How Do You Stand Out?
Suzanne Evans has a larger than life presence. She's loud, she's direct, she cusses, she's brilliant, she's committed, and she changes lives and businesses. She just spent 3.5 days on the stage at Be the Change teaching, training, and entertaining over 900 participants how to transform their businesses to make more money.
Suzanne is one example of how you can stand out. But you may not want to command the attention of 900 people or run an event with a million moving parts and 50 staff people.
You could stand out like my friend and colleague Pamela Bruner of Make Your Success Easy. She gave an outstanding talk at Be the Change. She was recognized with a Hell Yeah Award for her accomplishment of bringing over $1 million into her business this past year. And she had a beautiful, sophisticated booth in the Exchange where she and her staff attracted lots of people wondering how her work could help them.
Or you can stand out with your own style.
That's what I did at Be the Change. I put together a sponsor booth that honestly seemed a little homespun compared to the sophisticated ones that looked like "real" tradeshow exhibits.
But my booth was colorful, the signage was beautifully designed by Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design, and my assistant and I were friendly without being pushy. We got lots of comments about how pretty the colors were, inquiries about the work I do, and requests for the cool giveaway Treat Cups (below).
My theme was your Inner Money Movies™ and how they limit your income in your business. I offered a quiz about your Inner Money Movies™ and a giveaway of a small Treat Cup with popcorn and sample-sized movie candies - of course branded with Make More Money Cinema labels and my website.
Then I found out that American Express was going to award prizes for 3 categories of booths - Best Branded, Most Creative, and Funniest. I met Amy who was judging the contest when I applied for an American Express card at her booth. She was about to inspect the booths one last time to choose the winners so I invited her to see the details of mine. Of course I showed her the Treat Cups, which she loved.
That evening at the Hell Yeah Awards ceremony, my booth won Most Creative! I got to go on stage to be recognized and won a $100 gift card from American Express. Happy!
Adele at her booth at Be the Change 2013
So here are my takeaways about how to stand out with your own style:
1 - Engage people in a style that reflects your personality. If you are friendly and warm, use happy colors and a warm smile. If you are sophisticated, use cooler colors and a more low-key style. If you are technically-oriented, show off your command of how to get things done.
2 - Invite people to interact with you with something fun, different, or with a personal touch. Don't be afraid to let your personality show. If you are goofy, be a little whacky. If you are shy, use a question or quiz to help people interact with you. If you are bossy, be direct and show them exactly how you can help them. Your kind of people will respond to you.
3 - Talk about the special touches your business delivers. To stand out, you have to let people know how your services will benefit them specifically and throw in an added touch. If you do facials to help women look younger, offer a bonus facial massage and talk about that. If you do financial planning to help people prepare for their future, offer a complimentary year-end round up to assess progress and plan for next year. If you offer Treat Cups with a quiz and a Make More Money Discovery Session like I did, talk about that. People love prizes, bonuses, and special treatment. Treat your clients and prospects to something special.
4 - Remember that standing out is about starting a conversation. Be interested in the other person and find out how you can help them. You may not sell your services when you first start the conversation, but you are starting a relationship. Get their contact information and keep in touch through newsletters, emails, and phone calls. Build the relationship and you will stand out when you follow up.
Sometimes when I wonder about how to stand out, I think I have to be something I'm not - bigger, bolder, more sophisticated. You may think that too. But in reality, being you is enough to stand out. You have to keep showing up and being you consistently.
Go be you with pride today. Show up and stand out.