How to stand out (without gimmicks)
5 min read

How to stand out (without gimmicks)

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Competitive Playbook, a digital course that will help you win more competitive deals, just like it has for Slack, ZoomInfo, Metadata, Zendesk, and many others. Use the code “Reeder20” to get 20% off of The Competitive Playbook (it's live now).

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 5,543 creators get better at content strategy and creation in 5 minutes or less.

Your goal as a content creator is to stand out and earn attention.

Why?

Because you need to win mindshare before you can win market share.

In other words, people need to know, like, and trust you before they can buy from you.

(It’s pretty hard to sell your things — products, services, ideas — if no one knows they exist.)

And if you’re not standing out, then that leads the door open for your competitors to come and eat your Lunchable.

But that doesn’t mean you should use gimmicks to trick people into paying attention, like:

  • Making outlandish, controversial claims (like clickbait)
  • Being overly negative to stir emotions (trolling)
  • Relying on shticks (like dressing up as Mario in your profile picture)

Sure, they work. But only once.

Because as soon as you realize their content is hollow and you’ve been tricked, trust is lost, and you’ll likely never click anything from that author or website again.

That’s because gimmicks trade trust for attention.

And you want to win attention and build trust.

That’s why this week you’re going to learn three strategies for standing out and separating yourself from the pack. Perfect if you want to:

-Build a following
-Create highly effective content
-Box out your competition and position yourself as the go-to leader in your niche

Ready? Let’s ride.

Tip #1: Identify your (true) competition

You have two types of competition: product and attention competitors.

Product competitors are who you compete with for dollars.

Attention competitors are who you compete with for attention.

Winning mindshare requires designing a content strategy that is different from anything available to your target audience. Otherwise you risk falling into the Sea of Sameness.

For example, if an interview-style podcast for novice rental property investors already exists, then creating the same thing but with the intention of being marginally better is a losing strategy. You’ll simply become noise. And that’s because at best you’re (at best) starting in second place behind an established leader.

Remember, the last thing you want is to be compared to others.

It’s much better to stand alone and be known — read, remembered — for something different.

If you want to see who you’re really competing with so you can stand out, here’s a quick guide that includes my Competitive Content Landscape Template.

Tip #2: Develop a unique Point-of-View (POV)

Your POV is a specific set of beliefs and values that guide your content, actions, and the products/services you offer.

They usually start with I believe…

One of my favorite examples is from Erik and Darren McKee’s and their company, SaaSBros. (yep, they’re brothers), because it has a distinct and memorable POV.

Their mission is to “connect HUNGRY sales talent with HIRING SaaS companies.”

Why? Because the McKee brothers were labeled as “under qualified” when they first tried breaking into SaaS sales because they didn’t have Tech experience — despite having solid sales expertise.

But they were motivated. And they realized that the most successful salespeople are too — they’re hungry to learn and win.

Just so happens that sales leaders also look for motivation as a key attribute when making a hiring decision. So the McKee brothers connected the dots and created a sales talent firm to “let the hungry in.”

Keep in mind, they aren’t the only sales talent firm out there — not by a long shot. But they stand out because of their unique POV. They aren’t selling “top talent” — they’re selling motivated, high potential talent.

Here are 3 questions to answer to help build your unique POV

  • What problem exists today that you understand deeply nobody else sees?
  • What common way of operating (ie, solutions) are commonly accepted but you disagree with?
  • What experience do you have that conflicts with common consensus of how “things should be done”?

Once you have your POV, you can start educating the world on it by creating content.

Tip #3: Amplify your Niche Knowledge

High-quality, differentiated content pierces through the noise.

Do it consistently and over time you’ll build credibility.

Once your credibility reaches a tipping point, you’ll become synonymous with your niche — the ultimate sign that you've positioned yourself as a go-expert and won mindshare.

This is how to unlock career-changing opportunities, make (a lot) more money, and achieve freedom of time.

Nick Bennett knows exactly how to unlock and share his Niche Knowledge.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his LinkedIn posts this week where he shared a specific campaign designed to generate G2 reviews for his company:

He didn’t just share the What and Why. He took the time to share exactly HOW he did it. He even included the exact email template so his Reader can copy-paste-win.

This depth of expertise is why his content stands out on the crowded LinkedIn feed, and why he’s widely considered a genuine thought leader. It’s also how he generates dozens of inbound demos from a single post.

Chef’s kiss.

You beat your competitors by being different, not better

Follow these steps and you won’t just break through the noise — you’ll avoid it all together:

1. Identify your attention competitors

2. Develop a unique POV

3. Amplify your Niche Knowledge

And if you want to really dominate your competition like Steph Curry from the 3-point line, create a repeatable process using The Competitive Playbook. Perfect if you’re in a crowded market and want to win more competitive deals for your business (and get promoted for it).

Holler at you next week,
Devin

PS: Did this episode of CSR teach you something or make you think? (hopefully the answer is Yes if you've made it to this sentence!). If so, you can share this link with your content creating friends to hook them up and help me get the word out. In fact I would be so grateful that you'd compel me to sing "Bamboleo" by the Gypsy Kings.

More digital resources for creating prolific content

  1. Catch up on previous newsletters here (scroll down to ‘Here’s what you missed’)
  2. Follow me on Linkedin for edu-taining posts on sales and marketing tactics
  3. Check out my video course Content Strategy for LinkedIn if you want to build your LinkedIn personal brand. Be sure to use discount code “CSR” for 22% off