I have been reading Robert Craven’s excellent book Grow Your Service Firm and I have found it a revelation.
I don’t want to say too much as I have to finish it and once I do I will send you a post on those findings, but let’s just say you will enjoy it!

One of the ‘big’ challenges for me when I started my own business was how do I differentiate between me and the next guy? [Click to Tweet] I started a website design company in 2006 because the simple truth was a lot of them either didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t treat their clients with the respect they deserved, so I set out to change that.

But how to be different?

This was not going to be difficult because as Robert rightly says in his book “everyone was saying the same thing”:

  • We are the biggest
  • We are the best
  • We are the quickest
  • We are…whatever else you can think of to say!

So taking all this into consideration I decided my company would not be the cheapest, we would not keep clients waiting forever to have their work done and we would deliver on our promises.

We largely stuck to this and I like to think it became a good company to do business with, yes we didn’t hit every goal or target but we tried, that’s all you can ask these days…!

So in today’s world how can we be different to the next guy when all we see is the same stuff regurgitated across the web? It’s hard to come across original content but if you look hard enough you can find it.

Or better still you can create it yourself.

I love writing, something I didn’t think I would, and my English teacher at school certainly didn’t think so either! Yes you have to make sure that spelling is correct and that your grammar is good but I have to say I can forgive all that if it’s a great story. I would encourage you to write stories, even if it’s ‘wound’ around a dry subject like database management or moving from Windows to Chrome etc. The subject matter is yours to decide upon but the thing you must remember is that you are engaging with real people so make it stick with them, forever.

I love reading interesting and engaging stories and I found the best way to write like this is to imagine you are sitting across the room from someone and you are telling them your story, its surprising how quickly this can work for you and how comfortable you become. Sometimes I will write a post or ‘story’ and read it aloud to see how it would be if I used it at a seminar or a speaking engagement, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t but its always worth trying out.

So how do you source your content? [click to Tweet] This is the easy part because I can take an educated guess that you have been doing your job for a while now and that you are pretty good at it, am I right?

Yeah I am and I know you can tell your story using your blog or Google Plus anything where people can come, in large numbers, and read your stories and comment on them.

That for me is the best bit, others commenting on what I have written, good or bad, don’t take offence because everyone has an opinion and just like a party or networking event you might not agree with everything that’s said but sometimes it’s worth sticking with it just to hear the story.

So to sum up..

  • Write your own story
  • Send it out to the world
  • Engage with the comments
  • Have a great time doing it

I hope this helps you to think about being ‘different’ to everyone else because that’s what makes us so unique and special.

Let me know how you get on and feel free to leave a comment.

Keith

I offer advice to board members, executives, SME’s and small businesses on social media strategies to help them use it as a channel to gain greater access to their customers, staff and suppliers.
I help to demystify everything ‘social’.

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