Owning Your Space

by Sam Jordan on 08/19/2015

The great Stuart Smalley once hit the nail on the head in saying, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

And not only are we unrepentant about quoting advice from a fictional 90s Saturday Night Live character, but we’re gonna double down on it. Because if you’re only thinking that your business should be the best, and not that it actually is, then as Stuart also said, you’re “should-ing all over yourself.”

The high goal for your company has to be “We are going to own this space.” We will be the industry leader for wedding flowers, custom jewelry, car insurance, you name it. And yes, that means believing you are the authority and own that space perhaps before you truly, objectively do.

For example, in the video below we claim the throne as the authority on content marketing (and by the way, you’re fully immersed in CM right now). Presumptuous? Maybe a tad. But it’s the crucial first step in realizing your dreams.

When you own your space, a few nifty things happen:
• Search engines start finding you
• Potential customers start turning to you
• Existing customers develop even more trust in you

For example, Zappos is the authority on mail order shoes. Zillow is the authority on real estate. CNet is the authority on consumer technology. These are clear examples of companies that own their space and continue to reap the benefits of it.

Now if you’re just entering a very crowded space, it’s understandable that your expectations may be tempered a bit, but that’s when you should find a niche. Instead of selling dog food, sell dog food for dogs with digestive problems, or dogs with digestive problems who enjoy the savory flavors of chicken cordon bleu, or dogs with digestive problems who enjoy the savory flavors of chicken cordon bleu who also go by the name of Max. As author Robert W. Bly said, “The narrower your niche, the greater your chances of becoming the pre-eminent guru in it.”

So How Do You Do It?

So how do you own your space? Is there a form you have to fill out at city hall? Fortunately, no. We’ve identified four steps that, if rinsed, lathered, and repeated with, will establish your brand as the one to beat:
1. Commit to the being the authority
2. Claim the authority
3. Deliver quality in quantity
4. Collaborate with other authorities

We’ve already covered points 1 and 2, and number 3, delivering quality with quantity, well, that should be self-explanatory. Do good work, do it often, and great things will start to happen.

On the collaboration front, we find that when you reach out to other people/companies in your space, even if they happen to be competitors, it usually raises your authority as well as theirs. Don’t be afraid of being confident about what it is you do best.

The road to market dominance is paved with confidence. If you believe you own your space, even if it requires a daily meditative five minutes in front of the mirror, odds are you eventually will.