In my recent post about the Top 12 Non-Real Estate Blogs, I mentioned a blog by Maren Kate called EscapingThe9to5. I didn’t think it was enough to just mention her blog, I thought it would be great to invite her to our community as a guest poster.. She graciously accepted and after reading what she came up with, I’m sure you will be hooked on her writing as I am. If all goes well, maybe we can have her back here sometime soon and write some more thought provoking articles.
How to Rock Socks and Sell Stuff
by Maren Kate
You may be asking “what does rock socks mean” or just “what the heck” but the title of my guest post is part of who I am and how I sell stuff. I am an entrepreneur and moonlight blogging, I sell things both online and off mostly by using my quirky nature and zany personal brand. What the heck does this have to do with you? Well if your business is based at all around selling than a freaking lot.
Are you the only person in your space doing what you do? I doubt it, you probably have competitors, which on a positive note is a sign of a healthy market. Yet on a negative note competitors make it harder to sell whatever it is you sell (i.e. services, computers, monkeys, pies, etc.) unless you are like Apple, Gucci or Kashi that is. So what do these mega successes have that your business may not? They have brand-a-bility or to use the technical term they posses strong brand awareness within their market. Yes, you can buy another computer that works just as well, but it won’t be a MAC and yes, you can buy a bag from Walmart for $19.99 but it won’t be a Gucci (something that commands up to 100x that price).
So now it is time to innovate, to sit back and look at what your offering. Ask yourself does my *blank* rock socks? Does it blow away the competition, include an awesome ‘bonus’ or have the potential to make my target market travel hours just to get one? If not it is time to re-invent, to go back to the drawing board because an ordinary product will not cut it in a sea of status quo.
A good way to figure out how to be amazing in your niche is to ask yourself why. Not why would people buy what you have but WHY does your business do what it does? If the answer is “I don’t know” back to the drawing board for you. If the answer is because we believe 100% in X, we are fighting for a world where X is available to every man woman and child and damn it we are going to win then you have a business model I’d invest in site unseen.
Be controversial. Picking an enemy to battle against is good news for businesses, it alienates some but brings you a loyal crowd that will become fans for life… Apple’s enemy is the PC, Harley Davidson’s enemy is girly men, Gucci’s enemy is poor people (not really but it sounds hilarious doesn’t it?). Be different. If you make houses and everyone else makes white homes make pink ones, if you are a car dealer and everyone else has boring salesmen hire cheerleaders who win over the consumer with sheer peppiness. Be a community. Human’s are pack animals, we desire community and the sense of belonging… as strange as it sounds often we pay for certain brands over others because they give us that feeling. Subaru owners feel a kinship with other Subaru owners like “hey yeah, we are city slickers but we go to the mountains and are green n’ stuff” just like people with Louis Vuitton bags look at each other and think “yeah, you know whats up stylish person you”. So branding is part club house building part awesome product, figure out what your club is built around and then embrace that concept and your product will sell off the shelves.
If you want to excel you have to be unique, if you want to just be another “toilet maker” and not the bold look of Kolher go ahead but you’ll drown out in anonymity. Better to be the best, the wackiest or the weirdest than to be the biggest and better to rock socks than to fold socks.
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