How to Position Yourself To Stand Out From Your Competitors
One of the challenges for business owners when it comes to communicating with existing and potential customers is taking a step back and being able to clearly articulate what it is they do. Often they are so close to the product that they think it’s obvious. It usually isn’t. Alongside this struggle to explain what makes their product the best option is generally understating their expertise. They usually think that’s obvious too.
However, being able to convey knowledge about a particular area of expertise is a great way to stand out from the competition and build trust. This information could be conveyed through videos, articles, tip sheets or how to guides.
One of the challenges in gathering this information is being able to step back and evaluate how that information can help a business. When you live, sleep and breathe a product then you feel that really, it’s all just common sense, and if others thought about it for a bit they’d figure that out too. For some people already familiar with your area of expertise that may well be the case. However, for most people it isn’t nearly as obvious as you assume.
The Cookbook Epidemic
An example of this is the recent explosion of cookbook sales. Most people have some rudimentary understanding of how to cook and many are well versed in it, able to put together at least a basic meal without a recipe. Yet sales of cookbooks continue to do well and the number of titles available has increased rather than declined. Why is this?
People such as: mums, dads, young couples, and singles are looking for guidance to make their food more interesting, become healthier, to cater for a particular food preference or because they want to entertain more at home.
There are many different reasons why sales of cookbooks have continued to grow strongly but the key thing that people who buy cookbooks are searching for is knowledge and shortcuts. They want to harness the expertise of those with considerably more experience and use it to improve their own cooking.
All Hail Jamie Oliver!
Jamie Oliver makes money from the sales of his cookbooks but he also benefits from becoming a trusted guide on how to cook. He has an impressive product ecosystem going on including: books, TV series, products, and appearances. These all feed into and benefit each other but what started it all for him was being willing and open to sharing what he knew.
His openness (and unique accent) and rough-around-the-edges intimacy quickly built a loyal following that soon started to devour whatever he created. He can now use his considerable profile and influence to take on bigger challenges like decreasing the consumption of sugar and improving the food offered to students at school canteens.
Benefits of Clearly Explaining Expertise
Not explaining expertise due to thinking information is obvious can have a knock-on effect for your business, resulting in low sales and confused customers. But clearly explaining expertise can have a positive effect by building trust, awareness and helping to educate your customers about what is important. It also makes you appear more approachable, people feel that they know you and are less reluctant to reach out and ask for help.
Top 5 Tips to Explain Your Expertise
- Child’s Play – Imagine that you’re explaining what you do to a child and what to look out for, how would you explain it?
- Assume new customers know nothing about what they are buying – If someone stopped you on the street who knows nothing about your area of expertise and asked you for help, what are 5 things they would need to know to get a good result. What should they look out for? What should they avoid and why?
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – Imagine a new client who is similar to your current favourite client except they know very little about you. What would they want to know? What are they concerned about? What are they trying to get done?
- Focus on mistakes – What mistakes do you see people repeatedly making because they don’t understand what is involved? How would you explain it to them if they were sitting in front of you?
- Contrarian Approach – What do you believe that the rest of your industry disagrees with? Why do you think that way? What experiences have you had that have caused you to take a different viewpoint?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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