In today’s marketplace you’ve got to do more than offer excellent service and product. That’s a given. To separate your small business from all the others offering a similar service you’ve got to be unique and memorable. How do you do that?
Begin by checking out your competition. Look at their websites, blogs, and any printed marketing material. Ask yourself, “What can I do that they’re not doing?”
Taking my own advice, I started doing a little research on a few personal history websites. Here’s what I learned.
Generally personal historians do a good job of extolling the virtues of recording life stories. But there are omissions. This means there’s a real opportunity for you to fill the gaps and set your personal history business apart. Here are 8 ways to be unique:
1. Provide a money back guarantee. This provides real comfort for potential clients. It also says that you’re confident about the quality of your work. I’ve had a 100% satisfaction guaranteed label on my home page for three years now and it’s never been a problem.
2. Contribute to your community. Demonstrate your values by listing your volunteer activities. Consider donating a percentage of your profits to a charity that has an obvious connection to life stories such as the Alzheimer’s Association and Reading is Fundamental.
3. Have a toll free number. Prominently display your toll free number on your home page and other marketing materials. The easier it is for potential clients to talk to you, the better the chance of securing that client.
4. Offer free resources. Put together a series of lists and mini-publications like 15 Great Memoirs Written by Women , The 50 Best Life Story Questions, and Come to Your Senses and Unlock Childhood Memories. [Please feel free to use these or other articles from my blog. All I ask is that you duly credit them.]
5. List prices. There’s no getting away from it, price matters. It’s usually the first thing people want to know. Anything that hints at avoidance can lead to suspicion. I know that personal history fees vary widely depending on the scope of a project. But minimally you can indicate a range. For example: Prices range from $300 for a one-hour video interview to $10,000 for a documentary film biography.
6. Go green. Consumers increasingly expect businesses to limit their environmental impact. Being green can set you apart. How do you reduce your carbon footprint? In your office do you use recycled paper, compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights? Do you drive a fuel efficient car? Is your printing done by an environmentally responsible company?
Consider buying carbon offsets. In Canada one of the top ranked companies is Less. In the United States check out TerraPass . Make sure that your clients know your commitment to the environment is more than talk.
7. Be an expert.Write articles that offer tips and advice. These can be on your own blog or for sites such as EZineArticles.com and About.com. In time you’ll be seen as an expert!
8. Code of Ethics. If you’re a member of the Association of Personal Historians, (If you’re not, you should be ) you know that you’re expected to adhere to the APH Code of Ethics. It’s simple to add this as a page to your website. Like the money back guarantee it creates a degree of comfort for your clients.
If I were a potential client in search a personal historian, who would I hire?
Over and above the obvious need to hire a personal historian with a high degree of expertise, the nod would go to the person who was not only outstanding but went that extra mile and met the above attributes.
How are you going to make your business stand out this year? Drop me a line. Love to hear from you.
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