How to stand out as a one-person online business


Trading as a one-person online business is not easy because you are responsible for completing all the necessary roles yourself, with no hope of having an employee focus on a particular problem while you get on with solving others.

The inevitable result is that you cannot give each role as much of your time as you would ideally like to. One of these crucial jobs is to ensure your business stands out on the internet, consistently attracting enough customers to turn a profit without having to endure lulls in popularity.

Although this is a difficult task even for professional marketing teams, if you are working all by yourself, the problem becomes that much harder.

However, this is not to say it is impossible because there are a number of marketing principles and tactics you can use to stand out online. These include making an event out of seemingly small details (such as your packaging), providing a more personal, tailor-made service for your customers, and avoiding any temptation to take on every business under the sun. Staying in your lane is a great way to cultivate a more concentrated and receptive customer base.

This is how to stand out as a one-person online business:

Make an impact with your packaging

The first step in standing out as a one-person online business is to recognize the fact that you are unlikely to appeal to customers in the same way as larger corporations, who have far more resources, available products, and marketing power.

This should not come as damnation but as an opportunity. 

Instead of copying what larger companies do, champion your ability to give every customer a personal service. In a world of nondescript products pumped by anonymous corporations, many people are crying out for a more special purchasing experience.

For example, you could improve the way you package your products, whether by making your packing sustainable or by being more creative with the design. This seemingly small detail can transform how customers regard your business and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Provide a personal service

Similarly, you should provide a personal service throughout the purchasing process, whether that means your website has branding that speaks of your story, your personality, and your tastes (which people will likely buy into if you are passionate enough), or that you are on-hand to help them choose the best product for them.

Perhaps you only operate in your local area. If this is the case, consider hand-delivering products if you have the time and means because it will create a personal connection between your business and your customers.

Don’t try and take on the world

Lastly, you need to know your limits as a one-person business. You will never be able to out-market corporate giants in the online marketplace, so don’t try to. It will only exhaust your resources and leave you looking like a poor relation. 

Instead, stick to your strengths by focusing on a more concentrated audience - whether that means operating in a single niche or only selling products to people in a certain area. 

This will cultivate a deeper relationship between you and your customers, which will help your brand grow faster and sales roll in.