Be honest now. Are you (and your business) forgettable?
"You know what I like about you? You don't care what anyone thinks!"
That "compliment" came from my mother-in-law when she first saw the eggplant painted walls in my living room. It's true; we are not living our lives in a ready for resale home. My husband and I don't play it safe and squelch our creativity. We don't believe our lives were meant to be neutral statements.
Why tell you this? Frankly, I see crushing levels of mediocrity out here in Chicago's suburbia. When I get out and surf the web to check out some of your businesses, things don't look much better. So much creative inhibition in the lives and businesses of otherwise fine people! Just makes me want to scream, “For the love of God, people, please come alive! You are boring me to tears!”
Seriously! So please, let me take a moment to go all Tom Peters on you.
Let's talk about your brand presence. Yes, yours. Oh. I see. You aren't self-employed or working in marketing, so you don't think you need one? That's interesting. Good luck with that next time you go on a job interview. Understand you need one, but don't really have one? Yes, I know.
If you are a self-employed person or small business owner with a website, are you engaging me immediately in a compelling dialogue from the moment I find your site? Am I so clear on who you are, what makes you cool, and why I definitely want to have you in my universe that I can't help but reach out to you? Are you so clear on who you are that the whole concept of competition has become a meaningless and arcane concept?
If you don't get this, you are losing customers. A lot of customers.
Real Life Example: When I enrolled in coach training, I spent some time checking out coaching websites; many coaching websites. Even then, not having ever thought about business or branding (I was a therapist, after all), I found myself becoming bored and, in some cases, actually turned off by 98% of what I saw out there.