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How to Make Your Service Business Unique Using the 6 Pillars of Uniqueness

If you enjoy looking like every other business in your industry then, by all means, don’t read this article about how to make your service business unique.

After all, companies like Apple, Patagonia, Starbucks, and Lululemon really try to blend in and look and sound just like their competition.

Oh wait! They don’t try to blend in. They actually try to stand out from the competition. They want to be seen as different.

Does your business stand out? Is it easy for your customers or clients to select you over the competition? What sets you apart?

If you’d like to stand out from the crowd even if you don’t think your business can be unique, stay with me and keep reading.

Why be unique?

  1. One amazing reason is that you will attract the clients you enjoy working with. There are few things that take the joy out of business than working with difficult clients. They are difficult because they weren’t the right fit for your business. The problem was that they couldn’t tell if you were right for them. You seemed as good as the next business.
  2. Your marketing can become more effective because your marketing will highlight your uniqueness.
  3. You will have happier customers who will be more inclined to talk about how you helped them. Might lead to more referrals!

You absolutely need to know how to make your service business unique. It’s imperative if you want the benefits that come from doing so!

A sure way to do this is to get clear on the following points.

These six pillars will help you figure out how to make your service business unique 

  1. Personality: This is you, what you like don’t like, and how you express yourself. It’s what makes you, you. Express yourself throughout your business.
  2. Pick One Thing: Choose one thing to focus your business on–this is the icing on the cake, being specific. Are you about comfort, speed, results, transformation or peace of mind? What are you all about? What’s the one thing you want your people to experience.
  3. Purpose: Why do you do what you do? What drives you? Why are you in business and why should anyone care? 
  4. People: Who do you exist to serve? Who is your ideal client?
  5. Principles: What do you stand for? What do you stand against?
  6. Process: How you do what you do. Is there something unique about how you do your business? You may not have a unique process and that is ok. The first five pillars are enough to make you unique.

Express your uniqueness

When you get clear on the above points you will be able to weave them into your marketing copy throughout your business. You will be able to express your personality through your website, brochures, and ads, and any other marketing you might do.

You will also be able to express your purpose, make it clear who you serve and what you stand for or against where appropriate in your marketing materials as well as in conversations with people.

An example in crafting uniqueness in your service business

Let’s consider each of the above points while using an example of a female life coach, we’ll call her Kim. Currently, Kim’s website, ads and brochure could easily be replaced with her competitors if the address, phone number, name, and logo were changed. She looks and sounds like everyone else.

Kim’s clients are having a hard time choosing her over a competitor because there just isn’t anything distinctive between them. Kim gets clients but they tend to randomly select her rather than being drawn to her. Often she is frustrated working with her clients because she can’t connect with them the way she’d like.

Kim is going to use the points above to help make her service business unique.

Pillar 1: Personality

To start with, Kim doesn’t put her personality into her website, advertising or brochures. She’s concerned she needs to look professional. As a result, her website sounds similar to all the other life coaches.

Kim decides to be daring and re-write her website, ads, and brochures to reflect her own personality. She will write like she’s talking with a friend. In addition, she decides to get clear on the following points, which she will also express in her marketing material.

Pillar 2: Purpose

Kim takes some time to figure out exactly why she is doing life coaching. Being clear about why she is offering life coaching allows Kim to express her unique reasons in her marketing material. This will also connect with our next point; people.

Having been a single mom Kim wants to help single moms. She believes that even if you are a single mom you shouldn’t have to parent alone.

So Kim’s purpose or why is that she believes single moms shouldn’t have fear parenting alone.

Pillar 3: People

Rather than trying to serve everyone, Kim decides to get focused. Who should she serve? Who does she like working with? Who can she add the most value too?

In connection with understanding why she wants to do life coaching, she will select a specific type of client. In our example, Kim decides to help single mothers because she’s been there. She knows their challenges and is able to connect with them. Her desire is to ease the transition to being a single parent.

Pillar 4: Pick One Thing

By choosing the people Kim wants to help, she has made it easier to pick one thing to focus on. In Kim’s case, she will help ease the transition for moms who have become single parents.

Pillar 5: Principles

Now Kim needs to consider what she stands for. Sometimes a better way to identify what you stand for is to ask yourself what you stand against. What pisses you off about your industry? What does she see single moms struggling with that she wants to help them solve?

Pillar 6: Process (Optional)

Depending on the business, your process may or may not be something that can add to your uniqueness. But if there is something unique about what you do, then explain how this brings added value to your potential clients.

In Kim’s case, she may have learned a unique approach to helping single moms solve a particular problem. Or maybe there isn’t anything different about her process and that’s fine. The previous five pillars; Personality, Purpose, People, Pick One Thing and Principles are sufficient to make her business unique to her potential clients.

Putting it together

Now that Kim has thought through the above six pillars she is ready to incorporate this into her marketing material. She’ll re-write her website, ads and brochures accordingly. She will also learn how to include these ideas in her conversations with potential clients.

By writing as she would talk with a friend, letting her personality show, explaining who she is and why she does life coaching for single moms and what she stands for or against will create a unique business for Kim.

When a potential client visits her website, they will either identify with her or see that she isn’t the right life coach for them. Kim will get more clients which she really enjoys working with because they connect with her through her marketing material and conversations with her.

As a result, Kim works with fewer clients that frustrate and burn her out. She gets to work with single moms that she can connect with and help. Kim receives lots more satisfaction from her work and her clients are much more satisfied with their life coach.

She also can begin to build a reputation for helping moms transition into the new phase of being single parents. This leads to more referrals for Kim.

How about you? 

Does this give you some helpful ideas about how to make your service business unique? You can go through this same process and turn your business into something unique. One that stands out from the crowd. What would prevent you from doing that? Fear of change? How can you think about the change that will allow you to move past the fear?


Let’s look at some examples of how getting clear on the above six pillars will help you differentiate yourself from all the “me too, same-same” businesses in your market.

The first example is of a loose and vague life coaching statement on a website’s home page.

Coaching For Everyday Life
I help you attain wisdom and clarity so you have the greatest power of all, CHOICE

If you are looking for a life coach, you likely have something specific you’d like help with. The above statement doesn’t identify anything concrete for a potential client to connect with.

Now let’s consider an example that Kim might use in relation to helping single moms.

Life Coaching for New Single Moms
We offer coaching for moms who have recently become single that provide support and tools so the fear of parenting melts away.

If you are a new single mom who is stressed, worried and afraid of parenting alone the above statement just got your attention. This is how Kim stands out from the crowd. Even if there is another life coach targeting single moms wanting parenting help, Kim’s own personality and clear statement will set her apart and attract the clients that she will enjoy working with.

Secondly, it doesn’t waste people’s time if they aren’t a new single mom looking for support with parenting. They can immediately move on in their quest to find the right life coach for them.

Kim is left with attracting the right people for her business.


And this is how you can make your service business unique even if it doesn’t seem unique. All you have to do is follow the steps above and your business will stand out to your ideal clients.

Don’t keep missing out on the advantages of having a unique business. Schedule the time to right now to make your business unique. If you need some help, give us a call. This is the core of what we do here at Smitten.


Additional offsite reading:

How to make your business sound unique (even if it’s not)
7 ways to make your business stand out in a crowd of competitors

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Trevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson

I love helping business owners who are passionate about making a positive difference in their clients' lives. I'm a passionate learner and teacher. My purpose is to help people live a more fulfilled life. In my professional life, I love helping business owners get clear on their purpose and identity. Then I help them clearly communicate their story so they can attract their ideal clients. I do this because I believe that when you work with your ideal clients you'll live a more fulfilled life.

Successful people do what everyone else won't dare to do. Don't wish it were easier; make yourself better.