3 Ways to Separate Yourself

separate-yourselfEach summer I attend my sons’ youth soccer games. Little kids’ games are extremely entertaining. They play what I call “the huddled masses” soccer, where a herd of children swarms the ball tripping over each other in the process. It’s wildly fun to watch.

Parents shout at their child to “kick harder” and “run faster”, hoping their kid can separate the ball and themselves from the pack. Any time a kid accomplishes this feat he or she generally is seen racing toward an open net and for an easy GOOOOAAAALLLLLL!

Businesses face a similar frenzy, getting lost in the masses while attempting to claw, kick and scream to be recognized. Having a good product or quality service isn’t enough; you must find distinct ways to separate yourself from the pack.

Here are 3 ways to separate yourself:

Understand the Business You’re In

Years ago I worked for a minor-league sports team. We started with the misconception that we were in the football business. We were wrong. As a sports team, we competed against movie theaters, concerts, amusements parks, miniature golf and other sporting events. We were in the entertainment business.

We needed to convince customers to spend their money attending our games over other forms of entertainment. Once we understood the business we were in, our marketing improved, each game became an event, and eventually ticket sales increased.

Be Known for Something

What do you want to be known for? What makes people think of you first?

When I want sushi, I think of Simply Sushi in Salt Lake City. To me, they are the best value for good sushi. There are cheaper sushi restaurants. There are higher quality ones too. Simply Sushi decided they would be known as the best value. This definition often wins my lunch money.

McDonald’s is known for the Big Mac. Burger King is Home of the Whopper. They offer other menu options, but they’re known for one main thing.

Trying to be all things to all people may result in not being known at all.

Be Social

Many professionals and businesses still struggle to know what to do with Social Media. It’s okay to start simple and build your strategy from there. Social Media should be used to entertain, educate and engage.

Think of social media as another communication channel. Yes, it requires an investment in time, resources, and creativity. Your investment will be part of what separates you from your competition. Find ways to be different. Be interactive. Be memorable.

 

What other ways have you found to separate yourself?

– DJ

What does Google say about you?

As a hiring manager, when considering a potential candidate, I often Googled the person; typing their name into Google to see the results.

One time Google showed a candidate was being investigated for credit card fraud. A huge problem considering one of our largest clients was Bank Card Services.

What does Google say about you?

Try it. Go Google yourself.

(Uh, that sounded awkward)

As a business leader, thought leader, manager, marketer, sales representative, company representative, etc., you should be controlling your personal and professional brand. Seeing what information is available online is a good practice.

Use this as a basis to build your brand reputation throughout the year.

Then just for fun, Google your co-workers. Be warned, once I Googled a co-worker and found information for him on Mugshots.com. Not good.

What are you reading?

20160916_150150-01Never stop learning. Advice heard over and over again. As part of my 30-Day “Do More” Challenge, I’ve placed a higher importance on developing a habit of daily learning through reading books. No, my goal of 15 minutes a day isn’t some amazing feat; It wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to get me back in the habit… every single day.

This got me thinking about business books I’ve read, and ones I want to read.

Here’s my list:

Currently reading:

Favorites from earlier in my career:

What’s next (to name a few):

If you are looking for a marketing book to get started I’d recommend The New Rules of Marketing and PR. If you want a general business book, with plenty of application for your personal life, Think Big, Act Bigger! – for sure.

 

Tell me about any books you’d recommend.