How to Avoid Becoming Another “Me Too” in the Freelance and Online Business Space
You may have noticed the online business and freelancing world is getting a little crowded.
This isn’t a bad thing either.
There are more than enough customers to go around for all of us.
But one thing I’ve noticed over the years, and you may have as well, is that business groups and masterminds can become an echo chamber.
We can focus so much on growing our businesses and digesting information that instead of listening to our customers, we become another, “Hey, I do this, too,” business owner without a unique edge.
If it feels like you’re continually doing things just because you see it’s working for someone else, don’t feel bad. Many business owners (including myself) get in this cycle before we feel comfortable being ourselves.
These are some ways to break free.
Make Some People Dislike You
Think about all of the business owners or bloggers who you have bookmarked.
What do they have in common?
Usually, they take a stance on issues, they have a distinct voice, or they do something that’s memorable. They don’t try to please everyone.
They identify what strengths they have and then get tunnel vision.
As a financial writer and educator, I research and discuss budgeting, saving, debt, credit, and other money topics.
But I also have a nose piercing, share foolish money mistakes I made in the past, and write in a casual voice complete with pop culture phrases and rap lyrics.
Some people are immediately turned off by me.
They want money commentary from someone who’s a bit more polished.
However, the ones who do relate to me are looking for a less intimidating take on finance and are my ideal customer.
Differentiating yourself without fear can help you move away from the “me too” routine so you can stand out.
Be the Solution You Wish You Found Years Ago
It’s not always easy to determine what’s different about us.
A great tip I learned from Rosemarie Groner of The Busy Budgeter is that often business owners are speaking to the person they were before experiencing a transformation.
For a starting point, consider being the person with the perspective and solutions you wish you had in the past.
Put Yourself on Timeout
When you have an idea of what makes you different, give yourself some time away from influences to develop your identity.
Go to places where you feel most creative.
For me, it’s during a walk or when sitting by the Chattahoochee River.
When you don’t give yourself time to breathe and strategize, it’s so easy to get back into the vortex of the latest business trend and to forget your purpose.
It can take years to establish your voice and perspective which can be disheartening.
The silver lining is that this time spent is actually very valuable.
It’s the experiences, knowledge, and customer interactions you’re having along the way that form your narrative, voice, and edge, so keep at it.