Positioning yourself to be awesome
We’ve all encountered an awesome person, who has an awesome way of explaining things, both in person and on their awesome website where they offer an awesome service or product. We can just feel awesomeness radiate from everything they say, write, and do.
It’s kind of… well… awesome.
These are the type of people who inspire us all to be awesome.
So we set out to follow their lead and become awesome ourselves, but quickly find out it’s not as easy as we thought. We start by working on an awesome-to-be website, only to realize we can’t even decide what freakin’ colors to use!
Skip the website…it’s time to start selling our own awesome service. But it turns out we’re not that awesome at selling either… or maybe our service isn’t awesome enough? At this point, we have no clue and aren’t sure how to find out.
And so our doubt begins, and we wonder if we’ll ever be awesome at anything.
Well, I’m here to tell you that no one reaches their full potential or stands out from their competitors until they intentionally position themselves for awesomeness.
That’s what those model awesome people have done, and the more you try to emulate them the quicker you’ll realize that positioning for awesomeness is tough.
What is positioning?
According to WikiPedia:
Positioning is a marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer.
I like to think about positioning as how prospects, clients, and the market perceive you. What kind of work do they expect of you? Why do they hire you? How much do they expect to pay you? How are you different from your competitors?
You could ask any question you can think of, and whatever response your prospects and clients have will give you a good idea of your position.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re already positioned—even if the market has nothing to say about you.
Again, positioning for awesomeness is tough!
So how do other people do it? What’s their secret?
The secret is, positioning isn’t a secret; it’s a balance between science and art.
The science of positioning
Essentially, your position is the sum of all the decisions you’ve made in business.
Should you use this color or that color? Should you offer this service or that service? Should you write it this way or that way? Do I price like this or like that? Where will I be extreme?
Every decision you make (or don’t make) adjusts your position in some way. You draw lines with every decision in your business.
Niching is a perfect example of hard lines drawn to shift your position.
For example, Evernote eliminated services and products to re-align (position) themselves with their focus.
As much as I dislike Apple (by saying that, I just positioned myself), I’d be in denial if I didn’t admit how genius they are at positioning themselves—with everything! From design, to business model, to commercials, they’re masters at positioning themselves differently from their competitors.
In your business, it’s important to make intentional decisions that move you toward awesomeness. But it’s impossible to be wise and intentional with decisions if you haven’t defined a persona.
Your persona should guide you in every decision. She gives you input and teaches you how to be awesome for her. She should be your #1 influence when making decisions in your business.
Remember that you should position yourself to be awesome to your audience, not to everyone.
Your positioning has to be focused to be impactful.
Using an effective persona as a guide is the science in positioning. It builds a solid foundation.
The art of positioning
But what about others who serve the same persona? Aren’t they guided by the same persona? How can we be different?
This is where the art of positioning makes all the difference. While competitors can aim to serve the same persona, they can never do it like you because they can never be just like you.
They can imitate, but they can never duplicate. The same goes for you:
You can imitate, but you can never duplicate.
While you can try and be awesome like someone else, you’ll never achieve their exact type of awesomeness. Instead, it’s better (and easier!) to be awesome in your own way.
(Note: I learned this principle from my breakdancing days. Here’s a video explaining how b-boys view originality and use it to guide their dancing style. I believe the same applies in business.)
You are unique, and that’s where the art can be found. Make solid decisions, but create and implement them in your own style.
Stop hesitating to be you. YOU is where the difference is at. I promise you’re more interesting than what you give yourself credit for.
Especially since you’re an introvert! You’re deep, intentional, thoughtful, and expressive in non-stereotypical ways. Leverage that. Be weird!
For example, Seth Godin has a unique style that isn’t easily duplicated. His bald head and mismatched socks add to his position, believe it or not. People notice him.
I’ve witnessed Seth teach principles that his late teacher Zig Ziglar taught. However, the way Seth delivers this similar content is very different. Zig spoke at a 100 mph, used wild gestures, and had crazy raspy voice inflections. Seth is calm, collected, and uses a gentle peaceful voice.
Each of these men became a great keynote speaker in his own right. While the principles taught may be similar, their styles remained unique (and true to themselves).
That’s the art that positioned them for awesomeness.
Your business is your masterpiece, and as an entrepreneur it’s one of your forms of expression. Find the art in your hustle to figure out what makes you unique, and then use it!
If you learn to sprinkle yourself, your style, and your flavor throughout your business, people will notice you easily. Help them to notice you!
You’ll position yourself into a type of awesomeness that only you can achieve. Just writing about this pumps me up for you!
Create a balance of science and art.
Knowing the difference between the art and science of positioning isn’t enough. People who successfully position themselves to be awesome are skillful at creating a balance between the two.
It’s a tricky thing, because you are at the essence of your work, but the work itself must focus on your audience. Your products or services should meet their needs, values, and wants.
You attract the right people by using an effective persona as a guide (the science), but they only become die-hard fans because of who you are (the art).
Wrap up all the science (decisions) in the cloak of your art (you).
Make decisions according to your persona, but execute them in your style.
Dance with your persona. Dancing can be magical; the best dancers make their partners shine while they shine too. That’s the same balance we need when we position ourselves for awesomeness: make your audience shine while you shine too.
Time, practice, and lots of refining.
I wish I could give you a manual with exact steps to follow that would position you to be awesome. But that’s impossible, because the decisions and choices you could make are limitless.
Positioning yourself effectively comes with time, practice, and lots of refining. So be patient with yourself, but be aware and intentional with every decision.
We’ve all already positioned ourselves in some way, and the great thing about positioning is that we can change our positioning anytime we want!
Experiment with the science. Express yourself with the art.
Position yourself to be awesome!
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