No name has its place
Back in my day — when we walked to school barefoot, in the snow, up hill, both ways — we used to go to the supermarket and see, and often purchase, white label products. These products were usually the store's own brand (although store to store they looked the same) and cost less than any of the brand names who had money to advertise, or use color in their packaging. For certain items, these no name brands were great. But of course, for others, we had to have "the real" thing.
What you don't know...
There's a great episode of Roseanne where she takes Darlene's class grocery shopping to show the kids how to stretch a dollar. Roseanne picks up the generic corn flakes and Darlene says how it makes sense to buy generic for this example, but at home we have the real thing. Roseanne then shares how she's been refilling the "real" box with the generic brand for years.
Obviously Darlene, and the family, have been none the wiser. In this case, the off-brand or no brand has been doing the job, and in business this can sometimes be the case as well. We don't always need to pay more for the "same thing." But of course, it's not always apples to apples when it comes to services.
Price vs. Value
When most of us start out in business, we're competing on one thing: price. Even if you have some expertise, in order to create that pipeline of clients, you're taking whomever can pay you and what you're charging is likely not enough. Because you don't have an established brand yet. You are basically no brand. You offer the same as everyone else, so you need to charge accordingly.
But, when you start to have a name brand, when you start to promote yourself and differentiate yourself from the other brands, now you aren't just competing on price, you're adding value. People will start to pay more because the perception of what they're getting is worth it to them. You have the brand recognition and credibility to charge more, and many people will pay it.
Welcome to Oz
Now, not everyone will be able to pay, and that's ok, because there's a no brand out there that will gladly take their work. But, if you want to move up, if you want to be a brand name and get paid based on value and not compete just on price, you have to become known for something.
You have to become a brand people get excited about or feel resonates with them.
You have to start infusing more you so you can stand out from the pack and go from white-label-no-brand to full-color-brand-name-you!
Just like when Dorothy left Kansas and got to Oz, everything turned magically into vibrant color. This is what we're all trying to do with our own businesses. Make everyone else seem drab and black and white, while we shine like the top of the Chrysler building (and charge those steep rents).
There's nothing wrong with generic when it comes to corn flakes, but do you really want to be the generic corn flakes of your industry? Here's one way to ensure that doesn't happen...
Just like going from no brand to brand name doesn't happen overnight, neither does getting comfortable being consistent with your content creation.
My 6-month program is ready for the next cohort. We haven't finished the previous cohort yet but to share their progress, everyone:
Has created their newsletter
Posts and comments consistently on social media
Is creating lead magnets
Is creating email nurture sequences
Has a cleared brand and clearer message
Is accountable to themselves and the group
Just like a long form podcast, they've been letting their audiences get to know them slowly. They've been getting comfortable developing their voice. And they've built credibility and connection.
If you want to be more consistent with your content, my next cohort kicks off in late September. Join the waiting list and get more info now.