We hear it all the time. “There’s no such thing as a new idea.”
Someone else is already making money on the concept you’re preparing to present. This begs the question: How do you stand out in a market that’s already occupied? How did Google get ahead of Yahoo, and Facebook ahead of MySpace?
I connected with and asked some of the most touched content creators what they do in order to stand out.
Here’s what I learned.
Use actionable instruction to get social shares
“I try to avoid the fluffy inspirational posts in favor of longer-form tactical case studies and tutorials. There’s a lot of things we know we should be doing in theory, but when someone breaks down step-by-step everything they did, I think it’s a lot more helpful, actionable and shareable,” Loper said.
Rowse added, “A simple exercise that I recommend bloggers do is to identify who their reader is when they arrive on their blog and to create a simple description of their challenges, questions and needs. Then identify who you want your reader to become when they have been reading your blog for a year or two. In essence, you’re creating a before and after shot of your reader.”
This is backed by Steve Rayson and the BuzzSumo team, who encourage aspiring viral content creators to “tell [their audiences] the secrets of success.”
If you’re in a business that is meant to help people grow through information products and content, remember to keep it practical and step-by-step instead of inspirational and fluffy.
Niche until it hurts
John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire told me to “be willing to niche down until you can dominate your area of expertise. Niche down until it hurts, if that’s what it takes. That’s how you can create initial momentum, and build from that.”
A lot of beginners struggle with establishing their niche. People aren’t one-trick ponies. And it’s difficult to feel like you’re letting all of the other great pieces of you die to fulfill just one thing.
However, Dumas encourages you to do just that: make it hurt. He does point out that you must build from your initial niche topic, and you’re just using the initial niche to build momentum. Just until you gain enough traction and recognition to expand and become an expert in several different complementary areas.
Get personal to build rapport
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income says getting personal has allowed him to position himself above the fray:
“Above all else, the tactic I’ve used most to stand out has been sharing information that most others will not, for example my monthly income reports, detailed accounts of specific business failures that I’ve had, and also talking a lot about my personal life. Letting people on the inside allows people to feel like they’re getting something they cannot get anywhere else.”
Daniel DiPiazza of Rich20Something spoke on the same note, saying, “Be so honest about your own flaws that people can’t doubt your intent. Then sell them something that will make their life better.”
Marketing is never a guaranteed affair, but modeling from those who have found their true fans and are growing rapidly has helped me grow my business, and it will help you too.