Yesterday I popped to the supermarket with my daughter and as we were putting the trolley away I noticed that there were some reindeers on the other side, so of course we went to take a look. They were Dasher and Prancer and they were lovely. Reindeers have beautiful faces.
In “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, Rudolph has a shiny nose and is picked on by all the other reindeer, but by the end of the song he’s really special because there’s something different about him. He stands out.
Sometimes it can be hard to stand out. It could be that you have a shiny nose yourself, or maybe you’re just trying to do something different and people are quick to judge, or you are standing out because you are speaking at an event or doing something a bit whacky.
It must have been hard for Rudolph, going through life with this shiny nose that made the others pick on him. It only took one move from someone important to make Rudolf the star of the song, to make him go down in history, to make him go from unloved to being a bit of a superstar. There can’t be many reindeer with their own song!
Standing out can be a difficult thing to do. Rudolph didn’t have much he could do about his nose. I don’t think they make concealer for reindeer. He had no choice, but maybe you aren’t standing out enough. Maybe you want to be more like Rudolph. To have a shiny nose that people notice so that they’ll hear your message and feel a need a to have what you have? Maybe you feel that you’re talking into thin air and no one is listening.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Here’s some ideas to help your business stand out as brightly as Rudolphs nose so that your’re noticed:
1. Get on social media and use it well. OK, so I use a lot of different platforms, but I don’t use them ALL well. I know I use Facebook really well because I get business from Facebook. I am happy with how I use Pinterest because I get traffic from it. I am happy with how I use Twitter because I get work from there too. Everything else I use, but I don’t use as well. They are less important platforms for my business. So you don’t have to use everything and really starting off with one is enough, you can add to it later.
2. Blog. These blogs work for me – I know because I get business and people tell me they came to me because of my blog and videos. I’m not saying that means they’ll work for you, but having a blog gives you the opportunity to show what you know, to help others, to keep your website updated, to drive traffic to your website, to interact with people, to ask questions, to build credibility. You can write blogs, or make videos or podcasts or do all three. You can repurpose a blog post if someone needs an article for something, you can use the content you’ve created to make social media posts and also to direct people at to answer their questions.
3. Advertise. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Yes you can advertise for hundreds of pounds in magazines and newspapers, and if your audience read those and you go in a lot more than just once then it could be worth it. You’d need to weigh that up – as with any advertising. You can advertise for very little. On Facebook for example you can run an ad for just a few pounds – and you can be VERY targeted, which is a bit handy.
4. Email people. This means having a list of people that you mail out to regularly. I send out Whiteacres’ Notebook once a month and email inbetween if I have something exciting to share. How do you get people on your list? You give them something in exchange. I don’t just mean your value packed, interesting newsletters, I mean something they can use and are interested in – something they’ll find really useful and relevant. Something that your target audience would want to have. After all, you don’t want just anyone on that list do you? You want people who will want what you offer.
5. Use imagery. Pictures = more engagement. People like to see things. Maybe you have a product you can photograph? If you’re a service business then there’s loads you can do too. You could make images out of statistics or testimonials. You could photograph elements of what you’re doing – your workspace, your paperwork, pens and pencils. You could use quotes or photographs of happy customers and their premises. You could photograph cake at your meetings and cups of tea and add some text to put it into context. You could have photographs of you or your staff. It all takes a bit of thought, but it’s worth it.
6. Have some PR done. The whole point of getting PR is so that people know about you. If you have an interesting story then it’s worth investing in some publicity to ensure that you are getting your story out there, in places where your ideal clients will see it.
Doing at least some of these things (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) should help your business to stand out. Who knows, Santa might make YOU famous next!