If you can’t answer why a client should choose you over your competition, you’re probably one of the millions of businesses around the world that complain that your clients want more for less, they always want you to reduce your costs or there just isn’t as much money out there these days. It’s nonsense, and the issue is yours — not theirs. There is just as much money swilling around; it’s just not coming to you.
With access to the Internet and global markets, all marketplaces are now hypercompetitive. Businesses are being a little more careful how and where they spend their money because they want value added. They want to make sure their money has both an impact and a return. Competition is tough. Consider: How many designers or marketing companies are there in your area? City? Country? Across the globe? This is your marketplace and your competition.
So, is it enough to simply say, “We have a really nice portfolio, a great client list and some lovely testimonials”? There will be 5, 10, 15 or more local companies within your chosen field that can say the same thing — maybe even more. If you have no brand, vision, mission, business direction or growth strategy, then you aren’t taking your own medicine and probably do not serve your client well either.
If this is the case, the potential client can only work from likeability or cost. There lies the problem.
Do what you would tell your clients to do and find something that differentiates your agency, whether that is focusing on a vertical market, a tone of voice, proof that your work delivers results (backed up with a process to get those facts from your clients) or a guarantee.
This will take time, and it means you have to stop working in your business and start working on your business. During that time, you won’t be generating revenue. However, when you reveal the new you, all the effort will have been worth it because you will stand out and stand for something. That way, as a potential client, I now have a choice. The flavor you sell or another’s.
If you get your message right, there will be plenty of businesses after what you offer. On top of that, they will be clients who respect what you say and do. You will be stronger and deliver even better results. You may even be able to charge more because you offer something different.
And, if you don’t do it? Well, you’d better get used to toast and jam!
Originally published Jul 25, 2013 1:00:44 AM, updated July 28 2017