An Amazing Example of How One Business Owner is Winning Because of Differentiation

Being different from your competition requires hard work, commitment, and the ability to think outside of the box.  John Armstrong understands this and has used this philosophy to become a top realtor in Bloomington/Normal, IL.

How has John become the go-to guy in our area for real estate?  By differentiating himself from the competition.  I believe there are about bazillion realtors in Bloomington/Normal.  I am not really sure how many a bazillion is, but I think it’s a high number.  With so many realtors how has John been successful in separating himself from his peers?  He provides value and name recognition through a local radio show.

The radio show is called, “On the House with John Armstrong,” airs every Saturday morning at 8am on The Cities 92.9.  I have had the privilege of being one of John’s weekly guests a few times and came away extremely impressed on how in informs the public of real estate information that is pertinent to them while also promoting his team and business without coming across like an infomercial.

Some of you might be thinking, “well, if I had a local radio show, I could grow my business too.”  Of course you could, but did you put the time and effort to make it happen?  Have you thought about other avenues where you could become your industry leader by providing relevant and important information about your business?

I recently sat down with John to see how he came up with the idea of a radio show, the difficulties he has encountered along the way, and how it has helped his business.

An Idea Was Born

The process of having a weekly radio show took four years of work.  Not four days, four weeks, or four months, but four LONG years.  It took four years to build relationships and set a foundation for this dream.  Like anything worth doing, it takes time and the fortitude to work your tail off.

John initially had a relationship with the radio station while doing some advertising.  He had a vision in place, grew his craft, made smart decisions, and finally got his opportunity to begin a show in the fall of 2011.  Even though there were changes at the radio station along the way, John kept with his dream, persisted, persisted some more, and eventually made it happen.

When John finally earned this opportunity, he then realized he had new challenges.  Those main challenges were coming up with fresh and relevant content, having engaging guests, and just learning how to do a top-notch radio show.  John is a terrific communicator, but he would be the first to tell you that having a radio show is much different from sitting down with a client.  I was one of John’s first guest’s last fall and was also a guest this spring and was amazed at how much he had already improved the show and his delivery in just a few months.

I asked John what has helped him the most though this process and he said undoubtedly it is his great team.  As Jim Collins would say, “he got the right people on the bus”.  John has found a team that shares his passion on providing knowledge, superior customer service, and value.  They are all on the same team heading for the same goal.

The bottom line.

So What Has Differentiating Done for John’s Business?

1)  Name Recognition–John said that he is amazed at the number of people who have heard his show and have contacted him because of it.  No longer does John have to sell himself on being an expert and knowledgeable.  If someone is listening to his show, that is already assumed.  How about that for instant credibility.  John told me he received three calls last week strictly due to his radio show and there is no competition. Did you read that?  NO COMPETITION!  Wow.

2) Being at the Top of Your Game--When you host a weekly real estate radio show, you better be aware of the trends in your area.  John prepares hard each week to understand the real estate market and provide cutting edge real estate advice to both his clients and listeners.  This keeps him ahead of many of his competitors because he is constantly learning and improving.

3) Profit–At the end of the day, this what it is really all about, right?  If we provide value and serve our clients, but don’t make a profit how long can we continue to serve?  By having a radio show, John has surpassed goals he never though possible.  His business is growing by leaps and bounds because he has a tool in his tool belt that no other competitor possesses.

More Prospects + Less Competition = Increased Profit

Differentiation doesn’t mean you must have a radio show.  That may not be an option for your situation, but what else can you do to set yourself up as the expert with name recognition and instant credibility?   Take the time plan and think.  There are many areas that you can start looking at today and I will discuss these in my next blog post.  I challenge you to start thinking outside of the box and become point of differentiation.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Brent,

    This is absolutely great stuff!! Let’s use the most played out Marketing Phrase in the World (because it applies)… LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

    You’re not going to grow if you do the same thing you’ve always done…

    Creating your own Radio show is amazing!


    Ryan H.

    • Thanks Ryan. These are the types of things that require hard work and creativity, but pay off huge!

  • ajperisho747

    Nice job Brent!