Image by: OTA Photos
By George Lamb
Among the vast majority of humans on this earth that resign themselves to becoming entrepreneurs, only a select few make it out alive and reap the benefits of the success that so sparingly comes along. The bottom line is there are hundreds, thousands, millions of people on this planet just like you—people who seek to turn the general population into living walking dollar signs. The problem is, though, competition can get pretty fierce and if you enter the entrepreneurial world inexperienced and unprepared then you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
The main pitfall new entrepreneurs fall into is following trends too closely and not establishing a definable brand that separates them from the competitors. This can lead to them being absorbed into the vast sea of other companies and becoming nearly invisible to their target audience. It goes without saying that this would result in a decline in a customer base—which would inevitably mean no money in said entrepreneurs pocket. So avoid such a fate, here are a few ways you can buck conformity and find success.
#1) Distinguish Yourself from the Crowd
Separating yourself from the competition is an obligation not only for entrepreneurs, but for anybody aiming to spread the word of any brand or piece of art whatsoever. With so many businesses and so many companies trying desperately to coax people into buying into their hype, your brand may prove to be nothing more than a grass blade on a greensward garden. The key to touching upon success is to either create new innovative ideas that others have yet to cultivate, or to find flaws in whatever niche market you’re participating in and work towards fixing those problems and exposing the finished result to your audience.
Be creative, and keep an open mind as your business advances. Don’t be afraid to take that dangerous gamble that may result you losing a few assets. As long as the pros heavily outweigh the cons, and you have your foundation well established and somewhat imperturbable, then taking a calculated risk can be one of the ideal ways to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Of course with risks come the possibility of failing, but in the end failure will only make your company stronger—if you learn for your mistakes, that is. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s true.
#2) Guerrilla Promotion
Guerrilla promotion is one of the more uncommon means of promotion that is utilized (sparingly) amongst emboldened entrepreneurs. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, you can look at it as a primitive form of self-promotion—promotion that you do without the dependence of the internet or word of mouth. Depending on where you are at in your entrepreneurial career, you can use a number of tactics to get word out there directly to your audience with no medium except yourself.
In my research on the subject, I’ve seen a multitude of companies that use unique but unconventional methods in order to get local media coverage—a popular example being adult-swims aqua teen hunger forces’ inadvertent bomb threats. I’ve seen vehicles that are decorated garishly with advertisements of a select product and I’ve even seen graffiti printed on walls and trains of small up and coming businesses. The point with this is to use any means necessary to get exposure and spark the interest of the general public by creative—and sometimes illegal, sometimes—means.
#3) Create Alluring Media
These days we live in a very media driven world where people like to have their attention teased and tantalized before investing their time and energy into digging deeper. The average attention span for an internet browser is around 2 seconds, and if in that time frame you fail to offer browsers compelling, witty and creative content, then you might as well kiss them goodbye.
Things like photographs, videos and engaging headlines are essential to sparking the consumers attention and giving them the physiological need to want to explore. It may seem impossible, but there have been companies that have seen a great deal of success due to their photos and videos going viral. In order for this to happen it is essential that you put forth the time and energy necessary in order to ensure the content you put out there is quality. Ask for outside opinions from friends and family and see if you can gauge a pleasurable response like a spontaneous burst of laughter or a welling up of tears. The main thing to remember is that you need to be able to affect your audience. This will leave them vulnerable and more likely to make that purchase.
Have you come across any other effective ways to distinguish yourself from those fierce competitors? Feel free to share any strategies that helped pave your way to success down in the comments section.