Regardless of your specialty in business, one thing is for sure: you’re going to have competition (and that’s actually a good thing). Maybe you’ve been in business longer, have a longer client roster, or have a reputation that precedes you, but the fact of the matter is, you’re going to have to differentiate yourself.
But, how can you stand out when even your qualifications look similar to the competition? Dr. Nina Bal has cracked this nut, garnering a significant name for herself in the industry of cosmetic dental surgery.
“Cosmetic dental surgery?!?” you say? It’s not really an industry you think of when needing to stand out.
However, Dr. Bal has amassed nearly 400k+ followers on Instagram, while winning awards in facial aesthetics and becoming a surgeon to the stars. Celebrities and runway models choose her over the competition and she aired on the show Bodyfixers.
Becoming well known using press, social media and everything else you wouldn’t normally expect from a cosmetic dentist, I asked Dr. Bal to share a few tips from her playbook on self-starting and standing out in 2020.
Saturated Market? How To Stand Out In 2020 | Stephanie Burns
Dr. Nina Bal
Know Your Value
It’s easier said than done, but you have to be able to strut your stuff – and put your knowledge of your own value into practice. For Dr. Bal, this important lesson came about when she decided to make the jump from working for clinics to working for herself after noticing that patients followed her clinic to clinic. “It felt pointless and unfair giving away a share of my profit to the clinic when I was the one bringing in the customer and providing the service,” she shared.
So, she did something about it – starting with reminding herself of her value.
Have a Product Worth Talking About
You can market all you want – the best marketing of all is word of mouth. Someone is far more likely to go with a referral from a trusted source (even if that source is their next door neighbor) than with someone they see an advertisement for.
“I started by ensuring I’d provide a service that was worth referring,” Dr. Bal reflected. “I knew that the only way to build a large, loyal customer base was to give a top of the line service.” As Seth Godin often states, something “remarkable” is something worth making a “remark” about. When you provide value to the people coming through your door, they are going to tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends. Go above and beyond for your customers or clients. Ask yourself: “How could I make this experience so great for the customer that they’ll tell their best friend about it later?”
Build The Right Team
As Dr. Bal says, “You can have all the talent in the world, but it’s the details that the customers notice.” Your team doesn’t have to be a dozen strong – but make sure you bring on someone to help with the busy work, such as scheduling appointments and keep the website up to date. That way, nothing falls through the cracks and more of your time can be allocated towards making an unforgettable impression on your clients.
Make sure that in hiring, you ask questions that help you get to the heart of your potential hiree’s values. Get to know their personalities and imagine how it would contribute to the dynamic and vibe that you’re trying to communicate. Remember: it’s all part of an experience, the “X Factor” that keeps customers coming back and referring everyone they know. How do your team members add to the experience?
Never Stop Improving
Finally, even when business seems better than ever, don’t stop nitpicking ways you can improve: in your customer service, your website, your social media, the customer journey or how you brand yourself. But ‘improvement’ is a bit general; Dr. Bal rather says, “make sure it ultimately all revolves around people, because when people come into a business or practice that hits every aspect of their needs, they can feel it.”
When making improvements, solicit feedback from real clients or customers. Think from a human perspective. How could every facet of the experience serve the people better? The second you get lazy on this is the second someone has a less than satisfactory experience and tries your competition, instead.
Ultimately, there’s many parts required to make sure your business is attracting and retaining clients and customers despite all the competition. It’s the right enthusiasm and effort that can make all the difference. It may be overwhelming to see all that is required to improve, but focus on what you and your business are becoming. Set goals for the next month and next year of your business, and continue to set your gold standard higher than where the competition sets theirs.
It’s those big tweaks, in addition to the small touches, that will keep you on top.