up defining a brand new market. Some ideas include:

  • A life coach who offers daily affirmation delivered via email. That’s 365 positive quotes, pre-scheduled on an auto-responder.
  • A blogger who offers weekly advice (fashion, makeup, relationship, marketing tips) via a paid newsletter, priced at $5 a month.
  • A writer who  breaks up their book into a membership website, where readers login to a dedicated area, so they can get a full immersive experience.

Own it.

Part of defining your brand is owning the audience that you’re speaking to. This is the hard part because reality sinks in and you may find that your core audience is smaller than you anticipated. Gone are the days of appealing to everyone. It just doesn’t work anymore, not that it worked all too well back then.

Owning your market takes a commitment to respecting their needs and responding to them.

  • If you’re a blogger, who are you talking to?
  • If you provide services, do they want what you’re offering?
  • If you sell merchandise, why should they buy your products?

Step outside of your comfort zone and have a heart to heart with yourself. If you’re happy with the answers, then maybe you should revisit the drawing board and work backwards.

  • Instead of asking who you are talking to, ask who do you want to talk to.
  • Instead of asking if your clients want what you’re offering, ask what do they want.
  • Instead of asking why should someone buy from you, ask what do they want to buy.

Whichever questions you end up asking, make sure the answers are aligned with your own interest. There’s no point in building a brand based on something that is not your passion. For that, you might as well go back to a cubicle job!