If you’re wondering how to stand out online and finding it difficult, you’re not alone. These days, it seems the whole world is clamoring for attention online and hardly anyone is succeeding in getting it. There are a handful of commonly used strategies that you can use to cut through the noise. However, since a lot of people now know these methods, it has become even harder than ever to break through.
This begs the question … How can we as service providers create the positive impact that we want to make when it’s hard to get noticed because we’re being drowned out by all of the noise? This is one of the most important conversations we can be having as small business service providers.
Today, the Internet is so flooded with information that we are each taking in around 74 GB of data a day. This amounts to about 16 movies watched in one day. Mind-blowing, right? It’s a lot of information. If the degree that we can stand out online hinges on a few factors that business coaches and marketers talk about across the board, what else can we do to make our mark online?
Methods to Stand Out Online
First, it helps to know the methods the majority of business owners are using online, why they are using them, and how they can be helpful. Then, we can reverse engineer what else can be done to stand out online. One set of methods popularly used to stand out online includes having a niche and creating unique service offers. These are helpful ways to stand out – in some respects – and they should not be neglected. However, using these methods will only get you so far. Let’s take a look.
Having a niche, otherwise known as a target market, will allow you to create specific messaging that helps to attract more people to you than if you were talking to a general audience. However, anyone can have the same niche as you, and deliver similar outcomes.
Take this one lady’s service for example. The other day I met a woman through online networking. She helps neurodivergent individuals find love. Up until then, I had never met anyone who helps this specific target audience to arrive at that specific outcome.
That said, any brand that helps neurodivergent individuals to find love is quite differentiated for now because few people are serving the market in such a way. However, even underserved markets won’t help you to stand out for the long haul. Eventually, all profitable markets become saturated with more brands vying for their business.
Now let’s suppose that you want to differentiate yourself online with your service offer. Each aspect of an offer can be adjusted to create a unique, memorable and valuable experience.
Offer variables include the following:
- Outcome – The transformation you promise as a result of your service.
- Delivery method – How you deliver services (one-on-one in-person sessions, online group sessions, etc.)
- Process – The steps you use to arrive at the outcome.
- Value adds – How you simplify the process, make it easier or more enjoyable.
- Timeline – How long it takes to complete the process and deliver the outcome.
- Guarantee – The terms you allow for, should your client not be happy.
With so many variables, you might see how easy it is to create unique offers. However, no matter how unique your offer is, anyone can replicate it. You can create something entirely new today, and then tomorrow it could be old news because more people have caught on to it and are doing it.
Here’s an example: Let’s say that you offer a “website in a week” service. Since people love instant gratification, this is a fairly attractive offer for many people. The problem is that more and more web designers are catching on to this unique offer idea, so every day it’s becoming less notable, creating more competition and adding to the noise online.
An Overlooked Way to Stand Out Online
As you can see, selecting a niche and having a unique service offer is helpful in many ways. If you haven’t decided on a niche or developed a unique service offer, go and do it! This will help to clarify your business model and will create better outcomes for your clients.
However, your niche and service offers will still most likely not be enough to help you cut through the noise online. So what can you do from here? …
As small business service providers, the often overlooked way that we can stand out above the noise is to integrate our whole selves into creative service offers that are geared toward a specific outcome for a specific niche. We each have a unique set of interests, values, knowledge, experience, and skills to bring to the table. This mix of qualities is completely different from the majority, and this is how you will be most likely to stand out with noteworthy offers and marketing.
Heart-Centered, Aligned Marketing
This self-integrated perspective on marketing will be even more impactful if you feel of sense of mission or purpose around being of true service to your clients. The more you believe in your offers and marketing message, and the more you believe in the outcomes that you provide, the more you’ll want to market your business. If you’re not aligned with what you are marketing right now … If you feel like your marketing sounds like other people’s marketing … If you feel like your offers are a replication of things you’ve seen before … If you don’t feel in alignment with your message … Then you’re not going to be marketing as much as you probably otherwise would.
This is because – as servant-hearted service providers – we want to make an impact, work with integrity, and be of true service. The only way to work in alignment is to tap into our unique vision of the impact we want to make and use the skills and know-how we’ve cultivated to that end. By doing so, we can make a much bigger impact than if we were doing things the way everyone else does them.
To summarize, we want to have a niche and a creative offer. We also want to help an underserved market if possible. But, most of all, we should also seek to integrate our unique zone of genius and our unique mix of qualities into our offers and marketing.
What to Do Next
If you are a small business service provider who wants to make an impact and reach more of the people you want to serve, then I would love to invite you to a complimentary Profit Plan call. We will look at areas of your business where you may be getting blocked, and clarify where we can fine-tune your approach to help you stand out online and attract more leads and customers to your services.