I once knew a dairy farm girl who could make her cows follow her about like puppy dogs.
All she had to do was get one or two of them to walk with her, and the entire rest of the herd would fall into place to see where they were going.
After all, they didn’t want to miss anything… like maybe some fresh green grass or alfalfa!
People are like this, too.
If you get a few of them to follow you, then the rest of the herd will follow, too.
Not that I’m calling your customers cows, or anything, but it works the same way with people as it does with cows.
People like to fit in. That’s why they buy the same clothes, get the same tattoos and so forth.
True, everyone thinks they are following their own piper, but in reality they are following trends and doing what the other cows – err, I mean people – are doing.
To stand out from the crowd and grow your own herd of customers, you’re going to have to be different. Typical, cookie-cutter marketing won’t cut it.
Here’s a great example: You see all these online gurus standing in front of mansions with Lamborghinis, and can you tell them apart? Nope. They all look the same.
But what if you’ve got a guy who’s mucking about in the garden, wearing hip boots and planting veggies? Well now, this guy certainly doesn’t seem like all the mansion owning Lamborghini driving gurus, does he?
What if you have a gal who is always pictured on her motorcycle or flying her plane? Again, she stands apart from the crowd.
Here’s what I’m getting to…
To attract a crowd of customers, you’ve got to stand apart from the crowd. Look at what every other person in your niche is doing, and then do something different.
Heck, do the OPPOSITE.
Be a leader not only in your thinking, but also in how you allow yourself to be seen.
Sometimes being different than your competitors is truly your greatest edge.
People will not only take notice of you, but they will remember you and talk about you, too. Unlike all the other people in your niche who become a blur, you are the weird one who stands out, gets noticed and gets followed.
But how do you accomplish this?
You could be controversial. Everyone loves the British Royal Family, right? Well, not David Icke. He has millions of followers world-wide who tune in to see him talk about how the royal family are reptiles out to kill your business. Not my cup of tea, but it’s working for him.
You could be opposite. Like we talked about earlier, if everyone in your niche is standing in front of a mansion with a sports car, you get down in the mud and become the anti-guru.
You could play to your strength. Are you especially funny? There is hardly a niche that wouldn’t appreciate some humor.
Are you especially creative? Let your website, your words and everything about you show just how creative you are.
Do you have an unusual hobby, like skydiving or sea horse wrangling? Use it. If I’m searching for information on plumbing, and 9 plumbers all look the same and all tell me what a great job they do, and the 10th plumber is seen diving out of an airplane holding a pipe wrench to fix my plumbing problem, I’m calling him. Just sayin’.
Do you like something others are afraid to admit they like? Maybe you’re a closet Barry Manilow fan, or disco fan. Say so! You’ll suddenly become the most interesting person in your niche.
Do you think that ghosts are real? Or fairies? Do you believe you have fortune-telling or ESP powers? Say so! A contingent of people who either, A) believe as you do or B) are interested in what you have to say, will follow you.
People need leaders, and they want their leaders to be different from the rest of the herd. This allows them to feel different from the herd, too, even though they are one of thousands following this same person.
No matter how odd, weird or silly your niche or passion, you can build a following if you play to your ‘weirdness.’
Frankly, I think the weirder you are, the better. I’ve seen marketers cultivate their weirdness and eccentricities into million-dollar fortunes, and there’s no reason why you can’t do it, too.
Plus it’s fun – you get to ‘let it all hang out’ and see who follows you.
It’s gratifying to realize that your weirdness is being embraced by your own herd – a herd that will follow you anywhere.