You’re breaking into a saturated market, or at least trying to, and you want to know how to stand out among crowded competition. To the early entrepreneur or even the seasoned career professional, knowing a market is saturated but going into it anyways might cause doubt or fear to grow. It takes courage, persistence, and (most importantly) strategy to find success and thrive within your niche.
This is good news because that means finding your voice is possible! Over time, you’ll even realize that a little competition will actually serve you well and motivate you to be better and bigger than the rest.
Believe There Is Space
The first step to finding your voice in a saturated market is developing the mentality to do so.
This feeling of “there’s not enough space for me” will rise to the surface at some point along your professional journey. It happens to most people, so you’re not alone. The reality is that even though your market may be saturated, everyone is doing something a little different, even when dealing with similar target markets. Everyone is offering something differently or presenting themselves differently.
We say this to emphasize how possible it is to do something unique within a crowded market. If you make sure you’re the best at what you do, then the idea of competition suddenly becomes obsolete. You must believe there is space for you. You must believe you are capable of finding your voice. And you must believe that people will want to buy your product, invest in your service, or simply want to connect with you.
Create Your Story
Who are you? What do you believe in? What are you passionate about? If someone wrote a book about you, how would it read? Storytelling is part strategy and part creative authenticity. Creating your story is critical for standing out in a crowded market because it allows people to identify with you.
Think about it. Humans make connections through shared experiences, similar beliefs, and relatability. How can someone develop that connection to you without those factors? The most iconic brands and personalities have spent years developing a story around their company or image.
Storytelling is also the beginning stage of finding your voice, so put a lot of time into developing your personal (and professional) narrative. The more you craft and weave your story, the more you can live out that story through your brand and everyday life.
Work On Thought Leadership
The term thought leadership is something that’s thrown around from industry to industry. It’s actually an overarching phrase that defines someone who shares information (aka thoughts) that is perceived to be highly regarded, expert-quality, and unique. Thought leaders are sought-out for their knowledge and authority in the market.
You, too, can be a thought leader! Working on thought leadership and finding your voice actually go hand-in-hand. While you are building up authority in the thought leadership sphere, you’re also flexing your voice and making it more powerful, assertive, and defined. Through text or verbal communication, speaking about a topic becomes more comfortable over time and really highlights where you “show up” the most consistently and authentically.
Add Your Own Value to the Mix
It might be tempting to copy what a close competitor is doing but try not to. People get tired of seeing, hearing, or experiencing the same thing. If you’re copying someone else to a T, it isn’t doing anything for your story either. To stand out in a saturated market and further develop your voice, create your own value-added content that identifies with your story and feels fresh to the eyes.
There are endless ways to create unique value, so we suggest getting out a notebook and brainstorming. This could come in the form of social media posts, free guides, bundles, subscriptions, and more- all with your personal “stamp” of authenticity and personality. Also, the more you practice creating unique value that utilizes your voice, the easier it will get in the future.
Strategize Your Focus
Pick a few things to focus on and do them well. When you spread your focus too thin, it becomes harder to develop a defined voice and, thus, break into a crowded market. People who excel in business or have massive influence as a personality typically keep a narrow focus.
By strategizing your focus, you’ll become a specialist instead of a generalist. Perfect what you know to build your voice & reputation, and then start to branch out when appropriate. At the end of the day, finding your voice does not happen overnight. It takes time, experience, and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. Learn from those who have gained success in your market, and work on building your own hero story.