Sometimes we get so deep into our work everything feels special about it. The truth is, to your readers and potential customers, they may not notice. There is so much vying for their attention you have to do something that stands out.
- 1 What does your idea do for your customer?
- 2 What is the extra-special part of your article, product, or service?
- 3 How does it directly impact your reader/customer?
- 4 How might it do things your reader didn't expect?
- 5 Are they keenly aware of your remarkable benefit?
- 6 Can you amplify that unique thing to make it so remarkable it sells itself?
- 7 Wrap it all up for the audience
Standing out is super important today because, as Seth Godin consistently mentions, interruption marketing does not work anymore. Your content marketing efforts need to express how you are different and better than the ocean of other choices out there.
Let's go through an exercise to find how to make your product, whether digital or physical, stand out more.
What does your idea do for your customer?
First, you need to identify everything your product or service does for the audience you seek to help. Take the time to write down everything. Leave nothing off the list. Even if it only saves the client one microsecond, write it down.
You should entirely focus on this exercise too. I know you're super busy, and there are a million other tasks you need to take care of, but spending the time to do this now will reap big rewards for you later.
So turn off everything, pull out a pad of paper, and start writing it all down in one big list. You can do this digitally, too, of course, but make sure you are not trying to do other things simultaneously.
Focus on this. It's important. In the next step, you'll review it.
What is the extra-special part of your article, product, or service?
Now take the full list of "things your idea does for them" and distill it down to the top 10. Pick things that can save the most money for the client. Or save the most time -- which means both. But also think about where your idea could delight your audience in other ways.
Is there something your audience is used to with other services, but you provide something far beyond the norm? That's a great one for the top 10 list.
Don't rank the benefits yet. Top 10 means "the ten benefits most important to my customers." Don't waste the time to think about how one may be more important than another. Go with your gut feeling for now -- you'll have time to make an informed choice later.
How does it directly impact your reader/customer?
At this point, you should have a top 10 greatest hits of how your idea benefits your audience. Now it's time to go through each one and ask, "how does this directly impact my reader or customer?"
Go deep too. Spend the time to think of every tiny way a particular benefit helps. Not only saves time and money but improves their work-life, or teaches them something important they wouldn't have discovered otherwise.
Do you take specific responsibilities off their plate? Do you make something more comfortable to complete so they can move on to other tasks in their business? Do you help them make informed decisions? Maybe you make sure they don't forget things, or better schedule their day...
It would be best if you rarely used "time savings" and "money savings" as the benefit. Yes, saving time and money are benefits, but they are often the result of the real impact.
For example, if someone came to you and said, "I'll take care of global sales and VAT tax issues for your e-commerce sales..." -- that's a huge burden taken off your shoulders. It saves time and money -- and worry.
How does each benefit in your top 10 do something similar for your audience?
If you can interview potential clients -- give them examples and note their "voice" in their responses. The terminology they use is the "hot sauce" to add that extra oomph to your pitches in the future. It also helps you understand your audience's mindset better.
How might it do things your reader didn't expect?
This is where you're trying to make a connection with your audience. Those direct benefits are easy for you to distinguish, but can they?
Take each item in your top 10 list and think of how you would explain it so they will reach that "aha!" moment. Where their heart skips a beat, and they hold their breath a second with the surprise of how perfect your idea helps them.
When you have your marketer hat on, it's often in how you frame it for them. What may be evident to you isn't necessarily clear to them. Remember, they are like you -- with ideas, tasks, and work-life balance fighting for time and attention.
It may hurt to admit it, but they probably haven't much time to think about your product or service. Not yet, at least. You have to make them aware of it first.
Are they keenly aware of your remarkable benefit?
A remarkable product sells itself -- boring products are just that, boring -- unremarkable. It's hard to sell average products.
It's all in how your audience sees the benefit of your effort to help them.
After you have done all the steps in this exercise up to this point, you should have quite a lot of material to help you with the arduous journey of convincing enough people your idea is perfect for them.
Some is it up to chance Now. It might not be the perfect time to approach your audience with the genius solution you have for their organization.
But you don't have control over that. You need to understand it often takes time to get a response to your remarkable ideas. Your instinct will be to quit but don't. If you have the list of excellent benefits, keep sharing and showing them off, and eventually, someone you seek to help will notice.
When one notices, more are likely to follow. Action begets action. This is when your remarkable idea begins to sell itself. More and more see the reasons for enrolling in your product or service.
Can you amplify that unique thing to make it so remarkable it sells itself?
Or maybe convinces your readers to promote your article for you?
Can you amplify your idea's unique "thing" to make it even better for your client? In other words, can you push your remarkable product to become something like the perfect content product?
"The perfect content product Stolen from Jason Calacanis, serial entrepreneur: According to Jason, the perfect content product can be described by these five characteristics: real-time, fact-driven, visual, efficient, and curated."(contentmarketinginstitute.com)
For instance, here on the dojo, I started with feedback for custom AI workflows. It was a completely manual process of accepting submissions and me writing out the email back. I found myself usually writing the same first email over and over (with slight differences).
It would add time to the start of the feedback session. And sometimes, the request would come in while I was sleeping -- adding hours while the client waited. Not the best user experience.
The first email is now automated to make this a better experience, so the client gets it immediately. I also added more thorough "first contact" questions to boost the initial feedback's effectiveness -- increasing the overall level of quality at the same time.
The audience gets a better, more immediate service than the initial launch provided. I'm sure over time; there will be more ways to make it better.
It would help if you were thinking about this too. How can you take your already remarkable idea and make it even better?
Wrap it all up for the audience
By now, you have everything you need to frame your product correctly for the audience you seek to serve. Now you have to wrap it all up and deliver it to them in a way that will surprise and delight them.
Go where they hang out, talk to who they are inspired by, get your message in front of them right when they need to see it most.