You’ve poured your time and energy into creating a successful business. You’ve built your skills, ramped up your knowledge and cemented your expertise. But are you still “just another…”? These two words are the kiss of death for ambitious women entrepreneurs. When you’re seen as “just another HR consultant” or “just another business strategist”, you fail to attract the kind of attention you need to become a high end, in-demand consultant in your industry.
In this episode of Power Play, I discuss how positioning yourself in a Category of One is the most important thing you can do for your business this year.
The two most dangerous words for any woman entrepreneur are ‘Just Another’.
You have built your career and invested a lot of time and energy building up your skills and knowledge and expertise. And because of that, the last thing you want to be associated as (or with) is just another financial adviser. Or just another HR consultant. Or just another business strategist. That is the kiss of death for your reputation as a high-end, in-demand consultant in your field.
When I look at the clients that I’m working with, who have the most lucrative, simplest, easy to run, few headaches businesses, they have all positioned themselves in what I would call The Preeminent Position in their category.
So what do I mean by preeminent? When I say preeminent, I mean you’re in a Category of One. So the way that you set yourself apart, the way you talk about what you do, the way you position yourself in the competitive sphere is at the very top. In a category of one you’re very hard to emulate, very hard to imitate. When you are in a category of one, you’re seen as the high end option, you are able to attract better, more affluent clients who were able to hire you, not just one time, but continue rehiring you. What’s more, they’re able to really implement the strategies that you’re teaching them, which means they get better results, which further cements your reputation as a high-end preeminent adviser, i.e. not just another anything.
If you’re like some of the clients that I work with inside my private mentoring groups, the idea of positioning yourself in a category of one might actually feel a little bit intimidating or it might feel a little bit awkward. And I totally get it. As a woman entrepreneur, in some ways when it comes to positioning ourselves in that preeminent position, we’ve got a lot of social conditioning working against us. Here’s exactly what I mean by that.
Gender research has revealed that very often men will aim to maximize status differences while women will aim to minimize status differences. So you can see, if you as a woman want to minimize status differences and really play up the connection that we have between each other, positioning yourself in a category of one at the top level of your industry may sometimes feel a little bit off putting.
I totally understand that, it makes complete sense. But, it can mean the difference between your message not getting through to the people it needs to get through to. It can mean that you underplay your incredible skills and talents in your area, and it really doesn’t serve you or your clients.
I’ll give you an example of how this can play out. I’m thinking about a client that I was working with who works inside the sort of architecture interior design space and as she was describing her business she was really looking for a powerful one liner. And in so doing, she was describing herself essentially as just another architect/interior designer. It turned out that this was a woman who had won multiple awards. She had worked on multiple super high end projects inside properties that that were well-known for being absolute best in class. So one of the things that she decided to do was reposition how she talks about her business to highlight those things. So she was no longer just another architect/interior designer, but really positioning herself as best in class. As candidate of choice when it came to high end projects.
So think about how you can really set apart: what are the things that make me different? What are the pieces of credibility, awards that I’ve won, things that really position me and accomplishments that I’ve done and results that I’ve helped clients achieve that really position me at the top of my industry? And then, start to draft one or two powerful sentences that you can use to describe your business and yourself in that way when people say: ‘Tell me about you, tell me about your business.’.
In the beginning it’s probably going to feel a little bit awkward, but understand it’s because, very often as women, we’re socially conditioned to minimize differences. So anything that we do that sort of puts ourselves up and out there can feel a little awkward at first. Try it out and you’ll start to see how you begin to put yourself into that preeminent category of one and you are no longer just another anything.
Thanks so much for watching. I hope you found it valuable. If you did, I would love if you would share it with someone who you think would benefit.