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Too many small business owners think they have to change who they are — who their company is — to improve their marketing. I believe the opposite is true. I believe you need to BE who you are to improve your marketing.

Significant growth doesn’t come from changing into something you are not. It comes from being more of who you uniquely are. And then making sure that gets communicated in everything you do.

The inclination is to be more like your larger competitors. But you end up looking and sounding like everybody else because everybody else has the same idea.

Sure, there are things to fix, things you need to get better at. But your image, brand, position, call it whatever you want, should be all you, not a version of another company. And, your vision will always reflect something different than what you see today, but it should maintain the DNA or core of what makes your business unique.

A contractor came to me, “We’re ready to grow”! They wanted a marketing make-over, expecting I’d make them into something different or better. They were nonplussed when I recommended we get better at telling their story: just two guys who care deeply about quality, who you could trust to tell you the truth, and who stand behind their work. And, we made sure their story was reflected in everything we said and everything they did.

It was a simple message, but it was who they were (and still are). Their company has grown 10X and is in many ways unrecognizable from when we started. Except for who they are. Which is why they continue to grow.