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How experts can stand out in a highly competitive market

How experts can stand out in a highly competitive market

”Would you ever go back to working in an office?”

My fiancé asked me during our walk.

“Nope.”

No hesitation, no second-guessing.

I am taking it after my mum, who once said to me (at the very beginning of my solo career): ”I just cannot see you working for anyone else”

I took it as a compliment, by the way, as she mentioned how I have far too many ideas to be contained by anyone – I mean, I guess it was a compliment? When I am creative and I take time to cherish it (whether it’s by writing, recording a podcast, working on an online event or workshop) I feel most alive. It’s just the way the ol’ cookie crumbles.

Not long ago, I opened up quite honestly about the way careers have shifted, and entrepreneurship has been rising.

Think about entrepreneurs like Gary Vee, and the incredible flock of fans he amassed over the years. As even actor and singers are now cultivating a personal brand, it’s no surprise that consuming content has become a big part of everyone’s daily routine.

This shift in attention has created a new form of celebrity: the experts and creatives. They publish the digital material that comprises the online world. They’re grabbing the attention previously allocated to traditional media, consumer habits, and  – most importantly –  consumer spending.

That is pretty much where the term creator economy comes from. Rather than 10 TV shows consumed by billions of people, we now have 100s of millions of shows that cater to billions of people, accessible at any time.

By understanding the core needs of their audiences, creatives can start producing content their audiences will be willing to pay for. Understanding your audience’s persona is more important than ever to stand out.

Market saturation and standing out from the crowd is harder than ever. Creating a clear set of values and branding persona is at the forefront of creating your own personal brand and telling your story effectively.

With networks like Pinterest for discovery, and marketplaces like Etsy, Substack and Patreon, we’re starting to consume unique goods, music, and entertainment from creators who are finally able to find their market without having to build a resume and portfolio. 22% of self-employed workers have multiple revenue streams, compared to 11% who work for an employer, according to a 2019 Intuit survey.

In her brilliant Substack newsletter, user Li mentions the idea that: “work is being unbundled from traditional employment.”

“the rise of “micro-entrepreneurs,” or free agents, creators, freelancers, and independent workers who utilize digital platforms to make a living by leveraging skills and knowledge in the absence of a traditional employer-employee relationship.” – Li’s Substack newsletter

She mentions a whole new set of platforms, what she refers to as the “business-in-a-box” model, wherein companies provide individuals tools to build an independently-owned business for a given line of work.

As an example, as a company, we use platforms like bCast to host our podcast, or Mighty Networks to run our membership and courses.

As the emphasis on creatives is growing tenfolds, it’s now more important than ever to be able to think about your journey towards building a profitable creative business.

The creator economy is currently at its peak, and that is truly exciting – yet, what is even more interesting to see is how it will be able to evolve to cater for a younger generation, ready to embrace the creative space. On a positive note, it has led people to innovate and has truly changed the work landscape forever.

As the survival of the fittest, only the platforms that will be able to cater for this fas-changing economy will be able to survive.

How experts can stand out during the boom of the creator economy

Truthfully, it’s important to understand what can make you stand out from the crowd and give you that unique positioning in a competitive market.

You may be lucky, and start a new business that fills a gap in the market. Yet, most likely, that amazing idea of yours is not that new. Or, even worse, is one that was so, so good, that the rest of the flock followed suit.

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There is one very simple antidote in order to stand out in a competitive market, and that is specialisation.

Whether we like it or not, the more defined we get with outlining the problem we are trying to solve and how we can solve that problem for a very specific portion of the online and offline world, the more our messaging, product and offering will resonate with them.

A sense of belonging, community and connection will follow. Specialising allows you to stand out from the crowd because you create boundaries where (how dare you, Fab) you will confidently end up saying no to people who do not fit your target market.

Let’s say you are a business coach helping people with reaching their first 5k month (I have a friend who just does that). No six, or seven figures. Just that sweet 5k spot. By being able to zero in the offering (helping entrepreneurs who have yet to reach the 5k mark) and saying no to people who you may not be best suited to (people who are looking to get their first 20k month) you will slices out a part of the crowd that only YOU can serve.

My advice to stand out would be to write a survey to get people’s feedback crystal clear and constantly refine your offering. You may find that the poll of people is too small, and that is not what you want either.

Realistically speaking, if you are the 5k coach, some of your audience may not be repeat customers for long. However, most entrepreneurs will need to go through the process of up-levelling their business, which means you become a vital part of every entrepreneur’s business journey.

You should not appeal to everyone as a potential customer, and that is truly where the magic spot lies.

At Creative Impact, we only support creatives and experts looking to make a positive impact on other people. Not startups or professionals, those can definitely read our articles if they wish, or discover who are the most amazing creatives out there.

However, they are not the people we created our membership and courses for. I will be honest, most clients and members I encourage to do this exercise of specialisation feel apprehensive about this. I get it.

Yet, if you want to build that pool of incredible humans that only you can serve, you have to make sure your products and offering speak to a very unique set of individuals.

Over to you now – how can you solve a specific problem for your audience with an offering, a product or maybe your overall brand? How can you find your slice of the crowd?

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