1 in 1,147

On Tuesday I saw this ridiculous challenge.

Can you find the 8 within 10 seconds?

Go ahead, give it a try. It won’t take you long.

You probably found that 8 in way less than 10 seconds.

Congratulations! You’re human.

You and I have an innate ability to scan a sea of sameness and, out of 1,147 number 9’s, pick out the only 8.

The 8 practically jumps out at you. In fact, now that you’ve seen the 8, your eye is irresistibly drawn to it every time you look at the picture.

That’s the power of differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace. But you already knew that. So instead, let’s talk about a proven and effective tactic for standing out.

Unlike a Unique Selling Proposition, this technique can’t be copied by your competitors. Know what it is?

Your personality.

This could also be called your Brand’s Personality, but for most small businesses, your personality as the owner is the brand personality. Either way, it’s a great way to set yourself apart. I mean, the reason you’re close with your friends is probably because of something you liked in their personality, and not because they gave you a coupon.

So, have you written your personality down? Can you articulate it in three to four characteristics? Have you documented the stories that explain why you do the things you do?

The specific tools for capturing your personality are called Character Diamonds and Origin Stories. There’s not enough time today to dive into their inner workings, but I wanted you to at least know the names.

Why go through the effort of documenting your personality? I mean, you know how to be you, isn’t that good enough?

Yeah, it is if you personally handle every single customer touchpoint in your business.

However, if someone other than you answers the phone, replies to emails, writes your web copy, talks to customers, or creates your ads, then it would be worth documenting. That way, all your customer interactions feel seamless and coming from one personality.

Because, after all the hard work you’ve done to build your business, wouldn’t it be nice to stand out like one 8 in a thousand 9’s?

 – Zac Smith, VC