The Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport is currently investigating a video, which has gone viral on social media, of two teenaged secondary school studen
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5 ways to stand out in the marketplace
The marketplace is crowded. Whether you are a teacher looking for work, a consultant seeking your next project or a singer waiting to be discovered. You must be able to stand out in the crowd if you are to succeed at business.
While many believe that if they do more they can get more, doing more of too many different things won’t make you unique, rather it will make you like everyone else. Here are five ways to set yourself apart in the marketplace.
1. Be authentic. I tell my children you can only fake something for so long. Eventually, the real you will show up and it may be at the most inopportune time. Be yourself always. People connect and want to do business with those who are genuine and it is easiest to accomplish this when you are not struggling to maintain appearances and be something you are not. If you recognise that there are areas of your personality or habits that you have which are not conducive to growing your business then get help. Being authentic is not an excuse to be rude or brash. We can all grow to become more of who we would like to be to attract the success we want.
2. Team up. My dad always says no man is an island. Stop believing that you must accomplish things on your own. In a crowded space, combining resources can enable you and a business associate to get more done and increase your visibility. You may not need to work with a competitor but find a product or service which compliments and offers more value for customers. Consider that you are an event planner needing more clients and know of a caterer needing more events to work at. Creating a signature event which combines both of your abilities will bring work that you would not be available without teaming up. We are stronger together.
3. Rebrand your image. How long has it been since your website, business cards, business signs got a makeover? Take a look at the visual elements of your business and give them a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. Consider whether your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Do you have a call to action visible above the fold? Does your logo truly reflect what you do and who you want to attract? Make the investment to hire a qualified designer who can produce a top quality logo which will fit with the image you want to present. Update the signs at your business so they have your email and web address and also use the same logo as on your website and other marketing material. Change up your display windows often to keep it fresh.
4. Position yourself. If you are trying to get more work as a speaker or consultant don’t try to speak or consult on too wide a platform. Your past work experience could be the foundation for your speaking career. Say you were a high-level civil servant in the health care ministry, consider using health care improvement as the segment to build your consulting business around. Write articles offering ways in which health care services across the region can be improved. Research how various islands are managing a particular health issue and gaining results and share this with your audience. Look at global trends and bring them into a Caribbean context for your audience. Positioning yourself as an expert in the health care field will be more effective than trying to speak for example on improving government services in general. This will help you to focus and help people who need someone with your skill set to find you. Most importantly it will enable you to charge top dollar as you will have less competition in a targeted arena.
5. Show up consistently. As entrepreneurs we usually have 10 different ideas which we think are viable and that we want to do but that is not feasible or advisable to multi task in that way. Focus on the venture that is earning you a living and continue to deliver on this. If you are building a brand and delivering a service then do it all the way. When marketing your venture don’t consider one or three-month campaigns as the solution. Budget and plan for monthly campaigns to keep you constantly before the faces of your customers. This will mean finding affordable ways to advertise but it will serve your business better in the long run. Social media is an excellent method of doing this as well as subscription-based email newsletters.
In order to succeed, you must make the decision to stand out and be center stage in your business. History will remember the bold ones and your business will be better for it.
Nerissa Golden is an award-winning Media Strategist, Business Coach and author who helps her clients accelerate their business growth by leveraging high impact communications solutions and income generating strategies. Get tips on starting and growing a business at www.trulycaribbean.net or on Twitter @trulygolden.