Have you noticed it? Our collective social media feeds are becoming more and more similar. Brand messaging all sounds about the same these days. So, how does a small business owner set themselves apart from the competition?
What do your customers really want?
It’s easy to assume because there’s so much of the same content out there everywhere that it must be what people want… And in some cases, that may be true. But, have you ever asked your audience what they want? It’s a simple piece of advice, but it’s effective… and most people never do it!
Poll your audience on social media. Ask them questions. Pay attention to their answers. Let what they say direct your content creation, rather than what you assume they want based on what everyone else is doing.
One of these things is not like the others…
Anyone else watch Sesame Street as a kid? Remember that song that went, “One of these things is not like the others…” That’s what I want you to focus on.
Here’s a little exercise. Make a list of what your competitors seem to focus on the most. Now, you may do 98% of the same things they do, but I want you to think about the 2% of things you do differently. What images and stories can you share about those things?
Who are you?
No, really, who are you? What’s your personality? If you’re a fun, energetic person, embrace it. If you’re laid back, introverted, or shy, embrace that too!
You love the things you love, and you have the hopes/dreams/desires you have for a reason. Those things paint the picture of who you are. Don’t share pictures of things you hate just because they’re popular. Share things that are meaningful/purposeful/important to you and your business. By doing so, you’ll connect with your audience in a unique way that other businesses, brands, and influencers can’t.
Create before you consume
I have to give Jenna Kutcher full and complete credit for this one. She always says, “Create before you consume.” It’s probably the best piece of advice anyone can give on producing content that is authentic to you and your brand.
When we see all the pretty things other people are putting out there, it’s easy to think, “I need to do that too!” But the problem is that person’s content is already out there. The world already has one of her… What the world needs is you. Your unique style/passion/vision/point of view.
The remedy? Create, dream, write, brainstorm, etc. before you hop on social media for the day. That way you’re less likely to be influenced by everyone else’s feeds.
This one may seem obvious, but you need to really care about your audience. People can tell when they’re just being sold to. But, if you constantly show your followers that you’re thinking about them and what’s in their best interest, it makes a difference. Your main focus should be, “How can I serve my audience” rather than, “How can I sell [insert product here]?”
How do you show you care? Solve problems for your followers. Inspire them. Entertain them. Do your best to be a bright spot in their day.
Be a storyteller
Usually, the best marketers are the best storytellers. If you can pair your beautiful photo with a captivating story, your audience will be more likely to engage. And with the ever-changing algorithm landscape, one constant is the necessity for post engagement!
So… what’s the story behind the photo? How do you connect with it? How would you like your audience to connect with it? Is there a special element you could talk about? A memory you could share?
Inspiration without application usually falls flat. So, what’s one thing you’re going to do today to serve your audience or set yourself apart? Will you poll your audience? Will you brainstorm what makes you different from your competitors? Will you tell meaningful stories? Write it down somewhere and make it happen.
Try something new that’s working for you? We’d love to hear your breakthrough– drop a comment below!