Once there were two giant blue, half-tonne dice that rolled down the side of a mountain in Greenland whilst people from all around the world watched and placed wild bets on what the outcome would be. This was part of a massive publicity stunt for an online gambling site, and it definitely made them stand out. The problem for the average business owner is that they don’t tend to have gargantuan dice lying around the office. And even if they do, they’ll probably struggle hauling them up a mountain.

Luckily there are other ways of getting your business noticed. Ways that don’t entail colossal gambling feats.

So, here are 8 tips for standing out under an avalanche of competition.

Expand your network

Growing your network means getting to know more people. And the more people you know, the greater the potential for word-of-mouth promotion. According to Nielson, word-of-mouth recommendations are still the most powerful form of advertising around. This makes sense considering that most of the time it’s our friends and family who tell us about new products or services. And we’re much more likely to trust friends and family over marketers and billboards.

When you make a new connection through networking, you’re also opening up pathways to their circle of close contacts. All it takes is for someone to know what you do and to like you as a person. After that they’ll be only too happy to recommend you to people they know, even if they haven’t tried your product or service for themselves. 

Promote your clients

Talk about your clients on Twitter and its almost guaranteed that you’ll get retweeted. People love attention, and it’s no different for businesses. So give them what they want: talk about them. Even if you’re not currently working with them, post about them on social media, or share a post from their blog. Just say nice things. They might remember you for it next time they’re in the market for whatever it is that you offer.

Be genuine

What better way to stand out in a slick-talking, jargon-filled, confusion-as-commodity world than by simply being yourself. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s something that can never really be overstated. If you’re a creative type then let it show. Don’t be afraid to meet with clients in jeans if that’s what you wear to the office. And don’t feel pressured into using business-talk to baffle people.

Offer something different

Discounts, free consultations, product samples, birthday cakes for clients. By offering something that’s a little different to what your competitors are doing, people will see you as a little bit different. Which in many cases is a very good thing. Being different gives you an edge, and an edge is an advantage.

Listen

It’s not every day that we meet someone who actually listens to what we have to say. Especially in the business world. By taking the time to properly hear your clients out, you can really get to know what it is they want and need. And in doing so you’ll be able to offer bespoke solutions to their problems. Rather than just listening out for keywords and then offering them a generic, pre-packaged, and impersonal service.

This is also about working for the customer and not just for yourself. If they have an idea that you’re not too keen on, don’t immediately dismiss it. See it through to the end, and then offer one of your own ideas alongside it. Remember that the final product is for the client’s use and benefit, not your own, so it’s important to take their ideas on-board.

Doing something as simple as giving the client what they want seems like an unusual way to stand out. But big egos, especially in the creative sector, all too often sever the client’s links to a project altogether. It’s surprising how often a client receives work that’s a hundred miles from their original vision.

Want more tips and best practises for standing head-and-shoulders above your competition? Download the Red Square Design Ebook, How Good Design Makes Marketing Sense, now!