We’ve all seen it. Big companies carrying virtually the same products, spending millions on marketing and battling it out on our living screens trying to prove their product is superior. The oldest battle between Coca Cola and Pepsi has raged for decades on end. Then came Microsoft and Apple, iOS and Google Android, and today Netflix and Prime Video; stiff competition selling very similar products, trying to convince the world their story and product is more worthy. With these multinational corporations, the competition lasts forever in the “me too” battle for our dollars. For multinational corporations, spending millions in marketing is required.
What about small local businesses? The mom and pops’ businesses, the ones with shallow pockets that are owned and operated by people like you and me? What happens to the dime a dozen “me too” businesses: Realtors, mortgage and insurance brokers, dentists, optometrists, accountants, lawyers, and physio therapists? What makes one better or stand out more than the next?
What is the best way to show the world that you are not like every other realtor or accountant in town offering the same “Me Too” services, rather, you are different.
Pick a Niche
Pick a niche and specialize! To stand out from the crowd you must offer something no one else offers, and narrow down who needs what you are offering. The riches are in the niches. The more you niche yourself, the more focused your advertising will be, the more specialized you become and the more you will separate yourself from the other “me too” businesses. By picking a niche and specializing your services, you will have transitioned from a “me-too” to a “me-only” business, and your value increases.
Now you are not just a realtor like all the other realtors in the GTA, but you are a realtor that specializes in setting people up for investment properties, helping them find the property, lock it in contract and then assess whether it is worth investing in, what would the cash flow be like, and then guiding them in tenanting the property and finding a property management company to help manage the property. Your niche is active real investment properties. Through this you are distinguishing yourself from other realtors, and even other investment advisors and brokers because you are looking at active real estate investments rather than passive, where investors are buying hard property and not shares in property.
Specializing in investment properties does not mean you will not take on a client who is looking for their first home, it means you will not actively advertise for a client looking for their first home. Instead, you will focus all of your advertising efforts and dollars calling the property investor. All of a sudden, you are not just a realtor in the GTA looking for anyone that wants to buy or sell a property, you are a specialized realtor with a focus on investment properties. Now, it’s about finding these investors and presenting yourself and what you do for them.
If I am selling my product on the street corner, and approaching every Tom, Dick and Harry for a sale, chances are, nobody is going to stop and take interest. However, if I niche my product, and decide to only sell to Tom, and call out the name “Tom” on the street corner, anyone who hears and is named Tom will definitely stop and answer my call. When we pick a niche, and call out to our target clients’ through talking about their pain points, they turn around and listen up. Figuring out clients’ pain points makes advertising to them a lot more effective. For example, a real estate investor’s pain spots may be uncertainty of the market, purchasing a property with multiple defects without realizing it or getting stuck with the wrong tenants. Now that you have chosen a niche, and identified what your clients’ pain points are, addressing these pain points and how you can solve them in your marketing material will definitely have you noticed by your target clients, and stand out as the obvious choice of realtor to hire to buy an investment property.
The second step to turning your “me too” business into a “me-only” business is determining and making known your personal connection and “why” of your business.
We are all “one of a kind” human beings. No one of the 7 billion people on earth is like you, in their experiences, upbringing, nurture, nature, education and attitude. You are unique, and not because no one else shares your finger prints; you are unique in a thousand and one different ways.
Determining your life story, and how it connects and fuels your business is the second major step in becoming a “me-only” business. Looking into your past, what and who shaped your thoughts, values and priorities will allow you not only to figure out for yourself what your foundational connection is to the line of work you are in and why you do what you do, it allows you to share your past stories with your clients and team, making a “heart” connection, something more than the profane exchange of funds.
Nowadays we repeatedly see company “stories” displayed on websites. These stories are effective because they establish a “heart” connection between people, where the reader can identify and empathize with humble beginnings, struggles and also triumph. Your personal “why” fulfills the same connection a a company story, except it is much more personal and the connection stronger.
“Me too” industries can be tough to break into because the redundancy of your skill, craft or trade is unlimited. Sometimes you can lose sight of how to make yourself stand out and make others understand what only you can truly offer. Niching your service allows you to focus and gain clarity of your path to growth and success. Looking inwards to determine your personal connection and underlying reason for doing what you do as a business, strengthens your personal resolve and connection to your business, and draws others in through a sincere “heart” connection to be more than just clients, but recipients of meaningful and intentional service.