Standing out in a crowded market isn’t easy. Try running a Google search for your firm’s field of expertise -- maybe it’s “carbon-neutral buildings” or “sustainable energy.” You’ll come up with a lot of Google hits (1.3 million and 210 million, respectively) to compete with.
Almost certainly, there are a lot of other firms and business professionals who offer the same services you do.
Letting your values shine through
So how do you stand out? Not through what most organizations focus on as their distinctive difference -- which is generally around what they do “(we save you money”), or how they do it (“through a proprietary process registered under ISO 19001”). But that doesn’t get a client’s heart racing.
Instead, you need to focus on the “why.” As in, why you do what you do, which is an expression of your values. That way, prospective clients:
- Get to understand you as a person
- Can feel that you share some of their values
- Believe that they can trust you to look out for their interests
- Are willing to work with you as a preferred vendor
In such a case, “marketing” consists mostly in articulating your values. You won’t resonate with everyone, but I promise that you will resonate with the potential clients you’ll most enjoy working with, and to whom you can add the most value.
Call it values-based marketing, which is a term I thought I’d coined, until I checked
Google and found 63 million results. What does this look like?
So, what’s our ‘why’?
At Global Reach, we think that the ‘why’ is important, to the extent that it’s right at the front of our ‘explainer video.’ Here’s part of what it says:
We see a big need among business professionals who have excellent services and solutions to offer. Many of them are thought-leaders in their field, and they can help solve some of the most pressing problems facing our planet -- wildlife conservation, climate change, employee safety and other issues.
But they often have trouble connecting with the people who need what they have to offer, and this means that we’re all missing out on what these experts can do. It also means that they have trouble earning an income worthy of their skills.
Part of the answer is to help these business professionals show their expertise through publishing their ideas. If they can stand out as thought-leaders, they can get the attention of potential clients, and show the extra value they offer.
So, Global Reach helps business professionals apply the principles of content marketing, backed by good social media strategy, to the idea of thought leadership. This means helping them develop useful and informative content and then get it in front of potential clients.
That’s our “why”. Your “why” will be different. But whatever it is, it needs to come from a place deep within the organization’s DNA, maybe the personal values of the founder.
The importance of walking the talk
Because we’re focused on helping business professionals get known for their expertise through sharing knowledge, we wouldn’t be walking the talk if we didn’t do that ourselves. And we do. Our website is a fast-expanding repository of information on the marketing of a professional practice, through generating useful content.
Each set of values involves a different way of ‘walking the talk.’ For example, I wouldn’t buy a bicycle from a store where the staff were not avid cyclists themselves. If you’re into sailing, you’d want to deal with people who either race or cruise themselves.
Some values will be irrelevant to your business. My religious views, for example, don’t fit into my business persona at all, although I like to think that I do my work in a way that is congruent with my religious beliefs.
So, think about how you can make your values part of your marketing. To do this:
1Think about your values -- what is important to you in considering that you’ve lived your life well.
2Think of which of those values will resonate with the people you want to serve.
3Articulate your views and values, indicating why those values are of benefit to people in your market.
You’ll attract clients that understand and appreciate what you’re about, and that’s good business, because you’ll be in position to do your best work for them.Standing out in a crowded market isn’t easy. Try running a Google search for your firm’s field of expertise -- maybe it’s “carbon-neutral buildings” or “sustainable energy.” You’ll come up with a lot of Google hits (1.3 million and 210 million, respectively) to compete with.