In any point during your career -either as a business owner or employee- there are three important lessons you need to learn to differentiate from the rest –BECAUSE DIFFERENCE MATTERS.

First you need to identify what makes you different, what should change and what should stay the same. You need to apply these same principles to your own business, your clients, and your career.

Knowing what to keep and what you need to change is no easy task. I suggest you create a survey for your customers but also one for you and your employees. Gather all these information and use it wisely. With Social Media booming so fast, is not easy to keep up specially if you are a small business, but if you stay original and find that something that sets you apart from the rest, you will have an advantage on your side.

Change can feel overwhelming. Be honest with yourself and find out what’s working and what’s not, then you found the key to success. Be an expert in what you do finding creative yet productive ways to always improve your performance. Understand when you need help. Success for companies and people means constantly checking the changes in the world.

Creativity is always the answer to stay on top. Take a look to large corporations’ marketing campaigns and learn from them. Be creative on everything from your business cards, promotional products, advertising campaigns. Shake-off all the traditional marketing and welcome the new marketing: emotional marketing.

Emotional Marketing is not new at all, but for some it may be a new concept. Basically what you need to do is embrace your marketing communication channels and connect with your customers. Truly connect in creative ways. You see, everyday the average consumer is bombarded with  publicity, over a thousand marketing messages that only 70% will get noticed. And only 20% from that will actually  register in some way. But just a 2% will may remember you the next day. With free giveaways you can bump up those numbers drastically.

If you are looking for a job, creating business cards or thank you cards are a great idea. It’s a way to differentiate from the rest and create an impact.

And last but not least, get feedback! Both business owners and people looking for new opportunities, getting feedback and recommendations from customers and/or co-workers is a huge plus. It provides real value and an insight into how you work. Make sure to display this recommendations in your website, search engines and social media channels.

Don’t settle for annual appraisals. Asking for appraisals leads to learn where you need improvements. Therefore training is very important to keep up to date and becoming an expert at what you do, differentiating you from the rest.