Become a Celebrity: Go Against the Flow

What is the most effective way to corner the market and lock out your competition?  Simple: you need to become a CelebrityExpert®.  You need to develop a compelling, engaging personal brand that positions you as the leading expert within your market.  You need to be the first name that pops into any potential customers mind when he or she needs your services or products.

And… to stand out amidst your competition, you need to go against the flow. 

This makes logical sense, right?  If you want to become the industry expert in your area, ahead of all your competition, why would you want to sound and look just like everyone else?  Today we are going to take a look at various strategies for differentiating yourself and your business from the competition—while establishing yourself as the leading expert in your market.

Break the Mold

How many businesses, even today, put serious effort into engaging their market via social media and compelling web sites?  While some businesses are gradually starting to come around, the reality is that most small businesses have been slow to adopt social media and web marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Of course, it is not enough to simply create a Facebook page and a Twitter profile and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring.  To build a truly powerful presence, you need to do social media differently than your competitors.  Keep these three principles in mind:

1) Focus on relationships. Twitter and Facebook are full of individuals and companies that are trying to establish their brand and sell their products by ramming them down their audience’s throat. It’s free marketing, the theory goes, so why not aggressively self-promote and sell? The problem with that line of thought is that most people don’t log on to Facebook or Twitter looking to be sold something. Your customers use Facebook and Twitter to build relationships, both personal and professional. The key to establishing your brand on these sites is to build relationships. Spend more time replying to status updates and tweets than you do creating your own.

2) Don’t be boring. Too many Twitter and Facebook profiles are completely devoid of originality, personality and substance. If you’re going to stand out, you need to be interesting and thought provoking. Post jokes, or commentary on pop culture, or predictions for upcoming NFL games. Tweet using only haiku form for a couple of days. Be creative. Find a way to express yourself, your personality, and the personality of your business.  Before you know it, you’ll realize that followers and friends are looking forward to your next tweet or status update.  Not only does this mean more exposure for your business, but it also means a stronger bond between you and your clients.

3) Break down the news. Twitter and Facebook are great sources of breaking news. As soon as anything of even minor importance happens, you can bet there will be thousands of posts announcing it and linking to news stories. Posting a link to a breaking news story will not help you stand out—but insightful analysis will. Imagine you’re a CPA for a moment, and a new tax bill has just been signed into law. Don’t just share the news, explain what it means for business owners and taxpayers! Your tweet will stand out from the thousands of others, because you won’t simply be stating what happened, you’ll be telling your audience what it means to them.  By breaking down recent developments that matter to your customers, you provide value to your social media followers—and you establish yourself as the clear expert in your market!

Social media can be a great way to differentiate your business from the competition—but you have to find a way to stand out.  Be creative, don’t hesitate to think outside the box, and keep these three strategies in mind as you build your social media presence.