Note from Michele: The online information marketing industry (if you sell any sort of online information products, such as programs or products, or even consulting or coaching, you’re in this industry) is maturing. Which means market saturation and finding a competitive advantage is becoming more of an issue. Jim Niswonger calls himself a “conscious marketing rebel” and often shares ideas or strategies that go against the grain (which is precisely what you need when you’re dealing with a more mature industry). This post is a great place to start if you’re not sure how you can “stand out” when there’s so much market saturation. Take it away Jim!
You’re about to discover The #1 Marketing Response Killer of our times–and the new advantage it gives you in your market.
Yes, it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it gives you a powerful new way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. On the other hand, if you ignore it, you’ll find out for yourself how quickly it sabotages your launches and evergreen marketing campaigns.
It stops people from clicking on your ads, reading your emails, and watching your launch videos.
The fact is, after being pummeled 24/7 with hyped-up claims and unrealistic promises, people don’t know who to trust.
The images of perfection and “You can be like this too!” messages make people feel broken, incomplete, and hopeless. Their nervous systems can’t take any more.
They believe they’ve “seen and heard it all,” already. Their credit cards are maxed out. They feel deceived, let down, and manipulated.
Essentially, they’re experiencing “Post-Marketing Stress Disorder,” (PMSD)!
They’ve been over-exposed to so many big and bold claims. They’ve been promised thousands of miracles that never happened. So, instead of seeing you as a solution, they see you as a threat.
To protect against the fear of being let down once again, they’ve developed the “PMSD response.”
The ‘PMSD response’ is a defense mechanism that automatically tunes out and ignores your marketing message. Worst of all, it causes your ideal potential clients to defend themselves against the very results they want—the results your expertise delivers.
I know, it’s irrational. It’s like a car crash victim ignoring the paramedics and crawling away from the burning wreckage on their own.
Like it or not, though, this problem is deep and pervasive … and it ain’t going away any time soon.
The Good News…
There is an antidote to the “PMSD response” that grabs your tuned-out market by the eyeballs, gives them hope, and re-ignites their desire for your solutions.
This antidote doesn’t just give you the ultimate competitive advantage. It eliminates competition because it makes you the leading authority on a new playing field where you have no competitors.
Why it works:
This antidote taps into the secret conversations your potential clients are having in their minds. It bypasses their resistance to connect with them in ways that hype never could.
In fact, it leverages the over-used tactics of your competitors to create deep trust and connection. And you never have to bash anyone!
It extracts you from the frustrating marketing wars of bigger claims and secret formulas, and makes you the go-to expert in your field.
It uses your unique brilliance, and all the years you’ve invested to master your craft, to command attention and give your audience new hope.
It gets people excited about your offer before they even know what it is.
Before I reveal the key ingredient that turns this antidote into your ultimate point of differentiation, let’s make sure this is a fit for you. After all, why would you want to commit to another solution that is destined to let you down because it solves a problem you don’t have?
This is not for you if …
You’re in an optimistic market where the demand is far greater than the amount of competition. If this is the case, don’t waste your time. If your market is snapping up your offers as fast as you can put them out there, don’t bother with this approach. It’s totally unnecessary. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
You’re already THE recognized authority in your market, and people happily buy just because of who you are. I definitely would not recommend this to Oprah. She has already separated herself in a way that’s impossible for the rest of us.
You’re a newbie in your field. Don’t bother. If you were laid off from a job two months ago and have decided to reinvent yourself as a business coach for coaches, you’re too early in your journey for this. You wouldn’t have the expertise required for this marketing approach. And if you could somehow pull it off, you wouldn’t be prepared to deliver on your promises.
You follow the crowd. Sorry. Post-Marketing Stress Disorder in your market is the result of too many people following the crowd. Together, they have pounded your market with so much of the same stuff, people can’t take it anymore. This is the cause of PMSD. Since when has more of the cause of a problem ever solved it?
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at …
The Master Skill for Overcoming the PMSD Response
Your market needs something that’s currently invisible to them. If they could accurately see exactly what they needed to solve their problems, they wouldn’t need you.
This is what makes you an expert; you see things no one else does. This is what makes you different, but it’s not enough for your market to believe you’re different.
The mistake most people make with their expertise is how they share it. They talk about what results they can help people achieve, or about their special formula for achieving those results. Starting to see the problem here?
That’s exactly what EVERYONE in your market already does. It used to work, but now it triggers resistance. I know that’s obvious, but I need to make sure you got it.
This is why you need the master skill for overcoming the PMSD response.
Your unique advantage as an expert is your ability to see what’s preventing your clients from getting the results they want. With your x-ray vision, you can assess the situation and draw conclusions that no one else has drawn.
Here’s the problem: Your market resists your conclusions, but they trust their own.
To overcome the PMSD response, you must help your market draw better conclusions BEFORE you offer your solutions.
You need to lay out the trail of breadcrumbs that shows them exactly what you see and causes them to draw the same conclusions you have drawn. When they see what you see and share your conclusions, your solution becomes the obvious choice to them—just like it is to you.
So, the master skill is the ability to sell your diagnosis.
If you ideal clients completely agree with you on the problem, they’re going to agree with you on the solution. But if they think their problem is different than you do, how could they possibly accept your solution?
Here’s an example to illustrate my point:
There’s a good chance you’re familiar with Strengthsfinder. In the self-improvement world, the dominant paradigm was, “Your weaknesses are holding you back.” The core belief driving the industry was, “Fixing your weaknesses is the path to getting what you want.”
Strengthsfinder redefined the market and created a new category for themselves with a different diagnosis of the problem. They diagnosed that people weren’t living to their potential because “their greatest strengths weren’t being used.” And they showed people how a focus on their weaknesses was making the problem worse.
Not only did they diagnose a new problem, they showed how it was caused by the existing solutions.
This was their Point of Differentiation. It was powerful.
And your expertise allows you to do this in your market.
It was a welcome message because it provided an appealing alternative to an approach people were tired of. It leveraged a key desire to “Do what I love instead of getting better at what I hate.”
At the time I’m writing this, 18,886,520 people have taken the Strengthsfinder assessment. They have created a dominant market position with this Point of Differentiation.
They defined a new landscape for self-improvement. Sure, many competitors have jumped into the mix to take advantage of all the buzz around this approach. But they’re competing on the playing field Strengthsfinder created.
So now it’s decision time.
Will you continue to compete in a crowded category that someone else has defined for you? Will you keep fighting the marketing wars for limited attention in a saturated market?
Or will you redefine your market?
Will you show people what they need to see to reach better conclusions? Will you take the stand for your hard-earned expertise?
Do you dare to differentiate yourself this way?
The approaches are radically different. And so is the potential.
After all, how could you possibly bring your best to the world if you’re trapped inside a category someone else created? And how can you be recognized for your unique brilliance with an over-played approach?
A word of warning: If creating a new category was easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s only in hindsight that we can see the simple elegance of how Strengthsfinder carved their category out of a saturated market.
And if everyone was already doing it, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
I’ve done my best to show you what you’re really up against and point you in the direction of a solution. But the decision is yours.
For free resources and training on differentiating yourself in saturated markets, please visit Enlightened Profits.
Michele again: you may also want to check out my Love-Based Online Marketing book for more help.