Distinctive 2

We’re hearing a lot about the rapidly shifting attention spans of customers and how important it is to use an ambitious mix of social media platforms to capture their attention.

But this intense focus toward platforms can perpetuate a fundamental mistake that is so easy for us business owners to make.

The mistake happens when we overlook, or fail to clearly define, all of the distinctively awesome things we do. How do we improve the lives of our customers? How do we bring value? How do we deliver exceptional customer experiences every day?

Before you say something like, “But, Stephen, there isn’t anything distinctive about what I do,” I challenge you with this — if there wasn’t something truly distinctive and different about what you do, then you wouldn’t have a business.

So whether your business is thriving, stuck at a steady plateau, or declining, please take a pause from crafting that Twitter strategy, mastering Instagram, or shooting those Vine videos you have been thinking about. You will make 2014 your best year ever if you focus on defining and creating “distinction” for your business.

Distinction can be your secret weapon in 2014. It’s that powerful.

And once you create your distinction, it will give you a persuasive story to share with all of your customers and prospects through those exciting social media platforms — as well as providing you with great content for your Constant Contact email campaigns.

So how do we create distinction?

My good friend, Scott McKain, defines distinction as having the ability to stand out, move up, and grow your business despite a very crowded marketplace. He is the world’s leading authority in helping companies create distinction, a bestselling author, and a highly sought after speaker.

I learned from Scott that the most important question business owners should continually ask themselves is, “How do our prospects or customers tell the difference between us and our competition?”

According to Scott, there are Four Cornerstones of Distinction:

1. Clarity. Distinctive businesses are crystal clear about what makes them unique. They know what they are and what they are NOT. You cannot differentiate what you cannot define.

2. Creativity. To be distinctive, you don’t have to do everything creatively, in fact, be unique at just one point, and you can dominate your marketplace. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car picks you up. It’s there one thing — and they do it incredibly well.

3. Communication. While customers and prospects truly desire information, they want the details placed within a compelling narrative (or story) that they can relate to and remember.

4. Customer experience focus. Distinctive businesses plan customer retention with as much passion and precision as they strategize customer acquisition. You can turn prospects into customers and customers into champions for your business.

The importance of distinction.

I asked Scott to sit down with me so I could interview him about the practical and tactical steps any business owner can immediately apply to create distinction. He agreed. The level of detail he provided will give you an accelerated MBA in creating distinction. It’s that good.

Can’t see the video? Watch here.

One of the things I really appreciate about Scott is his willingness to teach and freely share his expertise. No tricks. No gimmicks. For example, you can download his “Create Distinction Workbook” for free. (Another awesome resource, thanks Scott.)

Now, let’s be sure to connect “distinction” back to your online marketing strategy.

If you follow the Four Cornerstones of Distinction, as Scott recommends, you’ll experience an enormous financial side benefit because your distinction will also help you eliminate Money Draining Mistake #2: High Bounce Rate.

In another post for Constant Contact, I explained how financially disastrous bounce rate is to any business, and the steps necessary to immediately fix it. Fixing bounce rate can increase your leads and sales in 2014 by 42 percent or more.

Here’s to making 2014 your best year — onward with gusto!

Got more questions about distinction and how it can drive down bounce rate, increase your leads, and your sales? Please ask me below. I will answer all of them.