Whatever You Do, Don’t Be Everyone Else

Product Differentiation Strategy

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Why did I start a blog?
  2. What do I want to gain from my blog?
  3. What do I offer my readers that is unique from any other blog out there?

For me,  I started a blog because I love to write, but more importantly I love to communicate and spark discussion.

My number one goal is growth. Nonstop, unadulterated, constant growth – through establishing connections and generating leads to both personally fulfilling and professionally profitable endeavors.

My blog is unique not because of my outstanding writing (there are others out there who are much more eloquent than myself) it is unique in the expectation my readers have to having a two-way conversation. I’m approachable and available. I respond to (nearly) every comment here and have since I launched back in February. You don’t need to “subscribe to comments” here because you WILL have a response if you leave a comment – usually a follow up with another question or idea to keep things going. I share my personal email address with anyone who wants it and I respond to EVERY email that comes my way (go ahead and try me)

I don’t talk TO people – I talk WITH them. I don’t dictate ideas, I share thoughts and leave things open for discussion. This blog is never an open and shut case, there’s always a “To Be Continued” – and while you’ll rarely walk away with a solution, you’ll almost ALWAYS walk away with a new perspective and outlook. This is much less a blog than it is a community. And it continues to thrive because all of you give it a pulse. Your blog, brand, or business is nothing without a supportive community.

So go back to those three questions above. Write them down somewhere and look at them from time to time. Your goals and objectives, your defining characteristics – these will continue to grow as you (and your blog) develops. Pay particularly close attention to number three. In order to be successful, as a blogger, an entrepreneur, or even a Fortune 500 company, you MUST offer something to your “consumers” that they can’t get anywhere else.

A quote by Steve Pavlina was recently brought to my attention. He says:

“You must become so convinced of the benefits of your product or service that you feel you’d be unjustly depriving people by not doing everything in your power to get the word out. “

In short, not only do you have to establish a unique stance in the market, you have to believe so passionately in what you’re doing that other people can’t help but buy in. Define who you are and what makes you special, and then do everything you can to share that with the world. If you aren’t offering something unique, you aren’t offering anything.

How would you respond to the three questions above? How do you define and distinguish yourself (and your blog)? What is your “Product Differentiation Strategy”?


47 Responses
  • Werner Reply

    Hey Matt, cool blog.

    I think there is many blogs out there that “talk with people” etc. I think what makes your blog different is your unique perspective. We’re all differenct and we all see and experience things differently. This is what makes most blogs unique. Anyway, this is what I enjoy about your blog.

    Keep it up man!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Werner – glad you stumbled across Life Without Pants. Ultimately, you don’t have to offering something totally new, your own personal perspective is unique in it of itself. Just make sure that your voice is YOUR voice – not a replication of someone else.

  • Werner Reply

    Hey Matt, cool blog.

    I think there is many blogs out there that “talk with people” etc. I think what makes your blog different is your unique perspective. We’re all differenct and we all see and experience things differently. This is what makes most blogs unique. Anyway, this is what I enjoy about your blog.

    Keep it up man!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Werner – glad you stumbled across Life Without Pants. Ultimately, you don’t have to offering something totally new, your own personal perspective is unique in it of itself. Just make sure that your voice is YOUR voice – not a replication of someone else.

  • Jenny Reply

    Great post Matt. I’m still pretty in love with the name of your site. It basically rocks. But the post is good too.. and definitely useful for the newbie bloggers.. and a reminder that I need to get back on Day One of Darren Rowse’s book.. “Elevator Pitch”…

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      This is very much related to that idea of Rowse’s “Elevator Pitch” – and whether your a “newbie” blogger or someone who’s been at it for years, asking yourself these questions is something that can and should be continually revisited. Goals may change, your purpose may redefine yourself, but it’s important to know where you’re going and have an idea of how to get there.

      Keep reading Jenny – great to have you here!

  • Jenny Reply

    Great post Matt. I’m still pretty in love with the name of your site. It basically rocks. But the post is good too.. and definitely useful for the newbie bloggers.. and a reminder that I need to get back on Day One of Darren Rowse’s book.. “Elevator Pitch”…

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      This is very much related to that idea of Rowse’s “Elevator Pitch” – and whether your a “newbie” blogger or someone who’s been at it for years, asking yourself these questions is something that can and should be continually revisited. Goals may change, your purpose may redefine yourself, but it’s important to know where you’re going and have an idea of how to get there.

      Keep reading Jenny – great to have you here!

  • Aysel Vandeventer Reply

    You’ve raised some valuable questions. If, we can’t answer those, then we definitely need to reconsider our goals and objectives. Well, we started our blog to inspire people about design mainly and to educate them. We also wanted a conversation. To see what people have to say about design, branding, web development, etc and and just bounce ideas off of one another. Instill passion so to speak. Not sure if we’ve accomplished any of the above goals, since we’ve only been blogging around 3 or 4 months. So, I definitely understand that it will be a journey and things will not happen over night. What we want to gain is to inspire passion in others, learn from others and teach people. Also, of course to develop some contacts and potential clients :) And we come down to question number 3. This is a challenge that we are trying to overcome currently. Like I said earlier, we’re looking to instill passion and bring about creativity. We want to give readers unique approaches and angles they do not expect. Being REAL with the readers is what it is all about. I will let you know about our journey :). Thanks for being so genuine and really taking the initiative to acknowledge all of your readers! I definitely appreciate that about your blogging approach.

  • Aysel Vandeventer Reply

    You’ve raised some valuable questions. If, we can’t answer those, then we definitely need to reconsider our goals and objectives. Well, we started our blog to inspire people about design mainly and to educate them. We also wanted a conversation. To see what people have to say about design, branding, web development, etc and and just bounce ideas off of one another. Instill passion so to speak. Not sure if we’ve accomplished any of the above goals, since we’ve only been blogging around 3 or 4 months. So, I definitely understand that it will be a journey and things will not happen over night. What we want to gain is to inspire passion in others, learn from others and teach people. Also, of course to develop some contacts and potential clients :) And we come down to question number 3. This is a challenge that we are trying to overcome currently. Like I said earlier, we’re looking to instill passion and bring about creativity. We want to give readers unique approaches and angles they do not expect. Being REAL with the readers is what it is all about. I will let you know about our journey :). Thanks for being so genuine and really taking the initiative to acknowledge all of your readers! I definitely appreciate that about your blogging approach.

  • Christine Gilbert Reply

    Matt,

    I like the three questions, but I’d add that your goal to be “personally fulling and professionally profitable endeavors” could be more specific. For instance, are you trying to build an audience to launch into books? Consulting? Speaking tours? or do you hope to build an audience to earn revenue from ads? I ask these questions because the way you approach the task will be different. The types of traffic you go after will be different. Do you want just high numbers? Or do you want quality traffic? It’s okay if you don’t know yet and are keeping the doors open, but eventually you’ll find a project or idea you love and you will have to make those decisions.

    Also “being available” as your main benefit is a diminishing product. If you get 80 comments on a post, will you respond to each one? Don’t sell yourself short, you can have 100,000 people visiting every month with some work and time… what will your main benefit be then? Will you be able to respond to everyone when the emails are hundreds per day?

    I think it’s a great way to build an audience, and you should keep doing as long as you can, but eventually you’ll need to think of a way to translate that same intention and value into something that you can produce to a broader audience. Or decide to keep your audience small.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Christine: First off ,great feedback here – very much appreciated.

      “Personally fulfilling and professionally profitable” is pretty vague – one because I didn’t want this post to be all about me, and two because that goal is a work in progress. When I started this 9 months ago, I saw it to be very one-sided toward a “personal fulfillment” stance – but since my community and reach has grown, the door has opened up for new “professional” opportunities. And for me, gradual QUALITY growth is much more important than fast-paced increases in overall numbers.

      To your second point – I thought about this (my defining quality) as I was writing this post, which is why I included the following:

      “Your goals and objectives, your defining characteristics – these will continue to grow as you (and your blog) develops.”

      It is very clear to me that my defining characteristic TODAY may not be the same a year from now, five years from now, etc. If growth continues, priorities will have to shift, and while “availability” will forever be an important theme to me, it’s not realistic for me to respond to thousands of emails and comments. I am still very much a small fish in a large pond.

      It’s all about growth and adaptation – so far, the defining characteristics I described above have led me to where I am today, but I also realize and appreciate that there is a long (not to mention prosperous and exciting) road ahead of me. Cheers!

  • Christine Gilbert Reply

    Matt,

    I like the three questions, but I’d add that your goal to be “personally fulling and professionally profitable endeavors” could be more specific. For instance, are you trying to build an audience to launch into books? Consulting? Speaking tours? or do you hope to build an audience to earn revenue from ads? I ask these questions because the way you approach the task will be different. The types of traffic you go after will be different. Do you want just high numbers? Or do you want quality traffic? It’s okay if you don’t know yet and are keeping the doors open, but eventually you’ll find a project or idea you love and you will have to make those decisions.

    Also “being available” as your main benefit is a diminishing product. If you get 80 comments on a post, will you respond to each one? Don’t sell yourself short, you can have 100,000 people visiting every month with some work and time… what will your main benefit be then? Will you be able to respond to everyone when the emails are hundreds per day?

    I think it’s a great way to build an audience, and you should keep doing as long as you can, but eventually you’ll need to think of a way to translate that same intention and value into something that you can produce to a broader audience. Or decide to keep your audience small.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Christine: First off ,great feedback here – very much appreciated.

      “Personally fulfilling and professionally profitable” is pretty vague – one because I didn’t want this post to be all about me, and two because that goal is a work in progress. When I started this 9 months ago, I saw it to be very one-sided toward a “personal fulfillment” stance – but since my community and reach has grown, the door has opened up for new “professional” opportunities. And for me, gradual QUALITY growth is much more important than fast-paced increases in overall numbers.

      To your second point – I thought about this (my defining quality) as I was writing this post, which is why I included the following:

      “Your goals and objectives, your defining characteristics – these will continue to grow as you (and your blog) develops.”

      It is very clear to me that my defining characteristic TODAY may not be the same a year from now, five years from now, etc. If growth continues, priorities will have to shift, and while “availability” will forever be an important theme to me, it’s not realistic for me to respond to thousands of emails and comments. I am still very much a small fish in a large pond.

      It’s all about growth and adaptation – so far, the defining characteristics I described above have led me to where I am today, but I also realize and appreciate that there is a long (not to mention prosperous and exciting) road ahead of me. Cheers!

  • Sid Savara Reply

    Those are some tough questions – but you’re right, they’re important to answer to set yourself apart

    The one thing I think I do differently is I really dig deep and research to back up what I write. There are a lot of writers in the personal development niche – I take a pretty nerdy and analytical approach to the whole thing, which is why Seth Roberts and Tim Ferris are a couple of my favorites

    So I want to have their type of content, and write as well as Leo Babauta ;)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s a heck of a defining characteristic Sid, and it’s something that’s rare in this day and age of blogging – really spending the time to research and back up your claims. Not only does it add credibility to your writing, but it establishes yourself as a credible resource of information. Just started digging through your blog – nice work – look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  • Sid Savara Reply

    Those are some tough questions – but you’re right, they’re important to answer to set yourself apart

    The one thing I think I do differently is I really dig deep and research to back up what I write. There are a lot of writers in the personal development niche – I take a pretty nerdy and analytical approach to the whole thing, which is why Seth Roberts and Tim Ferris are a couple of my favorites

    So I want to have their type of content, and write as well as Leo Babauta ;)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s a heck of a defining characteristic Sid, and it’s something that’s rare in this day and age of blogging – really spending the time to research and back up your claims. Not only does it add credibility to your writing, but it establishes yourself as a credible resource of information. Just started digging through your blog – nice work – look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  • ChristiaanH Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Great writing here! Those three questions really got me thinking about my blog and here I’m going. THe biggest question is what I’m offering that’s unique… although I think I know I don’t know for sure and if it’s unique….

    Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s the biggest challenge – finding a niche in the market and developing something unique – luckily, simply by writing and letting your voice be heard, you’re already doing something unique, you’re own perspective is unique and compelling in it’s own right. Discover your voice and the rest will fall into place. Cheers!

  • ChristiaanH Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Great writing here! Those three questions really got me thinking about my blog and here I’m going. THe biggest question is what I’m offering that’s unique… although I think I know I don’t know for sure and if it’s unique….

    Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s the biggest challenge – finding a niche in the market and developing something unique – luckily, simply by writing and letting your voice be heard, you’re already doing something unique, you’re own perspective is unique and compelling in it’s own right. Discover your voice and the rest will fall into place. Cheers!

  • Sonny Gill Reply

    Really great thoughts here, Matt. Good timing as I’ve been thinking ‘next level’ and what next steps for my blog and where it’s headed, as well as what I provide for my community that’s different than what I’ve done in the past. What will keep them involved, what will build a stronger community, and what will they take away from this community.

    A lot to chew on for me but appreciate the motivation.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s been a big thing for me Sonny – taking the time to continually reinvent myself – start new projects, new series, video blog reviews, whatever the case may be – I strive to always bring something fresh to the table, and more importantly, things that include and require involvement from my community – it’s a group effort.

      Thanks for coming by – looking forward to meeting you soon!

  • Sonny Gill Reply

    Really great thoughts here, Matt. Good timing as I’ve been thinking ‘next level’ and what next steps for my blog and where it’s headed, as well as what I provide for my community that’s different than what I’ve done in the past. What will keep them involved, what will build a stronger community, and what will they take away from this community.

    A lot to chew on for me but appreciate the motivation.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s been a big thing for me Sonny – taking the time to continually reinvent myself – start new projects, new series, video blog reviews, whatever the case may be – I strive to always bring something fresh to the table, and more importantly, things that include and require involvement from my community – it’s a group effort.

      Thanks for coming by – looking forward to meeting you soon!

  • Jen Reply

    this is my favourite blog name Matt! :)
    I love the look too and this is an insightful great post. Great Steve Pavlina quote. Be ourselves – simple message. Like the unique take you’re putting across here.
    Jen

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Well thank you Jen (don’t ask me how I came up with the title – it was one of those rare moments where I just went with it, not knowing what people would think, and here I am. Somehow, today, the metaphor just “makes sense” – love when that happens. Being yourself is priority number one – it’s really the only thing that matters. The rest can develop around your own individuality. Thanks for coming by, looking forward to chatting more in the future!

  • Jen Reply

    this is my favourite blog name Matt! :)
    I love the look too and this is an insightful great post. Great Steve Pavlina quote. Be ourselves – simple message. Like the unique take you’re putting across here.
    Jen

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Well thank you Jen (don’t ask me how I came up with the title – it was one of those rare moments where I just went with it, not knowing what people would think, and here I am. Somehow, today, the metaphor just “makes sense” – love when that happens. Being yourself is priority number one – it’s really the only thing that matters. The rest can develop around your own individuality. Thanks for coming by, looking forward to chatting more in the future!

  • Lottie Reply

    Hey Matt! I am reading this from my strategy class in my MBA program (yeah I got distracted)…. Have you heard of Michael Porter? He’s the guy who made up everything you just wrote, go read his work if you haven’t already, you’ll be able to write even more on the subject after!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Hi Lottie. I’m not familiar with Porter but I’ll have to check him out. Shame on me for pulling your attention away from class. Wait, who am I kidding – who needs school anyways? Haha, seriously, now get back to work! :)

  • Lottie Reply

    Hey Matt! I am reading this from my strategy class in my MBA program (yeah I got distracted)…. Have you heard of Michael Porter? He’s the guy who made up everything you just wrote, go read his work if you haven’t already, you’ll be able to write even more on the subject after!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Hi Lottie. I’m not familiar with Porter but I’ll have to check him out. Shame on me for pulling your attention away from class. Wait, who am I kidding – who needs school anyways? Haha, seriously, now get back to work! :)

  • Coop Reply

    Matt – Very nice site, and an excellent post. I recently started a blog myself and have been thinking constantly about the what, how, why, etc. Your 3 questions are solid and thought provoking. I look forward to future posts. :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Coop – I like the “4 Every Man” theme of your blog and I look forward to chatting and sharing more ideas with you in the future. Thanks for coming by!

  • Coop Reply

    Matt – Very nice site, and an excellent post. I recently started a blog myself and have been thinking constantly about the what, how, why, etc. Your 3 questions are solid and thought provoking. I look forward to future posts. :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Coop – I like the “4 Every Man” theme of your blog and I look forward to chatting and sharing more ideas with you in the future. Thanks for coming by!

  • Amber Reply

    Nice work here Matt :D I always try to ask myself how I can make a post more me either through writing or topic choice. I think your avid readers are right in that everyone has unique ideas and opinions. They keep coming back because they like how you challenge the way they think or open their brain a little. I’m excited to dig through your archives and see what everyone is raving about! Cheers to your success :D

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Amber – really like your site and I LOVE the title “Epic Self” – the word “epic” is…well…”epic” :) – Ultimately, if you aren’t being challenged, or provoked into thinking in a new way, why waste your time reading something? It’s all about presenting ideas in new and exciting ways (which can be easier said than done).

      Thanks for coming by Amber – glad to have you here, and I look forward to connecting with one another in the future!

  • Amber Reply

    Nice work here Matt :D I always try to ask myself how I can make a post more me either through writing or topic choice. I think your avid readers are right in that everyone has unique ideas and opinions. They keep coming back because they like how you challenge the way they think or open their brain a little. I’m excited to dig through your archives and see what everyone is raving about! Cheers to your success :D

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks Amber – really like your site and I LOVE the title “Epic Self” – the word “epic” is…well…”epic” :) – Ultimately, if you aren’t being challenged, or provoked into thinking in a new way, why waste your time reading something? It’s all about presenting ideas in new and exciting ways (which can be easier said than done).

      Thanks for coming by Amber – glad to have you here, and I look forward to connecting with one another in the future!

  • alex - unleash reality Reply

    hey matt.

    mad cool blog. really slick irreversible lava smooth smoldouring sexy design and honest raw inevitable content.

    and we write in a similar way. boom.

    i have similar reasons. never thought about them out loud though so cool to nod along as i read the way you explain your reasons.

    keep well and in touch mate.
    alex – unleash reality

    p.s. i’m also big on email and personal communication. my email is on my site. drop me a mail any time about wha’eva.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Well Alex, you officially win the award for best description of Life Without Pants design & content. Too kind sir. I like what you are doing over at “Unleash Reality” – subscribed this morning. Please do keep in touch, us like-minded bloggers gotta stick together. Cheers!

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  • alex - unleash reality Reply

    hey matt.

    mad cool blog. really slick irreversible lava smooth smoldouring sexy design and honest raw inevitable content.

    and we write in a similar way. boom.

    i have similar reasons. never thought about them out loud though so cool to nod along as i read the way you explain your reasons.

    keep well and in touch mate.
    alex – unleash reality

    p.s. i’m also big on email and personal communication. my email is on my site. drop me a mail any time about wha’eva.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Well Alex, you officially win the award for best description of Life Without Pants design & content. Too kind sir. I like what you are doing over at “Unleash Reality” – subscribed this morning. Please do keep in touch, us like-minded bloggers gotta stick together. Cheers!

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