Awesome People - Ep 111
Positioning, make your customers "get it" and differentiate from competitors
Hi founders and fellow VC Friends!
We deliver awesome people to your inbox. These are the people you need to know —the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, and ops wizzes — who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable.
Long time no see — it’s been almost a month. Too long. I’m so happy to be here, and I hope you are too! Let’s dive in 👇
Please meet Caylin Lo, Your Product and Content Marketing Expert 📝
I met Caylin via Sriram Krishnan, one of my favorite VC… this Sriram Krishnan for those of you familiar with the age-old two Sriram Krishan VC problem 🤣.
Caylin comes very highly recommended. She’s done everything from writing AWS’s SMB Hub to launching Akash System’s new website under a tight timeline. Throughout her career, she has more than doubled organic traffic for three different businesses and helped bring in over $2.5M of new business. She’s known for her ability to distill complex topics into simple, digestible content. Caylin is a huge bookworm and is always keen to give or receive a good book recommendation.
She's trusted by big companies like AWS, Dell, and Cisco, alongside startups like Akash Systems (Series B, space co), Bundlr Network (Seed, crypto data storage co), and Parallel Finance (Series A, DeFi co).
You can hire her for your positioning, messaging, and content. You can also hire her for website copy, blogs, virtual events, and execution of marketing activations like targeted mail merges.
Want an intro to Caylin? Respond to this email, and I’ll connect you!
She was gracious enough to share some pro tips with us here ✨
Positioning is the most common request from companies, especially founders. And it makes sense. Your positioning allows you to articulate who you are, why you’re different, and why customers should care. It targets your audience, sets you apart from competitors, and encapsulates your unique identity.
However, crafting a precise positioning statement is not easy, and many founders grapple with initiating and executing this process. But fret not. I’m here to demystify this process for you.
Here's a step-by-step guide to set you on the right path 👇
Understand your market landscape
To start, gain an intimate knowledge of your audience/industry, competitors, and the perceptions people have of your company.
For example, with Bundlr Network, a web3 data storage startup, I began by talking to the leaders in the company, investors, and key customers. I also researched direct and indirect competitors. I recommend that you follow a similar process.
I asked company leaders:
Where is Bundlr today, and where is it going?
How are you different from competitors, and why are you needed in the market?
What do you need your positioning to achieve to bring your company to the next level?
I analyzed their competitors:
What is their messaging, the market response, and gaps in their offerings?
What are we offering that is different from them?
Why are companies using the competitors over our product, and vice versa? What is appealing about competitors’ solutions?
I analyzed their target audience:
How do stakeholders talk about Bundlr?
Are their descriptions consistent with how Bundlr describes themselves? Where are the gaps?
Are people aware of the company's unique proposition? If not, where is the confusion, and why?
The market landscape step is about deep introspection. It prompts crucial questions about your unique offerings, the problems you solve, and the importance of these problems to your audience.
In Bundlr’s case, they were in an industry that used buzzwords many people struggled to understand. They wanted to cut through the clutter by clearly articulating what they do and why it’s exciting.
Define your positioning
Once armed with your research insights, you can create a positioning statement that crisply defines who you are, why you're different, and why customers should select you over others.
It's essential that this statement is distinctly yours. If a competitor can make a similar claim, it needs refining. If a prospect doesn't grasp what you do after reading it, it's not clear enough. If it doesn't resonate with your identity, then it's not quite right yet.
This usually takes a long time and many iterations. This is because:
It requires you to understand your business and succinctly explain it in a sentence or two
It needs to resonate with your target audiences and engage them
It needs to be true to you and your team
It needs to be different from what’s already on the market
I wrote the following positioning statement for Bundlr:
Bundlr makes web3 data storage accessible by making it as fast, easy, and reliable as traditional data storage. Its goal is to allow everyone both in and out of web3 to benefit from decentralized, permanent data storage.
Let’s breakdown why it’s effective:
Clearly articulates what they do: They offer decentralized, permanent data storage that is just as fast, easy, and reliable as traditional data storage. Anyone can understand what that means, regardless of their knowledge of web3.
Clearly solves a problem: It outlines a problem - the inaccessibility or complexity of web3 data storage - and presents Bundlr's solution: making it as fast, easy, and reliable as traditional data storage. By directly comparing it to "traditional data storage," it puts in context how simple and reliable it is supposed to be, which helps to ease any apprehensions about the use of new technology.
Differentiated offering: The statement highlights Bundlr's unique offering in the market, "decentralized, permanent data storage,” unlike traditional data storage, which is centralized and temporary. This aspect is likely to resonate with those seeking data storage solutions that are secure and durable, which is a significant advantage in our increasingly digital world.
Succinctness: Despite being packed with information, the positioning statement is succinct and to the point, making it easy to understand and remember.
Integrate your positioning across channels
A positioning statement is more than just a sentence—it's a guiding principle that spans all your communications and customer touchpoints.
Here’s how Bundlr incorporated its positioning statement into all of its external assets:
Website: The header on the home page stated, “The fastest, easiest way to store data on web3.” As the user scrolled down the website, it gave more information that all tied back to their positioning statement, such as “Bundlr is building the future of data storage by bringing the speed and ease of web2 to web3 technology.”
Content: I helped the team write a lot of content that dove into the positioning statement. Pieces included:
Why permanent data storage is important
The risks of centralized, temporary data storage, which includes cloud and servers
How Bundlr works
Every piece could be read and understood by anyone, regardless of their web3 knowledge.
Social Media: In addition to updating the bio, I also created a social content calendar with tweets that tied back to what they did and why it was necessary. Many of these tweets broke down the articles into bite-sized pieces and linked out to the full post.
Assets: The positioning was integrated into all assets, including presentations, info sheets, and more.
After implementing the positioning and creating supporting assets, Bundlr experienced many benefits, including:
Increased web traffic
Boosted engagement on social channels
New leads that were in web3 and web2
Remember, your positioning statement is your brand's guiding star. It's not just a marketing gimmick but a compass to direct your business.
Your positioning statement is not only about what you do, but who you are and why you matter. Embrace it, live it, and share it. Your business will thank you.
Want an intro to Caylin? Respond to this email, and I’ll connect you!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or want an intro to Caylin!
Founder of Awesome People Ventures & Talent
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Awesome People Continued 🤩
Antoine, Your Product Leader — advises companies like Strapi (Series B Saas company backed by Index), Multis (crypto corporate finance company backed by Sequoia), and Ki Insurance ($500M raised in a joint venture with Google). You can hire Antoine as a product advisor or senior product leader. He works best with companies that have early PMF and are post-product, think Series A+.
Seth, Your Full-Stack Marketing Expert — has led the marketing launches of more than a dozen DTC and Digital Health brands. He’s helped companies across health and wellness, financial services, e-commerce, and real estate grow from launch to over $100M in revenue. You can hire him to build a strong strategic marketing foundation and execute a complete DTC or B2B growth plan.
Lauren, our Fractional GTM Leader — recently founded Indigo, a go-to-market agency. She builds marketing, community, and sales functions from the ground up. You can hire her to work on brand development and positioning, full-funnel, marketing, sales & partnerships, and community strategy.
Want an intro to Caylin, Antoine, Seth, or Lauren? Respond to this email, and I’ll connect you!
P.S. Pallet Talent Collective 🚀
Need some top-notch talent to make your company sing? Check out our free Pallet board. The magic is in the talent collective, so make sure to join that. We have 300+ pre-vetted candidates waiting for you across industries 🥰. Know someone who is looking for a job? Tell them to join our talent collective.
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