“oh but there are already so many amazing people doing stuff like that”
Ever look around at the online hoop community (or any online community) and think
“ugh, so many giveaways, challenges, sales and amazing hoopers, it’s too hard to stand out”
Ever ask yourself “How do I compete in a crowded market place?”
I am going to butt in on your self talk here and give you my answer to this one.
You don’t compete in a crowded market.
You stand out with your own brilliance. Your own way. Your own connection with your tribe.
Unless you are Apple or Android, chances are you are not fighting for the highest stake in the global market anyway. Your mission is likely far more soulful than that.
So what is it? Your mission? Why exactly do you desire to “stand out”? What is it that you truly want to share and why? Coming back to the manifesto of your heart will always give you the answers, the clarity when you get tricked into thinking you have to compete to “stay on top” or “get your foot int he door”. Ugh, both of those phrases, “stay on top” “foot in the door” feel so cringy, so tiring, so not-what-I-really-want-anyway.
I don’t want my foot wedged in someone’s door waiting to be invited in, I want to walk right through the doorway baring gifts and hugs for all, ready to put some tunes on and dance.
So here are 3 pieces of solid gold that I have learned to be true. How to light up a space without trying to compete with anyone.
1. Build relationships. For me personally, it’s not about how many hoopers I can get to follow me, the numbers are not a factor. It is about the true connections and relationships I have built. It is about being helpful, living with purpose. That is not some cliche bs, it is the feeling I get when I know I have listened to someone, have been able to provide them with something that is helpful. The feeling I receive when someone tells me that my tutorials helped them, my energy is always positive or they learned so much from me. That is everything to me, as a teacher.
It is not about how many gigs I get, the ones that want me just because I will bring more students to their retreat, or more followers to their Social Media (not that either of those missions are not totally cool, it’s just not my mission so I have to stay true to what lights me up because I know that will be more beneficial to my students) I mean relationships that support mutual growth and authentic respect.
2. Be prepared to do something different. How? How do you create something unique? You do it in your own way, you listen to yourself and your community and you create something that is uniquely you and will be of service directly to them.
When I first started my YouTube channel I thought I wanted to be an innovator, I wanted to share a million rad tricks and come up with a completely new style. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t me, I wasn’t pushing boundaries with my movement style or insane tricks. My gift was teaching, my gift was connecting and I had to be prepared to do something different. Something that went beyond what was already out there. Not to compete but to be of service, to live my purpose and to light up the room. SO I took my art and I crafted it, I shared it, I was prepared to focus on it and get better. I was willing to be different. I flooded it with my own energy and style, I authentically showed up. I wasn’t trying to be anyone else, I wasn’t trying to do something someone else had done. A simple way to create something different…DO YOU.
3. Think outside the circle.
In marketing speak this is called a Blue Ocean Strategy. Look it up. I think you will find it fascinating.
I often think of my audience as three circles. A small, medium and large circle.
If you imagine them drawn on paper the small, middle circle is the core audience, the ones who are already in the know, part of the tribe, sometimes that inner circle is called a red ocean…grime as the image is, it’s because there are also a lot of sharks in there, it gets crowded, messy and scary at times.
Then there is the slightly wider circle; those who might be interested in your offer, may be warming up to it, might have heard about it or could be interested.
THEN there is the big circle, the blue ocean where you can swim free. This big blue ocean is a playground of new abundance. This is the circle I personally spend most of my time swimming in. It is bliss out in that big, blue ocean, plenty of room to float and be free, always new fish to swim with and an abundance of new connections to be made.
All of this can be as simple as watching your perspective, listening to your students/clients/customers and offering products or services that bring you joy to create and support your tribe.
Think of building your business and your presence online as a party.
Do you turn up to the event and stand around looking at everyone else wishing you were them, wondering how you can out-do them on the dancefloor or feeling envious of how many people they are talking to them? You might be at the wrong party or you need to step outside and come back in with a new perspective.
Do you turn up to the party and stand in the corner or hide in the bathroom, lurking, watching but never taking the time to connect, get into meaningful conversations and make new friends? Sure it takes courage but all you need to do is listen, ask questions and be the beautiful human that you are.
Do you turn up to the party empty handed, no gifts, no food, no drinks, no thoughtful offering for the host? Generosity goes along way, in business and in life. Give gifts not because you want something in return but because you are grateful to be invited, you love to share and you think they will be wonderfully received by others…oh, and because giving feels good.
So…you wanna come to a party? Your gifts don’t have to be fancy but if you want to light up the room you better make sure they are 100% YOU!