How to Join the Business Hall of Fame
From E-Myth Worldwide
Remember when you had that entrepreneurial seizure?
Well, if you’re like most technicians-turned-entrepreneur, you learned how to work all the parts of his business very well. But you probably haven’t found your own voice yet.
“There aren’t any cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” (Scott Ginsberg)
Maybe you’re not seeking to make your mark playing music, but as a budding business owner of any kind, you must have the same star attitude and sense of originality to get into the hall of fame in your market.
Unless you want to be like all the other “cover” companies, you’re going to have to find your distinct sound and project it to your target market.
So how do you do it? How do you find your unique attraction? We have processes in the E-Myth Mastery Program that help you position your company, but ultimately you have to think through the steps and find that magic expression that creates an impactful brand. You can do it! But first you have to understand the importance and be committed to the process.
You have to appreciate that you may or may not hit on the essence of your distinction in the marketplace right away in your first attempt at differentiating your brand. But, just like the band that finally puts out their first record and begins immediately working on the second, you follow up that first attempt with the next and then the next until you’ve created a truly unique sound.
You Are a Consumer
One of the most important advantages you have as an entrepreneur is that you’re also a consumer. You may not be your customer, but you are somebody’s customer. As such, you have an opportunity to see the inner-workings of a consumer’s thought process. If you pay attention to yourself as consumer, you will see how naturally attracted you are to signals that are expressing differentiation. As you become increasingly attuned to that, you will, by extension, gain a higher sensitivity to what might draw people to your business.
Not long ago, I was looking for a new pizza place for a family outing. I checked out a few web sites and was captivated by one in particular. Why? Because the owner told his story, boldly expressing his passion for pizza and why he believed his was the best in the area. He convinced me to give him a try and I wasn’t disappointed. Now that’s differentiated marketing! He knew himself and what his business had to represent to me.
You Are a Scientist
Pay attention to the signals – the words, images, and sensory impressions that draw you to a business. What makes you choose one over another? What are the elements of uniqueness, value, connection, caring, or attention you are seeking when you need to find a new provider of some service or product? As consumers, we are the subjects in the marketing laboratory; but an astute entrepreneur is simultaneously an expert researcher.
Pay attention, observe, jot down some notes when interacting with businesses that draw you in. The innovations you seek and the magnetic messages you need to create are revealed in the ways that other businesses attract you as a customer.
Also be sure to pay attention to what some businesses do to push you away or cause you to not even notice them at all! There are valuable lessons out there in both the hits and misses.
You Are Aristotle
Okay, so I’m trotting out the big guns here. Aristotle said, “Something is either the same or different.”
Makes sense, right? Logic is like that, but how is this relevant to our discussion? Your business’ product or service is either the same or different from your competitors. Your job is to discover the difference, then communicate it. If you can’t find any difference, if you dig and delve and investigate and explore and end up concluding that your business really is the same as everyone else’s, then your job is to create a difference.
Think about these 4 commodities: insurance, beer, package delivery, and airlines.
Now think: Geico’s gecko, Budweiser’s beer, or Fed-Ex and Virgin Air.
Examine your product and service offerings; then look to the culture of your company and the way you deliver the product or service. Try considering your whole business as your product or service, and I’m sure you will start to identify key aspects that create a unique connection between your customers’ relevant expectations and the promise your business provides. Notice I said relevantexpectations. For the differentiation to work, it must be of value to your customers.
You Are Focused
Tests have shown conclusively that fewer, more focused images and key words are more readily remembered than long strings of information and concepts. Makes sense right? But too often, business owners fear this kind of laser-like focus and somehow feel safer providing the entire litany of features and benefits, rather than continuously driving home the key message that expresses the power of the brand. Finding your true differentiation and expressing it as economically as possible will provide you a strong foundation for your lead generation, lead conversion and client fulfillment.
Uncovering your unique business voice is not easy. But it frustrates me as a coach when clients don’t take on this challenge as one of the most important ones they face as a business owner. If you don’t know who you are, or struggle to express your difference to your market, then you’re too deep in technician mode.
Come up for air. Study the competition. Pay attention everywhere. Find the key words that describe your connection with your customers – your unique “power chords” – and break away from being a cover band.