Identifying Your Differentiator

What is your agency differentiator? Simply, your differentiator is what makes you stand out from a crowd or differentiates you from all other agencies fighting for the same thing – whether that’s a new C-Suite team member, a new ideal client, or a new board member.

Making a differentiator is a bit tricky as you won’t always know what it is. That is why so many agencies look and sound the same.

Focus on your ideal persona(s). That way, you can get in the customer’s mind, and really understand the biggest opportunity you have to serve them. Most agencies are basically offering the same solution, with slightly different packaging.

When you differentiate, you bring out your authenticity. You focus on your ideal persona, THEY are the hero and you differentiate THEM as a result of using your agency.

Differentiators stand out and are memorable, which gives you the upper hand over your competitors all doing/saying the same things as everyone else.

Different Differentiator

You can differentiate on price, quality, response time, and selection, but many times, the differentiator is your carefully constructed value proposition that connects to EXACTLY what your client is looking for.

Differentiation can take a concept that is currently used and flip it in a completely new way. Differentiation can be something subtle that is commented on because: “no one else does it that way.” Think about the things you do that you know everyone else does – chances are, they are that “good idea” from a movie or something you learned in a college class or even an interesting way to look at life through something your child did or said.

When you take something you do within your company that is a bit “different” and adjust it slightly, that simple adjustment might just be exactly what the client ordered and you win the sale over a competitor.

As humans, we all have the same inherent wants and needs, but specific priorities are different for everyone. We all want to feel connected, and sometimes that causes some to blend into the crowd and say and do what everyone else is doing.

That’s a way to survive, but is it the way to thrive?

The way to differentiate is to do the things other people are not willing to do to stand out from the crowd. It isn’t comfortable or convenient at times, but it is the only way to get noticed. Your differentiator could be a phrase you use, a nickname, a unique gift, a different way of adding value, or an experience you create for a specific industry. There is no “one-size-fits-all” method, because if everyone can read it and know about it, it’s not a differentiator anymore.

Mark Jamnik Art

Mark Jamnik creates abstract art called Subliminal Story Art. Underneath each painting is a story. It’s designed to connect below the threshold of consciousness, it’s inspired by accounts of everyday life expressed through my interpretation. Subliminal Story Art evokes an intangible emotion that connects deeply in each observer for each work. Subliminal Story Art began as he wrote mini miracles that happened in his life and then painted over them to create Miracle Board. This work and each painting is inspired from the words and/or images contained at the beginning of each piece.

Start Soon

Differentiators don’t need to be revolutionary. If you want to go bolder, you can, but it isn’t always necessary. The following are a few examples:

  • Send a thoughtful handwritten thank you note to prospects you meet.
  • Share things you do (not to brag), on your social media channels simply to share the types of things that inspire your agency
  • Create a manifesto for the types of clients you choose to work with AND why. Be bold.

Start Now

Differentiators evolve over time. Begin by capturing some of the main ideas with your leadership team, then begin sharing/doing some of the top 5 with clients you interact with, then begin to update documentation on your site, sales collateral. This is something that time time. To begin, I created a specialized one-on-one class for founders of agencies doing over $1MM. I teach seven fundamental strategies to grow your agency easier and we discuss differentiators in the class. Limited times available, sign up here.

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