Be wary of snake oil. Be mindful of catchalls. Do not trust a person who doesn’t take the time to consider a problem before immediately offering a solution. Never connect yourself to someone who never says, “I don’t know.”
As we look to growing and successful small businesses, there seem to be experts and self-proclaimed thought leaders all over the digital marketplace. They say they offer guidance and advice, but more often than not they offer dogma and a distilled values package. Come to this conference or take this course where a person who doesn’t know you or your business is going to advise you on how to succeed.
There’s just one problem—you are already a success. You are already growing and obviously want your business to grow to where you can reinvest, make improvements, hire more people, and continue to provide a high-quality product or service. These people, businesses or organizations don’t offer guidance tailored to you—they offer philosophies that erode the personality of your business in favor of buzzwords, corporate speak and in-the-know terminology.
You are the differentiator.
Differentiation and diversity are an illusion. Corporate America seeks sameness, uniformity and the lazy be-all-end-all solutions piped in by business coaches around the world. “I can help you do A by doing B, C and D.” It’s not that simple, though.
People are complex and businesses are made up of people—buying, selling, using and interacting with each other on various levels. These people don’t know you and they don’t want to know you. They want you to be them, erasing what truly sets you apart—You.
Customers have options
The simple fact is that your product probably isn’t unique in the grand scheme of things. Multiple businesses make literally everything, and those products and services are judged based on pre-established cultural parameters. Burgers shouldn’t be dry. Paint shouldn’t bubble. Doctors should have a comprehensive or specialized understanding of medicine. Balls should bounce. The things we buy and the services we engage in should meet our expectations.
The vibe is crucial.
So, why or how do we choose who to give our patronage to? In small businesses, it can be a variety of things, but I would say it’s the people and the experience. I eat at one of the numerous Mexican places in my hometown because I know the staff, have gotten to know the family that owns it and I have a warm and inviting experience every time I walk through that door. I have other options and the food in the majority of them are similar. I choose what I choose because I feel a personal connection to that business.
Connecting the digital to the real.
In the digital era, that feeling may be harder to capture—but it’s possible. Deploying sincere and organized marketing content showcasing the community that has grown up around the product or service as opposed to focusing exclusively on the thing is key to being competitive when your consumers have options—and they have more options than ever before.
As attached as we are to our digital devices, we must operate in reality. Considering the cultural shift following the pandemic and the accessibility that home-delivered goods of every shape, size and purpose provide, bringing the cultural experience of the business to the consumer through effective media is a must. Consider the consumption of your media as important as the consumption of your product or the usage of your services and treat the delivery of all three with the same commitment to quality.
I guess what I’m saying is that I like you. I like what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. It might not fall into some squeaky-clean category or be buzzword applicable, and maybe it’s a little messy, but it’s you and that’s what people want—something genuine, something real, something they can see the world etched on, something they can trust.
At Rooted Web, we have no interest in a full remodel. We just want to clean the windows and give your potential customers a clear look at the special people working inside. If that’s something you’re looking for, let’s talk.
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