Setting yourself apart online

By | November 2, 2010

 

– By John Sanpietro

In any highly competitive business environment, its important that you set yourself apart from your competition. In the online environment, its absolutely mandatory. More and more, Demos are realizing that, in this internet-driven world, geographic boundaries mean a lot less than they did before.

In their recent elaboration on the Continual Discounting Policy, SU basically acknowledged that, saying since all Demos are now online, what one Demo does can potentially affect ALL other Demos. In other words, you’re all competing with one another in a way that you never have before.

So, when everyone is working with the same company, offering the same products at the same prices, has the same company-sponsored website AND is sending out the same newsletter, how do you set yourself apart? How do you stand out?

Here are a few ideas:

Blog it! – It’s not enough to have a DBWS. First, there’s no real way to have a different DBWS than everyone else. Second, because there isn’t a lot of flexibility built in, there’s no real way for you to use it to stand out. To stand out and be different, you need a blog. You can make it unique and make it your own. Let your personality shine through. A blog has the flexibility that will allow you to do that and differentiate yourself from everyone else. Remember, that the blog is a business tool, so make sure you’re creating a proper BUSINESS blog, rather than on online diary from someone who really enjoys stamping. Try and post to your blog at least twice per week. If you can do this, the blog will be your best tool in setting yourself apart from… and above… your competition.

Brand it! – Remember…. you’re independent contractors with your OWN businesses. It’s not enough to say that you’re SU Demos. To stand out, you also need your own, separate identity! Think about it… Stamperdog… Stampin Mama… UStamp4Fun. These are brands that we easily recognize and remember. What about you? What’s YOUR brand? Once you know, make sure everyone else does, as well. Register the domain name. Use that domain as your web address. Set up a business e-mail account on that domain name. Put it on your business cards and forms. In fact, make sure EVERYTHING you send out has your brand on it. Never miss an opportunity to reinforce your brand. Don’t let anyone forget it!

Market it! – You can blog and brand all you want, but if you’re not marketing yourself, it doesn’t matter. One of the easiest ways to make you, your blog and your business stand out is to just let people know you exist. There are LOTS of stamping blogs out there, but very few of them have the marketing behind them that’s necessary to drive significant amounts of traffic there.

Having a blog without marketing to back it up is like having a store in a sparsely populated neighborhood. People will walk by occasionally, but not enough to make it worthwhile. Having enough marketing out there to push people to your blog is like chartering a bus from the city to drive a bunch of people to your store. Without that bus, you won’t have many customers and you might have a hard time staying in business…no matter how good that store is. Without adequate marketing, you’ll have an equally hard time… no matter how well you blog, brand or separate yourself from everyone else.

In business, there are no easy answers. And, often, the solutions aren’t simple ones. To stand out in your stamping business, its not a matter of doing one thing well, but several things. Each one of them works in conjunction with the others, and all are necessary to get the most out of your business and stand out from the crowd.

Does it take time? Yes.

Does it take money? Sometimes.

Is it worth it?

If you’re trying to build your business and set yourself apart, it’s not only worth it, but it has to be done!

Warmest regards,
John Sanpietro
Certified Business Coach
Stamping Is My Business!

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