As a coach and consultant working with all kinds or entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses, I am always looking, always studying, always paying attention to what creates success beyond basic business acumen. What is it that makes one financial planner, professional organizer or image consultant successful, and another of equal talent struggle? I have noticed one significant principle that I am compelled to shout out loud. I sincerely believe it is the barrier between having a good business and having a phenomenal business. Take a look at yourself as you read on. What we are talking about is the “it” factor – that special something that will make you and your business stand out in a crowded marketplace and be selected over your competitors. The “it” factor is being an advocate: taking a stand for something, and in fact being loud and proud about it. I am talking about the real estate agent who does more than list houses – instead she advocates that every working professional can and should own a home; or the owner of a cleaning service who doesn’t just clean, they use non-toxic products and are vocal about the many benefits; or the insurance agent that does not just sell policies, who instead makes it clear that anyone that has children has a responsibility to have life insurance. When you take on the role of an advocate, there are often people that are going to disagree with you – your position is not one that will be popular with everyone. You may experience some resistance, or even rejection. However by taking a stand for what you really believe in, by taking the high road, yet focusing on what is a significant benefit of your business, you will find that many more people than usual will respond to your message. Here is how you can go from a service provider to an advocate for your clients and potential clients. Utilize these ideas, watch the buzz start, and the clients becoming magnetized to you. Get Clear What do you want to advocate? What is the principle, or who is the person that you want to back? For example, Marshall Reddick teaches real estate investing. So do thousands of other people. Marshall wants people to have a financially free retirement. That is his advocacy position. That attracts to him people that are aligned with that position. Be Loud and Proud Shout your advocacy position from the mountaintop. Let everyone know what you stand for. Erin Stafford is an image consultant like so many others. However Erin takes the position that every woman can look great without spending a fortune. Like Erin pursue every opportunity to spread your opinion through articles, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, speeches and of course, your own website. Make your advocacy position clear and prominent in everything you do. Craft Your Message The more you can streamline your message, the more attention you will get from your potential clients, and the more interested they will be in connecting with you and your firm. Keep refining and clarifying how you describe your advocacy position, and speak about it consistently and often. Be Passionate Ministers, pastors and preachers do not have the passion market cornered. There is plenty of passion available for you. Let your excitement come through. When you talk about your advocacy position, be energetic and dynamic. Let the power of your emotion come through. Show you care, communicate a sense of urgency for people to get the message, demonstrate that your message is important through the passion you bring to your communication. Capture the Stories When you work with your clients, you get to know their stories, you get to know the problems that brought them to you. Most important for your role as an advocate is that you are aware of the positive results they get from working with you. Write those down. Do not expect to remember them. There will be too many to remember. Make a computer file of client stories so you can always have great examples to support any position you are taking. Find an Audience Ask yourself: where are my potential clients gathered – both in the real world and virtually? Answer that question and then connect with those people and places so that you can deliver your message through any of the aforementioned communication formats i.e. articles, blogs, vlogs, speeches etc. Be Consistent Once you get clear about your advocacy position keep your message consistent and keep preaching it over and over – even when you find yourself in a place where your position might be unpopular. Have the courage of your convictions, and there will be even more clients flocking to you. Find Other Advocates Who else is full of passion and has an advocacy position about something with which your clients will resonate? Do some cross-promotional marketing with people that have positions that your clients need to hear. This will get the word out about you spreading faster. I am sure you can see that being an advocate and taking a stand will be more exhilarating and fun than trying to please and accommodate everyone. You do not need everyone for a client – only those that really resonate with your message. Have an opinion, be loud and proud about it and watch the procession of people move toward you, ready to sign up to work with you and let others know about you – the advocate. Caterina Rando, MA, MCC, is author of “Learn to Power Think,” a keynote speaker, success coach and trainer. She helps people invigorate their professional and personal lives and create the results they want. To find out about her book and other resources, visit www.caterinar.com.