I’ve been doing a lot of private consulting lately, and realized that it’s getting so hard for any business to stand out because there are just so. many. people. all doing the same thing!
When I first got started, you could create the ugliest sales page or the worst webinar and things would still sell because there just wasn’t that much out there. But now there’s so much great information and so many people with beautiful websites and branded slides and pro video, it can feel like someone just starting out can’t possibly compete.
But that’s absolutely not true. Because the first webinar didn’t work because it was perfectly polished and fancy — it worked because it was different.
Basically, what we were talking about is how important it is to “zig” when other people “zag.”
Maybe that’s not a new concept, but in the internet marketing community, the same-old, same-old that everyone has been doing over and over again is not really working that well any more.
And with all the competition out there, it’s really important — moreso now than ever — to think creatively, strategically, and see where there are creative openings to help you stand out.
Where are they zagging?
A great business book on this topic is Blue Ocean Strategy, and in it, the authors talk about how, with the right positioning, any business can have a wide open, blue ocean of opportunities for themselves — but it requires (basically) zagging where others zig.
And it also applies to your marketing.
So the first step is to ask yourself: Where are they zagging?
Take a look at your industry first. What sorts of thing is everybody doing in your industry? If you’re selling products or services to other businesses, for example, you’ve almost certainly seen people in your niche using a teaching webinar with a pitch at the end to sell. Or, if you’re in the beauty industry, you might notice that most people are on Instagram — and a lot of their photos all look generally the same.
Make a list of how you see people in your industry zagging: What are they all (or most) doing? How are they all selling? What does their marketing look like? Who are they all trying to reach? How/where are they trying to reach them? Are they positioning themselves as the luxury option or the value option? Are they trying to reach a wide audience or personalize things?
Where can you zig?
Once you’ve identified how everyone is doing things the same, you can figure out how you want to do things differently.
So, for example, if all your competition on Instagram is using carefully composed, white, minimalist flat lays, maybe you could use bright colors, imperfect shots, or video to stand out.
If your competition is trying to scale and reach as many people as possible through techniques like webinars, maybe you could double down on creating a personalized experience, talking to people one-on-one.
If everyone in your space seems to be marketing to the busy mom, maybe you could create a campaign directed at all the single ladies with no kids.
The options here are practically endless.
Once you see how everyone is zagging, you can imagine how you might zig.
Of course, the one caveat is that your zag needs to be in line with your business, brand, and values. But the more clearly you see how everyone is headed in one direction, the more clear it will become which of your existing brand values align differently and can help you zag out in a new direction.
That’s why instead of offering online courses for thousands of people, I’ve decided to start offering intimate, online workshops. My inspiration? To do something different than what everybody else is doing. I just got sick of creating online courses that were full of value — but people were buying them, sitting on them, and not actually doing the work!
I love great products, but my calling is not to make great products, but to help other people get their products out into the world. So instead of coming up with a new online course on how to run a product-based business online, I’m planning on offering a four-week workshop. I will be showing up live and the participants will be expected to show up live as well.
During this 4 week workshop I will show you how to:
- Increase your social media following
- Increase the traffic to your site
- Increase your email list
- Increase both the size and the number of your sales
Starting Monday, August 28th, we’ll meet on Mondays for the training, and again on Fridays in the FB group to answer questions and share our progress.
If you have a product-based business and are interested in joining us for this special, exclusive workshop, click here to fill out an application to get started.
No, this isn’t the most scaleable business idea I’ve ever had! But it is more aligned with my values, and it is different from what other people are doing in our space right now. And I think those two things make it definitely worth a try!