Let’s face it—the Internet is both a gift and a curse.
Yes, it’s a never-ending tunnel of resources and tips. But it’s also a minefield of fake news, self-proclaimed experts, gurus, and ninjas. So if you’re ready to stand out from the crowd but you’re continuously overlooked by customers, clients, or even investors, here are some reasons why:
You’re not using your voice.
In a sea of sameness, your voice is key to standing out and connecting with an audience. Using your voice is about having a conversation with your followers. It’s about sharing your passions and perspectives about industry hot topics or challenges.
Be clear and concise, but don’t be a robot. Does your content sound like you? Let your personality shine through your content. And don’t be afraid to include your flavor, tone or way with words so that it humanizes your content. Need guidance? Use the audio to text feature on your smartphone (Evernote also has this feature) so that you can capture your tone, favorite phrases or even a bit of slang.
I also love this graphic by Stephanie Schwab:
You lack credibility or social proof.
The reality is, if your full name and social proof don’t show up in Google, your credibility is suspect. Think of it this way: comments are currency. If you want your business or brand to stand out online, start by building trust and engaging your followers in meaningful conversations.
- Build relationships with experts or influencers that share mutual interests.Then, partner with them to create more opportunities for cross-promoting your content or business.
- Add customer success stories, video testimonials, and industry influencer or celebrity endorsements of your product or service to your website.
- Showcase your impact by including the awards, accolades or achievements that you and your company have earned.This should appear on your company site as well as on any social media accounts affiliated with your brand. It could be as simple as something like, “Voted the No. 1 blog,” or “Ranked among this year’s 30 under 30 entrepreneurs,” and so on.
- Encourage people to share your content across social media platforms.
- Add social sharing statistics to your website.Some examples of this could be, “Join my community of over 10,000,” or, “My e-book reached 50,000 downloads!”
You’re not clearly communicating the value you have to offer.
Nowadays, we all have short attention spans. Whether you’re introducing yourself at an event or trying to attract the right people to your website, people should be able to comprehend the value your business or product can provide in two minutes or less.
- Update your social media profiles with your unique value proposition or tagline.What benefits can people expect? Why should someone invest in you, versus your competitor?
- Sell the problem you solve—not the product or service. Instead of introducing yourself via your title or role, start by talking about the problem your business or product solves for a specific audience.
- Host a weekly Q&A forum with customers. Ask.fm or Twitter are perfect channels for Q&A’s.
- Include a calls-to-action, freebie or content upgrade to your blog post or social profile. For example, “Download my free e-book,” “Subscribe to my podcast,” or “Join my FREE accountability group.”
You don’t have a specific target audience.
Listen, building a business that appeals to everyone is a recipe for disaster, because most people buy or invest based on emotion. We all want to feel that a product or service speaks directly to our needs, desires, or even our pain-points.
Create your ideal audience persona. Then, tailor your content, key messages, products, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and challenges of that audience.
Need help increasing your visibility? Check out my visibility masterclass.
Note this content was originally published for Black Enterprise.com.