If you recall, in the last post, I made up a ridiculous scenario where you were headed to your fake neighbor's house for dinner, whose guts you may or may not have secretly hated.
She was serving you quiche, at which point you made a face that slightly resembled this—> ?!?!?!?!!!!!.
As a result, you hesitatingly asked her to pass the salt.
And then…we stopped the post there, leaving you with the question of…what does this have to do with anything?
To which my response was: “Everything.”
So, what does this have to do with anything?
And of course, I'll be answering that question with another question, which is this:
When your annoying neighbor was hypothetically passing you the salt, would you have thought twice about which brand of salt it was?
I'm going to put the words right into your mouth and respond with, “Probably not, matey.” (Don't ever let me put words into your mouth. Pirate slang will always ensue.)
You just would have taken the salt and irrigated your quiche with it.
Like anyone would.
Because folks just don't question what type of salt is in the salt shaker – they just ask for “the salt.” Plain and simple.
And the reason for that is because salt's considered a commodity.
Ooohhh, fancy word. Commodity.
If you're not familiar with the term commodity, it's defined as something that's needed, but for which there's really no differentiation across the market. In other words, there aren't preferred brands of salt, generally speaking.
Salt's pretty much salt. Take it. Lick it. Shower your food with it. Slop it all over the rim of your margarita. Toss it all over an icy sidewalk. Ship it to folks in Alaska to toss all over their icy sidewalks. Slay a slug with it for all I care.
You get the point. Salt is salt. It gets the job done.
As such, you'd probably never think to ask your host what type of salt she's using.
Again, because salt's a commodity.
Which brings me to the real point.
Too often, brilliant business owners (that's you) accidentally treat their businesses, services and products the same damn way–as if they were an every day commodity.
When, in fact, there's absolutely nothing “everyday” about you, your business, your service or products.
Far from it!
But you just might not have been sure how to communicate that.
However, the problem with that becomes this:
When you don't give your prospective clients a reason to pick you over the next guy…guess what? They won't.
Because as far as they can tell, you're just another salt shaker / life coach / web designer / photographer / copywriter / etc.
And all that matters to them is that the job gets done. Just like all that matters to you is that your quiche gets salted.
And THAT'S the moment when they start price shopping (eeekkkkk!)–because at that point, price is really the only differentiating factor.
And competing on price will be the death of your small business.
Give 'em a reason.
Give 'em a reason to pick you.
Give 'em a reason to become your number one fan.
You aren't a helpless pawn in your industry.
You're a god damn genius.
Now it's time to ACT LIKE IT.
The way you do that has a lot less to do with what you + your business does…and a lot more to do with how you + your business do it. Sear that into your brain. I don't care that you're a web designer (what you do)…but I do care about how you make me feel. And the only way you can legitimately make me feel anything, is to be strong enough to step up to the plate with your business–and your brand's–personality.
It's about the way you do something.
It's about the experience.
It's up to you to evoke emotion, so you can help your customers FEEL SOMETHING, and, by extension, CONNECT WITH YOU. And when they connect with you, they'll feel like they BELONG WITH YOU. Humans like to think of themselves as special and different from one another–this is precisely why evoking a brand experience matters, and this is why it affects your bottom line.
Don't stand out. Stand the fuck up. And watch 'em stand up with you.
Only then, once they feel like they belong with you, does the sales process even start–whether you knew it or not.–
So–what can you do to make them feel something? What can you do to evoke an experience for them?
Important to consider.
…you aren't the salt.
You're the shit.
Now get out there and prove it.