How do you gain the attention of your preferred audience in an era of stiff competition? The truth is, both new and existing business struggle to create a sustained buzz around their business. But it’s not always difficult as it sounds, it starts with thinking like the consumer, creating an experience for them and ensuring your products align with their values.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they break through the noise with their noise and here are insightful responses;
#1- Being authentic in what we do
We’re honest, transparent and fair with our prospects and customers. There are so many times that someone eventually joins us as a customer and by the time they do, they tell me they feel like they already know me and my team because we’re exactly the same publicly as we are with our customers privately. As a coaching firm, we practice unconditional positive regard in all that we do, which resonates with our community and sets us apart from our competition.
Thanks to Magda Walczak, Coacharya!
#2- Two ways
We’ve reached a degree of saturation in almost every industry. The blue oceans are few and far between, so it’s very likely that you’ve got plenty of competition. To stand out, it really comes down to your reason to exist, and how you tell that story. For example, Tesla makes cars. Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, and dozens of other companies also make cars, and having been making them much longer than Tesla. So if Tesla didn’t come onto the scene in 2008 with a real, compelling reason to exist (create the world’s best electric vehicle and make it fun to drive and stunning to look at) it would never have a chance to compete with established incumbents. In the same way, your company needs a reason to exist. What reason are you giving to potential customers to pick you over another product? How clearly are you communicating that reason in your marketing copy? How often are you ingraining the reason into the hearts and minds of your employees? Without a compelling reason to exist, you might ask yourself if it’s even worth starting the company. At EddyHR, our compelling reason to exist is based on our ambition to be the first, true, all-in-one HR solution that primarily serves smaller
Thanks to Ryan Sagers, EddyHR!
#3- Being bold in action
I’m reminded of a former student who wanted to work for a particular alcohol company. So he did he reconnaissance on the owner’s secretary, asking her questions about her bosses likes and dislikes. On Monday morning, he dresses as a courier, walked into the bosses office and delivered him a case of I want to work here ale. He then revealed his ruse, explaining he was so committed to working there, replaced the labels on the bosses favourite beer with his own custom labels, and was now presenting it as a gift. The concept was not to be lost in the crowd of applicants for a job that didn’t exist, instead create one by differentiating. Showing he was a highly committed, outside the box thinker…. naturally, they made a role for him. The most successful companies understand the mantra. ‘The bolder the action, the more polarised the reaction’. It means to be loved by some, at the risk of being hated. No matter the outcome, you’ve stood out, been noticed, and given yourself a chance to win!
Thanks to Joshua Strawczynski, JMarketing Agency!
When you listen, you do not speak.. Therefore, you do not contribute to the ongoing noise around you. Instead, you get the chance to hear what everyone is doing and what they are not doing. If you hear people speaking up about needs that are not being met, take note. The more these needs trend, the more you can identify a way for your business to provide them or partner with a like-minded company to offer these services. Take a moment to listen. What is being said right now by your customers in their conversations?
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#5- Personalization and deep conversations
The amount of screen time, ad budgets and A/B split tests that companies run today is mind-boggling. With so much noise in the marketplace, we have followed and implemented two simple ideas consistently that has helped us organically scale our company and stand out in the marketplace. For the last 3 years, we have been hosting client and prospect dinners where we curate the participants and invite them to an intimate night of deep conversations. Approximately 90% of the conversations are about the client/prospect and their personal life, with a 10% focus on their business. Leveraging dinners, we’ve hosted 150+ dinners for our company as well as on behalf of other companies (both in-person and online). Have you ever turned a free dinner? The second strategy we’ve been leveraging is through hyper-personalized outreach. Instead of blasting a message to the masses and spamming, we send personalized videos and audio messages to hyper-targeted companies we want to work with. People get hundreds of emails a day, and our video emails get on average a 90% open and response rate. Whenever you communicate with your tribe, we recommend taking a hyper-personalized approach.
Thanks to Karan Nijhawan, Jube!
#6- Pivoting our business model
We’ve recently pivoted our business model to break through the noise. The first thing we did was pivot a majority of our services to a subscription model, which was inspired by SaaS solutions. Instead of charging client large upfront fees for services like websites, SEO, and digital marketing, we now charge a fixed monthly fee that covers everything. Although there is a bit of a risk to us, because it will take time to get an ROI, it is great for our clients because they can now easily pay for quality services we provide through their monthly cashflow. The next thing we did was double down on targeted marketing. The truth is that our services could work for most businesses, but in our marketing, we’ve developed dedicated funnels for each of the industries/verticles we currently serve. With so much competition, general marketing doesn’t work. We’ve found we needed to have marketing dedicated to the various niches we serve to get quality leads. So far results have been amazing with our new model. We’re bringing in more business and clients are happy!
Thanks to Kasey Kaplan, KWK Studio!
#7- To always provide value
If your audience sees that you provide content they find useful, they’ll not only follow you but engage more and become the brand loyalists that share your message with their networks as well. Struggling to know what to say to your audience? Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking them! However you do it, an online survey, or a Zoom with some of your biggest brand fans, find out what kind of content they are itching to see it, and provide it for them!
Thanks to Mariana Padilla, Red Lab Marketing!
#8- Letting my personality shine through
To break through the noise with my business, I share a lot about myself and really let my personality shine through. As a financial coach, I ask my clients to share a lot of personal information with me. By putting my authentic shelf out to the world, I believe that it makes my audience and potential clients feel more comfortable with me. By doing this people will either be really pulled to me or have zero connection with me. I debated letting my true self shine through for a long time. When I got off the fence and stopped worrying about keeping everyone happy, it felt so freeing to really show up as myself.
Thanks to Sherry Andrew, Money Mindset Financial Coaching!
#9-Being real, focused, and delivering value
In business, we have to understand that everyone is crazy-busy. As such, it is our responsibility as leaders to ensure we are delivering value to our clients and also staying true to our organization’s mission and values. We have to lean in on what makes an organization and value proposition unique, and then share this widely. There is no win in doing what everyone else is doing, especially if it does not serve our business or your customers. We must stay focused. When we fix ou attention on what makes us distinctive and advantageous to our clients, we naturally stand out from the noise. This is how we can make an impact not only for our clients but also for all
of those within our organizations.
Thanks to Natalie Ruiz, AnswerConnect!
#10- Genuine interaction with your audience
In a time when social media is becoming more full of ads, consumers are becoming tired of the misleading advertising that takes place, with more and more just scrolling through and trying to find a genuine brand. Use your social media as a place to start and engage in conversations with your audience so that you become a trusted source to them. Try doing live Q&A’s as well as staying ahead and discussing the trends in your area. People are much more likely to talk about you, and recommend your business if they feel they know you and that you a trustable source.
Thanks to Ethan Taub, Billry!
#11- Creating a routine
I am the CEO of the largest elearning animation studio and things can get quite hectic and noisy. We are always improving our internal systems and I am still hands-on with respect to marketing and sales, which leads to a ton of noise! Even if I were to take the day off, remove all items from my schedule, and block calls – I still have that internal noise and anxiety by 10am everyday. My 1 cure that shuts it down 100% of the time – 100 burpees timed under 8 minutes. The workout and intensity is enough to pull me out of future focus and into the present. A shower and then a cup of coffee allows me to reboot and slowly take on 1 task at a time. Creating a routine out of this has made me dependent on this flow. You know how strange it is to want and not want to do something.
Thanks to Erick Prospero, Ninja Tropic eLearning!
#12- Through Instagram ads
We have been cutting through the noise with Instagram ads, focussing on relatability. We have decided to buck the trend of most beauty companies where they just use models that are not relatable, and instead we have tried tried to focus on using real people, experience the skin conditions our buyers face. What we wanted was that the people that view our ads, and need our products, would see the ads and think, “Hey, that’s exactly what I get!” That personal relatability has been working very well for us.
Thanks to Camille Chulick, Averr Aglow!
#13- Becoming an expert in your field
The health and fitness niche is saturated enough as it is. In my time of running a fitness blog, I’ve found that becoming an expert in your field is the best way to ‘break through the noise”, make people pay attention, and gain a larger following. I love interacting with my audience and whenever I’m asked for advice or to answer questions, I always make it a point to reference some recent study or data to supplement my responses. Lately, I’ve also been reaching out and collaborating with influencers in the fitness niche. Having them as resource persons for my blog or as guests in my exercise videos gives my content more credibility and allows me to be appealing to these influencers’ followers.
Thanks to Linda Chester, The Health Hour!
#14- Demonstrating constant generosity, genuineness and care
I think that the best way businesses can break through the noise is by providing value to their customers without asking anything first. This could be in the form of providing free advice, consultation, assistance, services and access to resources and community. For instance, about a month ago my company launched our ‘project 10k’- giving back to the community- in which we help 10,000 non-venture backed entrepreneurs launch their startups. We give them access to our investors database and industry connections, we coach them and offer them earning opportunities and business training courses on how to grow their businesses and achieve their goals. When a business is constantly generous, genuine and caring consumers eventually will notice it and appreciate it. It will take some time to build that trust with them but in the long run it is totally worth it because the best marketers are a business’s happy customers.
Thanks to Brian Mac Mahon, Expert DOJO!
#15- Telling stories
I’ve had great results from telling stories. Customers and clients like to buy from people they trust, and telling a story, especially one that comes from experience is a great way to break through the noise. My best stories have been in the form of case studies, detailed answers on Quora, and blog posts explaining why I started the business and why our process works the way it does. As a result, my sales conversion rate is high – when people enquire, they feel as though they personally know me already, so by the time we jump on a call it’s more like catching up with an old friend than cold selling.
Thanks to Jase Rodley, Dialed Labs!
#16- Providing an experience
We live in an age where noise is a big concern for all businesses. Now brands not only have to focus on being an expert, providing great services but they also have to focus on making their brand an experience. Every interaction a customer or a potential one has with a brand needs to provide an experience. It does not matter if it’s a query on social media or a thank you email sent as a follow up. Each of these interaction points have to focus on providing an experience that the person at the other end has never had before. This maybe done through extensive focus on process development and training for everybody in your organization. It does not matter if they directly interact with a client or not, their focus has to be providing an experience. Gone are the times when your brand identity was just a logo or color scheme, people want to attach your brand to an experience and even a face for that matter. So as a business if you want to stand out from the crowd, focus and attention should always be towards providing a personal experience.
Thanks to Osama Khabab, MotionCue Video Production Agency!
#17- Persistence, consistency and repetition
I break through with persistence, consistency and repetition. I don¹t do any paid advertising but I do a lot of writing/content marketing and speaking (online and offline when not social distancing) on topics related to startups, marketing, branding, women entrepreneurs, etc. and also a lot of networking (both online and offline when not social distancing). Wasn¹t it Woody Allen who said 90% of success is just showing up, I just keep doing it. It is not sexy or glamourous but it is a strategy that has worked for me.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#18-Staying specific and standing out
Being a marketing expert, I understand the high competition in our field. My way out to stand out amongst hundreds is simple, Just stay to the point. A client receives multiple messages in a day and less than 50 becomes part of their memory. So make it a point that to break through the noise, my message should get heard through. Be it a message, ad, content, I use for marketing goes really specific and holds the potential to excite the client. My best strategy to cut through the noise is short messages and
Thanks to Shiv Gupta, Incrementors Web Solutions!
#19- Maintaining a simple, transparent relationship
Breaking through the noise can definitely be a hurdle that all companies must overcome. However, we find that maintaining a simple, transparent relationship with our clients helps to reduce any confusion, and providing clear-cut answers to questions always leaves customers with a feeling of relief and trust in the end result. When things become stressful, offering a calm, supportive process can truly make all the difference.
Thanks to Carrie McKeegan, Greenback Expat Tax Services!
#20- Consistent marketing
I think that developing a strong brand recognition can help any company break through the noise. With so many distractions and uncertainties going on in the business world today, maintaining visibility is imperative. We always maintain consistency through all of our marketing efforts, so that we continue to build our brand in a memorable, transparent way. Whether it’s a social media ad or a giant billboard, simple business recognition can connect the dots and build trust with customers.
Thanks to Chris Gadek, ADQUICK!
#21- Paving own way
The best way I’ve found to separate my business from others is to assess our top competitors, do a deep dive into what they’re doing, and try not to do anything similar to them. A lot of CEOs do the opposite. They try to copy what their competitors are doing because they think other businesses know better, but I don’t think that works. By paving your own way, you’re able to show potential customers and clients why you’re unique and why they should work with you.
Thanks to Jason Davis, Inspire360!
#22- Authenticity and integrity
I’ve always believed that the best way to stand out in a crowd is to embrace who you are, what sets you apart, and to always stay true to your values. In my previous life, we built our business on filling what I saw as a glaring service-oriented gap – between what was available and what was actually needed for companies doing business internationally – and focusing on providing the best and most comprehensive service for our clients. We didn’t try to do what other companies in our industry were doing, and that’s ultimately how we made our mark and became the industry standard. And we continued by staying true to ourselves and our values, maintaining our spirit of innovation, and always pushing to provide the best for our clients so that when we said that’s what we did, it was the truth. And with my work today, as Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, I’ve followed the same formula: embracing who I am, what I care about, and the impact I want to make on the world. No one can be you better than you can. So finding out what sets you apart, what you’re here to do, and fully embracing it (rather than trying to emulate or imitate) is the best way to stand out.
Thanks to Liz Elting, Elizabeth Elting Foundation!
#23- Four steps
The following four steps keep us focused and deaf to the day-to-day noise. First, figure out what your business actually does well, call it your Core Focus, and stick to it. Second, create a 1-year plan with a revenue target, profit target, measurables and goals. Third, do the same but for a 3-year plan. Fourth, identify your top three major operational issues each quarter and fix them. Most businesses make themselves more complicated than necessary. Keep it simple, have a plan, stick to the plan (avoid the shiny objects), solve major issues quickly, and you will destroy most or all of the noise in your business.
Thanks to Brandon Dale, House Buyers!
#24- Be relevant and resonate
Be Relevant (AKA Timely). When communicating, speak to what matters to others at the time, not about what matters to you ever. Resonate, meaning connect emotionally from where the audience is by acknowledging their pain points and resolving them. People don’t want to hear about your objectives or your pain. They want you to speak to their problems and they want you solve them. Whether issuing press releases, posting on social media, blogging, or speaking in person, always be your real self, always touch on relevant/current topics, and make a point of connecting with your audience from where they are to ensure your message resonates.
Thanks to David M. M. Taffet, Petal, LLC!
We break through the noise with collaboration. Aligning with and collaborating with groups and brands with similar purposes and intentions gives us a much larger reach and more attentive audiences. At the onset of COVID-19, we realized financial sustainability was going to be a major issue for small businesses. We set a goal of positively impacting 10,000 small businesses, knowing that would be near impossible with just our reach and contacts. We reached out to align with others who had a larger reach and who had a vested interest in small businesses surviving this economic crisis. We have announced collaborations with Green Circle, Neill Distribution and Intercoiffure America Canada. 2 large, global collaborations will be released in the coming week.
Thanks to Tom Kuhn, Qnity, Inc.!
#26- Keep your name and logo in front of the customers
The best way to stand out in the crowd is to keep your name and logo in front of your target audience. Familiarity breeds trust and keeps people coming back. Most businesses feel the need to scale back their marketing budgets in tough times, such as the current COVID-19 crisis. But now is a crucial time to brand your company so you don’t lose market share. Social media is extremely helpful in giving your brand exposure. Giveaways tossed out at local events, used as rewards for purchases or gifts to loyal customers are affordable and provide long-term branding. Any measure that puts your name in front of potential customers is an opportunity to consider.
Thanks to Shelley Grieshop, Totally Promotional!