Defining your service or product can be more troublesome than you might initially anticipate. Perhaps the hardest part is your inability to step outside your “bubble” because you are too close to the project. No one understands the importance of an external viewpoint more than a marketer – in fact, it’s marketers who often have the hardest time defining themselves!
Agencies, both large and small, spend countless hours researching consumer behaviors and habits in order to finely tune your unique selling proposition.What are your competitors strengths? What makes your market unique? How is your product finely tuned to address needs of that unique market?
Time, sweat and tears are poured into researching consumer behavior and collecting competitive intelligence. But how are we doing defining ourselves? A recent non-scientific poll of yours truly discovered I in fact had scored a big sloppy “F.” My passion is my clients, but as an entrepreneur, I also need to balance that client-focused passion with a little self-love, so to speak.
So how am I taking the proverbial bull by the horns and making a change in my case of mistaken identity? For me, it boils down to getting out of a “rut” and continually expanding my horizons, as well as not being afraid to be unique.
- Showing a little personality. I’m a no nonsense, let’s get to business kind of gal. However, I also love a fine glass of wine and conversation with random strangers at the bar. So how do I let my hair down while still commanding a professional presence? Well, just let me know how I’m doing over the course of the next few months…
- Not being afraid to tackle challenges that are less than underwhelming. We all have the tendency to let emails collect in our inbox. You know the ones of which I speak – those “chores” that are a) slightly mundane or b) a step outside of your comfort zone. Find those challenges and tackle them – immediately. But not all at once. These challenges not only build character, but force you to continue growing various business skills. Challenge yourself to expand your horizons and you just might discover a skill that becomes an added value to current and prospective clients.
- Spending time learning and networking is time well spent. With a finite number of hours in the day, business development and extended education tend to take the back burner. Sure clients are priority and deadlines must be met, but don’t rush through that RSS feed, take notes during the webinar and categorize those bookmarks! It’s okay to spend 15% of your time networking and attending lectures or webinars. There is a vast amount of information out there, and so many phenomenal resources offering tutorials and white papers. You spend time finding those trusted sources, so why wouldn’t you spend time studying what they have to offer you?
What’s holding you back from building your company? You might not need a full-time agency, but a qualified consultant can help you address the root of the problem. Is your sales team too lean? Would new software help track inventory better to decrease losses? Does your internal marketing team need to brush up on new Internet marketing techniques?
Sometimes the question can best be answered by a pair of fresh, external eyes.