Ever scroll through Instagram and feel like everything it’s starting to look all. the. same?
Then, you look at your own feed and *gasp*, you also look like all the same other things?
From there, it can get ugly. You can start to wonder what’s really different about you, anyway? What makes you stand out? Will you ever really compare to that person? (You know… THAT person?)
If any of this sounds familiar, this episode is for you!
Tune in and hear:
- How to create an online presence that stands out (without needing 100,000 followers and fans)
- My simple structure for creating cohesion in your UNIQUE way
- How to niche down without narrowing too thinly
Facebook Live Replay
Transcript of Episode
Visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I am your host, Leah, and we are here to talk about standing out in a saturated market. Now, I’m not going to go too big on particular branding tips in here though I do have a lot of actionable tips, but mostly what I wanted to talk about today is how to avoid competition, how to not fall into the trap of competition and how to stand out. This is a topic that’s very dear to my heart because I remember when I was starting my side hustle over three years ago, and I think one of the things that really stopped me from doing it sooner than I wanted to or then I should have or all of that would be because was because I was afraid that there was already too much competition. Other people had done it better than me. Other people had already figured out what I was trying to do. So therefore, you know, there wasn’t a whole lot of room for me left.
I was very nervous about other people having done things better than me and social media can be such a blessing and a curse, you know, sometimes you look at it and you can get really inspired by people and other times it can make you feel well, it can make you feel a lot of things. It can make you feel behind, it can make you feel inferior, it can make you feel isolated and one of the things that it made me feel was basically behind in the sense that I should have started sooner or done this sooner if this is what I wanted to do and that other people had done it first or better, et cetera. So, I spent probably a year, once I did start out I think it actually got harder once I started because before you start, it can be really easy to be in some sort of, you know, fantasyland about how things are gonna happen really quickly for you. You’re just going to make it work easier than other people have. You’re going to make it work quicker than other people have. You have something that is just going to make this easier. I think I kind of thought like that. So once you actually start and you realize that there is no shortcuts and it’s not easy and it takes a lot of determination and persistence and consistency, even when things aren’t really happening the way you might want them to, they can feel like you’re even further behind. Maybe you missed the window or maybe you should have started with a different way or a different name or a different method. You know, there’s all these things that can come up in your head. So I would say took me about a year to fall out of that pattern of thinking that other people have figured things out better or first or there wasn’t room for me anymore, etc.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the best resource I have for getting yourself out of this mindset. So, if you are one of those people that feel like you are struggling to stand out, and by the way, I hear this all the time from people on Instagram or people that set up calls with me, say that one of their biggest fears is that other people have already done it and there’s no room for them, et Cetera. So I really want to dispel all of those myths because it’s so not true and you’re only hurting yourself by long dear self like that and you’re only hurting yourself by delaying actually starting because of something that’s just fictitious. So I really recommend reading for many reasons, but the one that is on the topic today really recommend reading the book, the Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles.
We’ll put that in the show notes of this show. I talk about it very often. I think you can read it for free online. I highly recommend the audible version. It just changed my life and I still read it very frequently because it helps me up level at every new position that I’m at business wise. So one of the things that he talks about in that book that really resonates with me is that there is really no such thing as competition if you don’t want there to be, if you’re someone that’s trying to make money, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you are trying to do anything creative, then you need to focus on doing the best version of whatever it is that you’re doing and not outdoing anyone else. The author, Wallace D. Wattles acknowledges that there can be exceptions to this temporarily. People do get rich quickly if they outbeat someone else some of the time. But that’s not typically long lasting wealth.
Rather, if you focus just on yourself and improving what you offer, even if other people offer it, which spoiler alert, they will, there’s never going to be only one person offering what it is that you offer. I guess I shouldn’t say never, but for the most part, that’s how you know something’s going to sell is if other people are offering something similar or a different version of it. So it’s not a bad thing if other people are selling and successfully selling something that you want to sell or if other people have a platform similar to a one to one you want to have, it’s a good sign. It means that there’s a need, there’s a desire, people are listening, people will follow along. So you have to see it that way and then from there, don’t worry about doing things differently or better than other people. Worry about doing what you want to do in the absolute best way that you can.
Today I have five practical tips for you on exactly how to do that because I know it can sound a little bit easier than it might seem, but it’s really not all that bad if you really understand this, this concept. Even now I’ve told this story before, I have a friend that used to work at Facebook and she was, she said that when they started, when she started working there and they trained her, they onboarded her. One of the things that Mark Zuckerberg would say when people would ask him, how do you, how do you deal with competing Social Media’s obviously, there’s not really one that holds a candle to Facebook nowadays, but in the earlier days it he was one of many and he would just say, I don’t worry about other social networks. I worry about us. The biggest threat I have to my own success in my own growth is not pushing myself to the absolute best that I can.
So that is the concept we’re going with here. We’re focusing on you, not other people, not your competition. Yes, even if there are people out there doing similar things as you, and this is so important for any of you visionaries out there. This is why I really wanted to bring it up on this show and why I really wanted to talk about the mindset piece of it. It’s not just about having a perfect brand or whatever. It’s really about how you think about it because when you approach every day and every new project with that attitude, how can I make this better? How can this be more of a reflection of me and what I want to do and who I want to serve and less so concerned about comparing it to other people.
You’re going to save yourself a ton of time, a ton of energy, a lot of happiness. We all know comparison is the thief of joy and you’re just going to be a better entrepreneur and visionary overall. You’re going to move quicker, you’re going to move lighter, you’re going to focus on the things that are actually helping you instead of getting caught up on things that are bringing you down. With that, let’s go into five practical tips I have for how to apply this concept, how to accept that competition isn’t what you should be focusing on, but rather creation, creating your own work, your own brand, your own message and your own impact and knowing that saturation in a market place is never an excuse to not go for things. Absolutely not. I cannot understate that enough. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be difficulties with it and it doesn’t mean that you need to observe that a market is very popular or saturated. We all know social media is very saturated now, but those people that get weeded out by this saturation or the over crowdedness of a particular niche or market were only thriving because they knew how to do it within that niche or market, not because they had kind of a sustainable brand to begin with. I know that might sound a bit abstract, but what I’m really trying to say here is if you go in pursuit of your vision or pursuit of your goal or pursuit of a message and you have a very clear definition of what you’re trying to pursue in what you’re trying to make happen, then you can do that across any medium. You can do that with any content.
Sure, there’ll be ebb and flows and sometimes it’s going to be easier and sometimes it’s not. It’s not always going to be perfect, but you are not at the threat of something getting over complicated, over competitive, oversaturated, etc. Because you have such a clear mission and message. So from there we will go into the five tips. I have to run your business like that and to run your life like that. Frankly, there’s no reason to feel like there’s competition in any part of your life because if you’re only focusing on the best version of you and being the most like you and creating the most of you, then there’s no competition to be had.
So tip number one, let’s all get real here. If you are a content creator, if you are an entrepreneur, if you are creating anything, if you are an influencer, a blogger or anything online or really anything that has to do with creation, then you really need to release the pressure to be the most different of anything else. It’s way too much pressure. It doesn’t exist. Even Marie Forleo who is one of the pioneers of online entrepreneurship talks about how everything is a remix, so it’s not like any of us are really coming up with these huge new epiphany’s or ideas. Some of the time that happens, and that can be great, but a lot of the times we’re talking about ideas that may have been brought up in the past and we’re talking about how they exist or have helped us in the present, and when people can relate to you in the present, then that is how they’re going to be able to be impacted by whatever it is that you’re sharing.
A very good example here is what I just shared and I didn’t even really play in this, but I’m realizing I just shared my favorite book, Wallace D. Wattles is The Science of Getting R ich. I love talking about that book because one of the biggest complaints I hear about that book, especially from my clients that I really encouraged to read it, is that it’s too abstract and it’s a little bit outdated. It was written in the early 1900’s and they’re just not quite sure how it’s applying to them or really making sense of why I’m kind of telling them to do that. So what I really like to do is talk about how that book has changed my life and how some of the lessons have applied to my story and that way when people resonate with me, they see me, they feel like they could be friends with me in real life. They have a similar story to me or something like that, and I’m sharing a lesson that I learned from this book. They might be able to hear that in a way that they never would have really picked up on from this book that has outdated language and isn’t all that engaging and doesn’t really mirror or parallel their life. So this lesson I just told you about how I don’t view competition as really a real thing anymore and I view creation as the only focus is not an original idea I had. I told you from the beginning I got it from this book walls you models. Yet it’s still powerful for me to share that with you because you might understand it from my story in a way that you wouldn’t if you just read that book or you may be, I’ve never read that book.
So I’m just giving you an example here of where I’ve sort of released some of the pressure on myself to every time I get on this podcast are every time I send an email, say something that’s never been said before. Instead think about things that have impacted your life, even if you’ve learned them from elsewhere and think about how you can share it within your story. My story is the one thing that’s unique. My business, my creation of my six figure business in just a few years enduring incredible pain while I’ve gone through this. That’s what makes me, me not coming up with the idea of creation versus competition. I hope this makes sense.
I feel like I got on a little bit of a rambling tangent there. Excuse me for doing so, but what I’m really trying to get across is that we all need to release ourselves of the pressure to come up with something brand new and perfect. If you are one of the people listening to this that’s in the earlier phases, or maybe you’re still even thinking about starting and one of the things that’s really tripping you up is that you feel like it’s things are saturated or things are overcrowded. Well, you’re never really going have that much to share unless you just start. So even if in the beginning you somewhat feel like you are a carbon copy of someone else or you feel like someone else has done something better than you, you’re never really going to learn things that you’re going to be able to teach others or you’re never really going to be able to, you know, share things that you’ve learned in your own context unless you’ve actually gone through and learned them.
So release yourself of the pressure. Know that you’ll have more to share over time. Tip one was released, the need to be different, it’s exhausting. It’s super not necessary. No one expects you to be the next, you know, can play Mozart or Shakespeare or first of their kind or anything like that. And again, that’s not to say you won’t be, you just might not be right now, but you’re never going to get to those genies breakthroughs if you don’t start putting some work down and actually getting things going to begin with. You know, I’m kind of on a tangent mood this morning. You guys thank you for bearing with me, but I just feel like I have a lot to say.
I just saw a quote re posted by Leandra Cohen who founded the man repeller that really popular fashion blog here in New York and one of the things that this piece was saying this quote that she shared was that if you’re a creative for the first few years, people don’t really understand what you have to endure because you can be the biggest creative out there. Like Leandra is a great example. She’s a complete genius. She built a fashion blog before fashion blogs were a thing. She’s one of the most famous and successful fashion bloggers out there. Uh, and she’s incredibly creative both in writing and in fashion and aesthetic. For the first few years when you’re a creative person, while you’re doing just usually isn’t that good. People don’t usually love it. You don’t really love it. You feel like you have this creative genius building up inside of you, but you aren’t really able to convey it in the way that you want. Even if people are seeing it and not loving it, even that’s an accomplishment because a lot of times people don’t even see what you do in the first few years. And that’s how it goes for everyone. So you just have to know, and there’s folks first few years, if you’re feeling like, oh, I’m just not that good at this, or other people have done this better, why would someone pay attention to me when X, Y, and Z did it better? No one’s good in those first few years and you just, the blunt truth is you kind of have to suck it up and put away your pride for a little while to get to your breakthrough.
But those first few years when people are feeling like they had all this talent and all this potential, and for some reason it’s just not looking the way that they want it to. That’s what a lot of people throw in the towel because they feel like, and maybe I couldn’t do this after all, or no one’s really listening or I thought I could do this, but it’s way harder or someone else had done it better. You know, all these things can come up and especially if you are nervous and you have doubts which one entrepreneur doesn’t, you don’t have time to entertain the other doubts that can come up with that kind of thinking, which is why this mindset piece of knowing that you know, you have to start from somewhere in order to have those genius breakthroughs is so crucial because they’ll protect you from the lies that your mind can tell yourself when you’re afraid.
Tip number two, how to niche without narrowing. So one of the biggest fears I hear from people is that they don’t want to over niche or over close their audience because what they’re doing really could help everyone. So they don’t want to like close it out to other people. And I totally hear that. Now my point of view on this concept, because I really fall in that camp, I always just want to say, I want to reach all entrepreneurs and all risk takers, which is like literally millions of people. So I completely understand that and I don’t want to be one of those strategists that says things like, oh well just niche down any way you have to do it, you know, et cetera. My take on this is that you can read pretty much in the niche of you.
So this is where really bringing your personality and your own values and your own ethics come into being able to niche without narrowing. So if you are really bringing your own values and what you really care about and kind of your own story into your business, yes, it is more public and personal and that that can be something to consider. Some people don’t want to live in the public eye at all, but on the other hand, I find that you are able to naturally attract the type of people that resonate with you and that becomes your community. So instead of having to have a prescribed, let’s say for example I’m going to use, because I see a relationship coach on here, so I’m going to use that example instead of saying that you having to kind of get up on your platform and say I only work with single women in New York between the ages of 25 and 30 who want to stay on the east coast or something, which by the way is not a bad business strategy because that’s very, very niche and it would make people feel like, oh my God, that’s me, I want to work with that person. So I’m not trying to repel that.
But if that doesn’t feel like you, like if you feel like, yeah, I could help that woman, I could help that young girl in New York, but I also could help a lot of other people and I don’t really want to niche down. Then what I would recommend doing here is really bringing in a lot of value and information about your specific methods around dating and your specific methods around relationships and your values around relationships and what you think makes a good relationship. What makes your relationship or ships good? You know, really talking about your story, the background of Your Business, what you do with your clients in a really transparent way. Because then naturally people that want to have a relationship under your sort of framework or point of view, our values will be drawn to you and then you don’t have to have this official narrowness of a demographic, but instead you are in the niche of you.
Tip number three on how to stand out in a saturated market and never let this fear you again is to create three or four categories of your niche that is yourself. So this makes things like social and blogging and email newsletters so much easier. And this is something that is part of my, um, kind of bigger business strategy that I’m about to teach my mastermind students. Uh, when we start in a week, which I’m very, very excited about and I’ve kind of done it a little bit high level before, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is you can pick about three or four categories that really fit with your niche of you, and pretty much all of your social media posts, emails, blog posts, media pitches, whatever sort of content you’re delivering can be under one of those umbrellas. Then you’re sort of just really making a niche of you.
I know someone who does something similar to this as Jenna Kutcher. I think she does like the Instagram five where all of her find Instagram posts go under one thing and I think her categories or something like pregnancy, motherhood, Instagram because she does a lot of Instagramming about Instagram, I think her podcasts and then like maybe her and her husband or something like that. So you know, you can tell that she’s not only serving Instagrammers, she’s also not only a mom blogger, she’s also not only a relationship blogger, but she does a little bit of each of it and that’s kind of made her niche of her and she’s able to do that by keeping a really cohesive brand with categories.
Okay. Tip number four on standing out in a saturated market is, I’m just going to be real with you guys, have a professional brand. No one wants to buy from someone who is using, you know, a free website platform. They just don’t. I wouldn’t, and I don’t mean that in an insensitive way, but if someone is going to be taking their business seriously, then that means they’re going to have a professional website and I don’t really want to be buying or learning from someone that I don’t proceed as professional. So you do need to have a professional looking website. If you don’t know how to make a website, I have a free page on my website called urban20something.com/website where it walks you through how to do this on wordpress, which I highly recommend. I recommend wordpress above everything else. You can have professional websites on other sites, so I don’t want to be too rigid, but if you want to make money on your site itself, which you might not want to do now, but maybe down the line, then wordpress is going to be the way to go.
I definitely recommend having professional photos done. You know, I recommend having a clear aesthetic of your brand that sort of exists where you go anywhere online so you know, what you share on Instagram. Is it in line with your brand? One of the things, if any of you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that the thing I’ve shared the most frequently is my life in New York. Pictures of New York, me on a rooftop. What it’s like, you know, living here this day. That’s just because New York is such a centric part of my brand and my story. Anyone who knows me knows that it’s, even though it’s been 10 years almost, which is just crazy. Me living in New York is still a dream come true. And it’s such a part of my work and what I tried to do with my clients to make their dreams come true and make them live in alignment with what they wanted. And so I really show how I, you know, put my money where my mouth is and I make sure I do that every day as well. And don’t take this for granted.
So brand yourself in a consistent and professional way and just the blood parts of this are, you should not be using MailChimp for your email list. It is not good. I don’t recommend it at all and it looks unprofessional and it is unprofessional. You should be having a professional website. Now this doesn’t mean you need to hire someone. Like I said, you can just go to urban20something.com/website and I’ll show you how to set up wordpress. I’ve never hired anyone to do my website. I’ve done it all myself. So you don’t need to hire someone to do it, but it should not be on a free platform. You should have professional photos taken. I invest heavily in my branding and photography because I think it’s a really important part of my brand. But a tip that I give some of my starter clients when they’re first beginning and they don’t want to spend a ton of money on a photo shoot, is you can go into Instagram and type in the Hashtag line a location that you’re at or that you’re going to with the word photographer at the end of it. So for example, if you’re in New York, you would say New York photographer in L.A., you could say Los Angeles photographer, Paris photographer. What you’ll have is a lot of people come up on Instagram that are newer to photography. They’re wanting to get their brand off the ground. They’re wanting the exposure, they want to build their portfolio. They’ll probably give you a relatively good deal because you’re mutually benefiting each other. They’re both building their portfolio and your building your brand.
So that’s something you can do on a budget to still make the difference between photos on an iPhone or photos by your boyfriend or husband who God bless them is probably trying but might not be really hitting the nail on the head. That was the case with my now fiance, so that’s where I say this with a lot of love. He tries, he’s gotten better, but still I needed professional photos. Have a professional brand and it will help you stand out quite a bit to those that aren’t taking this seriously, that are okay with having iPhone pictures and that’s not to put them down, but it’s just an easy, clear trick that works if you want to stand out. Tip number five, I’m standing out in a saturated market. Whew. I feel like I’m blowing through these you guys. So if anyone has any questions or any comments on this kind of thing, I’d love to hear if this is resonating with you or if any of this is not making sense or anything else like that. I love hearing from you guys.
Okay. Tip number five, final tip on standing out in a saturated market. This is not going to shock you guys, but I really want you to lean in close here and hear me that no one can beat the person that does this. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what, what platform you have. I don’t care where, how much money you were born in do I don’t like none of that can beat this one tip if you really take it in and do it and that is to just stay consistent. Just stay consistent. Posting on Instagram three days a week is not consistent. It’s just not. Doing your business when you feel like it and then not when you don’t feel like it is also not consistent. Telling people you want to quit your job in a few months and then doing absolutely nothing to move it forward is not consistent. So if you’re wondering why things aren’t working, why things aren’t happening, why other people are moving faster, I would bet money that there is a piece of consistency that they’re doing that you might not be. Now, if you’re watching this and you’re like, Leah, I want to punch you through the computer. I’ve been very consistent and things aren’t quite happening for me then I don’t want to tell you that, you know? Well there’s so a number of things that could be going on. This isn’t the one all or the be all that said, maybe there’s, there’s two directions I would go in that place.
One, is there another place you can be more consistent and look, you guys, this might be internal. If you are listening to this right now and you’re saying, I post on Instagram every single day. I send out emails every single day, whatever it is that you do and you’re still not getting those kinds of consistent results that it might be an internal reflection. Are you consistently believing that this is working for you? Are you consistently excited about the achievements you’ve made or you consistently working toward what you want to do next? All the time. Just last week, one of my rockstar clients who has been building her business for not that long it’s a little bit newer but very aggressively and she’s been very consistent. I mean she has put so much content out there every day for quite awhile. She was very frustrated at the end of last week because she was just feeling like the level of her consistency wasn’t matching her income and sure enough pretty much right after she told me that she was frustrated, she got a client that paid in full and she made quite a bit of income.
So you don’t necessarily get to dictate the timeline with consistency and I don’t want it to come off as a magic wand, but it is a tool that you can have that will always beat the people that are inconsistent and trust me, a lot of people, a lot of people let excuses get in the way. A lot of people let themselves get in the way. A lot of people have a million reasons up their sleeve why they haven’t done something every single day toward their vision for any amount of time and when you decide not to be one of those people, you immediately are in a less, a smaller pool frankly.
You are in a smaller pools so it’s less difficult to stand out. So yeah, I think that that’s the best way I’d explain it. If you have this one piece of consistency, you weed out so many people that you might feel threatened by or competitive with because they won’t have that piece as well. And then you’re just kind of raising yourself up there with, with other pretty big fish, you know, people that are really consistent usually have a lot going for them and they usually move pretty quickly. So I’m not saying you’re going to “beat them out”, but again, that’s not the point here. The point here is to really become the best niche of you and you’re going to be able to really do that if you are consistent with it. And you do it internally and externally, every day, all the time, like your life depends on it because not to sound dramatic, but it Kinda does.
For those of you that are all in on your business, on your vision and on entrepreneurship, this, you know, that’s how I feel and I’ve never had an option but to be successful. I think that that’s what keeps me going when I feel, when I’ve had times of struggles or times of not knowing if things were going to work, I never have allowed my brain to consider that this isn’t going to work because it’s just not an option to me. I heard it so beautifully described a few weeks ago when I was moderating a panel. Someone said that you know this is what you have to make happen when it’s like a puzzle that you have to solve. You know, you get up every morning, not every morning is great, but you know it’s what you need to be doing.
So if you feel like that, then that tells me that this is what you know you’re meant to do, that you’re fired up about it and that you have no reason to be worried about competition. If you can take these mindset adjustments and practical tips into your work and into your day to day, I promise you will feel so much more on top of your own world and on top of your own pedestal and you won’t be worried about other people and how far are high or low or left or right they are because it doesn’t matter. You are in this with yourself and you’ve totally, totally got this. So I hope that you guys found this helpful.
Just to quickly recap, my five tips on standing out in a saturated market are to one, release the need to make everything be original, it’s just not helpful. Two, become the niche of you. Instead of having to narrow down, which is what I teach my mastermind students. Very tactically, we have like a whole system around it starting next week. And by the way, we have one spot open in my mastermind. So if you are an entrepreneur and you are looking to really excel in your business these last six months of the year, God, the last half of the year, and you want to be part of just the most incredible community, if I do say so myself, I’ve ever seen, then the mastermind, it could be a great fit for you. It is not open to everyone, but we do look at your situation and your goals and your personality and if we think you’d be a good fit, then we’ll, you would invite you. So if you’re interested in that last spot than please reach out to us at email@example.com or to DM on Instagram and me or someone on my team will get a call set up for you.
But going back and then the third tip is to create the three to four categories of you, the niche of you. Fourth is to have a professional brand and stop pretending that this is a hobby, but you still want it to be something very lucrative because that doesn’t match up. Then fifth, and finally and most importantly by far, is to stay consistent that niche of you and watch yourself flourish.
All right, visionaries, that’s all I’ve got for you today. But I am very excited for you all and so excited for the week ahead. You know, I think we all need to collectively feel so grateful for this new week and this Monday and the, the ability that we all have to truly do whatever we want this week to manifest whatever we want, to create whatever we want to put out there whenever we want to be, whoever we want. It is such a gift and each new week brings it. And instead of getting into the funky drama, heavy gooeyness of Monday and tired and money and clients and stress and blah, blah, blah. You know, thinking really big picture, what an absolute blessing it is. This day that we will never get to live again. We will never be younger than we are now. We will never have more opportunity than we have now. We have a whole week to create exactly as we want and let’s go out and do just that. I will talk to you guys soon, visionaries, and we have some really exciting interviews coming up. If you guys ever have any suggestions on an episode or you want to have someone on here in particular, then please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from you. I’m always cheering for you all and I hope you have an amazing week here is to your biggest vision.
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