What makes some businesses stand out from the crowd, attract premium clients and have a waiting list?  While others scrabble for market share and often attract price shoppers who show no loyalty to the business.

Over the years we’ve observed both ends of the spectrum.

Success or scrabbling always comes down to mindset and beliefs.

Successful leaders know exactly what they and their businesses stand for. They work hard at becoming “recognised” in their niche.  They have the courage and confidence to take a stand, often against industry norms.

A current example is the financial planning industry.  Whereas the vast majority of planners are employed by institutions who sell their own products (a possible conflict of interest), or receive commissions, a select few declare themselves to be truly independent.  (There is legal definition)

These planners stand out from the crowd as they are perceived to act solely in their clients’ best interests.

You can’t serve everybody.   Be selective.  Decide who you want as clients and be willing to clearly articulate this.

Admit when you can no longer provide value (or that the client simply doesn’t chime with your values) and gently let them go, even at a major financial hit to yourself.

Being authentic you’ll attract clients who resonate with your values of openness and transparency.

If you want to attract people to you, your cause or your business, you need to decide what drives you.  What is it you really want to do?  What is the real difference you want to make?  Could be for your family, your clients or the wider community.

And it needs to be bigger than just yourself.

Charities like the McGrath foundation or Sam Johnson who spent years raising money for cancer research connect with audiences in an authentic way.

Be human, not a plastic cut-out.  Tell them about you.  Warts and all.

Yes, you will have your detractors.  Maybe whole swathes of entrenched establishment self-interest against you.  If you step out you will develop a loyal following.  People who connect with you, see you as a trusted authority and invest in whatever you’re selling.

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