CHLOE ADLINGTON

BRAND & WEBSITE DESIGN FOR CREATIVE, SMALL BUSINESSES

How to make your business or blog unique

Blogging, BusinessChloe1 Comment

Do you ever feel like it's all been done before? Like you just blend in with the million other graphic designers / life coaches / jewellery makers / fitness experts / {insert your industry here}? Or even worse have you had that heart sinking feeling when you get pipped to the post at launching a new business or product by someone else doing the same thing? We've probably all been there at some stage and I definitely drift in every now and then! However can you imagine if your favourite author had not pushed through the self-doubt because "there were already plenty of good books out there"?

I know learning to squash the fear, self doubt or comparing our businesses to others isn't easy so here's a few things I remind myself of which I though might help you too:

1. Every human being on the planet is unique. No two of us would do things exactly the same way even if we had the same resources or were facing the same problem - your individual strengths, talents and passions will shine through in your business so embrace them where you can.

2. "Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20!" Every expert or leader had to start somewhere and just because you are a beginner right now doesn't mean you won't be even better than the pro's you admire once you get to your chapter 20 - focus on what you are doing and enjoy the journey.

3. There is more than enough to go around! The world is a pretty big place and actually competition is a good thing, it challenges us to be better, get creative and to keep evolving.

How to make your business unique

So how can you practically go about making your business or blog stand out from the crowd?

Inject your personality

Try to infuse your interests, things you love, quirks, ways of speaking, etc into all that you do. Your fans and potential customers will love your brand more for it if you are friendly, honest and they can relate to you. The old saying 'people buy people' is particularly true for small, creative businesses!

Can you re-write your website copy slightly so it sounds more like you? Can you share a blog post which shares an insight into how you work? Can you start a conversation on twitter about your favourite tv show or hobby?

All these things will make your business unique as no-one can imitate being you! Be transparent, be funny, be who you are and you're customers or readers won't be able to help falling in love with your business or blog.

Be identifiable

This is what good branding is all about. You want potential customers to easily recognise your aesthetic, logo and style. For people to say "oh that's so me" when they see your products or website.

Do you consistently use your logo, brand colours, fonts or other visual elements like a particular shape on all your marketing materials?

These little details matter as they help customers pick you out of the sea of options available to them. It's what helps them to know, like and then trust your business so they're ready to not only buy but them become a loyal customer.

If you want to make your website more identifiable I'd love to help. Click HERE for more details.

Tell stories

You're experiences and stories are part of what makes you you. And we as people can't resist a good story!

Does your website tell the story of how your business or blog got started? Do you have examples, case studies, testimonials? Do your blog posts share your unique stories or key turning points with your customers?

Telling your business stories helps you get across why you do what you do, they will inspire your customers, help them feel like they know and understand your brand and naturally set you apart from the competition.

Do the opposite

Looking to your competitors or industry leaders for inspiration might feel like the best place to start or a 'safe' way of designing your businesses, but this is unlikely to result in your business being different. I'm not saying don't check out what they're doing, it's a key part of your market research, but use them as an opportunity to see what's missing or what could be done differently.

When Cirque De Soleil did their survey of the 'circus industry' they would have found standard practice to be a low entry price to circus in a tent with star performers, silly stunts, animals and the recognisable circus music, etc etc.

But instead of creating just another traditional circus they took each idea and did the complete opposite. They create a refined, magical and unique experience by charging a higher price, choosing incredible venues, using artistic music and theming their performances. If you ever get the chance to go and see them do as isn't amazing and there aren't any clowns, animals or silly stunts in sight!

Of course we can't all be Cirque De Soleil but we can be creative and not always follow the crowd. Look for opportunities to go left when all your competitors go right.

Be specific

Most small businesses or bloggers want to keep their customer base or readership as wide as possible and it's totally understandable. BUT by trying to appeal to everyone it may actually mean that you don't really hit the nail on the head for anyone.

Do you know why your business exists? Being really clear on your purpose and therefore who specifically you want to serve can help you create much more value for them. You can dig deeper and understand your ideal customers preferences, struggles, desires, etc so that your website, marketing, products, etc speaks to them in a way which sets you apart.

You want your customers or readers to feel like you 'get it' and always seem to know what they need next!

Based on all the ideas above what actions can you take right now to make your business or blog more unique? How do you set yourself apart from the crowd?

Chloe x