If you are like most people who provide professional services you suffer from a common condition.
That common condition is, familiarity.
This is most apparent when a majority of the prospective clients, introducers and influencers you meet assume that they know what you do. And they assume that this is much the same as the other providers they know who offer similar services.
What this means is that they have limited interest in getting to know you or in understanding why you are well placed to help them or their clients.
If this is happening to you it also explains why your conversion rate for work is lower than it could be, why you feel that networking is a waste of time and why your marketing activities are not generating the results you had hoped. Essentially, you are not sufficiently memorable. You lack impact.
A classic example
Accountants are a classic example of the familiarity problem. We all know what accountants do. Or at least we think we know. And we assume that they are all much the same. How do we choose which one to engage or to recommend to someone who needs accountancy services?
Accountants themselves fall into two groups. There are those who have identified ways to distinguish themselves from all the rest. And there are those who accept that they are indeed much the same as all the others.
Even if you have a good story to tell, the chances are that the people you meet and with whom you engage will only keep you in mind for a short period of time. If you are not very memorable they may have all but forgotten about you by the end of the day. And even if you are memorable the question is what can you do to increase the likelihood that these people still remember you after they meet someone else, who seems to do just the same as you?
You need to appreciate that almost everyone you meet or who you encounter online will also come across other providers of those services that you offer.
If you do not stand out then any memory someone has of you will probably be replaced by the next similar type service provider they meet or engage with. Indeed your initial impact may not be sufficient to dislodge the person’s memory of other similar providers they already know. You are competing with those previous and future service providers in your desire to win work and to be remembered, referred and recommended.
What’s the solution?
There are plenty of marketing and branding experts out there who will tell you that their solution is the one that will work for you. They may be right. But most of them will be attempting to encourage you to invest loads of time and money in their solution. Or you may fall back on your firm’s reputation. However good it is this is rarely going to be enough for you to win all the work that you could.
You may have been told that you need to write a book or become famous for a specific area of work. While these might help in some situations, they are not universal solutions. And they both take a lot of time and effort that you might prefer to devote elsewhere.
My advice, instead, is much simpler. Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself you can be. Think about those things you do and say that influence what other people think of you and how they remember you. And focus on changing or enhancing the simple and easy attributes that can have an immediate and positive impact on others.
I have shared many insights and ideas as to how you can be more memorable and STAND OUT on this blog. I will continue to do so. Please keep reading and sharing anything you find useful.