What’s Your Essential Quality?

Last week, a client told me, “You’re the most considerate consultant I’ve known” — and my surprise at that set off my thoughts for this blog post.

Not a bad quality, I thought. It’s a tribute to being parented well. Now, I certainly don’t claim to be better than average at many things, but I do try to be considerate. I think that it’s one of my essential qualities.

And seeing that led to a question: Can you build your business on a personal, essential quality?

Not only do I think you can, I think you must. If you do it right, it gives you a unique opportunity to stand out in the marketplace.

Often, competing comes down to the first message you give a prospect. Many service providers, like copywriters, lead with their skills. They come up with some expression of their abilities. But there’s a problem. For the most part, everyone has the same skills.

Look around you in the marketplace. Go out on guru.com and look at copywriter profiles. Here are some real-life examples I’ve just gathered:

  • Copywriting and Editing since 2001.
  • Professional Copywriter and Experienced Ghostwriter.
  • Writing and editing to make your job easier.
  • Writer available for writing and translation projects.

Ho hum. Ho very much hum. I don’t know how you feel, but I’d have a hard time hiring any of these people because their taglines are so dull.

From those taglines, can you tell who the best writer is? I can’t either.

So don’t compete with the same tools. You need to find something others can’t match. Your personal qualities are unusual, distinctive, usually un-mined ground for building value that others can’t match.

So my advice to you is this: Build your tagline on yourself.

What happens when you leverage a personal, distinctive quality, and build your business around it?

When I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a local television show that featured inexpensive advertisements for local businesses. I saw hundreds of advertisements on that show. Only one stuck in my mind. Their tagline?

“The superlative florist!”

They’re still using that tagline today, by the way — because it works. Turns out that the ad-man who came up with it is still doing the voice-overs, and he’s 102 years old.

I think you’re trying to build a lasting business. Why not try to build it on something distinctive about yourself? What personal quality would help you stand out?

As for me, I’m considering becoming “The Considerate Copywriter.” I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: October 9, 2012

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