To actually be different than everyone else out there is not actually that hard. You are born different and there is no one else out there like you . That is what makes life so interesting and special. However, when It comes to showcasing your talents and making yourself and services stand out online and on social media, to be different is sadly a totally different thing. It is easy to look around at what all your competitors are doing and copy them or mimic what they are doing, thinking “Hey, if it works for them, then it should work for me.” But that is not going to work. If anything, it just becomes spam and makes you blend in there more than anything else.
So you are probably guessing what I am going to say next, but to stand out you need to look around at what everyone else is doing and do something different. Possibly even the complete opposite. You may make a few mistakes, but this is the only way to truly make your mark and look totally different then anyone else.
Now, when you are marketing clothing or goods, it is easy to market something that is not directly "you". At least when I am marketing myself, I always feel like I am standing up waving my hand, saying "Look at me, look at me!", like a silly child.
It also seems like it is easier to find material out there to help to market products vs. services. This is probably because marketing yourself sucks and it is really hard. Hard in the same way it is hard to stand in front of a class and give a presentation. Hard like having to talk to a group of strangers about how "what you have to offer is the best, and they should pay attention". It takes a certain set of bravery and is not for the faint of heart.
I don't want to offend anyone, but marketing a product is easy.
Simply show a picture and talk about how great it is, how you can’t live without it....and in a perfect world, people buy it. When you are selling yourself or your services, it is not that straight forward. Self doubt starts sinking in and even the most confident person starts wondering if they are good enough. Is this something they should be doing? If this is what they are supposed to be doing, then why is marketing yourself so flipping hard? It is easy to start thinking about not being good enough, and allowing weaknesses to start holding you back. Putting yourself out there to be vulnerable is hard and scary, and quite honestly, it held me back for a long time.
I felt like all my pictures sucked (they really might, but that is not what this is about.)
I felt like everything was out of focus and my greens always sucked. Who even knows whats going on with white balance?? Plus, when I read back on what I posted, I always thought, "Oh god, do I really sound that stupid?". It's a lot like hearing your own voice on the answering machine. No one likes hearing their own voice. But, I think if you are NOT feeling that way, that means you are not being vulnerable or your true, authentic self. If you are not being real, vulnerable and true, then you are not relating to your audience and possible clientele.
So, once you stop trying to be a product...a headband or a coffee cup, and stop pretending to be perfect, you will start attracting clients who are your ideal clients. Clients who value your work. Clients who love your style and can afford to pay you a living wage because you are a real person and someone who they can relate too. Which is what we all want. You will start being able to breathe because your inbox is full of happy people who admire and respect you. And you get to work with people and projects that inspire you and you won’t have to worry about trying to keep up, because you are already creating your own game. You don’t need to look at what other people are posting on social media or blogging about and then trying to put “your spin” on it. You already know what YOU need to be doing out there because you created your own message. It is you, and it is your truth. You just need to stand in it.
So here is MY simple blue print I give to my 1-on-1 clients to help them come up with how to stand in their truth.
These can be used for social media posts or for blog posts. For sake of ease let’s start with posting on social media.
1.) Post YOUR interests: Post what lights you up and you feel passionate about. If you like running, post pretty pictures that you took of your running shoes. Use this as a perfect way to show your favorite / brand / colors on Instagram, against some negative space. I don’t like running, however I do love perfectly styled flat layers of hipster clothing or pretty colored makeup on white marble.
2.) Post yourself: Selfie time! Yeah, I hate this idea too, but people love to see you either behind the scenes and what you are doing. I did a challenge for myself where I was going to post every day for a month photos of me actually getting dressed. (Like out of my pj's kind of dressed.) It was some of my most popular posts and encouraged people to reach out to me, while some even took the challenge themselves. You can also post some behind the scenes pictures with you working with other vendors, so you both get some face time.
3.) Post your work: Mix it up and don’t just post your own pictures. This is important. You can’t just show your own perfect work. You have to show different things that tell your brands story and personality.
4.) Post what makes you feel inspired: What lights you up will light up the people you want to work with. For me this is inspirational quotes. This can also be some other peoples' artwork such as a watercolor artist or florists. They will also appreciate the love and be more likely to share your work in the future.
5.) Post what others are saying about you: Testimonials or other publications that have shown your work is a great way to develop credibility. Which in turn, makes you seem more trust worthy to buy services from.
Here is a free worksheet I have created to help you get started and figure out how you can stand out and stand in your truth.