How much time do you spend going through your Facebook feed? As you scroll further and further down the page, how many times do you see messages like “check out my website,” “buy this product,” “tickets are on sale,” “hurry, act fast” or other similar posts? Unfortunately, those lazy marketers are ruining social media, and those types of posts just cause most people to quickly scroll past, eyes glazed as they search for something more interesting.

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In marketing, if you’re doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, you may see some results, but you won’t see amazing results. Stop the social begging and spend time thinking outside the marketing and sales box. Of course, in order to think outside the box, you’ll first need to identify where that box is. Identifying the box means you start by looking at what everyone else is doing, then use that as a jumping off point as you find your own weirdly awesome style.

For example, if your first goal is to drive traffic to your new website, you could spend a few days posting “visit this great new website” all over every social media platform you can think of. Sure, that will get you some new traffic, but it’s short-lived and won’t yield the results you’re really searching for. Instead, try coming up with something clever about your website, and make a silly video or find some great design work to show off your product. Try to go against the grain, and you’ll see a lot more success.

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As you start thinking about different ways to try something new, start by making a list of what all your competitors are doing. Before you know it, you’ll find a lot of trends in their messages, graphics, headlines, templates and more. Now use that new data to tap into what makes your product and your service different than everyone else’s, and start crafting a message around that. It’s important to make sure your message stands out among the crowd, or you risk getting lost in a sea of the same boring message over and over and over again.

Being unique all boils down to one simple rule: try something new. It may seem simple or cliché, but it’s the only way to truly grow your business. It’s also an important way to grow as a salesperson, marketer and small business owner. Be willing to take that road less traveled, and you may be surprised at how many great new connections you make while you walk that road.


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This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for CBS Small Business Pulse.