Many Business Professionals do the same thing. Do you sometimes feel like a small fish in an ocean of people who have similar experience, similar values, and similar dreams? In a sea of sameness, it is important to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

The Merriam-Webster definition of differentiate is: to constitute a difference that distinguishes.

Differentiating yourself doesn’t have to be difficult. Below are three tips on how to differentiate yourself. All help you remain professional, positive and desirable as a business associate. Your action speak louder than words of helping to showcase that you think outside the box.

How have you branded yourself thus far? What do you specialize in? How are you promoting yourself? How are you known around the office? How do you want to be remembered by clients? How would people describe you?

Add Value

Many business owners are working “‘in” the business instead of “on” the business and the adding value information that you provide helps them with an outside perspective of information that can help them work ‘on’ their business. Therefore, they aren’t thinking of ways to creatively reach a specific audience.

When you add value and offer articles, suggestions, quick tips, insights, differing perspective, they will appreciate you and know you are creating a partnership.

You can add value to your clients in any or all of the following: sending information on current successful marketing trends, creating and suggesting “out of the box ideas,” offering best practice tips and advice, recommended books, etc.

Each of these involve a much more human touch.

1. Send and Say Thank You

The value of a handwritten thank you note goes a very long way. Clients, prospects, friends will remember you and may even call to say “thank you” for the “thank you.”

I remember receiving calls from clients from Boston to LA where they said, “We work with reps from all over the country and no one ever has ever sent us a thank you.” Thank you notes can go a long way to leave that lasting impression.

Do you send out thank you notes? What types of things have you noticed when you sent thank you notes?

2. Video Recording instead of a simple email

For prospects: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you are having a tough time getting a hold of a prospect it can be difficult to stand out in a sea of sameness. Win over your audience by sending a video that adds value and helps you share the tone of sincerity of choosing to work with them that no email can duplicate. This is your chance to get noticed!

For clients: Instead of typing up your email to your clients, why not respond simply by filming yourself saying what you would say in that email. It takes a fraction of the time it takes and you don’t have to worry about “tone” in your email. You will instantly create a unique connection to the client, and he/she will feel like she knows you better.

Disclaimer: This all depends on how comfortable you are on camera…you don’t have to choose all of these, I am giving you a number of suggestions. At the end, you will be asked to select the one that you feel most comfortable with to highlight you in the best possible way.

What would you like to say to someone if they gave you 30 seconds to share the value of what you offer?

3. Introduce clients

Time is a business owners most valuable asset and making worthwhile business connections is an extremely valuable investment of time. This type of process can’t be automated, it involves real time getting to know people and trusting them enough to refer, recommend and introduce. The time it takes to make a connection could take years but when the right people come into your life and can benefit someone else in the short term, it’s best to make introductions that make sense. Keep this in mind as another way of adding value to those you interact with.

What would the value of such a connection be if the connections began doing business of some sort with each other?

What Now?

These are just three tips on how to differentiate yourself and think outside the box. What would you like to select that would be fun for you to try to differentiates yourself?

Decide on 1 or 2 of these items and practice them consistently over the next month and come back and share your responses with me or set up a 25-minute complementary chat to discuss other stand out strategies.

How will these tips help you think outside the box and enjoy life daily?