Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a smartwatch. Today, we will answer the following question: “how do you stand out in a crowded market?”

In an increasingly globalized world, it can feel tricky to set yourself apart from the competition. As a small business owner, you might feel like a small fish in a big pond. But there is hope!

While the world is big and growing bigger everyday, there are many things that you can do to stand out in a crowded market and draw in more business.

Narrow your market by finding a niche

One reason that you might feel like you can’t stand out in the market is that you are trying to market to the whole world. This seldom works. We can not express the importance of finding your niche enough. This is what makes your business special. In a world with so many distractions and alternatives, this is how people will remember you.

First, find your target audience and tailor your efforts to marketing to those people and those people alone. Do this by creating products and services that are perfectly suited to meet their needs.

Next, get your name out there in your community, and in your niche. Find communities of people you want to attract to your business, and then ask “how do I let them know about us?” There are a lot of ways you can do this: social media, email, in-person events, and more. The important thing here is to carefully select the best communities, then put the bulk of your effort into reaching out to them. Don’t blast people with untargeted messages – they won’t care that way.

Try different approaches to marketing and see what your audience responds to. If you are having wild success with one method of marketing, while others seem to be lacking, then stick with what is tried and true for you!

Yes, it is good to experiment and try new things, but do so smartly! Once you find a niche, make the right products/services, and find communities to engage with, focus on doing that right before moving onto a wider niche.

Be different, but familiar

We have all heard it throughout life: be different. It gets old after a while, but sometimes cliches are true. Doing things differently is the easiest way to stand out in a big market. Being different looks different for everyone though. What your business is trying to do maybe drastically different than mine.

Now, yes, doing things the same way as your competition doesn’t exactly give your customers a reason to choose you. Bear in mind, though, that people tend to prefer what feels familiar. Be different, but also make sure your business feels familiar. You want customers to be at ease with your brand, not having to think too much. Being too different can be overwhelming. There’s a Goldilocks zone that you want to find here!

Final thoughts on standing out in a crowded market

Once you have a niche and have figured out how to be different-but-not-too-different, it’s time to turn things up a notch. Start actively attracting customers to you. You can do this through giveaways, advertising, community outreach, and any number of other methods.

Finding a niche is hard. So much so that it feels intimidating. Don’t let that stop you from trying to be different and growing your business. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve reached a plateau, these tips can help you make waves in your own market!