Most entrepreneurs at least think about how to stand out in business…particularly in their specific market.
According to a study by Media Dynamic, the typical adult is inundated with around 360 messages each and every day.
These messages are sent through magazines, newspapers, internet, radio and TV. This leads to a crowded marketplace, where businesses have to make a big impression just to be noticed.
Bill Corbett, Jr. who is the president of Corbett Public Relations talks about how this crowded marketplace has grown exponentially:
In the 1980s and 1990s, advertisers needed to be in front of prospects six to eight times to become recognizable. Today, this number is closer to 21 and may be even higher.
So, how do you stand out amongst all this noise.
The following are six ways to ensure you are noticed and stand out in the crowd:
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 1:
Be Different/ Showcase Your Brand
Founder of Ogilvy & Mather Ad agency David Ogilvy once said:
If you can’t be brilliant, at least be memorable.
He was known for wearing kilts to work.
While we don’t necessarily recommend going that far, David’s theory is spot on.
Be sure to dress to stand out. Represent your brand through your clothing. You can do this by wearing a t-shirt displaying your brand name (when appropriate).
Or you can kick it up a notch like Tim “The Marketing Evangelist” Davis:
He rocks wild sport coats, socks…and now belts..as part of his personal brand.
Like Tim, if you are in a formal setting, simply wear something memorable, such as bright colors, large earrings, etc.
This might not win you any fashion contests but it will help you stand out. Create a signature look.
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 2:
Be a Leader
Leaders are remembered, while followers are often forgotten. So, whenever possible, take the lead. Corbett says the following about leaders:
When you are a leader, you command respect and the attention of the people in a room or organization. Successful leaders who empower others are even more memorable.
Being a memorable person doesn’t always mean to work harder than others. It means you make a difference.
David Sturt who is the vice present of O.C. Tanner Institute (an employee recognition consulting firm) says this about becoming memorable:
“Not only do your job, but create a difference—different than the expected, different than the assumed, and different than the last time. That’s how you become memorable and your works gets recognized and noticed.”
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 3:
Don’t Forget The All Important Follow Up
Too many people forget to follow up after making a connection. You can follow up by sending a simple thank you, or sharing a tip or a resource.
Jason Abrams, who is a Michigan based realtor, specializing in selling homes to professional athletes, says his success is largely a result of his follow-up efforts.
Abrams flew out to North Carolina and California simply to say thank you to the player’s agent and then financial adviser after making his first sale to a Detroit Lions football player. This move so impressed the men that they referred more professionals to him.
Now, he runs a successful real estate business catering to professional football players and has even landed a series called “Scoring the Deal” on HGTV.
While flying across country isn’t always possible, a simple thank you often goes a long way.
People like to feel appreciated in all walks of life.
So, keep this in mind. Follow up. Thank people for giving you their time.
After all, time is one of our biggest gifts we can give someone.
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 4:
Be a Good Listener
Just about everyone enjoys talking about themselves. So, you can make a good impression by being a good listener.
Associate director of partnerships at UCLA and career counselor Sheila Benko says this about listening:
People like to talk about their interests, so give them a chance to do so. When meeting for the first time, ask people about their interests. And once they are talking, be engaged in what they have to say.
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 5:
Be a Storyteller
While listening is important, as noted above, you also have to be able to tell a good story.
Kurt Schneider, CEO of the Harlem Globetrotters learned this lesson well.
When he took over the franchise in 2007, it was known as the “clown princes of basketball.”
Schneider knew he had to make some changes. So, he began addressing the public narrative associated with the Globetrotters.
He implemented a new storyline to the games each year.
This added drama and a climatic finish to each game. He in essence wrote a play or story that the Globetrotters would then perform.
This in turn led the Globetrotters to become more memorable and fun to watch. Crowd size grew, and the fans began to fall in love with the brand.
Today, the franchise boasts more than a million fans on social media and they have experienced the highest merchandises sales in their history.
In addition, this past year, the Globetrotters set over 50 attendance records. All because the experience transformed from predictable to engaging, providing guests a story to tell.
Everyone loves a good story!
How to Stand Out in Business Tactic 6:
Build Your Online Presence
Social media is an effective tool you can use to break through the crowded marketplace. While you might only meet a few hundred people a year in person, online, the sky’s the limit.
There are some general guidelines for making a good impression online though.
- Choose the proper avatar: Kawasaki says, “It’s not you and your spouse, surfboard, Corvette, and dog. It should be front lit and asymmetrical. It should not be cropped out of a group photo from last year’s Christmas party.”
- Let your cover photo show your personality: Kawasaki says, “The purpose of your cover photo is to share your personality. It is to show you are trustworthy, likable and competent.” Use a photo that communicates this.
- Don’t be afraid of graphics: Kawasaki says, “In a world dominated by plain text, posts with bling attract more attention and makes you more interesting.” He recommends you include a graphic or video in each post.
Standing out in the crowded marketplace of today is a challenge to be sure. However, by following the six tips listed above, you will stand out in the crowd and become the success you have always hoped to be.