How To Find Your Edge And Stand Out From The Competition
Thanks for being here today. Every Tuesday I'll be posting resource information about a collection of useful topics to help you strategize and grow your empires! This week I'm sharing how to find your edge and stand out from the competition.
Do you know that feeling when you're in your element and everything seems to just flow? Like, everything seems to have a sense of clarity. What's even more awesome is when this happens for you in your business.
Solidifying your "niche" and discovering your dream audience is only the first step to building an incredible brand. (I'll be discussing more of this topic next week, so stay tuned)
What I mean by finding "your edge"
Discovering that special something you have that helps you to stand out from your competition. And by competition, I mean businesses that are doing or selling similar products to yours at similar price points, or with a similar audience.
I think having and knowing exactly who your competition is, is extremely important for your business. And if you're not quite sure who your competition is, I'd definitely suggest digging in and doing your research.
In my own experience, knowing who my direct competition was really made me step up my game. Without a sense of competition, you kind of just feel like you're floating along.
Knowing this really fueled my desire to add my own personality into my brand. Like violins in a Lana Del Rey song, you must create a special lens that everything filters through and relates back to. Adding experience and expertise with the personality of your brand all results in finding and keeping your edge.
So how do you go about doing all of this? Here are some powerful tips to help you out.
Write out a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
Start by making a quick list of all your skills. Anything from your communication style, personal style, your creativity, hobbies, and activities that you gravitate towards. Your answers don’t have to be specific to one area. Once these are all listed, you’ll be able to find ties between them. To help get your own wheels turning, I've listed a few of my strengths below.
My Strengths: adventurous/willing to try new things, risk taker, very curious, loves making people laugh, hyper visual, photographers eye, attention to details, communicates well, honest/transparent.
If you're not exactly sure what your specific strengths are, then try starting with what you're not great at, or don't enjoy doing. Not everyone is good at everything, and we certainly don't enjoy doing everything. Your weaknesses will naturally guide you to revealing your strengths.
My Weaknesses: legal stuff, financial stuff, keeping a strict schedule or regime, public speaking in front of large groups of people, structure, staying organized, cold calling.
If I had started with just my weaknesses it would make sense to me that I probably should invest my time into building a smaller, more personable and creative community to match my personality.
You’ll definitely want to go more in-depth with these lists, but this is my way of showing you that working backwards can help you connect the dots going forward.
Listen to what others think you're good at.
It took me a while to gather what my strengths and weaknesses were especially in my first online business. For a while most people knew me for just designing funny sayings on custom products for @shopmisswithit. But I actually worked hard to achieve a BFA in Graphic Design, and when I told my mother that I wanted to start utilizing my graphic design skills more by designing for other brands she said, "FINALLY!"
She knows I'm stubborn, and I've always had to figure things out for myself...
So I encourage you to ask your business besties, friends, family or audience what they know you for. Just so you don't have to take so long to figure out that you're not living up to your potential (like I did)
Keep challenging yourself to try new things.
The more nervous I got about writing a blog to help girls grow their empires, the more I knew I had to do it. When you conquer your doubts, you may open yourself up to a whole new skill-set. You never know if you’re a natural at something until you give it a real try. Maybe you will uncover a new edge you never knew you had.
Don't try to match what everyone else is doing.
Yes, it's good to be aware of and observe what others are doing but stay true to your own vision and don’t be afraid to ask questions or talk about topics specific to your niche. Spice it up, throw in some humor, a little non-sense wakes up the brain cells and helps people to pay attention. After all, nobody wants to see the same content with the same voice as everyone else over and over.
Own your expertise.
When you’re meeting someone for the first time, remember your edge and be sure to communicate it clearly in your introduction. I like to call it having a short "elevator length" explanation prepared. Let's pretend you're on an elevator and someone important asks you what you do, well that person could be getting off at the next floor, and you don't want to be fumbling over your words. So just have 2-3 sentences prepared in your mind that gets straight to the point, and expresses clearly what you do. The most successful people are the people who know what they excel at and make sure you’re aware of it too, in a quick and humble way of course.
Remember, passion & grace will take you places just hustling can't.
But until then, keep hustling!