Why you must differentiate your business—and why you can’t.

Want to know the backbone of a standout brand?

The kind that makes people want to build a lasting relationship with you? Buy, big-time? The kind that makes you feel bulletproof?

It’s not your products, customer service or website.

It’s how you position your business.

Because having extraordinary products, people, values and the restthat’s expected. In business today, they’re the price of entry.

But clearly defining and communicating the zone of genius that makes you different and desirable? The reason people buy from you, above all others?

That’s the crux of a killer brand.

The kind of brand that allows you to compete, scale and do the stuff you came here to doinstead of being considered a commodity. Maybe your genius is a provocative perspective, like Mark Manson. Or extreme lifestyle efficacy, like Tim Ferris.

Regardless, when you nail your geniusyour point-of-difference or greatest distinguisherand how to describe and market it, this sets your brand apart.

And a standout brand means…

  • More dream clients because the right people find you irresistible and easy to recognize. You’re addressing their pain and speaking their language.
  • Charging a premium is easier (and clients are happy to invest). The value you offer is unequivocal.
  • Confidence. You come across exactly how you intend to.
  • Lower marketing costs over time. More attracting people naturally. Less chasing them down.

Here’s the problem: genius often gets lost in translation.

If you're an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re typically so intrinsically involved with all elements of your work and eager to communicate the depth and breadth of what you do, that you can run the risk of telling audiences everything. Which makes you totally normal! And also makes it nearly impossible for people to hone in on the ONE thing that makes you uniquewhat you bring that’s better than anyone else. Then regardless of how groundbreaking your business, you get passed over for an alternative that’s understandable and compelling.

Here’s what’s driving that problem: you’re often too close to your own business to see what makes you different and desirable.

And you may also lack the skills to determine your own brand position and messaging (even if you had the necessary distance or time to do it. This is also an issue for plenty of big brands, but that’s another story.)

The result?

You hold out and strugglereinventing how you describe what you do and what makes it different with every pitch meeting and new proposal.

Or you hone in on an aspect of your business that’s appealingbut isn’t a true point-of-difference.

Offering top-notch customer service is one example. It’s a commendable thingbut it’s also expected. It’s what businesses are supposed to do. However, if there’s a particular element of your customer service that is honestly special and fundamentally unlike how most operate, that might be worth exploring.

I know how tough this work is, believe me. In redefining my own brand position and messaging, I had to pull backand pull in some objective eyes. And this my area! But it is also work that is some of the most difficult to do for ourselves. Yet so necessary.

To expose and explode our genius? We could all do with a new lens.