standing out from the crowd image of lemon and limesDo I do what everyone else is doing…

Just because it works for them?

Or should I just be me?

I have previously spoken about watching what other marketers do, and applying it to what I do. This is a great thing to do I believe. After all, if it is working for them, it should work for me too.

The problem with just doing this though is that pretty soon there would be hundreds of marketers doing exactly the same thing. Not only boring but probably not very exciting for our intended customers.

From what I can see, and what I have learned about Marketing and Business during my studies, there are two main ways to sell.

The first is called ‘Price Differentiation‘. This means offering something for sale that others offer too but beating them on price (usually through economies of scale) but that is a whole other subject.

The second is called ‘Value Differentiation‘. This refers to the perceived value that a customer puts on what you are offering versus your competitors.

Let’s say, for instance, you are selling ‘blue widgets’. So are your competitors. You all charge the same price. How does a customer decide who to buy from? If all other things are equal, and the customer doesn’t know any of you, it will probably be from the first place where they find the ‘blue widgets’ available for sale.

Now let’s imagine that only you offer a free installation service for the ‘blue widgets’. Does that make your offer more valuable in the eyes of the customer? You bet it does.

In the internet marketing world, the product being sold is a very often a digital product. You probably couldn’t provide an installation service for that (unless it was a software product). So how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

I am going to talk about promoting affiliate offers for this part of the article because that is where my interest lies right now. There are several possibilities. I could offer bonuses (which many marketers do when promoting an affiliate offer). I could add to the product being promoted by offering a complimentary product along-side the original. I could offer email support for the product to help with potential problems or questions.

Sure, I could do all of that but in the end am I adding any value to ‘me’ in my customer’s eyes? Not really…I am adding value to the product but they will not necessarily come back the next time I have something to offer unless I can ‘out-do’ everyone else with the value-adding.

There is also another way to add value to something in the eyes of your customers. That is to have them get to know you, like you, and trust you.

First of all, I personally would be much more comfortable buying something from someone I have interacted with over a period of time than a complete stranger. That familiarity adds value to the offer.

I would also be more likely to buy from someone I like rather than someone I do not.

Lastly, if I feel I can trust someone then the chance of me buying from them is much greater than someone I do not trust. Makes sense right?

The bottom line here is that I can add value to the same product everyone else is promoting as well, simply by being known, liked, and trusted by my potential buyers.

Well, all that is just awesome information dude, but how the hell do I go about achieving that?

I need to be able to interact with potential buyers over and over again. I need to be able to show them ‘me’ on a more personal level than just trying to sell them something. There are several ways to do this but I think two ways really stand out for me.

First, I should be trying to get their email address, so I can reach out and build a rapport with people. Second, I should try to connect with them where they like to hang out. Most likely that would be social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and so on.

The more times I can interact with a follower on a social level, the greater the know, like, and trust levels are likely to be. Then, when it comes time to put an offer in front of them, I have already added value to it just by being me.

One thing I really dislike in the internet marketing space is the ‘bonus wars’ whenever there is a big launch of a product. If you are on a few email lists you probably know what I am talking about. Joe Blow (not a real person by the way) is promoting ‘Product X’  and so are several other affiliates. Joe offers a bonus worth $127. Next thing you know, someone else is offering a bonus package worth $379. Then another offers a bonus worth $999. And on it goes, sometimes for days.

Eventually you will see something ridiculous like ‘Buy Product X for just $17 and get my bonus worth $5549’. Now why in the hell would someone offer a bonus that was really worth that much just to sell a $17 product? Maybe it is just me being cynical but if the bonus product was really worth that much, why not sell that instead?

Now don’t get me wrong, the value of the product may well be what is stated, or it used to be but that just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I would much rather buy ‘Product X’ from someone I know, like, and trust just because they have taken the time to get to know me on a personal level (to an extent) even if no bonus was offered.

I guess the way to stand out from the crowd is to become more valuable yourself in the eyes of the customer. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to try to do things a little differently than everyone else as well. More on that in another post.

That’s all for now.

Til next time, take care.


P.S. See the box below. You know what to do. And thank you and welcome if you do.