If you have something to say or sell, whether that be through a book, speaking or releasing a product… there is something you must do if you want to build an audience or achieve any level of significant impact.
It’s to define your unique value proposition and differentiate yourself from everyone else.
In other words, you have to figure out what makes you unique… what will help you stand out.
The internet is a marvelous place and it’s never been easier for someone to connect with people, build a business or a platform to reach others. But at the same time, with the barrier to entry being so low, there’s a lot of noise. If you want to be heard, you have to figure out how to rise above it.
Let me unpack that a bit.
Say you are someone with knowledge about personal finance and you have a passion to educate others through sharing what you know in a book. Guess what, there are already a gazillion others writing about the same thing (but you already know that, don’t you… and maybe that is what’s holding you back from writing yours). Does that mean you shouldn’t pursue your passion because there is too much competition? No way. It just means you need to find a way to stand out. You need to think smart, find a hook (value proposition) that differentiates you from everyone else.
That could be a unique way of marketing yourself. A unique way of adding something of value to your book that no one else really is. It doesn’t need to be gimmicky, it could be as simple as looking at your industry and doing something different.
Take Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com for example. Pat didn’t build his platform to reach a ton of people and make $100K+ per month by just talking about “making money online.” He did it differently. He approached it from a values and integrity perspective in an industry where many were not. He showed us how we can do it in a classy way… and he did so while we watched him doing it along the way. Through Pat’s openness and honestly, people built trust with him and have become endeared to him. That’s unique and differentiates Pat from most people in the “Affiliate Marketing or Passive Income” industry. Plus, Pat gives way more than he takes. He provides tons and tons of value that has helped him because a go-to trusted authority for many.
When you differentiate you also need to define your audience. If you say your book, message, etc. is for EVERYONE then it’s really for no one. You need to clarify who your audience is (or who is the audience is that you want). This is especially true when you are starting out. It helps you speak to those who will care the most.
So, before you outline your first book or your next book… take some time to think about WHO you want to be. WHAT do you want to be known for? HOW can you stand out in whatever field you are in. WHAT can you do differently than everyone else? HOW can your message, book or product be positioned in a way that no one else’s is? WHO is your audience?
The answers only appear when you ask the questions first.