Marketers like to throw around the word positioning, but what does it mean exactly?
Try this: positioning is an organized effort to differentiate your firm (and yourself) and influence how your target audience perceives you.
So let’s break that down.
Organized effort. Are you strategically and consistently working to build your reputation and brand?
Differentiate. Do you look/act/sound like your competitors (be honest now) or have you clearly articulated a unique niche?
Influence. Are you using strategy and tactics designed to influence the clients and buyers within your niche?
Target Audience. Have you CLEARLY defined your sweet-spot target, all the way down to creating client profiles (avatars) to guide your efforts?
Slip up on any of these and you may well have a positioning problem.
The challenge of positioning—the bane of many consulting firms and soloists—is that it requires an articulated strategy.
And staking your claim on one thing feels tantamount to risking your business and reputation.
But there’s the thing.
Positioning yourself and your firm is the SINGLE most important thing you’ll do in your business.
It sets the stage for how—and with whom—you spend your time.
Done well, it will influence, over and over again, the right clients, buyers and centers of influence to seek you out.
Your work gets easier, not harder.
Can you position your firm yourself? Absolutely—in fact even if you work with an outside expert (ahem, like me), you’ll still need to lead the charge to ensure your team stays focused in your lane.
But I’ve found consultants tend to either “get” their positioning fairly quickly or flail away for months, even years, trying an array of tactics that never quite jell.
So if your experience hasn’t been of the quick variety, it may be time for some outside help.
Sure, it’s going to cost you more out-of-pocket than doing it yourself. But look at what speed will buy you before you decide you can’t afford it.
What’s a single client worth to you? How much faster will they find and hire you if you’ve articulated your value?
If you’ve got a positioning problem, do the math and decide what getting it right is worth to you.
And then go after it like the last bus of the night.
p.s. This will be my last post until after the New Year, so please enjoy your holidays, travel safe and hold your loved ones close.