3 Steps to Position Yourself in the Market and Stand Out from your Competitors
There’s millions of businesses out there, and I’m a big believer that there is room for everyone to make money doing what they love.
Yes, that’s a little Miss America-y of me, of bear with me for our purposes anyway, k?
In order to do that though, you have to differentiate yourself from your competition, and the best way to do that is to highlight your personality, expertise, your story and so on, so you stand out. After all, your competitors can’t compete or copy your personality or point-of-view.
In short, you’ve got to clarify your positioning, which is really just a fancy word for how you want your clients or customers to perceive you so they want to work with you and recognize your value.
When you don’t have any real positioning in the market, your clients will only see you and your work as a mere price tag.
They’ll only compare you against your competitors based on price, and with all things being equal, they’ll likely pick the cheapest option. Which is a super crappy place to be.
So, how do you start to position yourself? First, take stock on how you’re currently perceived in the market.
The following are a list of questions to answer for yourself, so open up a Word Document, cut and paste these questions in it, and go about answering each of the questions for your brand.
- Are you the affordable option or the fancy-pants most expensive option?
- Are you a super experienced long-time business owner or a newbie?
- Do you have any formal education or are you self-taught? What, if any, certifications do you have?
- How many ways are available for people to work with you or buy your product(s)?
- How are your clients or customers talking about you and your work? What do they say? What do they thank you for? What kind of feedback do they give you? Are you asking for their feedback?
Now that you know how you’re currently positioned in the market, let’s think about how you WANT to be perceived by the market by other businesses.
Pick 3 brands or other businesses that you like, admire, aspire to be like, or would be thrilled to be compared to. Brands that have the same positioning in the market that you’d like to have, whether they’re inside or outside of your industry. Go ahead and answer the following questions for each of the 3 brands you picked:
- What makes up their positioning?
- What is their online presence like?
- What kind of events, retreats, services, products or programs do they have?
- What’s included in their events, retreats, services, products or programs that resonates with you?
- How much do they charge?
- What are 5 personality traits that describe these three brands that you admire?
- How do you feel about yourself when you’re experiencing these brands or businesses?
- Look at their logo, website, or remember your experience with the brand. Are there any design or visual elements that appeal to you? Be as specific as possible. What are some of the design elements that they use to reinforce how you perceive them, in terms of colors, fonts, layout, photography, illustrations, etc…?
- How do you want your clients or customers to remember you or talk about you?
Lastly, assess the patterns you find.
As you move through these questions, note the patterns you find. Maybe all the brands you’ve selected have multiple streams of revenue at different price points so there’s multiple ways you can work with them. Perhaps they offer a range of 1:1 services, DIY services, online courses or digital products that help to diversify their revenue stream. Maybe all of the brands you like have an edginess to them in the form of sassy copy writing, bold, bright colors, and full-width highly-stylized photography that make them feel larger-than-life.
By the end of the exercise, you should have a framework for your own positioning, how to talk about the services our offer/products you sell, and even some visual references as a starting point to start crafting a new visual brand that matches the direction you want your business to go.
Hi, I'm Natalie McGuire!
I'm a website designer + digital strategist who believes in design with strategic ease. Meaning, gorgeous design is informed by customer insights that make your business a whole lot easier. If you want to stop losing customers by having "just another pretty website," work with me.
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