Differentiate or Die: The “Secret Sauce” to Standing Out on LinkedIn!

With so much noise on social media, and so many competitors popping up  in every industry that has a dollar to be made, how you stand out from the crowd – how you differentiate yourself, makes all the difference.

Differentiation is about your unique value proposition, so it applies to companies and individuals alike.

So how do you communicate to the world what makes you different than the person/company that seems to be doing the exact same thing?


1. Get focused on a narrow niche market.

With a global pool of potential clients and access to billions of people online, getting super clear and narrow about who your “low hanging fruit” clients are makes it easier to find them, and much easier to be relevant to them.

Ask yourself, who can you serve best? Who would value and be willing to pay you the most for what you offer?

In spite of what you may believe, going after a smaller, more narrow niche market does not limit you but helps you stand out to be seen by your target market.

2. Showcase results.

No one in the world has done exactly what you have, and no one has the same methods, clients, and culture. To be different, let others know your specific results from the past. Avoid general and vague skills and interest, this is where you get very specific. Instead of saying “Product marketing” or “project management” describe what you have done: “Successfully launched 3 products that generated $2.5 million” or “managed large, global projects for a dozen clients”.   

3. Speak in numbers.

Big data is not just for software companies – data speaks volume. Your numbers are unique to you, and demonstrate measurable results. With so much talk, providing actual unique data already puts you in a different category than most. For example: “Generated over $5 million in revenue in 2013″. 

Stand Out

4. Clarify your added value in the marketplace.

Most people and companies find it difficult to clearly explain – in a simple and concise way, how they benefit their clients. Just look at some LinkedIn profiles and you’ll see many people who seem to have great careers but leave you clueless about what value they actually provide and to whom.

Address the questions: Why do you do what you do? How do you do it? Who do you do it for? When?

Don’t be average – clarify your value, and your clarity alone will differentiate yourself from the crowd.

5. Provide Social Proof.

It would’ve been really nice if happy clients initiated a recommendation or testimonial on their own, but the reality is that it takes some effort to showcase client success stories and recommendations, which is why many people/companies have just a few recommendations on their profile (if any).

But the more the better so ask for recommendations when it’s appropriate. There’s no better way to differentiate yourself from others than having other people talk about you specifically in a positive way.

6. Give people a reason to learn more about you.

If all you have is a title and company name in your headline, people will assume you’re just like anyone else in your industry. Your headline is prime real estate and is attached to your name with everything you do on LinkedIn. So give it some thought, and add something unique or compelling enough for someone to say to themselves: “let’s check out what this person is up to!” 

What’s your Secret Sauce? How are you differentiating yourself from your competitors?

Need help with your differentiation and LinkedIn strategy? Connect with me on LinkedIn and we’ll set up a call.