Starting a business can take a lot of time, money, and energy. And because we don't want to completely re-invent the wheel, we often want to copy (legally) other techniques, strategies or processes used by others. While copying others has many benefits, namely using tried and true methods as well as saving time and money, the true success of your business will come from your own uniqueness.
You are unique, different from each and every other person on the planet. Leveraging your uniqueness and embracing it as your true self is the key to creating a marketing message that comes from your passion and purpose. And, it is your passion and purpose, combined with the unique way you develop and deliver your product or service that makes you attractive to customers.
1. DNA. You are encoded uniquely by virtue of your DNA structure. No one on the earth has the same DNA as you. That is a big thought. At your most basic level, you are unique. How can you take that idea and celebrate the fact that you are one of a kind?
2. Strengths. Each of us possesses different strengths, which add to our uniqueness. What are your strengths? Sometimes we don't really see or want to acknowledge our strengths. Consider asking your friends or family members to help you identify them. Or, buy the book Now, Discover Your Strengths, which offers an online strengths survey that will provide you with your top five strengths. How are you leveraging your strengths in building your business? Are you a great public speaker? If so, how are you using that talent to attract more clients?
3. Personality. Your personality or character is also a stamp of uniqueness. It's a mix of behaviors and attitudes that you wear in all your interactions with others. How is your personality conveyed through your marketing materials, the colors and designs on your website, or through the quality of your personal network? What personality do you wear at home as opposed to at work? Are there things you want to emphasize or minimize with regard to how you come across to others? How is your personality serving to enhance how you communicate your marketing message?
4. Physical characteristics. Your shape, size, hair and eye color and other physical characteristics also make you unique. Unless you are an identical twin (and they are not exactly alike because of their unique DNA), no one else will look exactly the way you do. Our physical characteristics can help or hinder us in our business dealings. To be at our best, especially if we deal with the public face to face, we might consider simple changes to make ourselves more attractive including using cosmetics, teeth whitening, exercise, and changing our hair color and style. Simple changes can greatly enhance how we come across to others.
5. Life experiences. Our life experiences can offer us rich opportunity to not only create our businesses, but also to market them. Many businesses have been born from people's personal experiences, which may have been either fortunate or unfortunate in nature. Your business might be an example of that. Our experiences often serve as the underlying passion for what we do, becoming the material and the message that we want to share with others.
6. Family and friends. How do your family and friends reflect upon you and your uniqueness? We inherit many things from our families including personality traits and physical characteristics. Our friends, on the other hand show our uniqueness in another way. Our friends reflect our interests, hobbies, beliefs and personality characteristics. Our mix of family, friends, and associates is truly unique. Sometimes they can serve as a wonderful catalyst for developing new businesses, ideas, or ways of marketing our business.
7. Education. From the subjects and ideas we are attracted to, to the various degrees we have earned, our education serves as another unique identifier. The way we communicate, the people we like to associate with, our interests and even the products and services we buy are all influenced by our educational level. Likewise it will influence how we position and market our businesses. How does your education influence your marketing message and the types of people who you attract?
8. Quirks, passions, and hobbies. How can you take your passions and hobbies and use them to create something new for your business? Similar to your life experiences, you may find a business in your interest or hobby. Or, better yet, you might find some aspect of your interest that might add an interesting twist to your business products or services. For example, your interest in travel might express itself in offering retreats or getaways for your clients.
9. Travels. Our travels serve to define us as unique individuals. Even though many of us have visited the same places, each of us possesses a unique travel log. Our travels influence us greatly ? introducing us to new sites, sounds, people, cultures, and experiences. Travel enriches our lives by filling us with new ideas, attitudes and even, at times, influencing our long-held beliefs. For example, a trip to an impoverished third-world nation where we can experience first hand the suffering of others might prompt us to create a non-profit or to donate a portion of our profits to help those in need. How has travel influenced your view on life? And, how might that translate into something unique for your business?
10. Beliefs. Each of us possesses a unique belief system. No one else has the exact same mix of beliefs, values, standards, ideas or ideals. Our beliefs about others and ourselves can influence not only the types of products and services we market, but also the way we communicate our marketing message. We need to carefully examine our beliefs to leverage them into more opportunities. For example, our belief in taking care of our environment might translate into developing community or corporate programs to promote ecologically sound products. Or, our interest in communicating ideas might motivate us to start a newsletter or to write articles.
? Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith
Alicia Smith, a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping people Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 90 lessons contained in e-course, http://www.90daymarketingmarathon.com. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit the following sites. (You also can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org)