We all know someone who is an amazing singer.
The star of the school musicals or the lead soloist from church choir.
We’ve all got a friend, relative, or classmate who could out-vibrato anyone on the top 20 charts.
And yet? Most of these amazingly talented people will never “make it big.”
Why? The music industry is so saturated with talent to pick and choose from, that talent alone isn’t enough.
Arguably, talent isn’t even the most important thing.
Bestselling author Stephen King once said that there were writers much, much more talented than him– but they would never be as successful. Why? Because they weren’t willing to put in the same amount of work.
I agree with King. It’s going to take a lot more work on your part in order to stand out. But I feel it’s important to note that it’s not just the person who works the hardest who makes it, either.
Rather, it’s the person whose brand attracts a large enough, and loyal enough following that will stand out.
Think about it.
When you hear the performer name “Lady Gaga,” do you think “Ah, yes. The one with the nice singing voice.” OR do you think of LADY GAGA, the woman and the BRAND in it’s entirely?
Being the whip-smart woman that she is, Lady Gaga did not bank on her vocal abilities alone. She created a memorable brand persona that would be immediately recognizable, attract her target market, and stand out from other performers of the same caliber. Whether or not you are a fan of her music, you have to admire her fan-focus in an industry that requires sold-out tour dates to maintain record contracts.
Same goes for Stephen King. As a member of his loyal following, you can expect that I’m going to pick up and read any new book that he puts out. Because I am familiar with his established brand, I have a good idea of what I can expect from a King novel and don’t even need to read the inside of the jacket cover to decide if I’m interested or not. If he wrote it, I’m in.
Now let’s apply these same principals to your business.
It can be daunting to think about how you can make yourself stand out in a saturated market.
I sell jewelry, the most saturated market in handmade by a long shot, so I know. I’m right there with you.
To move past the overwhelm it helps to shift your focus.
Rather than thinking “How am I going to stand out?” think “How am I going to make my brand the most appealing to my target market?”
Because that’s where it all begins.
Lady Gaga isn’t worried about competing with Marilyn Manson, and Stephen King isn’t worried about competing with Nicholas Sparks. They may be in the same industry, technically, and while there is probably some crossover, they are generally targeting different audiences.
By shifting your focus from your product category to your audience, you can turn your business into a brand irresistible to its loyal following.
Consider your brand’s touch points and what you can do to make them more attractive to your target market.
Think about what’s lacking in your market that your customers are searching for. Can you tweak your products so they fulfill an unmet or undermet need?
You may wish you could have a successful, booming business right this second. (Who doesn’t?) But it’s through trial and error you will be able to tweak your brand until it’s something that draws a loyal following of it own. If you put enough effort into it, it won’t matter that there are thousands of other sellers in your category, or that everybody knows somebody who can “do what you do.”
Because we all know somebody who can hit the high notes, yet Lady Gaga’s tour dates continue to sell out.