This weekend as I was doing my usual skimming through various personal finance blogs on the internet a thought popped into my head: “How do I differentiate my blog from the others? How can I make my blog stand out?” Those simple questions brought me back to my graduate school days where I learned about business strategy, marketing, accounting and much more. I plugged in my old portable hard drive and started looking through some of my old class notes (my husband went golfing this Sunday, so I had some free time on my hands). That’s when I came across my notes on the book “What’s Your Purple Goldfish” by Stan Phelps and Drew McLellan (great book, highly recommend it!)
I know what many of you are thinking and no, this is not a children’s book! This book is about marketing a company’s products or services. While I read the book, I was also fortunate enough to meet the author himself in graduate school and learn not only about where he got the idea to write the book, but also how effective the technique he discusses in his book actually is. The key term and concept that Stand and Drew discuss in the book is something called marketing lagniappe (pronounced lan yap). Rather than providing a summary of the book I will cut to the chase. According to Phelps and McLellan, lagniappe is defined as the merchant giving a little something extra at the time of purchase. The book goes through a number of different examples across a wide range of industries and provides the results generated from marketing lagniappe.
Flipping through my notes got me thinking about the businesses in my area. Are any of them following this type of marketing to get or retain customers? A number of businesses came to mind once I started to thinking about all the local ones in my area. For example, there is a local car garage in my town that offers a free car wash with an oil change. The price for the oil change is in line with its chain competitors, with the added bonus of picking your car up nice and clean! I had never thought of it before, but there it was right in front of my eyes. Once I thought of one, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. The bagel shop down the road offers a free coffee and a bagel after 10 purchases at the store. The barber offers men a free shave with a haircut. The examples didn’t stop there. Have you ever been to Ikea? If so, you know they provide food and childcare for all their shoppers. These are all things that I overlooked before until I stopped and took a minute to think about it. Each of these businesses or companies is doing something a little extra to differentiate themselves from the competition and each is winning in their market.
I realized that us bloggers are doing the same thing. Many of us are offering advice on retirement, savings, investing, achieving FIRE, etc. to our readers. Each of our thoughts, opinions and spin on certain strategies and tips makes us unique and help us differentiate ourselves, though. Some bloggers also offer free templates to use for things like budgeting, saving or even investing. When I started my blog a few months ago, my goal was to help younger people become better with money. To be completely honest, I didn’t know where I would fit in with so many amazing personal finance bloggers out there. I won’t attempt to name them here, but if I follow you on Twitter, Instagram or comment on your posts you know who you are!
So how am I am going to differentiate myself? I thought of a few ways. One is to help people (if they are interested) with mutual bank investments. After posting my returns on my most recent mutual investment, a number of people have reached out asking how it works and how they can get started. If you subscribe to my newsletters, you know that I have been and will be sending a new mutual bank to readers every month. I know this isn’t for everyone, so I want to do something more. Another way to diversify is to make my blog more interactive. I don’t know exactly how I am going to do that yet, but a few thoughts did pop into my head. My thinking is that if you are coming to my site to read about a topic or article, and you don’t feel like leaving a comment, maybe I can get your thoughts or feedback or interact in a different way. Again, still haven’t quite figured out a plan, but I’m hoping something comes to me in time.