How Are You Different? (Not better)
Posted on 26 August 2011
Notice the question isn’t the typical one you hear like, ‘How are you better?’ Instead, how are you different.
When it comes to being different, most people understand that IF their ‘difference’ is generally considered to be a strength or positive characteristic, then that’s what they should focus on in their marketing. If you always shoot moody portraits and paint in fog and smoke using Photoshop, that’s a look, that’s a style, and that’s what you market to the world. That’s easy. — And if you have such a skill or strong style, you can stop reading because you already know how to focus your marketing message.
Still, there are many, many more people who feel “average” or even feel like they may come up short in one or more important ways when they measure themselves against their competition. They look around and feel average in many ways and possibly even weak in some ways too. That doesn’t mean that these people are destined to remain average in success, recognition, client base, etc. You just need to change your focus a bit and see if you can twist your average self-assessment or even a weakness, into something that would attract clients.
Some standard, marketable strengths include things like:
- Do you have a particular style that stands out?
- Are you brilliant at post-processing?
- Are you really fast?
- Are you fast enough to be really cheap? (By the way, unless you’re unusually fast and amazingly organized, as well as tireless, lowest price is often a bad way to market.)
- Have you done any notable work (like famous clients)?
Then come the more probing questions. How are you different? Even if it’s one of those things that you consider to be a weakness.
- Are you far younger (or older) that most of the people in your field?
- Do you have some sort of handicap that makes your story interesting/compelling? (A vision problem, some other physical disability, color blindness, recovery from severe cancer, etc.)
- Do you have a regular day job and can only shoot on the weekends (and some evenings)?
- Are you a poet who could write a verse about each image you shoot?
So here’s your challenge for this weekend… Think about any way you might be different and then market that as your unique offering. Make yourself memorable by giving your customers and potential customers an unique way to remember you.