4 Step positioning framework

How to become a category of 1

4 Step positioning framework
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Do you feel like you’re in a crowded market?
Like everyone around you seems to be doing exactly what you’re doing?
Does it become hard to explain to customers how you are different from the competition?
Let me tell you, you’re not alone.
This happens with every business.
But the successful businesses, figure out a strong positioning and become a category of 1.
So customers find their offers incomparable to the rest of the market.
This is the power of strong positioning.
A few weeks ago, I did a positioning workshop for the Indie Masterminds community. Today I’ll share a few key lessons from it here.
And discuss a 4 step framework you can use to nail your positioning.
Let’s start -

Right at the top, let’s accept a few harsh truths here -
notion image
Yes, it’s a hard pill to swallow, but you’re not unique and the solution you’re building is not unique.
But you’re positioning can still be unique, and that’s what we will try to figure out today.
To illustrate the positioning exercise, I will use my own example.
I will share how I’ve tried to position this newsletter(SuperFrameworks) in the crowded market of entrepreneurship newsletters.

1. Market

The first step is to get the lay of the land, identify the market you work in, and niche down as much as possible.
The market is a map, and your positioning is the location of your product on the map.
It’s the industry you operate in, the niche and the sub-niche.
So in my case, it would be -
  • Business/ entrepreneurship newsletters.
  • For solopreneurs and indie hackers.
This domain has many players - competitors, customers, other companies who care about these customers.
And somewhere in this huge market, I have to create a tiny spot for my newsletter.

2. Competition

A harsh fact of life is that your customers always compare you to your competition. That’s why it’s important to analyse your closest competitors.
So make a list of your top competitors, and note down 2 things about each of them -
  1. What is their core benefit?
  1. How are you different from them?
In the solopreneurship newsletter space there are so many players right now, many of them top quality and offering unique benefits.
Areas where most of the competition focus on -
  • Deep dive case studies
  • New business ideas
  • Interviews of successful entrepreneurs.
  • Star power - personal results making millions of dollars
(I don’t want to take names here because I have nothing against them. In fact, I’m a happy subscriber of many of them, and taking names will complicate the situation unnecessarily)
When I study the competition, I can focus on figuring out the unique attributes of my newsletter, and how I can stand out from them, and what value I can provide to the audience.
1 thing is clear, I DON’T want to do any of the stuff in the list above.
So what value can I provide?

3. Value you provide

The value proposition has to emerge from the competitor analysis we did in the previous step.
Once you do that, key differentiations start to come up naturally.
So that value my newsletter provides, that I don’t see anyone else focus on (primarily) boils down to -
  • Less storytelling
  • Action oriented
  • Practical, frameworks driven
  • Easy to read and digest
Now, the final step in the positioning exercise is to figure out who is the user persona that cares strongly about these value propositions.

4. Who this matters to?

There are many ways to create a user persona, and I do have a persona template that you can use as well (free for subscribers).
But most people don’t have a process of reaching to their ideal user persona.
When you do this positioning exercise, you know what unique value you provide, and based on that you can nail down who will actually care about your product.
Let’s see what type of reader will care about this newsletter.
Someone who -
  • Has already consumed a ton of content to feel inspired
  • Is ready to action
  • Wants to learn, but doesn’t want to read long books to get valuable lessons
  • Is short on time
These points are beyond the surface level user persona of someone who works a full time job and wants to build a solo business.
There are many newsletters serving that broad audience.
But very few who are serving the sub-niche that’s impatient and actually ready to take action.
I want my newsletter to matter to only those readers.

Positioning Statement

Once you do this exercise, you can capture it’s essence in this simple statement -
For <Target Users>, <Your Offering>
is a <Market Category> which provides <Main Benefits>
unlike <Primary Competitor> which provides <Competitor Benefits>
Here’s how I will finish this statement for the SuperFrameworks newsletter -
For<Solopreneurs and indiehackers>,<SuperFrameworks >
Is a <Weekly Newsletter> which provides <Actionable frameworks and insights>
unlike<X> which provides <case studies, business ideas or inspirational stories>

It doesn’t end

Positioning is not a one time activity.
As you evolve, the demands of your audience evolve, your product evolves, so does your positioning.
You keep iterating and trying to hit that right positioning where your product is a “no-brainer” for the right audience.

What to do with positioning?

All this is well and good, but what do you do once you have this positioning?
You use it everywhere -
notion image
In all your communication, on your landing pages, emails, social media.
Include your positioning everywhere.
It will help you attract the right kind of audience and repel the wrong kind of audience.
And most of all, it help you stand out in a crowded market and over time, create a category of 1.
This is a simple exercise that can yield great results over the long term, don’t skip it.
2 Books to understand positioning -
  • Obviously Awesome by April Dunford
  • $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi

Grab the template

The memes in this post are taken from a Positioning workshop I did for the Indie Masterminds community recently. (It has more memes 😅)
More importantly, there I also shared a Notion template that members can use to simplify the positioning exercise for them.
You can grab the template and also watch the recording once you join the community.
During the workshop I shared 5 more examples of positioning, explained how to do it well for a SaaS product, and we also did the exercise live for one of the members.
All under 60 minutes.
I think you will find it useful.
The community recently crossed the 70 members mark, so there are only a few seats left before the next price upgrade. Don’t miss out.

Quick Recap -

4 Step positioning framework -
  1. Identify the market
  1. Analyse the competition
  1. Zero in on your value
  1. Figure out who cares about this value proposition
Keep iterating…
Next time you think there’s too much competition for your idea, try and run it through this framework, I’m sure you’ll find a unique positioning where you can thrive.

Useful links you don't want to miss -
(*Links in bold are classified ads, to reserve your spot, please send me a DM on Twitter.)

🤗 How can I help?

  • 🎉 I can help you get your work in front of 2400+ solopreneurs, creators and indie hackers. Get eyeballs, leads and sales for the cool stuff you’re building. If you’re interested in sponsoring the SuperFrameworks newsletter, send me a DM, let’s chat.

Hope you found this useful.
If you’re new, then make sure you don’t miss the next one.
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See you next week
Ayush 🙏

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Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business

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