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Standing out from the crowd has never been easy. Whether you’re a business or an individual, a sportsperson or a salesperson, there are always people out there doing the same thing. Usually lots of people.

But as time marches on, populations increase, and people’s dreams get bigger, the competition gets tighter. And with 2022 starting to unfold it’s more important than ever to make your business stand out.

So to help you along the way we’ve rounded up some tips for standing out amidst an ever-growing crowd of competitors.

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 social media and it’s almost certain they’ll talk about you. 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 a particular client, mention them on social media, or share a post from their blog. Just say something nice. They might remember it next time they’re on the lookout for whatever it is you offer.

Know your audience

Who is your audience? How old are they? Are they of a specific gender? You need to be clear about these things early on, because your brand must speak to the right audience in order for its message to resonate. 

If you’re aiming at a young market in the digital landscape, then your branding needs to be tailored specifically to that market. 

Remember: your audience knows whether you know them or not. Showing that you know is showing that you care. And in a world that can often seem isolating, distant, and impersonal, caring can make a huge difference.

Know your competitors

Scope out the competition. See what others are doing and figure out what approach works best in your particular industry. It’s not about imitating anyone. If your company designs phones and computers then you probably aren’t going to name it Pear and package all your products in white boxes.

This is more about researching what style of approach is likely to win your target audience over. You might find that the aesthetic of your most successful competitor’s brands are very authoritative, or you might find the exact opposite. The point is to get out there and see who’s sinking and who’s swimming. Then jump in and do your best to swim! 

Be genuine

What better way to stand out in a slick-talking, jargon-filled, confusion-as-commodity world than by simply being yourself? 

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.

The simple fact is that people respond to authenticity. If you’re passionate about what you do then be passionate. Allow your personality to seep into your brand, and don’t be afraid to do things differently if it feels genuine.

But the most important thing here is to really want to be genuine. It’s no good faking it in the name of boosting sales or gathering clients. Set an intention to be of real service to your clients, to really make an impact on their lives or businesses, and to have a positive impact.

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 good thing. Being different gives you an edge, and an edge is often an advantage.

It doesn’t have to be anything overtly eccentric or elaborate either. Something simple will usually suffice. All you’re trying to do is stand out a little bit. Even a small handwritten card, thanking a client for their recent business, could be enough to secure future work.


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 pre-packaged and impersonal response.

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 ultimately for the client’s use and benefit, and not your own, so it’s important to take their ideas on-board.

Simply giving a client what they want may seem 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. 

The art of attention seeking

In a way, standing out as a business is all about seeking and gaining attention. The trick is to do it in a tasteful and original manner. And if you’ve like to dive a bit deeper into this subtle art, then be sure to take a look at these 7 design tricks for capturing attention.