Capturing Your “Only”

You know you need to differentiate yourself from others in your space but some days it just ain’t easy. One trick: think like a journalist. Remember the lesson from high school? Who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who are your clients? Consider industry, function, location, complexity, position, gender, ethnicity and more. What do they have in common?

What do you offer them? Be specific. You aren’t just the title on your business card. Drill down and consider all that you bring to the party. Perhaps you speak Spanish or have a highly tuned ability to mediate disputes. Don’t be shy—these are attributes your sweet-spot clients will truly appreciate.

When do they need you? Think triggers, like business events (buy/sell, merger, spin-off, new product line) or personal (promotion, marriage, birth, divorce, death). What trends and influences make them need you more?

Where are your clients? Do you practice locally, regionally, nationally or internationally? Do you have deep or broad geographic expertise that clients value?

Why do you matter to your clients? Remember, clients buy based on emotion—on how you make them feel. Do they feel more confident, safer, smarter, faster, richer when they work with you? Think about what they gain by being part of your tribe.

How are you different? Look at it from the client experience—from how you first attracted, engaged and consulted with them to how they experience you throughout the relationship. Don’t forget to include your distinct personality and style—it’s part of your “only” package.

Who, what, when , where, why, how. Try it to capture your “only”.


  • Ed Rosenbaum

    I am interested in your thoughts on other possible ways of differentiation? What are your thoughts on video blogs vs. a written blog?

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hi Ed,
    Good question. Here’s how I would decide whether video blogging makes sense. First and foremost—have you got the right content for video? It needs to have a hook and be short/tight enough to draw people in. Don’t even think about making it longer than 3 minutes—60-90 seconds is about right.

    Second, are you ready for video? Some folks just don’t translate well on video (without some heavy coaching), or they use really bad production techniques. I’m not saying you have to spend a fortune, but jerky camera movements and strange shadows or backgrounds don’t project confidence and professionalism.

    Third, will video help you with your target audience? Do your sweet-spot clients like video as an occasional or steady diet? It’s great if you can mix it up a bit. Here’s a link to Robin Dickinson’s video blog series “The Black Chair”. It’s a great example of doing it right without spending a fortune:

  • Brad Burchnell


    This was extremely helpful to my new endeavor and has allowed me to focus on the right markets for my firm. I believe that I will continue to hone and develop.

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Thanks for sharing, Brad. Congrats on getting your firm up and running!

  • Mike Van Horn

    Follow up on video blogging: (Maybe you should do an entire post on this!)
    You warn against "really bad production techniques . . . you don't have to spend a fortune, but . . ."

    If I have to hire a pro every time I want to do a video blog post, it will never get done. I want guidance for doing it with FlipCam on a tripod. Perhaps minor editing with iMovie, or using Slide Share. Any suggestions?


  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hey Mike,
    I don't think you have to hire a pro (for a basic video blog)–but it needs to look and sound good! A lot of people don't make eye contact or modulate their voice well. Sometimes they wear odd colors or move too much for the camera they're using. Investing in a decent background and a $300 camera goes a long way.

    If you've got a mac, here is a link to some good advice on making a video and posting it to itunes

    I'll think about a separate post on this as you suggest…..

  • robin

    Hi Rochelle – thanks for mentioning Black Chair. Let's do a video discussion on cost effective information products! Thoughts?

    Your friend, Robin 🙂

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hi Robin,
    Looking forward to collaborating on your idea. We'll just need a catchier name 🙂


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