My theme this week has kind of been the benefits and importance of setting yourself apart. As a professional creative working in a competitive and challenging economy, the life of your business could be at stake. I wanted to come up with a good example to share. It then occurred to me, “Let’s use this blog.”
As a filmmaker who’s married to a photographer, a majority of the creative arts posts I write related to those two disciplines. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a gajillion blogs out there about filmmaking and photography. I want to use the filmmaking genre as my example of the benefits of setting yourself apart. So, here are three real-world examples of the benefits of setting yourself apart using this blog as the subject.
- Internal Peace. That’s right. When you set your business and brand apart, a huge benefit is peace. As Ricky Ricardo would say, “let me splain.” Unless you are living under a geological mineral formation, if you are a professional filmmaker, you know about Canon’s announcement Thursday of the EOS 300C. Every major filmmaking news blog was scrambling to be the blog to “scoop” the story. In the end, most of them all just re-hashed one another. In essence, their news was a commodity. You could go to any site and get the same info. I on the other hand was chillin’ and relaxin’ because I knew I was NOT going to be writing about audio inputs, sensors sizes, SDI outputs, etc. In fact, as I write this post no (which is the day of the announcement) Twitter is a-flutter with tweets about the names and specs. In other words, you don’t even have to read a blog. Just watch Twitter.
- Peaceful Co-habitation. When you set yourself apart from the pack, your have a more peaceful co-existence with your “competitors.” I recently joined forces with Planet5D to be a regular guest blogger. Mitch (the guy who runs it) does have to worry about sending traffic my way via this relationship because the bulk of what we offer is more complementary vs. competitive. The same goes for when I refer people to other videographers whose work is different than mine. Either a client or a blog readers wants what I have to offer, or they don’t.
- A different Piece of the Puzzle. Because the topics I try to cover are vastly different than many of my filmmaking colleagues’, I’m confident knowing that the info I’m providing will add value to my readers. I do gear reviews every now and then, but I know that I’m not the best at it. Chances are, someone like Nino Leitner, Matt Jeppsen at FreshDV or Tom Guilmette will beat me to the punch anyway, and perhaps even write a better review. And that’s okay. Because the bulk of my topics fall into a different realm, readers can add my link to their RSS feed, or subscribe to this blog, knowing that the overwhelming majority of info they get from me will be differnt than the dozen or so other filmmaking blogs they may follow. Even my interview with Vincent Laforet yesterday about the announcement covered topics that were more about HIM, than the camera.
When I set out to write this blog, I knew I wanted it to be a source of education and inspiration for professional creatives to earn a living at their art. But from the get-go I also knew what it would not be. When YOU go out to set yourself apart (whether it’s your art, your business, and/or your blog), make a concerted effort to determine what you will NOT be. In fact, perhaps spend more time mulling over that than what you WILL be.
Lastly, just for the record, I hope this does not come across as me saying this blog is better. (Lord knows that ain’t the truth.) It’s just different.