This is an edited excerpt of the ‘Positioning Yourself’ lesson from Claire Carlile’s free ‘How to Land Your First Local SEO Client’ course in BrightLocal Academy.
We’re going to explore the age-old marketing concept of ‘positioning’, and help you to develop a clear idea of your business’s position or place in the market.
Before you can start planning your marketing, you need to have a clear idea of your business’s position in the market, so let’s begin!
What is positioning?
Marketers like to have a kerfuffle about what positioning is, akin to a conversation about the true meaning of life. Marketers eh!
Let’s keep it simple and credit the advertising genius, David Ogilvy, with developing the concept of positioning in the mid-1950s. I, for one, appreciate the lack of marketing fluff in his definition of positioning as ‘what the product does and who it is for’.
Sounds simple, right?
Basically, before you start work on any of your marketing materials, you need to figure out how you want your customers to think about your services.
Think carefully about how you want your customers to think about your services. Your positioning will help you to be clear and focused in all of your marketing efforts and to develop a unique and compelling narrative. Positioning will show what your business does, who you do it for, and why you’re different from your competitors.
Crafting a Positioning Statement
Your positioning statement will be a brief description of your services, your target market, and how your service will meet their particular needs. In many cases it also includes differentiation – why a potential customer should choose you over a competitor.
Keep it short and sweet; this isn’t ‘war and peace’. Three sentences is plenty.
Download and use this as a basic positioning statement template for writing yours:
Let’s break that down with some examples.
Who is your target customer?
- Small and medium sized local businesses
- Multi-location restaurants
- Law firms
- Service area businesses
- Enterprise clients with thousands of locations
What are the name(s) of your services?
- Spam fighting
- Local link building
- SEO audits
- Content strategy and content writing
- GMB management service
What is your service category?
If you’re taking this course, then local SEO hopefully!
What are the key benefits to your target customer?
- Gain more organic visibility
- Get more customers
- Make more sales
What is the primary competitor alternative?
List the competitors you see popping up in potential clients’ consideration sets.
What are the details of the primary differentiation?
- All services are delivered by you personally, and not outsourced.
- Your collaborative approach – it’s all about upskilling the client so that they get a cost-effective service, paying you for strategy and teaching while they take care of the tactical implementation.
- Your straight-talking approach – advice from an experienced local marketer.
- Your results-driven focus – your commitment to setting targets and sticking to them.
Your Next Steps
Craft your own positioning statement using the points above as a guide. How does it all hang together given the niche you’ve chosen, your target market and the services you want to offer?
Remember, your positioning statement doesn’t have to remain set in stone. As you grow and develop it’s likely that your statement will change and mature – much like a fine wine or a stinky cheese does!
Want to learn more from Claire? Head over to BrightLocal Academy and enrol on the ‘How to Land Your First Local SEO Client’ course for free!