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How to Determine What Makes Your Business Unique

A lot of folks I talk to and work with want to know how to cement their role in an industry with hundreds of other photographers, writers, digital strategists, designers etc.

“There’s so much competition, so how do I stand out?”

That’s a really great question, and I’ve been so lucky to accompany my clients on their journey to find the answer.

My take is that being successful at any creative enterprise is about mastering both the craft and the business side of things.

It’s about being really, really good at what you do and being really, really good at running a business that feeds back into your creative endeavor.

But something that’s often overlooked is simply: being the really awesome and authentic person that you are. Sounds too simple to be true?

Well, in marketing, this is talked about as the Unique Selling Point.

Ultimately, what separates you from your competition is what makes you unique, and when you’re all on par in what you DO, it’s all about who you ARE.

Because you are ALL unique, 100% yourself, and there’s no one else out there like you. No one else brings your history to your work, your flavor to your craft, your purpose to your products and services.

So own it. Trust it. Highlight it. Sing about it from the rooftops.

  • For example, if you're a writer whose first career was in Biology, this might mean bringing that expertise to the table and adding that flavor into your work and your positioning. You're not just a writer, you've got serious science to back you up, making you an ideal choice for something that requires research. Let it be known! Or if you're a photographer who loves backcountry skiing, you'll have a great sense of what photos authentically capture this experience while simultaneously managing the risks and itinerary required in this environment. Not everyone can do that, so it's time to highlight it!

Don’t know what makes you, you?

Then ask around! Bring up questions casually, or gather feedback in testimonials. Look for patterns in what people say about you.

A few jumping off points:

Ask your friends and family...

  • what their favorite part about you is

  • how you make them feel

  • how they describe you to others

Ask your clients...

  • what you gave them in your work together

  • what you helped them create for themselves

  • how working with you is different

Ask yourself (through journaling or other reflection)...

  • what skills you're most proud of outside of work

  • what your favorite activities have taught you about life

  • what your top 3 values are and how you like to honor them in the day to day

And if all else fails?

Ask me. I want you to know what makes you authentic, powerful, and unique. And I can help you do that!

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